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  1. #1
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    Running and Cycling

    I'm a 60+ cyclist in three quarters decent shape. I ride an average of 60 miles a week and run about 12.
    I'm wondering about the benefits and contraindications of prolonged running and cycling from folks in our age group. So far, I'm not having any real problems but would like to hear from you all about issues you may have had and how to keep things going successfully over the long haul.
    Just call me, Fred.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    If you like it, do it. But if you want to be a better cyclist you'd to better to spend that time riding. Running doesn't make you a better rider.

    Running is a lot more likely to cause injury than cycling. You have to be on top of your form and shoes. I'm a cyclist because I kept getting injured running.

  3. #3
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    I started cycling 10 years after I had to give up running due to knee problems. I had to do something to retain the fitness that I still had and Tried a bike ride with a few other mates and still riding.

    Think it depends on you but Back and knee problems from running hit many of us that used to do it. Sounds as though you enjoy Running and cycling and to "Retain" your current fitness you are probably doing about the right distances but if you want to improve in either discipline then more mileage with more effort would be required.

    Says me that is struggling to find time to get out on the bike and am barely doing 100 miles a week in all that spare time I have since I retired.
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  4. #4
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    The only real downside I've found is that running injuries tend to keep me off the bike for a while too (still recovering from rolling an ankle, though I was able to start riding two days after the injury).

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    Running is pretty high impact. The high impact often produces injuries in the knees and feet. I have the notion that running "beats up" the runner. A marathon really wrings out a runner. Also you don't hear of runners running 2 marathons on days back to back.

    Cycling is low impact. As a result, cycling allows the person to sustain the exercise far longer than a runner can. I figure a century (100 miles) is about 50% more effort than a marathon, but subjectively it does not "feel" like it. Sure a century is a decent ways, but I have done centuries on four consequtive days. I could have done more but things like life interfered with my cycling. I have never heard of a runner doing 4 marathons in a row (but I suppose someone has).

    As for the two, does doing one help the other? Well, they both a leg sports and both are aerobically based. So yes, to a degree. But cycling uses a pretty different leg motion than running so they don't really benefit each other much. If you enjoy both there is no reason for you not to do both. I suppose that by focusing on one, you would do more to maximize your potential in the one you specialized in. But I rather doubt that any of us on this board is likely to win a stage in the Tour de France or the Boston Marathon, so we are better off doing want we like rather than fixating on the squeezing the last bit of performance out of our bodies.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Blanchje's Avatar
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    On the plus side the fact that running is a high impact activity is a good thing for promoting and maintaining bone density. That is a downside to cycling. I'm a big believer in doing something to balance cycling. Weight lifting, swimming, running help keep all your muscles in balance. I'm willing to sacrifice some ultimate performance on my bike for overall fitness.

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    Last December I had a rotator cuff repair. I decided that my rehab would consist of learning to swim laps all over again using the Total Immersion program. Ten week post op I swam a mile for the first time in my life (I'm 58.) About that time I saw a flyer for a local triathlon..."Hey, maybe I could do that!" Started running on the road and promptly got severe hamstring tendonitis. Despair. Everyone said give up running. Enter Jeff Galloway. Galloway has a run-walk system that he claims can keep you running injury-free well into "our" age group. Check it out at http://www.jeffgalloway.com/index.html

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    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Biking and running at your age raises your libido
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  9. #9
    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    I learned my lesson several months ago about running. I began cycling a little more than a year ago, and with the newfound fitness level that cycling brought on I began to jog and actually started thinking about 5k events etc. After a few weeks of light training with the running my knee flared up with pain and swelling. This was back in April. I stopped running and vowed to stay on the bike for all my endurance workouts. The knee is much better now, but it was only recently that the pain went away completely. Lesson learned: Stay on the bike!
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  10. #10
    Man of constant sorrow Dudelsack's Avatar
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    If your biology lets you run, go for it. Running is great, except when it sucks, which in my experience is most of the time. I envy runners who enjoy it.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks folks for the thougtful replies. Most appreciated!
    As for me, I've been running for years. I just can't do as much as I used to without inviting injury. Cycling gives me an excellent workout and adds to my weekly tally without the heightened risk of blowing out a joint.
    May we all rock on!
    Just call me, Fred.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Speedskater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    **********Running is a lot more likely to cause injury than cycling. ************ I'm a cyclist because I kept getting injured running.
    That's only true, if you avoid bike crashes! One bike crash with a car (or even a tree) will cause a lot more injury than years of running.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Titanl9's Avatar
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    I am 60+ as well. Cyclist on and off since childhood, as well as working out. Raced some and 100mi training rides along with 3-5miles runs EOD back in my 30's. Running never sat well with me, party because I've damaged my knees skiing, and didn't like jolting. I have held a gym membership since early 80s. But, when Elliptical's showed up in gyms in the 90's I was a happy camper. Every other day 30-45 mins plus my workout; its similar to running only without heavy impact.

