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  1. #1
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    Bicycling vs. Running

    I have been riding my road bike for the last 2-3 months,

    I have been trying to decide of you get as much or more out of riding than running.

    After a 1 hr fast pace(17mph+) ride I don't feel as tire or worn out as I do if I would have ran for say 30-40 minutes(about 4 miles.)

    A few things that I like about biking is that you don't seem to be as winded, so you can go harder and longer. Also I don't get all of that saliva in my mouth when riding. I get to drink when riding. I feel cooler when I'm moving. My knees don't hurt. My legs feel stronger(more musclular(sp?).

    I know when I come to a stop light(I hate that) that I notice I am breathing pretty hard, and my heart rate is reletivlely higher. But I just don't feel as bad as I do when I'm running.

    So my question is: Do I get more out of Running than Biking?

    What are your thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member bikehard700's Avatar
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    Considering all of the positive points you made regarding riding the bike, I wonder why you are torturing yourself by running... unless you like that kind of thing.

    Cycling is better for your knees and ankles (low impact), and depending on how far, and how hard you go, great cardio.
    You spend a little more time riding for the same effect ( I believe 10 miles of hard riding = 6 miles of running +/-), but the chance of getting "shin splints", or "achilies heal" on a bike? ... not likely. Ride on... ... ...
    I feel the pain...
    but there are hills to climb.

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    Considering all of the positive points you made regarding riding the bike, I wonder why you are torturing yourself by running... unless you like that kind of thing.
    I am in the Army Reserves. I must run 2 miles 1 time a year for time. (I have 17:30 minutes to complete this)

    Anyhow as we know that running is different than biking, so if you have to run you must practice that at least once in a while.

    Though I would like to do most of my cardio work on the bike!!

    I just wanted to know if you can get as much out of Biking as running.

    I think that you can: (My wife who does triatholons say that you can not get as much out of biking as running. I disagree with her(Yikes )
    '05 Motobecane Le Champion SL (Carbon Seat Post, Carbon Cages, Mike Garcia DT Swiss Customs 1436gram wheels, FSA Compact Crank 36/50, 12/27 Ultegra Cassette, Ultegra 6600 SPD-SL Pedals,)
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  4. #4
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    i use to be a sprinter back in the days of elementary school. now im in gr 11 as of september and its been 3 yrs since i ran. i been riding a bike alot in the past 3 yrs. now i cant run for beans

  5. #5
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of doing a Tri myself... however I've only been biking and running so far. I think swimming is better than running is better than biking in terms of fitness training. It makes sense, because you're using alot more muscles in swimming vs running and running vs biking. I think cardiovascularly you definitely get more out of running than biking, because as has been noted before, biking heart rates are lower than running heart rates. As for me, I train at 180 bpm running, and ~160 bpm biking. I definitely feel more winded after a long run than after a long bike. My legs tend to be more tired and sore (muscles) after a ride, but I am sweating more profusely and breathing much harder after a run. So I would tend to agree with your wife .
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  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I am biking; I used to run. Sorta liked it. think liked music I listened too at same time, almost as much as the run..... One of favorite runs, when used to live in Florida; ran across the new Tampa Bay bridge when it opened- a long time ago..
    Wish I could still run, so I could diversify my aerobics when I had too... Particularily, when I did not have the time for long rides; which I tremendously enjoy.
    So why do I not run.. It forever screwed up my right knee.
    Anyway- running 20 minutes; when I could be cruising up a mountain vista or the coast- what is to compare. Cycling beats out running as being more enjoyable by 1000 to one- anyway... And it will not destroy my left knee; I am pretty well convinced..

  7. #7
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    So my question is: Do I get more out of Running than Biking?
    msparks

    as for general fitness, i think you can acheive the same cardio benefits from either although a little more easily with running - i.e. with a little less time out of your week. In general you need to be out on the bike a little longer than you would out running, primarily b/c when cycling you generally don't go at such a constant pace as when running b/c of hills, corners or just being lazy and coasting which you can't do when running. if you compare running with spinning (cycling in the gym in aerobics-like classes) or cycling on a trainer, i think the cardio benefits are quite close (OK, i'm not a specialist here, but just my view)

    i'm mostly a cyclist but i have done lots of triathlons and adventure racing and multisport stuff with running and cycling, and used to train 3-4 days a week running, 4 days a week on the bike and 2 days a week swimming (about 2-3 years ago when i was competitve in tri and multi-sport). i currently cycle about 10,000 miles per year, but only run about 2-4 times a month because i've had knee and lower back problems from too much running (knee tendonitis and bulged disc in my back)... i simply can't run more than about 8 miles a week, week after week, without developing some impact/overuse injuries (i'm 31 - at 18 or 25 i could run all i wanted)

