First and foremost I am a runner but running the streets of Atlanta can be a task at times. Those hills can really test a runner of any level. As a form of cross-training, indoor cycling can help build up a runner's overall strength as well as endurance from the challenge of riding flats or climbing hills.
Indoor cycling or spin class as it is most commonly called, is a cardiovascular workout that offers a large expenditure of energy with minimum impact to a runner's ankles, knees, and hips if done correctly (this is why bike fit & riding form are important). Furthermore, pedaling against resistance can increase the muscular endurance of a runner's calf muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. Not to mention, working these muscles helps to strengthen surrounding bones, tendons and ligaments. You can even burn around 600 calories or more during a 45-60-minute class. More importantly, choosing an indoor cycling class as a method of cross-training can help reduce the risk of injury by substituting the high-impact of running with the low to no impact of indoor cycling. This gives your joints a break as well as works a different set of muscles than those used for running.
For runners like myself, indoor cycling is an excellent cross-training option because it allows you to control the intensity of the workout which can be beneficial for both regular training and recovery.