How to run for bike fitness

After almost 2 years of COVID isolation and lock down I decided it was time to boost my fitness. Starting from the worst shape I have been in for years. I pushed myself hard, it hurt. After only 10 days I felt physically and mentally better, ready to tackle 2022 head on. Also without realising I had decided to run for bike fitness.

Firstly I would like to declare I am not a qualified fitness coach or personal trainer. This is about how I gave myself a huge boost in only 10 days. Starting every year I feel like I have lost the gains from the previous year. The excuses for not consistently riding and keeping up my fitness over every winter are:

  • Dark
  • Cold
  • Muddy
  • Wet

Facing reality, none of these actually bother me a great deal. Pushing myself to get out despite these horrors leads me to having fun anyway. Every year I seem to repeat the same cycle. 2021 was especially difficult for me, I won’t go into that. This is about how I found motivation and drive for the future. Boosted my fitness in 10 days. Felt enthusiastic about getting on my bike again. Furthermore, learnt to enjoy running where I have never managed this before.

Where do I Start ?

Seeking a reason to run, I impulsively signed up to run 50 miles for Prostate Cancer UK. Signing up on 30th December and starting 1st January gave me little time for excuses. Having a good reason to get out gave me a lot of drive to succeed. Importantly I felt as though I couldn’t let them down. Because of this I was more determined to keep going through any pain. Realising there are two types of pain, without a doubt there is the pain you can run through. This is pain caused by your body improving and also adapting to the new demands you are asking from it. Nonetheless some pain should slow you down, make you take a break or rest. Undoubtedly you will feel the first kind of pain if you are starting from the same place as I did but coping and overcoming only makes you stronger.

Starting on a Saturday meant that I had 2 full days to achieve some critical miles before 5 easier days when I couldn’t run as much because of work. This definitely made me chase as many miles as I could in the time I had. Running became a top priority and an enjoyment for the first time in my life.

Lastly here are the things I wish I had worked out at the start:

  • The right shoes are worth it
  • Speed is not important at all
  • Focus on breathing and let it dictate your pace
  • Concentrate on smoother steps
  • Don’t push to the point of gasping for breath
  • Make time to stretch before and after
  • Duct tape is the best fix for blisters and hot spots

The Run to Bike Fitness Plan

Clearly, to say I had a plan to start with would be a lie, I had a rough daily distance to cover and a new found level of motivation. Either way what I did over the 10 days was along the lines of this:

DayActivitiesNotesTotal
1Run – 4 miles
Run – 4 miles
Skinned heels due to bad shoes on run 1.
Fixed heels with duct tape, ran again.
8 miles
2Run – 6 milesMiles adding up already14 miles
3Run – 4 miles
Walk – 1 mile
Walking helps to keep you moving and loosen up19 miles
4Walk – 1 mileRest day but walk to stay loose20 miles
5Walk – 1 mile
Run – 4 mile
Keep walking to recover
Half way there now
25 miles
6Walk – 2 milesRest day with longer walk27 miles
7Walk – 1 mile
Run – 4 miles
Keep going, keep walking, keep running32 miles
8Run – 10 milesForget about speed, walk if you need to, just keep moving42 miles
9Walk – 1 mile
Run – 3 miles
Get loose with that walk.
Gentle 3 miles
46 miles
10Walk – 1 mile
Run – 3 miles
If you made it this far you should feel the benefit.
Be proud of what you have done
50 miles
My rough guide to covering 50 miles in 10 days

Did you get to the end ?

Did you manage to run to bike fitness ?

If you made it all the way through and feel ready to get back on your bike or gained a new love for running this is great. The mileage shown in the plan is roughly what I did but not exactly. You don’t have to complete every walk/run to the exact mileage. Importantly you don’t have to run fast. Distance and keeping going is where I found my fitness boost. Lastly if this helped please leave me a comment. Furthermore if you are an experienced Personal Trainer or Running Coach, I hope you haven’t recoiled in terror at this. After doing this I definitely gave my fitness and mental state a giant boost. Apart from this, I went on to further complete 131 miles (5 marathons) over 30 days.

In Conclusion, please use this as a guide, adjust distances, durations and frequencies if you have to. The key to succeeding for me was forgetting about speed and just keeping moving. I was unquestionably in a better place than where I started after only 10 days. After trying Couch to 5K and finding it didn’t work for me I needed to concentrate on my own pace and not run to somebody else’s rhythm.

Importantly, if you love cycling, mountain biking or running check out my online shop. My ever growing range of sportswear is absolutely sustainable and also environmentally friendly.

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