Putting the Crossover Effect Into Practice

After talking about the benefits of cross training on the Fast Talk podcast, Coach Lauren Vallee gives us some of her go-to bike and run workouts that can help cyclists with their running—and runners with their cycling.

woman on bike indoors
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Lauren Vallee is an accomplished athlete and coach who was a guest on episode 240 of the Fast Talk podcast, giving insights into the crossover effect between cycling and running. To help you put some of that research and knowledge into practice, we’ve got three workouts from Vallee below that can help runners become better cyclists and cyclists improve their run fitness.

Workout #1: Acceleration Intervals for Runners Who Cycle

Objective: Utilize bike as a mode of active recovery, encourage aerobic maintenance and neuromuscular development for runners looking to improve cycling mechanics.


10-20 mins. light smooth pedaling at 80-95 RPM (RPE 1-3/10, Zone 1-2)

Main set:

5-10 x through:

90-secs. strong at 80-85 RPM (RPE 5/10, Zone 3)

60 secs. very strong at 85-90 RPM (RPE 7/10, Zone 4-5)

30 secs. fast at 90-95 RPM (RPE 9-10/10) (Zone 5+)

2 mins. smooth, self-selected recovery cadence (RPE 1-2/10)


5-10 mins. smooth pedaling at 80-90 RPM (RPE 1-3/10, Zone 1)

Workout #2: Hill Accelerations for Cyclists Who Run

Objective: Improve running mechanics and increase running power/force


10-15 mins. smooth light running on flat terrain (RPE 1-3/10, Zone 1-2)

Prep set:

3 x through:

15 secs. accelerate from smooth to fast (RPE 8/10, Zone 5+)

1 min. 45 secs all smooth (RPE 1-3/10, Zone 1-2)

End your prep set at the base of a hill that is 5-6% grade

Main set:

5-10 x through:

20-30 secs. fast uphill running—focus on quick turnover and engaging your glutes (RPE 9-10/10, Zone 5)

Easy jog/walk downhill to recover between each rep


5-10 mins. light smooth running on flat terrain (RPE 1-3/10, Zone 1-2)

Workout #3: Bike-Run Volume Builder for Runners who Cycle

Objective: Increase total weekly minutes of endurance training and increase cardiovascular adaptation for those who have a limit to the weekly run mileage their body can tolerate


15-20 mins. smooth

Bike—Main set:

2-3 x through:

10 mins. moderate (Z2)

3 mins. strong (Z2-Z3)

2 mins. very strong (Z4)

5 mins. smooth


5 mins. smooth

Transition to a run off the bike within 5 mins. of finishing ride


5 mins. smooth

Run—Main set:

10-20 mins. moderate (Z2), focus on cadence of 90 single foot strikes per minute


5 mins. smooth