Our expert says:
If your focus is running, then you'll only really become a better runner by running. The training must be specific, in other words.
However, if you are taking something of a break from running, a period where running can take a back seat, then doing this kind of alternative training is helpful.
There's no time limit, and there's no optimal time to do it. There are only practical limitations. For example, i would not do the bike the day before you do a really tough run, or the day after. Then you'll either cause too much fatigue, or be too fatigued to train effectively. So you need to look at your week, and where you see a running session that is positioned as an easy recovery run, but not immediately before or after a harder day, you have your chance to slot in a cycling day.
Here, the best bet initially is just time on the bike, but you might want to consider breaking into intervals. Maybe 40 minutes in total, but 5 minutes very easy, 5 minutes harder, repeated 4 times. That could be a good starting point. It depends a lot on where you're at in your running.
Once a week is good for a week or two, then twice a week later.
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