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  1. #1
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    Does anybody run?

    I've been running a little (3 to 5 miles, 3 times a week) as a way of keeping in shape when I can't ride and it's getting to be winter up here. I've never been a "runner" but it's becoming fun enough that I'm thinking of trying a 1/2 marathon in the spring. I'm not completely commited to it yet, and am wondering if anyone else runs as a means of cross-training during the off season.

    Before getting bitten by this "running bug" I was thinking of buying a road bike for the spring and getting a little more serious on the bike. Will running through the winter help?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I ran though last winter, and it definitely prevented me from gaining any fat, and kept some baseline fitness intact (in addition to riding on the trainer about twice a week). It doesn't really make you a faster rider, but it's good for maintaining a base level of fitness in the off season. I know I'd much rather go for a run when it's 20 degrees than ride my bike.
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  3. #3
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    I agree running will keep the base level of fitness up. I run all year to some degree but much more in the winter especially through deepish snow for an added workout. I've found out at least about me that biking helps me much more with running than vice versa but keeping the base up is valuable in itself.

  4. #4
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    Yes, but it's because I'm in XC at school. So I run 5-6 days a week in the morning and ride at night(a lot easier than when XC's not in season though).

    I (and my coach) think running is a great way to cross train, they seem to compliment each other well.

  5. #5
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    I:

    Run: True 550
    Row: C2 model E
    Ride: Trek 9.9 (& a Spinning NXT spin bike)

    Bear in mind that running is hard for me still after my hip surgery 3 months back... running is a great workout and a great way to train.
    Last edited by selector; 10-21-2009 at 07:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    I run, ride when I can and do yoga regularly to stay fit. I never have a full on racing campaign that I train for, but when I do race I do fairly well for myself. If I was seriously training to race next year while running through the winter, I think I would try and find some other way in the gym (though I think I can do it through yoga) to build cycling specific strength to compliment the cardio gains.

    I did the road bike thing years ago, and I have to tell you that for pure pleasure, I really prefer spending time running rather than on the road if I can't ride to the woods.

    You know, the people to ask about this are the Xterra athletes. I've been meaning to hit up a triathlete for advice, myself.
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  7. #7
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    I run about twice a week through the winter and summer-mainly for triathlon training. I find it helps keep my Vo2 in check but it doesn't do a whole lot in terms of improving biking performance

  8. #8
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    I used to run and will again. I'll probably start back up soon. I lift weights, do yoga, plyometrics, bike... it's all good.
    Running through the winter might help you keep your weight down and give you a mental break from riding the bike but the only way to get REALLY good at riding a bike is by riding a bike.

    and eating well.

  9. #9
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    Came across this a while back. I would like to work my way up to 10 by the end of winter.

    http://www.runnersworld.com/article/...1854-0,00.html

  10. #10
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    run

    run from what? i ski 8-9 months of the year in new england to x-train. well actually i x-train on the bike for skiing. climbed 12,500 vert in the past 2 days skinning and skiing at sunday river in maine. they opened last wednesday through the weekend and are closed till this coming weekend, so spent 5 hours yesterday and 7 hours today, lapping the place. perfect corn snow with freeze at night and 50 degrees and sun during the day. from now into july=snow on the brain.

  11. #11
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    Run on the days I don't ride, which is 2-3 times per week.

  12. #12
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    i know a couple of guys doing the xterra world champs this weekend in hawaii. they have a similar story that biking helps your running but running does nothing to improve your biking. they definitely say that if you cant get on the bike, go for a run to maintain the base fitness though.

  13. #13
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    ONLY if being chased.

  14. #14
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    Even though running trains a different muscle group (there is some overlap) its awesome for endurance and a "change of scenery". I started out as a hardcore runner (XC and track), got bitten by the mtb bug, then ended up combining it all into adventure racing.

  15. #15
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    I run quite a bit and did a season of MTB XC/Endurance races along with Marathons and Ultra marachons in 2007.....but sometimes the recovery is more difficult than cycling so it hurt my performance and times on the bike. If you are using it to stay in shape it's great.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahkneefive
    Even though running trains a different muscle group (there is some overlap) its awesome for endurance and a "change of scenery".

    Serious XC racers will sometimes freak out at the notion that you would run at all for fear of losing some of the muscle adaptations they work so hard for on the bike. What areas of strength could potentially suffer if you primarily run through the winter?
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  17. #17
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    I run a bit just to change things up in the fall.

    I have started to include year around running in my athletes programs. Not for fitness but for long term bone health. I have read way too many articles about cyclist and weak bones,

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    cyclist and weak bones
    Did those study's include mtb'ers though? Would mtb'ing not help maintain bone density effectively?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henchman
    Did those study's include mtb'ers though? Would mtb'ing not help maintain bone density effectively?
    No they didn't look at mountain biking.

