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  1. #1
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Riding and Running

    I've recently taken up jogging. I'm a pretty avid recreational cyclist and am in good shape for my age (58) and don't have a weight problem (6'4", 190 lbs.) My reasoning is that I've read that cycling doesn't help your bone density because there's no impact. My mom has osteoperosis. While I'm not obssessed by it, I'd like to avoid it if possible. I thought jogging would help build my bone density and be good for my fitness.

    My only worry is that I might cause some joint damage. I have many friends my age who are getting hip/knee replacements. I bought some really nice, new running shoes with good cushioning. So far I have no joint pain, but if something starts to hurt I'll be very careful. I can always walk.

    Does anyone else do both cycling and running?? Any tips? Interesting anecdotes or reflections?

    I used to run 5 miles a day when I was in my 20's. It's amazing how slow I've become! I've been running almost every other day for a month and I'm still a turtle. Oh well, I'm doing it for my health - not to become a rabbit.

    My initial impression is that cycling and running don't conflict with each other. I can run 3 miles one day, then cycle 30 miles the next with no ill effects from the running. In fact, I actually feel like the cycling is a little easier and faster, possibly because I'm getting in better shape. Of course, it could all be in my imagination because I'm fantasizing that I'm some superhuman, uberfit 58-year-old. Yeah, right!

  2. #2
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    I've been a competitive runner for just about 42 years. I started biking a year ago with the intention of eventually doing some duathlons with my son. I have no joint issues and the guys my age that I trained with for years don't either. But don't take my word for it, check this out:

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0...your-knees/?em



    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    I've recently taken up jogging. I'm a pretty avid recreational cyclist and am in good shape for my age (58) and don't have a weight problem (6'4", 190 lbs.) My reasoning is that I've read that cycling doesn't help your bone density because there's no impact. My mom has osteoperosis. While I'm not obssessed by it, I'd like to avoid it if possible. I thought jogging would help build my bone density and be good for my fitness.

    My only worry is that I might cause some joint damage. I have many friends my age who are getting hip/knee replacements. I bought some really nice, new running shoes with good cushioning. So far I have no joint pain, but if something starts to hurt I'll be very careful. I can always walk.

    Does anyone else do both cycling and running?? Any tips? Interesting anecdotes or reflections?

    I used to run 5 miles a day when I was in my 20's. It's amazing how slow I've become! I've been running almost every other day for a month and I'm still a turtle. Oh well, I'm doing it for my health - not to become a rabbit.

    My initial impression is that cycling and running don't conflict with each other. I can run 3 miles one day, then cycle 30 miles the next with no ill effects from the running. In fact, I actually feel like the cycling is a little easier and faster, possibly because I'm getting in better shape. Of course, it could all be in my imagination because I'm fantasizing that I'm some superhuman, uberfit 58-year-old. Yeah, right!

  3. #3
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I am the same age as you and took up running in February of 2008. I have to say that I am now usually more inclined to run than to ride, except when I tour. The two sports complement each other nicely.

    I really like trail running and am inclined to do that rather than road running unless i am training for a specific race.

  4. #4
    Senior Member PrairieDog's Avatar
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    Ditto the NYT article.

    I've been a runner most of my life and have only started cycling in the last few years when I started training for triathlon. I raced competitively in college, and kept it up after graduation, though I didn't start racing again until a few years ago. Overall, I've probably been running regularly for close to forty years and experienced no real chronic injuries. I found that my problem with running was more metal burnout than physical. In fact, I have far fewer injuries from running the older I get, but that is related to being wiser about my training.

    Triathletes seem to agree that running and riding are related and compatible, but fitness in one does not mean fitness in the other since different muscle groups are emphasized. Some argue that cycling training is a detriment to your running times, but I haven't seen it personally. If anything, I think my cycling has helped my running.

    The general rule seems to be that cycling seems to emphasize the quads more than the hamstrings, and vice versa with the running. I don't know if that's true--I certainly haven't noticed it myself, but I do know that I can run all winter and still need a period of "getting back up to speed" with cycling in the spring, and vice versa if I've been cycling a lot and slacking on the running. So there's definitely a difference in the training.

