The older I have gotten, the more I listen to my body when it’s trying to send me a message. A couple of days ago, my left shin was a little sore–something that didn’t seem to go away. I decided to run less and add in some cross-training on the bike, because I think it’s a smart thing to do, regardless of injury.
Coincidentally, I am currently reading Barefoot Running Step by Step, which is a book authored by Roy Wallack and Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton, one of the “gurus” of barefoot running. In the book, Barefoot Ken discusses how cycling is actually a perfect complement to running, especially in terms of cadence. The ideal cadence for running is at least 90 (180 steps per minute), and you can work on perfecting your cadence when cycling by aiming for the same amount of RPMs (90) on the bike.
Additionally,cycling tends to work on muscle groups that are less emphasized in running, including the quadriceps. It is also excellent for building your aerobic base and increase leg speed, both of which will help you run faster race times.
If you already incorporate cycling into your workouts, or would like to add it in as a workout for a recovery day, try cycling for the length of time you would normally run.