Like mixing beer and wine?

Sometimes after the Westlake training race, you will see a couple of guys put on their running shoes and run around the course.

I used to think that seemed really stupid. Why ruin a good bike race by running afterward?

Now I am thinking of doing it.

The last few years, I’ve enjoyed running in the off-season. Each year I’ve enjoyed it a little bit more, as my body continues to adapt. I like the simplicity of putting on shoes and running out the door. I love going for a solitary trail run, where the only noise is my own footsteps and breathing. But I stop running completely, right about now, when the racing season is about to start. I’ve always felt that running during the season would compromise my bike training.

Then October comes, and it’s painful to try to get my running legs back. I remember how far and how fast I could run when I stopped in March, and it’s frustrating to start off so slow again.

So I’m wondering … can I run just enough to keep my legs in reasonable running shape without compromising the bike racing? The big questions are how much, and how to fit it in to the training schedule. Running after hard bike workouts would seem to impact recovery. Running before hard bike workouts would seem to compromise the bike session.

I’d like to hear from anyone who’s tried this. Did it work? Or did it just leave you tired?

Did I go to one to many cross country meets last fall?



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9 responses to “Like mixing beer and wine?

  1. Jim

    I was a reasonably decent runner (much better than I am as a rider) so I know what it does.
    It isn’t by chance that every running magazine has several advice from Doctors column.
    IMO, old joints don’t like the pounding.
    Nothing wrong with running, I just never felt the two go together well.

    • Brian

      I’ve also read that cyclists (esp. as you get older) can have issues with bone density loss. Weight-bearing exercise like running — especially running — can help with that. Once I start, if I run regularly it doesn’t bother me — except when I do crazy stuff … like running races I don’t really prepare for.

  2. Bill Marut


    If you don’t go crazy with the mileage I don’t think it hurts. There are some very strong bike racers that run during the bike racing season and the cross training really does break things up a bit. You could do a “brick or transition workout” every so often as well, that’s where you immediately go for a short run after your bike session. If you keep your running mileage to around 10 miles per week you should be fine.

    • Brian

      Bill … thanks for the note. That makes sense. I was thinking that running right after riding would be the best … already a bit tired, so just run enough to make the legs remember what it’s like. Will give that a try.

    • Brian

      1st data point: after a reasonably hard weekend, I ran 7km outside on Mon. Then on Tues (today) did a pretty hard ride with hill work. While my legs felt a bit tired while walking around before riding, it didn’t seem to affect the bike workout.

  3. Pingback: Mixing Beer & Wine, Continued | Über die Brücke

  4. Pingback: Mixing Beer & Wine Experiment Completed … | Über die Brücke

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