Cyclists should also take running in their stride

While running is a good training supplement for cyclists, there are also benefits to be derived from weaving cycling into a running plan.
While running is a good training supplement for cyclists, there are also benefits to be derived from weaving cycling into a running plan.TNP FILE PHOTO

Participants preparing for this year's OCBC Cycle should incorporate short runs into their bike routine to enhance their training regimen.

Both sports are good forms of cardio and running is an ideal cross-training activity for cyclists, said Dr Frankie Tan, head of the Sports Science Centre at the Singapore Sport Institute.

Cycling is easy on the joints as it is non-weight bearing, but running is a high-impact activity that is tough on the joints and muscles, added Dr Tan. This will help cyclists to push themselves harder during the May 5-6 event at the Singapore Sports Hub.

"For someone who is used to cycling, half an hour on the road is really nothing to them," he said.

"But, if you do a hard run for half an hour, you're constantly pounding on the road with your body weight and that really challenges you further."

For participants who do not have the luxury of time to train, running is also a more time-efficient cardio activity to build stamina.

"It burns more calories (than cycling) and pushes the heart much harder over the same period of time," said Edwin Ong, general manager of Polar Singapore, a global manufacturer of fitness monitors that track heart rate and activity.

Cycling chalks up a person's heart rate to between 70 and 75 per cent of his maximum heart rate, while running can raise it to a high of 85 per cent.

Ong's advice to participants is to ride 40km twice a week and work in a 5-8km run in between the cycling sessions.

"It's better to cycle on the weekend as there is less traffic on the road. When you run, try to go uphill as that makes your heart work even harder," he said.

While running is a good training supplement for cyclists, there are also benefits of weaving cycling into a running plan.

"For those who run often, an easy spin on the bike will help to move blood through the muscles to aid recovery," said national triathlete Clement Chow, 30.

As a low-impact sport, cycling also helps to improve and maintain one's stamina without overworking the body, added the 2017 SEA Games bronze medallist.

"Doing a mix of both running and cycling makes your fitness routine more sustainable in the long term," he said.

• Online registration for OCBC Cycle is now open, with early bird discounts up to $14 until Feb 28. For more information, visit www.ocbccycle.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2018, with the headline 'Cyclists should also take running in their stride'. Print Edition | Subscribe