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  1. #1
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    Biking Replacing Running

    For the past two months, I have been Mr. Fitness. I lift every other day, and run in between. I just recently really got into mountain biking, and have gained such a love, that I no longer wanna spend my energy and time running when I could be biking. So, is this a pretty even trade off? Ive developed a nice 6 pack running and working out, I wanna keep improving, but dont feel that biking cuts it. Theres just no other exercise that makes you feel like youve actually done something as running does IMO.

  2. #2
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adidas View Post
    . Theres just no other exercise that makes you feel like youve actually done something as running does IMO.
    Come and race (road) with us some time. I guarantee you'll feel like you've done something.

    If it doesn't kill you.

    Actually MTB riding gives you quite the full body workout, and I don't race MTBs. It's a tough sport. Running gives you shin splints.

  3. #3
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    Unfortunately your knees will last longer with biking so you won't have the opportunity for knee upgrade.

    I think running is hard to beat for pure effort but road biking comes pretty close. Mountain biking is great but road biking is a better cardio and stamina workout IMO.

  4. #4
    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    Nothing pushes my heart rate to the extremes like running.

  5. #5
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    Patentcad, Yea, I dont doubt road biking is just as good or better than running, but Im not really interested in road biking. While I do ride at least 3 miles on the road on a typical day of MTB, my goal is my destination on the trails. Plus you gotta consider where I live, its ALL hills, so both road and trails intail a bunch of climbing.

    Chris, I know that running is real hard on the joints, but Im talking strictly heart rate and calorie burning. Although that is one reason I dont wanna run, kinda funked up my heel biking, but it doesnt hurt to bike.

    So I guess everyone is in agreeance that mountain biking is a good workout, just falls short of the energy release of running.

  6. #6
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Don't worry, if you don't quit running on your own, injuries will force you to stop. Happens to most of us. I'd say half the avid cyclists I know (including me) were once avid distance runners. After 2 knee operations in the late 1980's i couldn't run any longer. But I've been riding my bike ever since.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Halebopp's Avatar
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    Ok. It's actually a myth that running is "hard on the joints" or causes arthritis. I've seen several research studies done on the issue and they concluded that moderate running actually is beneficial to joints. Just try and stay on soft surfaces such as trails and golf courses, and be sure to get new shoes once yours wear out.

    Road biking may come close to the aerobic workout, but youre going to need to be out there biking for 4x longer to get the same benefit. If you only have an hour to get a workout in, go for a run. You'll get more out of it.

    Prolonged biking will also affect your running ability. The muscles that you use are different enough that a bunch of biking won't make you a good runner, and a bunch of running won't make you a good cyclist. Your quads and calves are developed by cycling are a hindrence to distance running--instead of floating over the ground you'll be more apt to "pounding" the ground with the larger leg muscles. Look at a kenyan, or any elite runner. They have skinny legs.

    So it depends where your priotities are. I am a runner first and foremost. It's what I love, when youre floating effortlessly along a wooded trail at 6 minute mile pace, it doesn't get much better than that. I'm a collegiate runner, so obviously I'll be doing much more running than cycling this summer. I plan on running 60 miles a week on land, then cycling one day a week as cross training. But thats just me. You need to look at what type of fitness you want, and if you are competing in any events, what type you want them to be.

  8. #8
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    Welcome to being ruined from running, adidas! I was a competitive road race runner who got into mtn biking at age 45. I still run on lunch hours for base fitness level, but no longer run competitively - - I save my racing for DH.

    I have to agree that nothing (in my mind) imparts the mental toughness to keep putting one foot in front of the other that running does; but let's face it: mountain biking is soooo much more fun. It's got the 'perfect storm' of heart rate, anaerobic pain () and pure adrenaline. Don't feel guilty about enjoying it.

  9. #9
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    I started biking at christmas, Mtn biking in particular. I lost 7 pounds on my spring break because I biked everyday, both on the road or in the woods. I can now run faster, and my arms have a lot more definition from the trails. My forearms look pretty damn good if you ask me. I hardly ever lift (to lazy to drive to gym I guess)

    Im now on my contiued way to a 6 pack now.
    Ive almost got it!

  10. #10
    Senior Member rb07's Avatar
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    Do both

    I run, MTB, and road bike depending on what is coming up (and considering I'm planning on getting into multi-sport events soon, it'll only continue) or my mood. I think you'll find that a nice balance between running and biking is great.

    From some reading that I have done lately, over half of the people who run during the year will stop because of injuries (this is in a book about running injury free and I've only started reading it, but...). Calorie-wise, running burns the most compared to cycling based on what I've seen and I do feel like I have to push myself more to feel beat after a bike ride than after a run.

