Just started riding daily (road bike) on a local university's outside running track that's paved with asphalt and cordoned off for only cyclists. Typical rides are 10-15 miles per day. However, I noticed that if I ride up to the day before I have an ice hockey game, my legs will "feel like jelly" and a lot of core-strength muscles are somewhat fatigued.

I am trying to keep my riding aerobic, via a steady effort without quick bursts of energy. Ice hockey is totally anaerobic, so I don't know if aerobic conditioning from riding is not helping my performance in an anaerobic sport? Should I not ride two days before participating in another sport, to give my body an appropriate recovery?

Also, based on muscle movement/memory from cycling, is it known that cycling can dampen performance in other sports that employ the same muscles differently?

  • 2
    Cycling is endurance sport. I.e. sport that can be done on a daily basis, as long as you don't push the limits. And even though the top tours really push the limits, they still do 200km a day, 6 days a week. Nevertheless, you will always be able to command significantly more performance after a break of one day or two from an endurance sport. Your liver will have topped of all its reserves during the break. Oct 25, 2021 at 15:41

1 Answer 1

  1. Cycling shouldn't tax your core muscles unless you're in an extreme position.
  2. 10–15 miles of riding is not a lot. If you've just started riding, stick with it and it will get easier. If you want to give yourself recovery time for now, that's fine, but in a month or two, you probably won't need it.
  3. If hockey is 100% short high-intensity bursts, then your riding probably isn't helping much, but it isn't hurting. On the other hand, muscles are muscles, and you are building leg strength by riding. At the extreme, endurance cycling can retrain some fast-twitch muscles to act as slow-twitch muscles, which would be a problem for your hockey playing, but that is a long way off for you. You can also train on a bike to increase your VO2max, which would help with 1–3 minute efforts, and sprints, for <1 minute efforts.
  4. I don't know that cycling/hockey cross-training has been well-studied. Cycling/running has, and it's clear that the benefits from one sport have limited carryover to the other—that is to say, if you're a cyclist and want to become a fitter cyclist, going for a run isn't going to help as much as going for a ride. But it's not going to make you a weaker cyclist. (Same going the other direction.)
  5. In general, having multiple forms of exercise that you enjoy is always better than having only one.
  • 3
    10-15 miles may be a lot depending on your cycling condition.
    – jwh20
    Oct 25, 2021 at 16:35
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    Overall I agree, but the OP is showing classic signs of over training. You don't get fitter exercising, you get fitter recovering from exercise, meaning you must allow enough time for recovery.
    – mattnz
    Oct 25, 2021 at 19:34
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    Cycling can certainly tax your core, arm and neck muscles. Especially if you have to signal a lot (i.e. ride one handed) or do sprinting out of the saddle.
    – Michael
    Oct 27, 2021 at 8:17

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