Are Standing Bike Intervals in Your Future?

One January morning, I woke up getting ready for an hour run at my easy pace. I looked outside and it was UGLY! Extreme weather was happening: temperature sitting at -10 C with wind gusts to 90 km/h pushing the windchill to the frostbite warning territory and a robust snowfall to boot!

My first reaction was to say forget the run today. Then I PIVOTED to: I’ll do an hour’s worth of standing bike intervals (SBI) at a heart rate similar to my easy run heart rate.

I’ll let the picture and video describe the SBI to you. When the topic of cross-training comes up in major running books I’ve never come across SBI before. However, due to its benefits, I find it to be a nice complement to running.

A Safe Alternative in Extreme Weather – The reality of climate change! In addition to extreme cold weather, SBI is good for cross-training in extreme heat and/or forest fire smoke.

Works the Hips and Posterior Chain – SBI seems to do a good job at working these important running-related muscle regions. Whereas, I find sitting on the bike works the quadriceps to a greater degree.

Heart Rate Based Training - I use heart rate to guide how much resistance to apply on the bike. My heart rate is generally equivalent to my easy run heart rate. A previous post discussed how to find one’s aerobic heart rate training zone for easy runs, which you can find HERE.

Two-a-Day Runs - A previous post, which you can find HERE, discussed increasing training volume by running twice in a day. One could replace the second run of the day with a SBI session to reduce the pounding. Something to consider, even the best runners in the world do their second run of the day at an easy pace, as shown when the training diary of sub-two hour marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge, was examined which you can find HERE.

Boring – Yes, like many indoor cross-training activities SBI is a bit monotonous. How I spice things up is to organize an SBI workout into 10 minute interval blocks. For each block, I get off the bike, do 10 push-ups, 10 squats and jump rope for one minute, then back on the bike.

Slower cadence - Compared to running, leg turnover while doing SBI is a bit slower. Nevertheless, I find that jumping rope has a faster cadence. And during the cool down for a SBI session, spinning with little resistance at a faster cadence seems to help. Also when I do run outdoors again, I make sure I do some strides and quick feet to make up for the slower cadence.

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Experiment of One Coaching covers topics ranging from running, strength training, health & wellness, sports nutrition to travel. I usually post once or twice a month.