    BUT, cycling is much easier on the body, particularly on preventing injury to the joints - shin splints, back problems, knee injuries are all common with high-volume running and some people just can't run more than about once a week without really damaging their bodies. For example, about half of the serious triathletes and multisport athletes i have known have had to cut back on running b/c of injuries when they're running 20-40 miles per week and now train by swimming and cycling more.

    plus, i find cycling great fun and running i only sort of like...

    on the other hand, for your case where you are tested in running: running will better prepare you for running than cycling. cycling will make you fit but even training double the amount of time on the bike i think would be less effective than running because you use different muscles and your body will adapt to the stresses of cycling and some of these will cross over into running but not all... you have to train by running at least some and then can supplement the minimum with time on the bike

    i would say, if your only goal is to pass the test, run most of the time and cycle a little. If you hate running and love cycling or have some injuries do it the other way around and cycle a lot and run maybe only twice a month - since you need at least an 8:45 min/mile speed for 2 miles, run like twice this distance (4 miles) twice a month and see if you're meeting it. if not, then cut back on cycling time and add more running. I know that for me, i could probably run only once a month and with all my cycling training i would be able to run 2 miles in less than 8min/mile pace, but then maybe you're inherently not as talented at running...

    i would say the main advantage for running is what you can do with little time; say you're working a lot and travelling - you can bring along your running shoes and get in a 30-minute jog 3 times a week which will keep you from getting totally out of shape with very little time committment. trying to bring a bike with you on a business trip and then getting all your gear on and then doing a ride takes much more time and effort and hassle and most 'busy' people i know are not able to get on the bike more than once a week if even that...
    why drive when you can ride?
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    Bicycle vs. Running

    If you take a look at the actual physics, it is much more energy inefficient and takes much more energy to run that it does to bike. So if you wanted to ever get as much out of biking as you do out of running, you have to do much more biking than you run. This is because when you run you have to put your foot down, stop motion in that leg and move the other. That is why the best runners in the world want light shoes and look as though they are floating when running properly because they pick their foot up as quickly as possible. So it would be something around a 1:3 ration, running to biking. If you have the time and will power, biking is much easier than running and if done with the right ratio can achieve the same if not better results than running.
    Last edited by Elenium; 06-25-02 at 01:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by msparks
    So my question is: Do I get more out of Running than Biking?

    What are your thoughts?
    They're different animals... both good. I like cycling better, but I like the simplicity of running (no gear nonsense, just shirt, shoes, shorts, and I'm off).

    You may want to check some related discussion in this thread.

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    From one newbie to another, don't sweat it. Actually this is an interesting topic.

    I always had these ratios in mind (running:biking).

    1:10 on the downhills
    1:5 on the flats, no headwind
    1:4 with rolling hills
    1:3, on the flats with a moderate to strong headwind
    1:2, on steep hills
    1:1, on monster hills (like mountain biking)

    No science to this; just my own experiences.

    (FWIW -- I've been "promoted" to a Junior Member on this board. Yee haa !!!)

  11. #11
    Senior Member bugsyonebike's Avatar
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    I used to run quite a bit when I was in the service. I had to cut way back after I busted up an ankle. That's when I (Re) discovered bikes. Thank goodness for that pesky ankle!
    Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

    - Lance Armstrong

  12. #12
    Pat
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    Originally posted by msparks
    I have been riding my road bike for the last 2-3 months,

    I have been trying to decide of you get as much or more out of riding than running.

    After a 1 hr fast pace(17mph+) ride I don't feel as tire or worn out as I do if I would have ran for say 30-40 minutes(about 4 miles.)

    A few things that I like about biking is that you don't seem to be as winded, so you can go harder and longer. Also I don't get all of that saliva in my mouth when riding. I get to drink when riding. I feel cooler when I'm moving. My knees don't hurt. My legs feel stronger(more musclular(sp?).

    I know when I come to a stop light(I hate that) that I notice I am breathing pretty hard, and my heart rate is reletivlely higher. But I just don't feel as bad as I do when I'm running.

    So my question is: Do I get more out of Running than Biking?

    What are your thoughts?
    Well in your case, you are getting more out of cycling. You say your heart rate is higher cycling then when you run, so you are getting a more intense workout cycling. Also you are getting a longer workout cycling (1 hour vs 40 min). And you are not having the pain that you get from running.

    In my experience, I can get the same intensity running or cycling - that is I can go over my anaerobic threshold either way. I find it easier to push the envelop running then cycling. But I can do a fast cruise (just off of anaerobic) for about 1 hour cycling without any difficulty and I because of the impact from running, my running times are much more limited than cycling (from the high impact that running has).

