Cycling for Runners

With a steady gain in the turnout of runners at the 9th TCS 10k Bengaluru run, Giant-Starkenn believes that it is exciting to see more folks in Bangalore take to endurance sports, Giant Starkenn takes it as their responsibility to educate, today’s fitness enthusiast on the methods through which they can positively achieve their endurance/fitness goals. A step in that direction was organizing a talk by Naveen John, India’s first UCI Pro Continental Cyclist on the benefits of cycling as cross training for runners. Here are a few of the pointers that he shared with the participants.

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Running and Cycling share a lot in common. Runners, make for pretty good cyclists, as they already have well developed cardiovascular systems that are the foundation of any endurance activity.

Runners who come into cycling do so with a few advantages: Cycling comes easily to them because of a more full-body workout they get from running, they bring with them the strong spine and hip stabilizers that running needs; and if they’ve been measured in their running, they come in with good tendon and ligament strength — all of these makes for a smooth transition in to cycling.

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However, there are a few pointers that runners transitioning or adding cycling into their fitness routine should take note of. Running and Cycling differ in the bio-mechanics, and hence different muscular firing patterns. One of the primary sources of injury in running occurs when the braking forces load the eccentrically contracted quadriceps during heel strike. On the contrary, cycling is relatively low/no impact, and is easier on your joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Besides these physiological benefits, introducing cycling to your running regime has the “soft benefits” of being a form of active recovery on run recovery days, keeping motivation for your running strong, and in the case of nursing a running injury, it can provides a great mode of rehab.

If you are an avid runner looking to complement your fitness routine with cycling, or are just starting out on the fitness journey, the best place would be to talk to friends of yours who cycle. The next step would be to visit a good bicycle store, which has a variety of bicycles. A good place to start online is the Starkenn website (www.starkennbikes.com) as, along with its Giant Starkenn Cycling Worlds located in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Kolkata, also list their dealer outlets, which represent the best in the business pan India.

If you are the type that’s slow to move and need the motivation of a goal to chase, then sign-up for a bicycling event that’s a couple months out, and work towards getting ready for it.

These tips are just a glimpse of how well cycling can be balanced out by runners and being at the forefront of this would be Naveen John with his racing experience and Giant Starkenn with their expertise in the right equipment.

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