Decide exactly what you want to get out of your cycling so that you can find form in the most time-efficient way possible.

If you only ride sportives you don’t necessarily need to spend time in the gym working with weights; in fact many riders can find top form just by riding a bike, which is exactly the way we like it.

Unlike other sports, particularly running, training on the bike is great fun. Running most definitely is not. It’s just so boring, you don’t get to go anywhere or see anything, not compared to bike riding.

It really is exercise for the sake of exercise and there’s absolutely no fun in that.

The great thing about cycling is that fitness is more of an accidental by-product of being in the saddle than a deliberate act. It’s why we all love bike riding. Most of us would do it anyway without any health benefits, so the fact that we will lose a few pounds in the process is an added bonus.

It’s not perfect training practice, but you even stop for tea and cake.

Try doing that when you’re out for a run!

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • Jasper

    Unfortunately I have to agree with all the comments that this piece is not very nice towards, and in fact incorrect about running, but it did put a smile on my face. I hate running too, even though I do it every now and then (mainly in winter to do something – I can’t sit in the house all winter). And like the author I go out on my bike just to enjoy myself, not bothered about training schedules or fitness!

  • Robin Dunn

    What total rubbish from Garbutt re running! How much does it cost the average casual cyclist to get kitted out with bike and lycra? Less than £500? I doubt it! And how far does the average cyclist ride without breaking the law by jumping lights; going on the pavement or the wrong way past a no-entry sign? How much exercise do they get riding in a group and sucking wheels? How long does it take for the full field to pass by as you sit by the road watching the peloton of a major race in the UK? It takes seconds then you get in your car and drive home? Or go for a ride,and read who won in Cycling Weekly? That is if you can find where the races are – because there are so few races left to watch, and Cycling Weekly no longer has a calendar of events!! And the camaraderie? My bike cost less than £100 years ago; I wear running shoes and running shorts – no lycra – so nobody bothers to say ‘hi’…..
    I’ve cycled for almost 60 yrs, and while I never raced, I’m still a cyclist, and go out for 5/6 hours rides from time to time…and qualified to compare the sports.
    Running? I’ve just been included in the first 120,000 for next year’s London Marathon, and find out in October if I make the final ‘cut’ to gain entry. It will be my 104th marathon, so I will need some specialist advice to stop me injuring my knees before I get too old…(I’m 67)…

  • Chris

    well cycling is fantastic I love it! Until I get a flat tyre then its miserable. Running is great too until you get an injury.

  • John C

    I am a real fan of cycling as a sport and do many sportives but am also a huge fan of running as an activity. To promote running as boring is simply ridiculous and seems to point to a lack of ability or willingness to explore on the writers part. I live in Herts and can either cycle or run in simply stunning countryside. I certainly cannot state that areas visited on the bike are any more attractive that those visited on foot. If all the writer knows is cycling than stick to that and don’t make demeaning comments in relation to other sports. I can remember the writer making a point of criticising journos who chose to slate cyclists. Why are these comments any different?

  • Jas

    After 22 years riding I consider myself a cyclist but like Dave says running on trails is amazing….the freedom enjoying pure (no car fumes/particles) air and feeling full movement in your body simply cannot be compared to hours in the saddle. In terms of pure fitness per mile running wins every time plus its way more time and cost efficient.
    Cycling in the uk whilst good will always suffer due to our addiction to gas guzzlers…..I wish I had found runner sooner.
    The only downside is injuries but cycling doesn1t get a clean sheet here either!

  • DAVE DALZIEL

    Bob obviously has not run in the early morning up on the South Downs with the sun coming up and the skylarks singing. After running most of my life a serious foot problem promoted my return to the bike after around a 45 year break but I still really miss the freedom of being able to run the open spaces. Bob should try his running off road away from the city streets and learn to enjoy the freedom that traffic filled roads don’t offer

  • Philip Simister

    That’s exactly why i started riding…….and why anybody can do the same.

  • Orlando

    I love cycling, BUT as a Triathlete I also love running. A good rule of thumb when writing about sports is don’t criticize other sports. It doesn’t bring any more converts, and it’s also a bit immature. I do lots of very pleasant runs on trails, and get to see plenty of beautiful scenary. Cycling is a sport that often gets attacked in the media, by journos who don’t realize what it’s about, or think they know cycling just because they’ve got a rusty old clunker in their garage. And don’t we just hate it when we read their offensive missinformed articles, so let’s not do the same to others!