Cross-training workouts for running


Apologies if this is not the place to ask, but I was hoping for a bit of advice on using TR workouts as cross-training for running.

I used TR for the first time this year in an attempt to maintain some running fitness over the winter (I live in north Sweden, so it’s difficult to keep running throughout the whole winter). Surprisingly, it worked, and now I’m back on the running. But I don’t want to give up the cycling entirely and thought it might be a good idea to keep cycling a couple of times as week as a supplement to the running.

My main focus for this year is a 5k PB attempt in six weeks and then build to a half-marathon in the autumn. I don’t have a lot of time to spare for the cycling – maybe just a couple of 45 minute workouts each week.

Any ideas on which workouts would help the most with running? I was thinking of one V02 Max and one threshold workout a week, but that’s a complete stab in the dark. Should I just wing it and use the TrainNow feature? Use the triathlon plans? Pick some workouts from Time Crunch 45? Any advice/recommendations/suggestions would be most welcome.


I think it really depends on what you’re doing for your current run training, since that’s your focus. If you’re already doing 2 hard runs sessions a week I’d be reluctant to add much more intensity. Maybe try one more intense session per week if that’s the case and see how you go for a few weeks.

I find the bike to be a great supplement to running. You get a lot of the aerobic benefits without the pounding. I’m a big fan of adding recovery rides in. Looking at the time crunch and maintenance plans I think that’s they’d be way too intense to add to running. I’d probably add one recovery ride, an endurance/tempo ride and maybe one intense session. If you’re only looking to add 2 sessions ditch the endurance/tempo or intense session depending on how many days of run intensity you’re doing.

I’m about to start the Mid Distance HV Tri Plan, but I’ll be adapting it a good bit. I’m looking to lean towards a run focus as well. It has two intense runs per week (tempo and VO2) and 2 intense bikes (VO2 and tempo or O/U). I’m going to cut one of the intense bike sessions. I can manage tempo bike fine, so on the weeks that I’ve VO2 and tempo bike, I’ll leave unchanged. On the weeks where I have VO2 and O/U I’ll remove the VO2. So I’m effectively alternating VO2 and O/U each week. I’m sure there’s a more effective way of doing it but I’m making good progress at the moment. I think it’s more important to me to ensure I train consistently and not burnout than to squeeze every last gain out of each week.

Hope this is of some help. Best of luck with training.

1 Like

That’s really helpful, thanks. I’m new to this multisport thing, so I appreciate your advice.

I am doing two hard run sessions a week so I think you’re right that two additional intense sessions, even if they’re on the bike, might be too much. I’ll start with one easier ride and one harder ride a week and see how that goes for now. As for the harder rides, I like your approach of alternating VO2 and O/U – might give that a go too.

Thanks again! Hope the Tri Plan goes well.

1 Like

I would lean more towards using the bike for recovery and easy aerobic base with two hard workouts on your feet.

Thanks for your response. Would there be much benefit, beyond recovery, to riding at say 55%-75% FTP for such a short time as 30-45 minutes?