Want to be a better runner? It might not require more miles or hills. Of course these methods work, but they can lead to burnout and overuse injuries, especially if you rely solely on running to improve.
One helpful training tip that can take your running to the next level is hopping on a bike or even taking a spin class. This cross-training approach allows you to perform high-intensity intervals, increase speed, build leg endurance and maximize lung capacity without causing major impact to your joints. Biking also helps flush out muscle soreness post-run, so adding a few minutes of biking after a long run can aid your recovery.
Running creates significant inflammation and wear and tear throughout your body, requiring you to rest and adequately recover so you can perform at an optimal level during your next run. When you choose the bike to be a better runner, you’ll still be working the same muscles, especially the glutes, calves and quadriceps that you typically will train during a run…but with far less impact. So instead of having to take off a few days to recover, you can continue to train via the bike and see results quicker as a result.
And if you enjoy racing and beating PR times, you can incorporate sprints on a bike and during a spinning class one to two times a week. This training approach has been shown to help shave seconds off your mile time in just a few solid weeks!