Best fitness classes for runners: Spinning

Cycling’s leg-focused cardio makes it the perfect form of cross-training for runners, but if you lack the confidence to take on the open road or, say, don't own a bike, indoor cycling or spinning is your answer. It may seem intimidating but once you get to grips with this gym class mainstay, you won’t look back.

The workout: After you’ve warmed up with a few minutes of cycling with light resistance to kick your legs into gear, you’ll move onto a series of music tracks each simulating different cycling styles. Hill climbs are replicated with high resistance and cycling out of the saddle, while flat sprints will see you pedal at your fastest with enough resistance to make it challenging.

All in all, you’re looking at a full-on lower body workout. “The muscles used slightly differ depending on the level of resistance, but you’ll be working the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, adductors and calves,” says Jemal Rose, indoor cycling instructor at London’s BOOM Cycle.

The benefits: Low impact cycling is ideal for leg-friendly cross-training. “It can allow runners to continue to train with intensity but less stress on the joints,” says Rose. “It has sometimes been used for injured runners unable to withstand the continual pounding of the road but being able to maintain both the muscular endurance and cardiovascular abilities.”

What’s more, you don’t have to worry about cars, pedestrians or rogue farm animals (delete as necessary) like you do when cycling outside.

Best for: Keen cardio fiends or injured runners looking to keep up their fitness.

Give it a go: London-based runners can head to the legendary BOOM Cycle in Shoreditch and Holborn – and if you’re up for a challenge, take on their unique Urban Tri. Spinning classes are offered at most gyms nationwide. Got a competitive streak? Try Virgin Active’s The Pack, where your class is split into teams and pitted against each other with a series of games on the big screen.