    But, no matter how much I would like to think otherwise, other than hitting the ground MTBings isn't an impact sport. MTBers are probably better off then roadies but I don't think we are out of the woods.

  20. #20
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    Good news for mountain bikers from:
    http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retri...56328201007049

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to compare the bone mineral density (BMD) of two types of trained male cyclists (n = 30) with recreationally active men (n = 15), aged 20–40 years. Sixteen of the cyclists regularly trained for, and competed in, cross-country mountain bike races. The other 14 cyclists trained and raced on the road. The cyclists had trained an average of 11 ± 3 hours per week for 8 ± 4 years. Fifteen recreationally active men volunteered as controls. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to assess BMD of the proximal femur, lumbar spine, and total body. Anthropometric, muscle strength and power, aerobic fitness, and sex hormone data assessments were conducted on all participants. Mountain cyclists were younger and weighed less than road cyclists and controls. BMD at all sites was comparable among the three groups (p > 0.05). When adjusted for body weight and controlled for age, BMD was significantly higher at all sites in the mountain cyclists compared with the road cyclists and controls. Some anthropometric, physical fitness, and sex steroid variables were predictive of BMD, but of these variables, only total body weight, total body fat, and aerobic fitness were different between the groups. In conclusion, endurance road cycling does not appear to be any more beneficial to bone health than recreational activity in apparently healthy men of normal bone mass. Higher BMD in the mountain cyclists suggests that mountain cycling may provide an osteogenic stimulus that is not inherent to road cycling.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by strader
    Good news for mountain bikers from:
    http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retri...56328201007049
    Well isn't that good news.

  22. #22
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    In conclusion, endurance road cycling does not appear to be any more beneficial to bone health than recreational activity in apparently healthy men of normal bone mass
    Its interesting, are they considering road cycling endurance and mtb recreational? They just say 11hrs +/-3, dont really differentiate.

    I remember listening to a podcast about a year ago that talked about low bone density in road cyclists, the lack of impact was one reason, but also the loss of minerals due to sweating for long durations.

  23. #23
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    "recreational activity" was referring to the n=15 non-cyclist subjects in the control group. "recreationally active men" in the first sentence of the abstract.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    Serious XC racers will sometimes freak out at the notion that you would run at all for fear of losing some of the muscle adaptations they work so hard for on the bike. What areas of strength could potentially suffer if you primarily run through the winter?

    This is what I was wondering about - Could a person lose the cycling leg strength that they gained thru the summer by running all winter? Maybe if I got a trainer and rode 1 or 2times a week.

  25. #25
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    No it's to hard on my knees and ankles.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    Serious XC racers will sometimes freak out at the notion that you would run at all for fear of losing some of the muscle adaptations they work so hard for on the bike. What areas of strength could potentially suffer if you primarily run through the winter?
    Though I have no scientific evidence other than my own experience I would say that my pedal "circle" most certainly is negatively affected by long distance running. Also when I run I settle into a stride that uses more hamstring muslce then quad muscle. Granted I'm no professional, but I tend to use more quad then ham when I bike. Best way I can describe it is with my long stride I tend to pull my body, whereas with mtb(non-clipless pedals) I tend to push my body.

    I don't think I would go so far as say your strength will suffer, it just might affect your form. Regardless its still great for endurance cross training and unless you're a die hard pedalin fool I doubt it will have any negative consequences.

    Scientifically you activate more muscle groups running (namely upper body), burn more calories, and most studies point to an increase in core muscle activation and bone density.

  27. #27
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    I do run some in November and early December, do one 5K race, then stop. I keep the running workouts short (30 minutes) and avoid the running leg pain by making sure I ride my MTB for at least 30 minutes after. I do one or two hour long runs during this time and I do not run after these longer runs. I feel those efforts for days, so I think the notion of riding after running helps the legs recover from the run effort.

    I do find it to be a good workout in a short period of time. And I also believes it to help with bone density issues.

    LMN, Does Catherine do any running in the off-season?
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  28. #28
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    Running uphill is beneficial for cyclists. I usually do hill intervals in the winter to maintain the base, and to also increase fitness and power. But it doesn't totally replace training on the bike.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackhammer
    This is what I was wondering about - Could a person lose the cycling leg strength that they gained thru the summer by running all winter? Maybe if I got a trainer and rode 1 or 2times a week.
    Ive been running the last 4 weeks and circuit training (feel really good fitness and strength wise), and went for a MTB ride Sunday. The cardio was there to spin but short steep climbs were noticeably harder. Was able to recuperate and get things back in check but the climbing was gone.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    I do find it to be a good workout in a short period of time. And I also believes it to help with bone density issues.

