Stamina and endurance are critical when it comes to any exercise. The longer you can go without increasing the risk of injury, the more you can burn fat, strengthen your muscles and elevate your heart rate.
Cycling and running both rely on having endurance to a degree that can be improved the more training one does. In fact, some runners usually resort to cycling to improve their endurance and vice versa.
However, over long distances, cycling is easier to maintain and is more of sustained stamina training. On the other hand, running is great for building endurance but is difficult to sustain as it can be particularly hard on the joints and muscles.
What is the Difference Between Stamina and Endurance
People often interchange the words endurance and stamina but just what is the difference between these two terms.
Stamina usually refers to a person’s cardiorespiratory system’s ability to work over time. On the other hand, endurance is about the ability of a person’s musculoskeletal system’s ability to work over time.
Exercising at high speeds for short periods usually elevates heart rate and helps you build cardio capacity. On the other hand, exercising at low speeds for a longer period will also elevate your heart rate and will build cardio stamina.
As such, both endurance and stamina refer to a persons’ ability to work over time rather than at maximum intensity for an explosive one-time movement.
Is Cycling Better than Running for Stamina?
Cycling and running are two of the most popular cardiovascular sports that offer a range of benefits depending on your fitness objectives.
Cycling is usually a low-impact sport that is great for building stamina and endurance. Compared to running cycling makes it easier to build and maintain stamina since muscle damage and soreness are delayed given the low impact. As such cycling is great for people with foot and knee problems among other injuries.
Running requires significantly less equipment as compared to cycling as all you will need is a pair of running shoes and you are good to head out. Of course, professional runners will usually get watches to track their progress in addition to cycling shoes.
What Muscles does Cycling Tone?
Neither cycling nor running has been traditionally associated with building muscle mass even though they both tone and work similar muscles. Cycling usually works the hamstrings, the quads, and the gluteal muscles while running usually works all of those in addition to the calves and abs.
However, cycling will always be better for strengthening muscles because of its impact and stamina. Cycling is generally easier to sustain as compared to running. For instance, a professional cyclist can ride for up to 60 miles a day while a Tour de France rider can cover more than 100 miles.
Not even the best distance runners could maintain that kind of stamina since running is a higher impact exercise that will upset the joints and muscles more. This means that will cycling you can train for longer building more stamina.
Cycling Plan to Increase Stamina
Stamina enables one to keep going when things get tough and hence it is a very important skill whether you are competing in a triathlon or keeping up with friends during a weekend ride.
Some of the most effective ways to improve stamina include:
- Short Interval Intense Workouts
The best way of improving stamina is to do interval training. An interval workout usually involves varying your pace to have intense sessions where you go hard and then recover before going again. This kind of training usually results in the skeletal muscles adapting physiologically while enhancing aerobic endurance.
- Go On Longer Rides
Even though interval training is very effective, its intensity means that it should not be done for more than two days a week. On days you are not doing interval training, the next best thing is to do long-distance rides. It is always a good idea to include one or a couple of long rides each week to help you improve and maintain your stamina.
- Start Small and Then Go Big
If you are just starting out don’t go too hard. You should start with short moderately paced workouts and short interval workouts and then set weekly, monthly and yearly goals in which you slowly increase your targets.
- Lift Weights
Many cyclists ignore the gym as they believe the extra weight and muscle mass would make them slower on the bike. However, this could not be further from the truth as resistance training is one of the most effective ways of building stamina. Strengthening the main muscles involved in cycling usually makes them fatigued less easily which means you will have more stamina.
- Make Time for Recovery
Building stamina is not all about going hard all the time and sometimes not doing anything could be beneficial. Overtraining can be one of the biggest things that could lead to injury and fatigue thus stalling your progress. As such it is always critical to always take at least one day off of your training. On such days you can do light walking knee grabs, lunges stretches and mobility exercises to get out the kinks in tired muscles and to improve your range of motion.
6. Stay on a Healthy Diet and Remember to Sleep
Getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet is critical to improving stamina. Fatigue off the bike will only result in more fatigue when you are riding. If you eat poorly, you will not have the fuel you need to maintain your stamina same as not getting enough sleep every night. The best diet is one rich in seeds and nuts, healthy fats from vegetable oils, veggies and fresh fruits, whole grains, and lean protein.
Does Biking Increase Running Endurance
Cross-training usually has to do with using an alternative activity or sport to improve your performance in a particular activity. Cycling is one of the most popular ways that runners use to enhance their stamina and strength.
Cycling helps runners develop endurance, stamina, and fitness without too much impact on leg muscles. As a low-impact cardiovascular workout, it will put less stress on your body making it great for use in cross-training.