Des Linden is famously known as a long-distance runner. Some of her many accomplishment include representing the United States at the London and Rio Olympics in the women’s marathon event and later winning the Boston Marathon in 2018 — becoming the first American women in 33 years to do so. Simply put: she’s a very big deal in the running world. But did you know this super-runner is also a cycling superfan? You might think Des has been too busy with her training over the years to watch the classics like Paris-Roubaix (her favorite) but Linden has been tuning in. And fortunately for us, she’s a fan of the team so we were able to ask her about all things running and cycling.
When did you first get into cycling?
I became a fan of the sport of cycling long before I was a fan of the activity. I was probably 14 or 15 when I discovered the Grand Tour races on TV and tuned in to watch those. In the last year or two, I’ve started jumping on my bike a bit more during my downtime from running.
How does cycling help with your cross training in running?
It’s definitely a great form of active recovery when I’m in an off season. After a marathon I’ll take two weeks of no running and getting on a bike is a good way to have some fun, go explore, and hang on to some fitness. It’s a great supplement to running that keeps the engine strong, but reduces the impact of running miles.
On average, how many does a week do you get on a bike?
I wish it were more! It’s pretty sporadic but generally during off season or if I’m nursing an injury. I hope to amp this up significantly when I’m done competing at a high level in running. Please ask again in a few years!
Do you think that cycling has improved your running in any way?
At this point I’d say only in a minimal way. Honestly, it’s more of a fun relief than a way to improve fitness. I think as I age up and my body needs more relief from the impact sport it has the potential to be integrated into my training, but for now it’s just a fun outlet that I get to enjoy on occasion.
Are you into watching cycling races? If so, what’s your favorite one?
Love it. The Grand Tours are always fun but I really enjoy the classic Paris-Roubaix.
Do you enjoy cycling in a group or by yourself?
Solo or with my husband.
What does your perfect day on the bike look like?
Quiet gravel roads with some nice climbs along the way. A pit stop at a local coffee shop is a must.
Sounds pretty ideal, Des. Here’s hoping you have many gravel rides ahead followed by some caffeine.