    I alternate running days and riding days, except on days I do "bricks" (a hard ride immediately followed by a run). Most people think that bricks should not be done more than one day a week in training, since it is hard on the legs. However, triathletes routinely incorporate "two-a-days" in their training (swimming in the morning, cycling in the PM, or running in the morning and swimming in the PM, or cycling in the morning, weights in the PM, etc.), but I don't think many of us like the two-a-days to be "all leg."

    So, that's my limited experience. I'd recommend running as a good complement to your training. Plus, I wouldn't worry too much about being slow right now. The fitness will come, Just be careful not to do too much too soon (you can increase ~ 10%/week without risk of injury to your tendons, bones, etc) and the speed will come.

    P.S. Runners World online is an excellent resource for people just starting out.
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  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    There are several of us here that have gone the other way- Runners that took up cycling to save the joints. Don't know if running is benificial but Start easy- get good footwear to cushion the impact and enjoy yourself. But any hip or knee pain- get it checked out.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    I've done both for years (I'm 55), and generally alternate days. I only run on the beach. After one hard run, and a bike fall, one knee was bothering me, and I thought my running days were over. But that knee has recovered, and I'm glad to be doing both again.
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  7. #7
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that it's the impact that's important and not the degree of impact, that walking is good, too, because it's an activity involving impact.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member 12bar's Avatar
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    I took up running a few years ago because I had to if I wanted to participate in Triathlons. Now at 57 I am still at it and so far none the worse for wear. Tomorrow I will be doing a brick which means riding 35 miles followed by a 3 mile run. I don't think running has helped my cycling but am sure cycling has helped my run.
    "It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for someone you love". Blazeman, Warrior Poet

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  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I bike, I walk fast, and I run. However, now that I am about to turn 59, I have to be more careful about the surfaces on which I jog or run. Whenever possible, I run on a dirt trail, with asphalt as a distant second choice. I now avoid running on concrete.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  10. #10
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    After running for 40+ years, I've pretty much given it up. My joints just won't take it anymore. A recent bone scan showed arthritis in my knees and legs. Perhaps the running didn't cause arthritis, but it sure irritates it. I see posts here from people who have run many years without problems, but in my experience they are in the minority. The majority of the people I ran with in a running club for over 30 years have problems and very few race anymore. My bike club in Florida is filled with ex-runners. Running was my first love but I really enjoy cycling now.

    Mike

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Last summer I decided to try running. I bike several thousand miles a year and have had no serious injuries - I ran two miles and ended up with a bone bruise in my knee (I've always had bad feet, and I'm sure that was the cause). I think running is bad for you.

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    I read this post with great interest as I fractured my femur on July 3 (freak bicycle accident). For my recovery, I will be incorporating walking/running into my rehab. From what Iíve read, recovery for me will take a full year as Iím 57.

    Iíd really like to hear more from folks who combine running/walking into their exercise regimen.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jedde's Avatar
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    My routine includes running, but more so during the winter months when bicycling miles are fewer. So in the summer I run 3 miles 2x/mo while biking almost every day. In the winter, I run every other day, which means occasional use of a treadmill

    At 59 now and have been running for over 30 years. Twice in that period of time I've had to shut down for about 18 months each time due to knee injuries not precipitated by running. I also do weight training.

  14. #14
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    I am envious of those of you who can run. I used to run and jog but my joints will hurt after atypical 6 mile run or jog. I have substituted hiking. A 12 mile hike at 4 MPH is typical. Trouble is that my feet show signs of wear if I do that often. This is using the best shoes money can buy.
    OTOH biking I can do every day over 100 miles for months without ill effect. I do have to use ointments to prevent infections but that is about it.
    Hiking or jogging results in wear and tear on my feet soles. Splits and calluses.
    I am 67 years old 6'1" and 195# size 34 waist.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Running and riding for a recreational rider seems ok. But walking is ok too. Walking may even be better than running because there will be less chance of injury. Also, walking can be incorporated in your everyday activities.

