5 Ways Cycling Can Make You a Stronger Runner

Post written by Susan Lacke.

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#5: The Brick Workout (which actually looks nothing like whatever it is she’s doing)

Admit it — you runners love to poke fun at us cyclists.

We’re dork-ish looking people in our helmets and padded-ass shorts who think it’s fun to spend hours pedaling away through roads and up mountains, pretending we’re in the Tour de France.

But those of us who both run and cycle know a secret: cycling helps make you a better runner.

Many runners turn to cycling after injury- that is, they’re forced into riding a bike to stay sane while rehabilitating a stress fracture or joint pain. However, they soon discover something remarkable when they return to running — cycling actually made them better than ever before!

How cycling can make you a better runner

If you’re a runner, you might want to consider joining the ranks of Lance wannabes. Even if you’re not injured, riding a bike is an excellent cross-training activity, one which can improve your running performance significantly. Here’s why:

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The Simplest, Most Important Key to Changing Anything

iStock 000011611363XSmall 300x199We know that willpower is a finite resource. And if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to make changes in the past (who hasn’t?), you know that every subsequent time you try is harder than the previous.

So what if there were a way to change bad habits without willpower, and with almost no effort at all?

In The 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferriss tells the story of Phil Libin, a 258-pound man who lost close to 30 pounds to achieve his ideal weight of 230, without any exercise or conscious change in his diet. Phil did nothing.

Well, almost nothing.

Phil took only one tiny action. He figured out how much he wanted to lose in how much time (28 pounds in two years), and plotted the two points on a graph in Excel. Then he drew a line connecting them. That line represented the path his weight would need to follow to smoothly, imperceptibly drop from 258 to 230. He also drew two more lines around the path, creating a small “buffer zone” in which his daily weight could acceptably reside.

Each day, Phil plotted his current weight on the chart. As long as he was in the safe zone, he was on track.

Just by being aware of his progress — again, he was very careful not to change his diet or exercise habits — Phil lost the weight. Not by magic, but because the simple act of paying attention caused him to make myriad small, positive choices he didn’t even know he was making.

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50 Fantastic Resources for New Vegetarians

You are not alone.

6565418531 70caeb0935 b 225x300But it sure can feel like it when you first go vegetarian — especially if you live in a place where, when you tell people you don’t eat meat, they ask, “But you still eat chicken and fish, right?”

Look around, though, and you’ll find all kinds of resources out there to help you stick with your vegetarian diet and get the most out of this truly enjoyable lifestyle. Thanks to the internet, there’s now plenty of good advice, ideas, recipes, people — and even food — only a click away. You just need to know where to look.

And that’s where this list can help you. Here are the top 50 resources for new vegetarians that I know of (though most are useful to not-so-newbies as well). I’ve tried to include mostly stuff that’s free, but a few things that cost money, like foods and shopping places, made the list too.

Enjoy.

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Brendan Brazier on No Meat Athlete Radio

Podcast Radio2

Perhaps more than anyone else, Brendan Brazier is leading the growing trend of athletes moving to plant-based diets — from recreational runners and endurance athletes, like many of us, to NFL and NHL players whose very careers depend on their ability to perform at the highest level.

Brendan’s ideas on optimal nutrition for performance, which he developed during his career as a professional Ironman triathlete, first reached the mainstream audience with his breakthrough nutrition manual, Thrive. But he’s been in the spotlight a lot recently, thanks to three new contributions to the plant-based nutrition world in the the last four months.

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Can’t Keep Up? 7 Ways to Simplify Your Meal Planning

cookbook shelfStaying on top of your diet is a lot like going to the gym. Once you’ve developed the habit, it’s easy — fun, even — to keep it up. You’re in control, you feel great, and you wonder why it ever took so long to start.

But when you’re on the outside looking in, knowing you’ve got to make a change but not sure where the extra time and energy are going to come from, just getting started can seem like the most overwhelming task in the world.

All it takes is planning

I’ve been in ruts before where I was going to the grocery store every single day. An hour before dinner time, I’d choose a recipe and go buy the ingredients, then come home and make dinner, only to do it all again the next day. I got to know the checkout people pretty well, but they must have wondered who this idiot was buying groceries every day.

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The Only Thing Stopping You is You

2959566124 21451dc97f o 768x1024The boy who was born without a right hand and wanted to play baseball with his classmates.

He devised a one-armed throw/catch method, and when the other kids didn’t play with him, he practiced by throwing a baseball against a brick wall. Years later, that boy pitched in the Major Leagues and the United States Olympic team.

The musician who epitomized the rock-and-roll lifestyle, complete with frequent drug and alcohol use.

One morning, he put on a pair of running shoes for the first time and covered the miles back to his bike, which he had left at a bar the night before. He became a runner, and never touched alcohol or drugs again.

The junk-food addict who decided long ago her running days would never return. 

Today, she is one of the fastest female marathoners in the world, participating in the US Olympic Trials this month.

What’s your excuse? 

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