I have found that there are quite a few runners who frequent, work, and instruct spinning classes. In fact, indoor cycling actually can benefit and improve your running. Here are the top 10 reasons runners should give cycling a spin (see what I did there)...
1. Less Pounding
This is the most obvious benefit of cycling. You get a great cardio workout without the pounding of the pavement. I don’t know about you, but when I go over a certain weekly mileage total, my body just feels kinda creaky when I get out of bed in the morning. Generally, I try to replace one weekly run with a ride, and my knees, back, and hips thank me.
2. Moving to the Music
I’ve been running with music for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I started regularly riding that I realized how much keeping beat with the music can help you push through a tough workout. Now I find that I’ll adjust my stride-length and cadence on the road to sync with a song when I’m struggling through a particularly tough patch of pavement.
3. Give Your Toes a Rest
After most long weekend runs, my toes are pretty beat up. Add rain, new shoes, or bad socks to the equation, and my feet are out of running commission for a day or two. On those days, a ride is just what the foot doctor ordered.
4. Faster Leg Turnover
Speed workouts are an important tool for any runner to increase endurance and strengthen the lungs and legs. You get all of these same benefits when you do speed on the bike—with a more concentrated effort on improving leg turnover and developing fast-twitch muscle fibers.
5. Whether the Weather
When the weather gets wintery, you have two choices as a runner. You can either slog it out slowly on the snow and ice, or suck it up and hit the treadmill. And the same thing goes for sweltering summer temps. But now, you have a third option: indoor cycling! No
matter how un-runnable the elements get, the conditions in the studio are always perfect.
6. Segmented Efforts
Usually, a spinning class workout is comprised of a series of smaller challenges that add up to one great workout. Most of the time, you’re doing things in 10-, 20-, and 30-second spurts. This helps condition your brain to break efforts down into segmented portions. I find this to be very helpful when I’m running, and I need to push through a challenging segment. Once you know you can push hard for a short spurt, it makes an extended effort feel more manageable.
Still not convinced? Go take a spin for yourself and see how it impacts your running!