5 Ways Spinning Can Help Your Running

I recently bought a Groupon for a spin studio in my area and really enjoyed it. It is super challenging for me, and each workout I never think I will make it the full hour. Before I signed up, I had been doing research on ways spinning can help your running. I wanted to learn more about the benefits and how it would translate to stronger running. Turns out there are many ways it does! 

5 Ways Spinning Can Make You A Better Runner

Builds both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

A spin class is a mix of easy portions and challenging portions. You might have a series of hill climbs, flat sprints and recovery sections. Because of this, spinning works both your fast-twitch muscles and slow-twitch muscles. Fast-twitch muscles are used during speed or hill intervals, and slow-twitch muscles are more endurance based (which will obviously help if you’re training for a marathon). No matter what distance you’re training for, spinning can help you get stronger and faster.


We all know spinning is a great form of cross training for runners. It’s a similar movement as running, and obviously works your lower body. If you’re injured or just want something more low impact on a certain day, spinning is the day to go. When I couldn’t run for 3 weeks before the NYC Marathon in 2013, I did all of my “workouts” on the spin bike, and even completed “track” workouts on there too. I would suggest mixing up your cycling workout with seated and standing intervals in order to work different muscles.

Helps with cadence.

You’ve heard how you’re supposed to run at 180 steps per minute, right? Well, apparently, spinning can help imrove your cadence and increase turnover. A higher cadence on the bike translates to a higher running cadence. I believe it, because in my spin classes recently we’d be biking at 80-90 RPMs and it was killer! Apparently that translates to around a 7-8 minute mile. So the premise here then is that if you go to spin classes and are consistently in that higher range, it might help your speed and turnover (feet moving faster) which is obviously key in a big race!

You have control.

Since you’re indoors, you don’t have to worry about cars or other road safety hazards. You can fully immerse yourself in your workout. Also, you can give it 100% for the same reason. You can go all out in a sprinting portion without worrying about flying off the handlebars or crashing. On the flip side, you can control your resistance, and make the workout as challenging as you want it to be. I love being able to control resistance, especially on hill climbs, because if I were riding outside I would definitely be the person walking their bike up a hill :)

Increase your weekly miles.

If you’re like me and trying to increase your weekly miles, spinning might be the way to go. If you’re already running most days of the week, doing a morning or evenining spin class is a great way to add in more “miles” without the pounding of a second run of the day. It obviously counts as cross-training, and you’re getting the cardiovascular benefit which will help in your running. This is also a great option for those who are more injury prone as they add more weekly miles. I know plenty of runners who do count cross-training as miles (i.e. – a 60 minute spin class is equivalent to about 6 miles). 

I really do enjoy spin class, but like I said in my post yesterday, I need to work on balance as I get into my marathon training. I want to be able to at least do a spin class or yoga class once a week, which might require two workouts in one day…we’ll see.

Do you take spin classes? If you run most days of the week, how do you balance it with your training?


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  1. I hadn’t taken spinning before until about a year ago and am in LOVE! I still don’t do it as often as I’d like but hoping to increase with the summer months coming and the DC heat pushing me indoors.
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Steel Challenge: Pittsburgh 5K & Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

  2. I am a big believer in spin class for runners. There was a great runners world/times article about a women’s cross country team that run far fewer miles than most teams but were tearing it up and staying healthy–by cross training with spinning. I follow the same principle!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Being the Support System: Living with Crohn’s DiseaseMy Profile

  3. I love spinning! I just discovered it a couple months ago and I really think it helps my running. I find it also helps my mental game for running because I learn how to push myself that extra bit.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Rice is Nice – a Minute Rice GiveawayMy Profile

  4. I have a love-hate relationship with spinning! My butt HURTS whenever I spin but I love the benefits (low impact and calorie burning without having to run ;) haha)
    Carmy recently posted…May GoalsMy Profile

  5. I really love spinning and I agree it really helps with running. I was able to shed so much baby weight by spinning I can’t wait to start up again.
    Ivanna recently posted…Staying Fit While Traveling (Video)My Profile

  6. I teach spin every weekend and I can say it really does help with my running! So glad you had similar experience there!!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Homemade Greek DressingMy Profile

  7. i love spin classes and knew about some of these benefits but never thought about increasing cadence! That’s awesome – thanks for mentioning it!
    Courtney @ eat pray run DC recently posted…How to Still Love Blogging After the Honeymoon EndsMy Profile

  8. Like other cross training activities, I can see why spinning can help improve your running. I’ve only taken a spinning class once. There’s just other cross training activities that I prefer.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…May 2015 Monthly GoalsMy Profile

  9. I love cycling for cross training. Sadly, you have to belong to a club to take a spinning class around here, so I don’t get the opportunity to participate. But I did do a Compu-Trainer class (not as much fun as spin) which was amazing, as I trained alongside some Ironman finishers!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…DreamsMy Profile

  10. I teach spinning once a week and I love it! I probably should spin more often to fully reap the benefits but it is my favorite form of cardio cross training :)
    Emily @MyHealthyishLife recently posted…Wings For Life World RunMy Profile

  11. I miss Spin class so much! I did find that it helped a lot when I took it regularly. I need to find a class soon!
    Artney @ My Pretty Brown recently posted…Guess Who Turned 4? It’s My Blogiversary!My Profile

  12. Spinning is the only thing I miss about having a gym membership. Perfect cross training for running!
    jill conyers recently posted…Yoga, Essential Oils and Bowl MealsMy Profile

  13. I tried spinning once when I went with my friend. I couldn’t believe how out of shape I was. I couldn’t keep up when they started to ramp things up. Hopefully one day I’ll get enough courage to try again.
    Marjo @ Fit Biscuits recently posted…Butter vs. Margarine: Difference and Nutrition FactsMy Profile

    • You should! The first time is pretty challenging but I find that the second time feels much easier, and then you start feeling more in shape. Let me know if you try it again!


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