    LMN, Does Catherine do any running in the off-season?
    Catharine typically runs during the off season. Usually only for a couple of months, she tranfers to skiing when the snow hits. It is a good change.

    But her training load is way different then all of ours. For instance, today she did a 1hr run and then joined me for a 3hr ride.

    I don't think the running does anything for her fitness but it is good for her head and her bones.

  31. #31
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    So long as your connective tissue can take it, it's all good. I haven't noticed any "gain" from running increasingly for periods on my riding, but if you were prone to falling out of shape quickly (e.g., winter), it would certainly help, but I'll better there are less combative ways to do so that might even be interesting. I've been unimpressed with the cross-over benefit.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by moishlashen
    I've found out at least about me that biking helps me much more with running than vice versa but keeping the base up is valuable in itself.
    I completely agree.
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  33. #33
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    It is my unscientific half-assed opinion that running helps with sustained climbs but not with big ring power.

  34. #34
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    depends on the type of running. If you're just going for a 1hr lollygag pace run, then it won't do any training good other than maintaining a healthy heart beat and blood flow. If you want to actually get something useful out of a running routine you'd need to do a shock workout. Simplest version being a 1 mile warmup, 10x100yd cruises @ a 20-26 second pace and 30 sec rest. (35 if you jog it back instead of sitting still). Then a .5 mile cool down. Do that 3 times a week and I'd bet money your hill cliimbing and big gear sprinting will be noticeably better. Think it sounds easy? hehe wait till you get to cruise #5.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahkneefive
    If you're just going for a 1hr lollygag pace run, then it won't do any training good other than maintaining a healthy heart beat and blood flow.
    I guess it depends on what you mean by "lollygag", but I completely disagree. Regular one-hour runs will induce physiological adaptations that will improve mtb xc racing fitness. Especially true for winter off-season training; it's much easier to get out running when it's cold and/or rainy than on the bike. It won't replace cycling, of course.

  36. #36
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    anything over an ~9 min pace (technical term lollygag ) will only maintain a current fitness level. If you wanted to improve endurance/speed you would need to run under that threshold (the 9 min rule is a general rule of thumb for distance runners). I should of clarified that by blood flow I'm including your lungs ability to transfer oxygen to your blood efficiently.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahkneefive
    anything over an ~9 min pace (technical term lollygag ) will only maintain a current fitness level. If you wanted to improve endurance/speed you would need to run under that threshold (the 9 min rule is a general rule of thumb for distance runners). I should of clarified that by blood flow I'm including your lungs ability to transfer oxygen to your blood efficiently.
    AFAIK there is no physiological basis for this alleged 9-minute rule-of-thumb. If you are currently running less than 6.7 miles at a time, then running an hour at 9-minute pace will increase your fitness and not "merely" maintain it.

    What happens in reality is that if, for example, you run for an hour three days a week, you will gradually speed up your pace as fitness increases, even if the effort is still experienced as "easy".

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahkneefive
    depends on the type of running. If you're just going for a 1hr lollygag pace run, then it won't do any training good other than maintaining a healthy heart beat and blood flow. If you want to actually get something useful out of a running routine you'd need to do a shock workout. Simplest version being a 1 mile warmup, 10x100yd cruises @ a 20-26 second pace and 30 sec rest. (35 if you jog it back instead of sitting still). Then a .5 mile cool down. Do that 3 times a week and I'd bet money your hill cliimbing and big gear sprinting will be noticeably better. Think it sounds easy? hehe wait till you get to cruise #5.
    Most of us could do that workout twice, maybe three times before we became injured. A workout like that you have to ease into over time. By the time the typical cyclist is ready to do a workout like that, it is time for them to be doing workouts like that on the bike.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle
    AFAIK there is no physiological basis for this alleged 9-minute rule-of-thumb. If you are currently running less than 6.7 miles at a time, then running an hour at 9-minute pace will increase your fitness and not "merely" maintain it.

    What happens in reality is that if, for example, you run for an hour three days a week, you will gradually speed up your pace as fitness increases, even if the effort is still experienced as "easy".

    my apologies, I was assuming we were talking for people already in race shape. You are correct if you are currently slower than that, then it would be a physical improvement. For people like me though already able to run sub 8 minute miles for an hour a 9 minute pace would do nothing other than maintain. The "rule of thumb" is a common principle held by most highschool cross country teams (granted its been more than a few years I'm sure its a lower time now). The workout distance/time is designed around the runner being able to complete it with an average pace under 9 minutes, which forces an increase in heart rate. At any rate seems we're off subject, the OP just wanted to know if running was good or bad and I think the common consensus is there is nothing negative about running.

