Cross training .....

OK. My boyfriend has decided that out of all the exercises we could do together, he wants to ride mountain bikes. So, we are going out this week to purchase the bikes.

Now, I am very enthusiastic about this but are there any tips so I don't bugger up my running with this method of cross training?

Thanks in advance chums.


  • Hmmm, leave your bike at home. Go running in some nice undulating desert around you (assume you are still in Dubai), and see if he can keep up on two wheels .... I doubt it !!

    I do this with my good lady here in the UK on trails. On the flat she is dust, but up hills ....
  • Cycling should actually improve your running.
    Make sure that you "spin" - ride with high cadence - 80 to 90 rpm.
    Don't try to push big gears - your quads will fill with lactic.
    I still run as well now as when I was running 2:40-something marathons.
    Then I used to run 60 to 70 miles a week - now I only run approx 40 miles a week, but with lots of cycling and swimming.
    I now find that my quads don't tire anywhere as quickly as they used to when just running.

  • I totally agree with Cornish Ironman. Get the pedals round faster as opposed to switching into high gear sooner, and make sure you tackle plenty of hills - in my experience, going up hills on my bike has been the single most directly benificial (to my running) x-training I've done. Swimming freestyle is a close second because it's an excellent cardiovascular workout.
  • Great - thanks a lot. No big gears sounds good. Finding hills in Dubai might be a bit more of a challenge though! I'm really looking forward to getting my bike now. Haven't had a bike since I was a kid.

    Mr C - I might try out the racing suggestion. My boyfriend still won't admit that I am fitter than him even though I ran circles around him on the tennis court at the weekend!
  • Hi Beth, I worked in Dubai (at the Dubai Vet Hospital in Jumairah)in 1988/89. Did lots of running across Jumairah beach.Also some "runs" with the Hash House harriers in the desert. I remember some challenging sand dunes! I found it too hot and humid to run outside in Dubai except in the winter months.
  • Runnerbean - hello fellow (ex-)expat. Wow, Dubai has really changed since 88/89 I can tell you. I'm sure you'd be very surprised.
    I live up the other end of Dubai so I do most of my running alongside the Creek in the early morning. It is still too hot now after about 8am to exert any energy!

    Went out on our new mountain bikes last night for the first time. Traffic is a bit of a bummer and the pavements make it a bit difficult but once I'd mastered the bunny-hop-type manouvere onto the pavement as well as off of it, I was away with the wind.
    Rode for about 3/4 hour to a bar on the Creekside, had a drink and then rode back again. Wonderful!

    Mr C - I tried riding briefly on some sand - blimey that's difficult. No wonder you said that my boyfriend wouldn't be able to keep up if I ran! ha ha
  • Beth - sand will seriously injure your lovely new bike's moving parts. You'll have to clean it off each time you come back from a sandy ride.
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