Running and cycling are great cardiovascular exercises helping to strengthen the heart and lungs increasing your fitness and stamina levels. It is important to have a balanced routine of exercise and you may find that you would benefit from introducing some form of resistance exercise to your routine. Increasing your strength can only benefit your cardiovascular training.
Want to improve your muscular strength endurance?
As a runner or cyclist you already do cardiovascular training regularly, adding a short strength session at the end of your run or ride could help take your stamina and endurance to the next level. Another great way to improve your strength endurance would be to do a strength circuit on the days when you don’t go out for a run or ride. Developing some strength in the legs and trunk of the body will aid your performance and help you achieve more with only a small amount of time required.
What exercises would improve running or cycling performance?
Body weight exercises can be performed during or at the end of your run/ride or as a separate workout circuit. Exercises like squats, lunges & press ups will work most of the muscles in the body. Try to do more than 15 repetitions of an exercise to develop endurance in that muscle group.
Equipment like Kettlebells, TRX and Core bags can be used to challenge the body as they increase the load of an exercise requiring the body to work harder and recruit more muscle. Exercises like a core bag clean or kettlebell get up require the whole body to work as one unit delivering great results. Try using a weight that you can only lift for 4-12 repetitions to develop strength and power.
Ensure you also work on flexibility as all that exercise can cause muscles to become inflexible. Static and dynamic stretches will help to improve flexibility but working with a foam roller as well will bring greater benefits and aid recovery from training sessions.
Want to track your progress?
There are many technology products that are available for health and fitness enthusiasts providing a wealth of helpful information. If you like to monitor your progress and track your results, smartphone apps have made this much more accessible and wearable technology such as smart watches are growing in popularity. Click here for more information.
When doing high volumes of cardiovascular training it can lead to a loss in muscle strength as the focus of the training has been on endurance. To help avoid injury try maintaining muscle strength across the whole body by regularly performing a strength routine.