How to Improve Running Time By Using the Airdyne Exercise Bike
I have drastically improved my running time by training on an Airdyne Exercise Bike. I have one of these bike both at home and the gym where I workout at and the benefits to my running performance have been very clear. Over the past year I have been able to cut my 10-K run time down by 3 minutes and my half-marathon down by 7 minutes.
If you think about how you train for your own races, you are probably doing most of your training is simply heading out to run. During these runs you may do drills, fartleks, hills, and sprints, all with the goal of improving your running time. That is fine as you get started, but as the miles add up over the week many runners risk injury and reduced performance because they don’t allow time for complementary exercises. That is where the Airdyne Exercise Bike comes into play. If you build a program with this bike into your running schedule you will see similar results that I have over a relatively short period of time.
The Key Benefits for Runners of the Airdyne Exercise Bike
The airdyne bikes are designed in a manner that will bring huge benefits to any runner. Here are a listing of what these benefits are:
- Builds strength – because of the progressive resistance you get with the Airdyne you actual build leg and upper body strength during your workout
- Effective cross-training exercise that works complementary muscles (quads and core) that will improve your running speed
- Increase leg turnover speed due to the pedalling action that requires a consistent and steadily increasing level of resistance
- Provides your whole body from a rest from the impacts brought on by running – the Airdyne bike provides a low impact workout that complements running nicely
- Different from normal exercise bikes in that the resistance builds as you go faster – this forces you to progress in terms of both strength and cardio ability
- Amazing cardio workout – I dare you to try to do at a steady pace on this thing for over twenty minutes!
How the Airdyne Works
The Airdyne exercise bike is designed differently than other exercise bikes. The main difference is the way it uses the resistance to provide you with the level of workout you need. There are no dials or knobs to twist! If you are anything like me I can be a bit lazy and on exercise bikes ALWAYS go with a lighter resistance than I should.
Instead of using friction as its resistance mechanism, the Airdyne employs wind resistance. At the front of the bike there is a large fan that the user turns by using the pedals and pushes and pulls the handles. As you pedal and use the handles harder and faster the fan spins creating wind resistance. The fast your spin the harder it gets, and continuing at a pace that pushes you will build leg and upper body strength as well as cardio fitness.
If you do a program of 1 to 2 times per week supplementing your running workouts, your legs and upper body will get stronger and you will improve running time!
The Two Downsides of the Airdyne
There are only two downsides that I have come across with both my own and my gym’s bikes. The first is the noise. With the large fan spinning at a high rate it is loud. Not a problem if you don’t want to watch TV while you bike. I would suggest you focus on your workout and not watch TV, but that is my choice.
The second downside is that it does take some maintenance to keep it running smooth. You need to keep the chain oiled and ensure all the bolts are tight. This is easy to do and the manual covers it well, but just be aware.
A Sample Workout Routine to Supplement Your Running Program
I have found the best workout to complement my running program is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) program on the bike. Running is usually a long and steady type of workout so supplementing with HIIT is very valuable in that it allows for recruitment of different muscles and nervous system responses. This will make you a better runner.
Specifically, I either do a Tabata program or a longer HIIT interval. In Tabata, I go balls to the wall for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds and repeat this 20 times. By the time I am done I am spent – just be sure you actually go all out on the pedals and handles!
For the longer intervals I pedal hard for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. This just breaks the workouts up and makes it more interesting.
Again, this type of training works different muscles and is very valuable to runners.
I like to reference Amazon reviews to see how good a product really is. In fact, I encourage you to do the same. Click this Amazon link and you can see how many positive reviews the Airdyne Exercise Bike has. In fact, at the time of this writing there are 158 reviews with 144 of those a rating of either 4 or 5-stars. So don’t take my word for it.
If you are in the market for a piece of exercise equipment to improve your running and supplement your running program, then the Airdyne Exercise Bike is the best option. You will get stronger and your cardio will go through the roof – mine has. And, as stated earlier my times are better.