  16. #16
    Pat
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    I know a lady who was an avid runner. She switched to cycling after blowing out her knees. She is over 50. She was worried about osteoporous. She said that she read that one needed only a little impact daily to stress ones skeleton enough to get the benefit. As I recall, it was hopping about a dozen times daily. A short jog for even a few yards daily would be enough.

  17. #17
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    I'm prone to knee pain from jogging, but I started again about a year ago to maintain my fitness between rides. I've been relying on weight training with relatively heavy weights for balance and bone strength.

    I've been off jogging for over 10 years. I keep pain free with the old technique of keeping my knees bent slightly and keeping my view steady and not bouncing up and down.

    Also, I use a firm-soled jogging shoe. When I fully build-up, I'll likely migrate to the thin-soled running shoes which are becoming popular again. My daughter and son-in-law are using them now. They force you to keep off the heel and land on your forefoot which is more natural and causes far less shock.

    A Google search will get a lot of articles.

    Al

  18. #18
    surfrider
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    I do both, with more emphasis on bicycling these days. I ran competitively in college for two years, then to stay in shape, but always liked to use a bicycle to run errands, etc. I also did a few multi-day tours on bicycles. The foot/leg/hip joints seem to 'groan' a little more these days, so over the past 10 years I've shifted over to bicycling for my main workouts.

    A good rule to follow when running - stay off the pavement. I try to stay of softer surfaces I find in the neighborhood - grass, dirt trails - and the sand at the local beach (the compacted sand found at low tide, not the loose stuff farther up the beach).
    Last edited by surfrider; 08-16-09 at 06:27 PM.

  19. #19
    rae
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    legs full of molasses rae's Avatar
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    I do both--and prefer running when time is short for a vigourous workout. I long ago found how extremely important having the right shoe is. I also tend do do most of my running workouts on a track--that really reduces shock; and although not terribly interesting for long runs, it gives me the ability to do measured sprints, etc. using the track markings; and I don't have to contend with walkers, strollers, dogs, and bikes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    I hate running as much as I hate golf. Love swimming tho, and I do this at least three times a week. Its good to be active in a second sport, regardless of what it is - even walking is great. We all have our preferences. I don't think running conflicts with biking but, I would encourage you to do it in moderation. I'm 58 too, and we all know injuries come easier these days.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Longtime runner and cyclist since high school days in the early '70s. (the decade, not my age! )
    Am actually a better runner than a cyclist, but enjoy both very much and would hate to have to give up either. Curiously, cycling is harder on my knees than running, but that's probably due to being really small.

  22. #22
    Ol' Paint
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    A couple times a week, my beloved and I do a combo of walking, speed walking, jogging and sprints for about 45 minutes in the morning, just to keep the body's expectations off kilter. Other mornings I'll ride and she'll do aerobic videos (to my chagrin, she just doesn't enjoy cycling). We are always conscious of of joint pain and back off at the first indication of a problem. She has occasional hip problems and I'll have occasional stiff knees. Since your concern is osteoporosis, consider getting a few dumbbells of various weights and work out with them (which we also do). I find weights really helpful to overall toning and modestly increasing muscle mass which also ramps up your metabolism. Alas, the testosterone levels are not what they used to be, so muscle mass increases are not in the "Arnold" category. Weight bearing exercise (which walking and running are--with added perks of increased endurance and a host of other benefits) are really the key to the strengthening of the bones. My personal theory, which seems to work, is the greater the variety of physical activities you can do, the greater the benefits. Oh yes, she turns 53 tomorrow and I turn 60 in October.
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  23. #23
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    I've been running for 20 years and recently started cycling to cross-train. I've found that cycling helps my running, especially on the hills. I live in an area with a lot of hilly running/hiking trails. In the winter I ski more than I run. I've found that cycling helps to build my quads, which are the main muscles used for downhill skiing and running uphill.

    I'm 50 years young and working hard to keep up with the 70-year-old locals.

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