    To keep it going over the long haul, we need to be dynamic about how we work out. Moreover, working out has to be a "prioritized" part of life, like doing laundry. In my case when I miss a workout - I actually feel a momentary loss. But if the laundry doesn't get done, you could find me buying more cloths.

    I've never collided with a car; thanks to defensive riding, so IMO that's not a good example.
    Last edited by Titanl9; 07-17-12 at 05:33 PM.
    Titanl9 works a bit, works out weekly, mid-single digit golfer, and rides a Fondriest Titan Level 9

  14. #14
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I ran in college and that's when all the runners were able to do a 10 mile run at 6 minute mile pace. I can't imagine doing that now. Cross country race pace was even faster. I really enjoyed it but now with the extra weight that I carry, it started to hurt my knees. Even when I dropped my weight, it still hurts. Thank goodness for bike riding.

    as far as bike accidents with cars, I am lucky to be in So Calif and near the Santa Ana River Trail, the San Gabriel River Trail and the Los Angeles and Rio Hondo River Trails. Those 4 asphalt trails give a rider plenty of endurance workouts with no cars.

  15. #15
    dbg
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    You can ride with a gut. Running eliminates the gut.
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  16. #16
    Member toddtone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    You can ride with a gut. Running eliminates the gut.
    Yessir, that is true. Contrary to what others have said, I have found that running compliments my cycling, and helps me get better at both. My weekly mileage averages about 120 on the bike (lots of rollers, a little bit of speed work) and 8 to 12 running (LSD and intervals). I mix it up depending on how I'm feeling and the weather. I tend to up my running mileage during the winter while slacking a little on the bike - bitter cold or inlement weather and darkness are the factors. I am thankful I can do both without significant injury so far. Mixing it up works for me. I'll never be great at either, I love doing both, and they each have had a positive impact upon my health and fitness.

  17. #17
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    I'm 65 and am more of a runner than a cyclist. For one thing, here in Michigan I can easily run year-round whereas I find cycling in the cold very difficult and usually just ride from April to November. I have had no running injuries in recent years, and can usually place in the top third of my age group in running events from 5Ks up to half marathons (I did give up full marathons a few years ago because that really is a good way to pick up an injury for me!).

    But what I enjoy about cycling is that you can enjoy it and have a good level of fitness without it having to be an aerobic activity. If you want to get a real workout on a bike you can do that, but you can also ride for distance or enjoyment without beating yourself up too much. On the other hand, running is always a workout unless you want to stop running and just walk.

    As an example, on my bike I can ride from home for 20 miles or so, stop and have a nice breakfast or lunch, and ride back home comfortably at a good pace. That's certainly not something that you can do on a long run!

    One other difference, though, is that it's more fun for me to run with someone else or in a group because it's easier to chat along the way to pass the time. On a bike I spend too much time just looking at someone else's rear wheel (or rear end if it's a female ).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatW View Post
    Running is pretty high impact. The high impact often produces injuries in the knees and feet. I have the notion that running "beats up" the runner. A marathon really wrings out a runner. Also you don't hear of runners running 2 marathons on days back to back.

    Cycling is low impact. As a result, cycling allows the person to sustain the exercise far longer than a runner can. I figure a century (100 miles) is about 50% more effort than a marathon, but subjectively it does not "feel" like it. Sure a century is a decent ways, but I have done centuries on four consequtive days. I could have done more but things like life interfered with my cycling. I have never heard of a runner doing 4 marathons in a row (but I suppose someone has).
    Maybe YOU don't hear about, but there are people who do it. See http://www.runforwwp.com/ This guy did it day after day for about 3 months. Admittedly, he's not a member of the 50+ club.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    You can ride with a gut. Running eliminates the gut.
    Best post in the thread.

    So true. Take a look at a typical centrury versus a typiucal marathon at the guts. Amazing. It used to be pronounced but that was before people got the idea of "doing a marathon" included walking.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  20. #20
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    You should start swimming. Triathlon is the new Harley-Davidson.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by clerkofkirk View Post
    Enter Jeff Galloway. Galloway has a run-walk system that he claims can keep you running injury-free well into "our" age group. Check it out at http://www.jeffgalloway.com/index.html
    Concur with clerkofkirk. If you want to avoid injury while running use the Jeff Galloway method. He's got a book out for people over 40 titled Running til your 100. I think cycling really helps my running, but not vice versa. Running has a simplicity though that can be very appealing.

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