If you’re a runner working toward your next personal record, you might want to include some time on a stationary bike.
A new study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research suggests that doing 15 minutes or more of high-intensity interval training on a bike has the ability to make you faster on your feet. The U.K.-based research team believes the improvement stems from the increased heart rate experienced during a shortened rest period between intervals, forcing their muscles to adapt faster to their workout routine.
For the experiment, the researchers recruited 32 long distance runners who log at least 25 miles per week to complete a HIIT workout program on a stationary bike for two weeks. After completing 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) on a treadmill to establish a baseline performance, the subjects were separated into four groups, three of which spent two weeks training on the bike and maintaining their usual running routine. The final group served as a control by only keeping to their normal running schedule.