    LMN - Anyone who can do that workout 3 or more times a week is a stud. That workout is designed to only be used once maybe twice a week, otherwise you'd fry your muscles for the regular non super hero!

  40. #40
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    It seems like fell (mountain) running or stair climbing would be more transferable to biking than road running or flatter trail running. Does anyone do these? Especially the latter. It seems like stair running is pretty much like an out-of-the-saddle Vo2 climbing interval. Just curious.

  41. #41
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    running sucks!!!......... IMO

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by HatTrick
    It seems like fell (mountain) running or stair climbing would be more transferable to biking than road running or flatter trail running. Does anyone do these? Especially the latter. It seems like stair running is pretty much like an out-of-the-saddle Vo2 climbing interval. Just curious.
    I agree with you and as I wrote earlier, I think the climbing is really where running and mtb fitness intersect. Recently I've starting throwing in a bit of Lydiard-style hill-bounding on my runs, which I think is essentially a form of plyometrics, and I think that helps a bit with quicker, more explosive efforts on the bike.

    BTW I think that a lot of running is probably NOT a good idea for someone into road or track cycling, where top-end power on the bike is of the essence. Maybe during the off-season, OK.

  43. #43
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    Anecdotal stuff...

    I almost always do some running in the off-season (that reminds me, time to start), and twice in the last 5 years (2004-2005 and 2006-2007) I let it become an, uh, what's between fixation and obsession? to the point where I was training for half-marathons and a marathon.

    In 2005, I did run a May marathon (I have never walked downstairs backwards for 3 days after a century ride or MTB Enduro race, but after the marathon...) and then switched back to the bike as soon as I recovered. Within 16 days I had a very respectable time trial result, and by the end of June I rode a TT PB, that I have not yet matched (and never will-they threw up a 4 way stop right in the middle of our old course)

    In 2007, I ran a great HM in february, but then running injuries thankfully pushed me back on the bike before I could entertain thoughts of another Marathon. My 2007 cycling results do not seem to have been adversely affected by the running (but I'll never know for sure).

    For the last couple of years, though, I've wanted to take my cycling to the next level and I've concentrated on that (and improved). If a run replaces inactivity (because of time, weather, bike availability or whatever), then it helps. If it replaces a ride, it may not matter 4 months befoe the race season, but it sure will as you get closer.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle
    It is my unscientific half-assed opinion that running helps with sustained climbs but not with big ring power.
    That jives with my unscientific, anecdotal opinion.

    I just run because I enjoy it, mostly. Like LMN said about, its as good for the head for some if nothing else.
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  45. #45
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    Lance Armstron will text me (text..tweet...whatever, im pretty sure they are directed to me though) from time to time saying he just finished a long trail run. FYI, L.A. can do nothing wrong. Question answered, next.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErrantGorgon
    Lance Armstron will text me (text..tweet...whatever, im pretty sure they are directed to me though) from time to time saying he just finished a long trail run. FYI, L.A. can do nothing wrong. Question answered, next.
    Maybe he wouldn't have done so poorly in the Tour if he had run less.

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    oops i screwed up.lance is 38 and came in 3rd
    Last edited by herbn; 10-29-2009 at 05:27 PM.

  48. #48
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    Running does help with endurance biking, not so much XC biking in my experience anyway I guess that's why I don't really do XC bike races as much, I mainly do the endurance mt. bike races. I myself am a huge runner. Where as majority of those posted that they use running to stay in shape in the off biking season (term used loosely) I do it the complete opposite way. I use the biking to stay in shape. Biking does help a lot with leg strength which can help in a faster turnover in running which also can help a lot in hill running however for me biking just does not really get my heart rate going like running does.This has to do with the fact that when biking your not always pedaling you are able to coast certain sections also if you stop pedaling you are still able to maintain forward movement. In running to maintain forward movement you must continuously keep your legs moving. Running wise during foot racing season I usually average about 70 to 85 miles a week depending on how I feel. Paces range from 7:00 min/mile for easy pace days to 4:40-4:45/ mile for workouts.

  49. #49
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    Dang dude what sort of time do you race in a 10K? What sort of footraces do you like? Ever do Xterras?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle
    Dang dude what sort of time do you race in a 10K? What sort of footraces do you like? Ever do Xterras?
    Last year I ended my running season in Las vegas with a 5K at 15:43. 10K times were usually in the 33 minute range not to shabby. As far as races I usually target the 10K to the half marathon. The half marathon being my favorite. Nope on the Xterras I'd definitely like to try one though. I've done the Pikes Peak Ascent twice.

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