Cross Training is an alternative activity or sport to improve the performance of your primary sport. It's common in many sports, as it's for running. Many runners go cycling as their cross-training. It keeps them motivated because they can be outdoors, have some variety in sports, and have fun.
Developing fitness, stamina, and endurance without damaging your leg muscles are a couple of examples of cycling helping to improve your running performance. Cycling is a very effective low-impact cardiovascular workout. Adding this to your weekly training schedule will help you to train more with less stress on your body.
When running, you strengthen certain muscles that help perform specific functions. Cycling uses different muscles for running, like your quads, glutes, and core muscles. These muscles complement those you use for running, making you more potent as a runner. It helps to improve your efficiency, which will help you to run faster.
If you had a long run, you're likely to have sore legs, and the idea of going for the next training session the following day won't be a pleasant thought. But an easy recovery ride with your bike will help your legs feel better. Also, your joints will be more in your favour as cycling has a low impact on your joints compared to running. Cycling helps recovery by increasing blood flow to your glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings. It flushes the lactic acid out and helps them repair. Keeping the legs moving will also reduce muscle and joint stiffness. As a result, your legs will be ready for your next run much sooner than if you took a rest.
Having an injury is a real blow, and taking a break from running can sometimes be the solution to allow your body to heal. Cycling can help you stay in shape while your body is healing the injury. There is also research that shows that maintaining some activity while injured will reduce the time of recovery. In contrast to running, cycling is a low-impact sport on muscles and joints. So cycling allows you to work out without impacting the injured parts. Cycling will help you maintain your fitness level without putting too much stress on your body.
Trying a new sport can feel a bit out of comfort, even if you're used to working out and keeping in shape. Trying something new is not only challenging you physically. Forming a new active habit will exercise your brain to build new neural pathways. It improves your mental well-being.
Creating new neural pathways in the brain helps us to:
- Break bad habits
- Try more new things
- Boost confidence
Even if you learned to ride a bike when you were young, rediscovering cycling will make way for a happier you.