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CYCLING, RUNNING, SWIMMING… CARDIO, YOUR GREATEST ALLY

You're a cyclist, a runner, a swimmer… Did you know what cardio fitness can provide to complement your sport?

cardio fitness your greatest ally

Doing a sport is already pretty good. Doing another one to complement the first is the best. And believe me, cardio fitness provides a number of physical advantages that can make a big difference in your preferred sport.

cardio-cycling

Breath for cyclists

Are you a road cycling enthusiast? Do you like covering kilometres of pavement and weaving through cities and towns on Sunday mornings with your team? Or is it mountain biking you love, getting out in nature, and tackling obstacles and hills? Either way, cardio fitness isn't difficult and will provide you with a little boost during your rides. Stéphane Guéry, former coach, will tell us why. “Of course cyclists will gain endurance and complete more or less intense workouts during their rides. But with cardio fitness, in spin classes for instance, they can really devote themselves to the effort, particularly using programmes.” Ride length, choice of incline, monitoring your speed, aiming for a specific distance… Whether in winter or regularly, to perfect your training, cardio fitness allows you to refine your performance on two wheels. And to choose exactly when to raise your heart rate. The goal? Acclimate your body to new efforts, so that it knows how to react to effort on the road or in the woods. And then, strength training is also a great way to work on something other than your thighs…

Circuit training for runners

Are you a devoted runner? Never a week without your trainers, your distance app, and your headphones in your ears? Or have you been seduced by trail running through nature, the terrain loosening your calves? No matter what, if the runner can plan specific training sessions themselves, for instance to work on intervals, then cardio fitness allows them to improve performance and push their limits even more. “Other than biking, which is excellent for working on peaks of activity and increasing heart rate without impacting the joints, circuit training allows runners to gain agility and dynamism. It allows them to work in a more exciting way and strengthens the ankles, for example.” For trail runners, when timing doesn't always allow them to take long runs in nature, doing cardio fitness lets them work on their breathing and conditioning. “With strength training focused on certain areas of the body, the runner can complement their training and emphasize muscle groups that aren't as heavily used when running on roads and trails.

circuit training cardio fitness
cardio for swimmers

Bring swimmers back to earth!

Finally, cardio fitness can do great things for swimmers, who move in a different medium, while remaining low impact. Are you a real fish in the water, never leaving a week go by without finishing your dozens of laps? Here again, check out cardio fitness as a complement! “Since they don't manage their body weight like a runner or cyclist, swimmers don't work on their muscles in the same way. Their gestures are specifically adapted to water resistance, so they develop their muscles from the inside out. This makes targeted strength training work particularly interesting as a complement to their sport. If the swimmer has generally high endurance, then spin classes or any activity that works on cardio outside the water, with peaks of activity, will be welcome. It will help swimmers to move with even greater agility and to regulate their breathing even better.“ According to Stéphane Guery, the magic formula is to be able to combine different activities so that you aren't always working the same parts of the body. “Cardio fitness can subject your body to new situations, whether biking with programmes, circuit training, or group classes like body attack. By using our muscles and our heart differently, they will learn to react to exercise more effectively.”

Working on the muscles, breath, and cardio, cardio fitness provides benefits to regular athletes and allows them to keep in shape even when they can't exercise outside. “It's also the advantage of jumping rope, treadmills, cross trainers, or rowing machines,” continues the coach. “Even when you need to stay at home to watch the kids or because the weather is bad, cardio fitness means you don't have to reschedule your workout!”

What about you? Do you do cardio fitness in addition to another sport? What benefits does it provide you? What do you get out of it? Share your experiences with us, we can't wait to hear your stories!