Bicycling for injury avoidence--bicycle riding eases muscle imbalances and decreases "Runners Knee" injury. Triathletes know cross training or resistance training strengthens quadriceps muscles, stretches hamstring muscles and prevents chondromalacia.

Biking decreases rather than prevents runners knee. Bicycle riding is also a great form of resistance training for runners.

Runners Endurance and Strength is improved with Bicycle Cross Training

From Running Dialogue by David Holt, 31 min 10k runner
Copyright David Holt 2,000. This content may be used by anyone in any form. Please reference people back to the source with Book Title and Author, to here, the homepage, or the injury treatment page.

Triathletes and duathletes use cross training by default: we all use resistance training within our schedules. Resistance training means adding extra load to your muscles--either with cross training as an addition to your runs, or by adding resistance on your bicycle rides.

Chondromalacia (Runners Knee) and Iliotibial Band Syndrome (I-T syndrome)
Running Injury Prevention
Running Injury Treatment

Bicycling Benefits in Injury avoidence with emphasis on Chondromalacia; and Cross Training Benefits for Running. With Cycling Technique tips.

Biking Benefits
Cycling is a complementary aerobic exercise.
Increased flexibility...hamstrings lengthen in a relaxed way;
Helping your stretching routine.
Overall conditioning will improve...with
minimal jarring on the legs, back, and eases aches and pains.
Decreased incidence of injuries
Chondromalacia or Runners Knee especially.

When biking, you move faster than when running--good on hot windless days
Build quadriceps muscles for running hills
Used properly, you still give the quadriceps a rest--do it closer
to 60 than 80 percent of maximum heartrate.
Fast leg turnover.
Helps people predisposed to knee injuries, especially
the wide pelvis portion of the population.
Maintains, or if you have been inactive, restores quadricep
and hamstring muscle strength lost through aging.

How to bike
Look and plan ahead to avoid accidents and red lights...slow early
...spin while approaching.
Always stop at red lights and stop signs; they are for your safety.
Roll your head a few times every 15 minutes to avoid a crook
or aching neck
Use a low gear and fast cadence 
Make your knees track up and down; do not splay out--
otherwise you will lose the knee injury protection.
The patella should track smoothly over the surface of the femur.
Pull up to work the hamstrings, and push down on the pedals to
work the quadriceps.
While working the hamtrings, the quadriceps will relax,
ready for the downstroke. 
Ride with a recreational cycling group for your longer rides;
make it a social session once a month.

When you want a hard cycling workout
* attack the hills...the entire hill, or as one to two minute
spurts with cruising up in between the fast parts.
* Anaerobic threshold--cycle 5 to 10 minute efforts at 2-4 miles per
hour faster than your steady ride pace; 
or 80-90 percent of maximum heartrate.
* VO2 Max--do 1-2 minute efforts at 95 percent max heartrate.
Pedal (freewheel with no resistance) when going downhill to flush wastes
out of the muscles, while bringing in fuel. Coasting downhills without
moving your legs will leave you stiff when you start peddling at the base
of the hill.

	The mistake many runners make is in replacing too much
running with cross-training. Unless you are running over 50 miles a week, 
replacing is sheer folly. You need the physiologic, the psychomotor 
practice of running to improve your running.
Substituting too much cross-training won’t cut it. 
The heart over-takes the body because cross-training increases your
cardiac ability--tempting you to run too fast. Your joints and running
muscles may not be ready for this running stress.
The body may break down.
That said, if a four day week runner bike rides two or three times a
week...his or her strength and endurance would clearly increase.
Unless this extra bicycling exercise constituted over-training for the 
individual...race times would improve also...
at least compared to remaining inactive on those two days. 

Personal note. Overtraining, showing up as shin splints, was my only injury lasting more than a 1984. I did not run for six weeks. Though it took me a couple of weeks to get physically used to it, my two and a half hour bicycle rides into the countryside were fun. Then there was the hard session. A hill which took just over five minutes to ride up--at full bore. I bicycled at 85-90 percent maximum heartrate, deep into the buffering level of anaerobic threshold. Bicycling is a great form of resistance training, of cross training. Mile repeats on the grass were a joy on my return to running. My resistance training sessions of cross training on the bike had retained good fitness base...from which solid run training proceeded.

David's Triathlon training advice
David Holt writes a monthly column for the Internets
Triathlon training books at

David's Homepage has Running Book information
Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)

Running Injury Prevention page
Running Injury Treatment page
Weight Training for runners as Cross / Resistance Training
Chondromalacia (Runners Knee) and Iliotibial Band Syndrome (I-T syndrome)
Sand running
Long runs-20 mile racing
Sarcomere--muscle contraction unit
Half marathon training...first element...mileage and hills for strength
5k training and racing...the first of five pages for the 5k runner
10k training...mileage and strength and access to four other parts of 10k training
12K distance running, racing and training advice
10 mile distance running world record essay
VO2 max prediction and training
Triathlon and duathlon have 3 syllables!
Links to my other Distance training, strengthening and endurance stuff

Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at
Running Dialogue">Running Dialogue at
David Holt's second running book: 10K & 5K Running, Training and Racing.
Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at
10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing: The Running Pyramid, at

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)