  13. #13
    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    So my question is: Do I get more out of Running than Biking?
    I run and bike. I tend to mostly run. I run 40-50mpw now ramping up to 70-80mpw by September, in preparation for an October 6th marathon. I cycle for commuting and for fun. I tend to park the car on the weekends and do most of my traveling on the bike. I ride back and forth to work on the bike when it is not practical to run. My guess is that I do 50 to 100 mpw (depending on the week) on the bike. I don't have a cyclocomputer, so it is hard to tell how far I ride.

    Running uses less equipment, but the equipment you do use is much more important. Cycling with an out of tune, old, heavy bike will make you slow and tired. Running in worn out shoes will lead to stress fractures and knee damage. You can cycle in a cotton shirt and baggy shorts, you will be uncomfortable. Try running 10 miles in a cotton shirt on a hot day, your nipples will be bleeding before the end of mile number 7.

    I find that to compare running and cycling mileage in terms of perceived effort a 1:4 ratio of running to cycling miles works for me. Running elevates your heart rate more quickly than cycling (especially on hills). Obviously coasting is not possible when running. I find that when cycling, I pay much more attention to what is going on around me. When running, my focus tends to directed inward more (not totally, just more). This habit would be very dangerous in traffic at 20mph.

    Running and cycling are different enough that they cannot be directly compared. You will probably get "more" out of doing the activity that you enjoy most, because you will probably do more of it.
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  14. #14
    bac
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    Originally posted by DanFromDetroit
    Try running 10 miles in a cotton shirt on a hot day, your nipples will be bleeding before the end of mile number 7.


    You will probably get "more" out of doing the activity that you enjoy most, because you will probably do more of it.
    Good point! I find that exercise for the sake of exercise just doesn't reconcile well for me. I need to be doing (or training for an event) something that I sincerely enjoy in order to maintain enough consistency to do it well.

    :thumbup:

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    Both exercises are good. Both ways, you can do slightly better in the other exercise. However, I prefer cycling since it is less hurting for my legs and I enjoy the speed I can get out from it. Also, when cycling, you can go for longer distances than running.

  16. #16
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Twenty years in the Army gave me a negative view of running, actually camping out also. This is probably an imature attitude for a 50 year old guy, but I still feel as though running is something I will do only when someone tells me I must.

    Cycing on the other hand, is something I want to do. I get a kick out of being miles from home and having folks say something like "Wow! You rode a bike all the way here?!" I enjoy the greater amount of territory I can cover on a bike in a comparable amount of time as opposed to running.

    Oh I still have my New Balance shoes. They add an athletic flair to my wardrobe when I must be out dressed in something other than my bike shorts.

    Carl
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    I will definitely choose running...Thought both is good but for me running is more challenging...

  18. #18
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webist View Post
    Twenty years in the Army gave me a negative view of running, actually camping out also. This is probably an imature attitude for a 50 year old guy, but I still feel as though running is something I will do only when someone tells me I must.

    Cycing on the other hand, is something I want to do. I get a kick out of being miles from home and having folks say something like "Wow! You rode a bike all the way here?!" I enjoy the greater amount of territory I can cover on a bike in a comparable amount of time as opposed to running.

    Oh I still have my New Balance shoes. They add an athletic flair to my wardrobe when I must be out dressed in something other than my bike shorts.

    Carl
    Sounds about like me...the only time you will ever see me running is away from something and it would probably be because I didn't have a bike close by! It is about 500 yards out to my mail box from the house. I keep a bike by the back steps for the trip out and back

    Aaron
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  19. #19
    Senior Member 96WX3's Avatar
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    I would say do both if you can. I have been running when I don't have time for the 1.5hr+ bike ride. After biking for nearly two months and not running for that amount of time, I recently did my usual run around the block 2.5mi. I ran it just as fast as the last time I ran (before I bought the bike in July). So I did not suffer any set back. The next time I added some miles and ran 3.8 with no issues at all. Going to go for 5mi next time I run and see how that goes. I think cycling for extended rides has given me greater stamina for running as well. YMMV.

    Wow, I just noticed this was from 2002 after posting......
    Originally Posted by kbbpll
    Gawd, this place is like a gradeschool classroom with a substitute teacher.


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  20. #20
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 96WX3 View Post
    Wow, I just noticed this was from 2002 after posting......
    Yup, this is an exhumation on the grand scale...but I'm sure the OP will be grateful for the advice, eight years on...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mwchandler21's Avatar
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    Thread necrophilia

  22. #22
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    you have triggered the zombie apocalypse

  23. #23
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    you have triggered the zombie apocalypse
    There is a mass exhumation going on today...

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  24. #24
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Thread closed so it can go back to the depths of the dead where it belongs.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
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