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Old 04-30-08, 10:11 AM   #1
DividedSky
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cycling musles vs. running muscles

Here's my question - to what extent does training on a bike prepare you for running and vice versa?

I'm a runner, not a cyclist. I've been running for many years but recently I've gotten lazy with it and have been spending a lot of time biking. II have some races (running) coming up this month and I'm worried that I might not be up for them because I keep stubbornly biking instead of running. From a cardio standpoint, I'm guessing the two things are quite similar and one of them can prepare you for the other. Am I wrong in thinking that? But then there's the muscles that are used in each. Is cycling helping me to run?

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Old 04-30-08, 10:16 AM   #2
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For me, running helps biking very much, but if I bike more than I run it seems to cause a muscle imbalance that hinders my stride until I run for a few days straight. But I don't have that good of a stride to begin with.
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Old 04-30-08, 10:29 AM   #3
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I am not a runner, I hate running. In my opinion, it should be outlawed. Now with that said, I used to ride my bike during the off season to keep fit. It did help my cardio but it didn't do anything for my legs.

My legs would always be sore for the first couple of weeks of practice. My legs tired quickly until they got used to running again.
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Old 04-30-08, 10:38 AM   #4
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Cycling provides marginal benefit to running in terms of muscles used. Running uses primarily your hamstrings and calves - you push off with with foot to propel your forward. Cycling uses mostly your quads and hip flexors.

The only carry over benefit I found, and this is from running numerous marathons and mid length races (10K/10 milers), is when the course is hilly and your quads come into play more
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Old 04-30-08, 10:44 AM   #5
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overall: endurance
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Old 04-30-08, 10:54 AM   #6
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Instead of running, I'd recommend practicing better time management skills.
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Old 04-30-08, 12:52 PM   #7
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overall: endurance
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Old 04-30-08, 01:08 PM   #8
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overall: endurance
To expand on that thought a little, I think by using cycling to supplement running you can work on endurance without beating your body up so much. This becomes more important as you age.
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Old 04-30-08, 01:30 PM   #9
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Cycling will help you run just by preventing injury. It will give your body a break from the strain and pounding of running.
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Old 04-30-08, 06:51 PM   #10
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To expand on that thought a little, I think by using cycling to supplement running you can work on endurance without beating your body up so much. This becomes more important as you age.
I'll agree. I knocked two minutes off my 3-mile run time last fall after just one summer of cycling, and I don't even ride as far or as often as most people on here. I was biking to save my knees, and the long ride times helped my endurance and let me run faster for longer.

Whether it helps distance running, I don't know firsthand. I've long been able to run until I got bored, but haven't bothered going for more than an hour at a time.
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Old 04-30-08, 07:02 PM   #11
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Here's my question - to what extent does training on a bike prepare you for running and vice versa?...
In my experience, not a lot.

I used to bike when the weather was conveniently warm (spring and summer) and run the rest of the year except when there was snow on the ground. Every time I transitioned from one activity to the other, I had to start out from very-near-zero leg muscle fitness for that activity again. I don't think I'd stay fit for both unless I was regularly doing both at the same time.
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Old 04-30-08, 07:03 PM   #12
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Last summer I trained for the Michigander by running 40 miles per week, and almost never riding. Out about 400 people, I was among the top 20 fastest riders there. But there were still people that could easily waste me who ride hard regularly. I don't think either will prepare you properly to seriously race with the other, but it definitely helps you do pretty darn well.
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Old 05-01-08, 05:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DividedSky View Post
Here's my question - to what extent does training on a bike prepare you for running and vice versa?

I'm a runner, not a cyclist. I've been running for many years but recently I've gotten lazy with it and have been spending a lot of time biking. II have some races (running) coming up this month and I'm worried that I might not be up for them because I keep stubbornly biking instead of running. From a cardio standpoint, I'm guessing the two things are quite similar and one of them can prepare you for the other. Am I wrong in thinking that? But then there's the muscles that are used in each. Is cycling helping me to run?

Cheers
on regular cranks it approximates at 1:5 running to cycling

on powercranks it's about 1:1

http://www.powercranks.com/v4pages/videos-list.htm

edit: however, while on a bicycle you won't get the increased bone density from the pounding but you also won't have to put your joints through the pounding.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:16 AM   #14
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I play football (soccer) 2 or 3 times a week, and when I'm not doing that, I ride my bike because the two activities seem to use completely different muscles. I remember last year, when I came back from a 6 week bike tour, I played football my second day back thinking I was top-fit. After that game, my legs were screaming at me! It was agony. Based on that experience, I would say biking does nothing for running muscles.
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Old 05-01-08, 10:09 AM   #15
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These have been my two main outdoor activities for most of my life. FWIW...

I find that in general, cycling adds the most muscle strength and endurance to my condition, while running is most helpful in maintaining cardio fitness and keeping my leg muscles stretched out. The two workouts complement each other nicely that way. From time to time I've had to drop one or the other for a few weeks for various reasons, and I always miss it.
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Old 05-01-08, 10:22 AM   #16
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winter is a great time to run. you can stay in great shape with about 1/2 the time you need for cycling. that's great when it's cold and dark outside.
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Old 05-07-08, 11:04 AM   #17
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I play football (soccer) 2 or 3 times a week, and when I'm not doing that, I ride my bike because the two activities seem to use completely different muscles. I remember last year, when I came back from a 6 week bike tour, I played football my second day back thinking I was top-fit. After that game, my legs were screaming at me! It was agony. Based on that experience, I would say biking does nothing for running muscles.

I've experienced the same thing. I tried riding instead of running for footie training and found that the only cross-over was better aerobic fitness - riding did not improve running muscle leg strength.
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