Strength Training for Cyclists and Runners: A Game-Changer

Cycling to get fit

Are you a cyclist or runner in pursuit of the next personal best? Then strength training is your answer!

Traditionally, hours are often spent pounding the pavement or pedalling through the miles, with the primary focus being on cardiovascular training. However, many are now realising the indispensable role strength training plays in enhancing running and cycling performance, and preventing injuries.

Why is Strength Training Crucial?

  1. Power Boost: Strength training, particularly for the lower body, can significantly increase the power output in both cyclists and runners. For cyclists, this means more force in each pedal stroke, while for runners, it translates to a stronger push-off with each stride.
  2. Injury Prevention: Strengthening the muscles helps alleviate undue stress on the joints, which can decrease the risk of overuse injuries. A strong core, often overlooked, is crucial for maintaining proper posture during both cycling and running, which can further prevent injuries.
  3. Improved Efficiency: Stronger muscles can generate the same force with less effort. For a runner or cyclist, this means that they can maintain the same pace while using less energy, leading to improved endurance in the long run.
  4. Enhanced Stability: Strength training, especially when it targets stabilising muscles, ensures better balance and coordination. For runners navigating uneven terrain or cyclists dealing with tricky routes, this can be invaluable.
  5. Bone Health: Endurance sports are great for cardiovascular health but aren’t particularly beneficial for bone density. Strength training, on the other hand, has been proven to improve bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Don’t Over-Think It!

For those new to strength training, the prospect might seem daunting. The good news? Even dedicating just one day a week to a structured strength training routine can yield significant benefits. When muscles are unaccustomed to resistance exercises, they adapt rapidly to the new stimulus, resulting in noticeable gains in strength and muscle tone relatively quickly. The initial phase of strength training, often termed ‘newbie gains’, can be incredibly motivating. Cyclists might find their rides easier, while runners could experience a newfound spring in their step. It’s a testament to the idea that quality often trumps quantity!

I can help you…

I am Strength and Nutrition Coach for sports events and endurance athletes – helping people like you to get fitter, stronger and faster: