Running in the Morning and Bike in the Afternoon

by Rob
(Toronto)




running and cross training

I am currently trying to work-up to running a 5k but also lose weight. I run 3 times a week and bike 3 times a week. I want to increase that so I do cardio 2 times a day. Is this too much if I run in the morning and then do the bike in the afternoon?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thank you for your question about combining running and bike riding.

In principle there is nothing stopping you from running in the morning and biking in the afternoon. Cross-training is a fantastic way to become a better athlete.

In the past, I have combined swims and runs on one day. I currently combine running in the morning with a weightlifting / strength training session in the afternoon twice a week, sometimes three times.


running and cross training
You may feel that your legs are a bit rubbery or like jelly in the second workout of the day! Clearly the second workout may suffer a bit from what you did the first workout of the day. Depends a lot on whether the first session is a quality (i.e. speed/hard) session on how long it goes for. You may expect some after-effects.

But if you can combine the two you would reap some fitness and strength benefits from both.

However, what you do need to keep in mind are a few basics:

1. Listen to your body
2. The hard-easy principle
3. Losing weight - exercise AND diet


Listen to Your Body



When increasing the amount of exercise you do, increase it slowly, but steadily and listen to your body. When you are adding additional work to your training schedule, it is the time you are at higher risk of getting injured. So, do it slowly and if there are any niggles or issues, do not ignore them.

THE HARD-EASY PRINCIPLE




running and cross training

Make sure that you allow your body time to recover. Alternate between hard and easy days. Now hard and easy are relative measures. Easy may mean complete rest, but it could also mean an easy run, bike ride or some cross-training.

An example of what I do, to illustrate the point: Tuesdays I generally do a quality running workout in the morning. Could be intervals, could be tempos, depends on the stage of the training cycle and what I am training for. That's generally a pretty tough session that goes for 60-90 minutes. Then in the afternoon, I spend 30 minutes with my personal trainer who does not hold back on testing out my leg strength... :) So, Tuesday night I am spent. Tuesday is a hard day.

What you don't want to do is have a hard Tuesday and follow that up on the Wednesday with a hard day again. What I generally do is do an easy run or sit on the exercise bike for a bit. Something that still gets the legs moving and the blood circulating, but at an easy pace, without pushing myself at all.

Also note that this generally works better than doing the quality running session on the Tuesday, followed by the strength workout and an easy run on the Wednesday. Then both days become more or less hard. I am not saying it is impossible if this is the only way you can fit it in, but it would require careful scheduling on the Thursday and Friday to ensure adequate recovery. You always want to follow up hard work with rest / easy work.

LOSING WEIGHT - EXERCISE AND DIET


running and cross training
While increasing your running and biking activities can aid in weight loss, it's important to remember that exercise alone is not sufficient. A balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in achieving your weight loss goals. By combining regular cardio workouts with a healthy eating plan, you'll create a calorie deficit and optimize your results. Consider using calorie tracking apps or websites like myfitnesspal.com to help monitor your intake and maintain a mindful approach to your diet. Also see the running and weight loss page where this topic is explored in more depth.

Remember, everyone's journey is unique, and it's essential to find the approach that works best for you. By incorporating both running and biking into your routine and by increasing your training load you'll experience improved fitness, enhanced cardiovascular health, and progress towards your weight loss goals.

Best of luck in your preparations for the 5K race and your overall fitness journey. You've got this!

Kind regards,
Dominique









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