Cycling is an excellent complement to running and is beneficial for injured and non-injured runners alike. It’s also a great indoor training option during the winter when weather conditions make it difficult to do speedwork outside. There are a lot of great workouts you can do on an indoor bike, but by standing up out of the saddle you can more closely mimic the running motion without the same stress on your body. Next time you’re taking your workout indoors, try this standing interval workout to improve your fitness and keep your cross-training fun.
The benefits of the bike
Cycling is a fantastic aerobic workout without the impact on your body that running has, which is why it’s a popular choice for injured runners. For non-injured runners, it’s a great way to tax your body differently while sparing some of the muscles you use more when you’re running, making it a great option for a recovery day between workouts.
As a bonus, cycling can also help you improve your cadence, because you can put the bike at a lower tension and spin your legs faster than you would on a recovery run, while maintaining a relatively low heart rate. This can actually improve your stride when you’re running, which can ultimately help you run faster.
Standing up on your bike is a great way to increase the intensity of your cross-training session with much less stress on your body, and the motion is much closer to running, so it provides runners with a low-impact way to boost their endurance and speed.
Warmup: 10-15 minutes easy (low tension, easy cadence)
Workout: Increase the resistance enough so you can stand on the pedals, but keep it light enough that you can still maintain a relatively high cadence, between 75 and 90 RPM. Use that intensity to complete the following pyramid:
2 x (30 sec./45 sec./60 sec. // 60 sec. easy cycling between each)
Cooldown: 10-15 minutes easy cycling.
Notes: Your posture is very important when standing on a bike in order to make sure it mimics the movement of running as closely as possible. You need to be far enough forward that you can stand tall and feel your quads and hamstrings working together, as they would when you’re running. If you’re unable to maintain proper posture as you get further in the workout, don’t keep pushing through. Pedaling with poor form will likely do more harm than good, especially if you’re dealing with an injury.