Running is the new cycling: Jasper Philipsen latest pro to show off on-foot speed
Belgian sprinter incorporates half marathon into winter training
Racing News Editor
© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images
Jasper Philipsen is one of the best sprinters in the peloton, and a good runner too
You may think the winter is a time for professional cyclists to put in long kilometres on the bike, getting prepared for the start of the new season, but a quick look on Strava reveals that plenty of pros are also turning to running to get the distance and hours in.
Whilst running training might be essential for the cyclo-cross riders who have to get off their bike during their races, it seems even the roadies, from sprinters to climbers, are dipping their toes into this popular cross-training method.
The latest name to join the ‘riders who run’ club is Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Jasper Philipsen, who posted his latest effort on Thursday, completing not just a casual 5km or 10km run, but a full 22.24km effort, the equivalent of a half marathon.
The Belgian finished his run in a time of one hour 45 minutes, equalling a 4:45 minutes per kilometre pace, which is nothing to be sniffed at.
Running may even become an official part of Alpecin-Deceuninck’s training regime when their first winter camp gets underway next week, with Philipsen’s teammate Mathieu van der Poel commenting “Another one on camp next week?” on his Strava post.
© Strava / Jasper Philipsen
Philipsen's frosty half marathon effort
Philipsen’s running exploits are just the latest in a long list of cyclists seemingly enjoying, or at least seeing the benefits of, adding running into their training plans. Triathlete Cameron Wurf (Ineos Grenadiers) is an obvious example, having famously run a 1:26 half marathon right after finishing Paris-Roubaix earlier this year.
It’s easy to understand that as endurance athletes, running will come fairly easily to most cyclists, but it’s interesting to see just how many like to switch up the disciplines when they can, and just how fast some of them can go on foot.
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) are also partial to a run during the season, and this autumn we’ve even seen riders taking on marathons, with Michał Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) and Freddy Ovett recently completing the New York City Marathon.
Over shorter distances, other riders have also been setting seriously impressive times. Leo Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) recently completed a 35-minute 10km, whilst Groupama-FDJ’s Laurence Pithie ground out a 17:19 5km Parkrun just this weekend - that’s a 3:27/km pace, and it wasn’t even his fastest 5k.
Finally, he may be retired from cycling now, but Tom Dumoulin has been upping his running game in his post-cycling life, and this week even went training with Dutch Olympic medallist Sifan Hassan. Maybe we’ll see his 1:10 half-marathon time fall even further soon.