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I've been wondering about this lately. Right now, it's a great way to cross train and I find it helps my overall fitness level. It's not much benefit to running however. For the last 3 weeks I've averaged just under 60 mpw on the bike, and I'd like to continue that until winter sets in and biking gets miserable. Now, so far this month I've spent over 17 hours on a bike. Wouldn't it be so much better if those 17 hours were spent running? Obviously the answer to that is yes, I would be a much better runner. I realize that right now my legs aren't conditioned to run that much, so it's not possible. So biking stays.

But when I get to the point where I'm running 70 mpw, is biking on top of that just taking away from my running? I think yes. I'm not talking about a time constraint, just physical exertion. (In a pinch for time, I'd drop biking anyway.) By biking 3 times a week, am I taking away from that week's runs? At what point does it become a burden to running?

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Personally, I don't think biking is ever a bad thing (unless you go out and do 6x your normal ride length and then try to run 15 miles).

Biking will get muscles that running doesn't get. This is even more true if you typically run on flat surfaces and avoid the hills.

Biking is a way to get excersize without the stress that running imposes. You can work your heart and lungs just as much, but save the legs.

Just my :twocents:
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I find when I bike my running is better. It's hard to fit everything in but if you can find a balance of biking when you increase your mileage I bet you'll find it won't hurt your running.
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The big benefit of biking or any cross-training for that matter is the low-impact ability to create more voluminous weeks. For instance, when you talk about putting those 17-hours of biking into 17-hours of running, at your pace, that'd be over 130-miles of running. Obviously, you can't ramp up from where you are today to a 130-mile week without busting something. But what cross-training does for me is to provide "an equivalent" for mileage with low-impact and little opportunity for injury in comparison to running. That combined with the reality of both life and the body I have, that running 100-mile weeks for 52 weeks of the year simply isn't going to happen. But I can maintain some big volume weeks throughout much of the year by shuffling up the combination of running miles with biking miles with rowing miles. The days of each change with the demands of the seasons I've set in terms of base building, sharpening, peaking, racing and recovery.

Certainly, if you have the body to run high mileage week in and week out, your running will benefit the most by logging as many miles as you can on your feet, but for those of us out here teetering on being injury-prone or simply aging more than we care to admit, the bicycle or any low-impact is going to provide a cardio-vascular aerobic workout that keeps our running from sliding backwards. It might not necessarily improve running, but there's an equivalent substitute at some level if you experiment enough is what I've found.
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Many of the Kenyan training camps strictly forbid biking. They do consider it to have a negative affect on running.

My own personal experience, was that biking helped my raw speed (1 mile and shorter) and general conditioning, but did nothing for my ability to run longer distances. It is a pretty good possibility that biking will help with injury prevention. If you are already injured, biking is an okay option for keeping some running fitness, but not nearly as good as using an elliptical or doing pool running.
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I thought biking was really good if you want to build strength for hills. Will elliptical machines or pool running have the same benefit?
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