What's the best way to incorporate road cycling into half marathon training?

I'm doing the Glasgow half marathon in September and I'm aiming for a time of between 1:30 and 1:45. Already dopne 13.1 in  1:44 in training.


What's the best way to incorporate cycling into my training?  Or will it be detrimental?




  • thanks for asking this, i am wondering the same thing...

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Do the runs easy and the cycling fast. Use the biggest gear you can and stand up on the pedals the whole time. I did 30 milers without using the saddle once.

  • My cycling helped me with leg sped and strength. It made an improvement on my running. BUT, I nowswim as much as possible and the difference is enourmouse. I find my core muscles and breathing are much more comfortable at a fast pace. In 6 months I took 20minutes of my Half Marathon time and 15 minutes of 10km. I am not a triathlete. I just read quite often how good swimming can be for overall strength and breathing. That last 5km when it hurts... Go swimming!


  • RicF, whats the theory behind that. Isn't cycling also a strength activity whereas running is mostly fitness.

  • If you want the best performance spend your time running. Specificity is the key.

    Cycling and running aren't the same. Both will give you a good cardio workout but it's not the same muscle wise.

    Cycling 30 miles out of the saddle is extreme. Can't really see how that would help you running wise more than say - running for the same time.

    If running too much gives you injuries then cross train but otherwise run.

    Cycling after a hard run is a good recovery session.

    And most cycling outside of track cycling is endurance rather than strength.

    Wiggins doesn't have massive thighs does he?
  • I've been looking to include some cycling into my 'regime' of running and thought the best place to start would be swapping a recovery run for a cycle... just to do something different if anything. Good to see i'm on right lines Cougie.

    Matthew.... if that sounds like something you would do, i've read that you need to 'spin' (not sure it relates to spinning classes specifically or not but sounds like its where they got the name). It means spinning the legs almost to the point where you feel like youre gonna lose control... but clearly you dont... so select an easier gear.

    Went out for a spin (pun intended!) yesterday for the first time... did an hour, maybe 10 mins more than my usual recovery run (which i do at 8.30-9.00 min miling pace)... felt good. Give it a go... if you want to do more, do more and use the Glasgow race as a test to see how it impacts... you can always enter another.

    Also agree with cougie... specificity. When i start Brighton marathon training in December... i'll give the bike a miss. Hope that helps.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Conventional cycling is too easy unless you're blasting it. As the fact that you can use it for recovery after races which I do. I stand up; not because I have piles which I don't, but because I want to build leg strength in a manner as close to the running action as possible, like running up a hill for 90 mins or so. The big gear in cycling is a pure strength builder. When I did time trials, I dropped down two gears from my training level. That way I could maintain cadence at full effort without locking out my thigh muscles with the strain of pushing a bigger gear than usual.

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