    And if you do like both running and biking, you can always take up duathlons (which is my goal right now). There are even off-road ones like: http://bonkhardracing.com/races/berryman_du/default.asp

    I agree with dminor though: for me, cycling often hits provides better anaerobic exercise where my running tends to work the aerobic range more. I think cycling has helped relieved some of my knee pain I get when running.
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  11. #11
    Shot Caller imcrushingyerhd's Avatar
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    If you throw running in there once a week or so you get a great cross-train which will prevent plateauing. Hitting it from all angles and mixing it up will always give you the best results. A mountain bike ride will do wonders for your brain too, as far as coordination goes. Personally I run to ride better; it really helps with my wind, which is always my limiter.
    I bet if you went over to the triathlon forum you could find some biathlonists there with some professional insight on your question.
    '01 Fisher Joshua F3. '89 Master... My Momma says if I take care of my things they will last me forever.

  12. #12
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halebopp View Post
    Ok. It's actually a myth that running is "hard on the joints" or causes arthritis. I've seen several research studies done on the issue and they concluded that moderate running actually is beneficial to joints. Just try and stay on soft surfaces such as trails and golf courses, and be sure to get new shoes once yours wear out.
    Except that the overwhelming majority of runners run on the road (not on softer surfaces), don't pay attention to their running shoes, don't stretch properly, and subsequently do get injured.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Halebopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    Except that the overwhelming majority of runners run on the road (not on softer surfaces), don't pay attention to their running shoes, don't stretch properly, and subsequently do get injured.
    Touche.
    And when taking it up, new runners are probably out of shape and overweight to begin with, causing them to be more injury prone.
    Still, if you take care it doesn't have to be an issue that you can't overcome.

  14. #14
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    Ever since I started biking Ive found running to be such a bore. What I have started doing is a small run(maybe 2-3 miles) before I head out to the trails. Im finding this is providing a nice balance. Its not a run that takes all day, and by the time I get to the trail the legs have a little bit of wear on them. Overall, Im finding it to be fairly effective.

  15. #15
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim? scrublover's Avatar
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    I began as a runner, then my knees and back started having issues. Trying different shoes/changing where/how I ran did no good, so bikes it was. That was 15+ years ago. I miss a good long run now and then. It's tough to replace the just taking off right out the front door thing though, even with road riding. Started as a roady, then discovered mtbs in 1991.

    Pretty much only run on loamy trails and in snow in winter now, stuff that takes it easy on my knees. Feels damn good though!
    I believe the clouds in my coffee more than the weatherman on t.v.

  16. #16
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    I will admit though this next semester, I'm doing Cross country running and possibey swimteam

  17. #17
    unofficial roadie DirtPedalerB's Avatar
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    biking definately uses different mucscles.. i can ride 40 miles on the trails in around 4 hours and be fine the next day.. I ran a hill filled mile offroad the other week after I bought some trail running shoes and was sore for 3 days. I only weigh 180, but I have never ran on a regular basis at any point in my life.
    I only pedal uphill.

  18. #18
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    Lance Armstrong said that running a marathon was the toughest thing he ever had to do http://www.people.com/people/article...555196,00.html moreso than his Tour victories. As someone already mentioned, you use different muscles for each, so for an overall workout you should incorporate both into your training.

  19. #19
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolhand68 View Post
    Lance Armstrong said that running a marathon was the toughest thing he ever had to do http://www.people.com/people/article...555196,00.html moreso than his Tour victories. As someone already mentioned, you use different muscles for each, so for an overall workout you should incorporate both into your training.
    Lance Armstrong knows how to give the media cool sound bites. Trust me, running the NY Marathon for laughs isn't as tough as the Tour de friggin France. Get a grip.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Halebopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    Lance Armstrong knows how to give the media cool sound bites. Trust me, running the NY Marathon for laughs isn't as tough as the Tour de friggin France. Get a grip.
    Somehow I don't think he was comparing the two. You can't compare a one day running event to a 3 week cycling tour, and I feel like Lance Armstrong would know that. Apples and Oranges man. Maybe it WAS the toughest one day event he has done. Because look, if you are a mid 30's heavier man (by running standards, muscle not fat) with limited running experience, a 2:45 (or whatever he ran) is not a "laugh". He had to have been running pretty damn hard to pull that off.

  21. #21
    ROAD enthusiast revolator's Avatar
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    Bunch of factors I noticed for Lance's first NYC marathon
    - started training late
    - set aggressive goal even with the late training
    - ran fast pace early in training (heart,lungs, and most muscles were there)
    - pace stressed body/bones/joints that wasn't ready for it ==> had shin splint problems early ...
    (ramped up the miles at high pace before body was adjusted)

    Didn't get to the training miles planned due to shin splints, only ran partial distances before marathon.

    He ran his first marathon w/o getting in the right endurance miles, and he ran it w/ shin splints, and he still ran it at a fast pace. That's a very painful way of doing it, but it was still impressive.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Halebopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revolator View Post
    Bunch of factors I noticed for Lance's first NYC marathon
    - started training late
    - set aggressive goal even with the late training
    - ran fast pace early in training (heart,lungs, and most muscles were there)
    - pace stressed body/bones/joints that wasn't ready for it ==> had shin splint problems early ...
    (ramped up the miles at high pace before body was adjusted)

    Didn't get to the training miles planned due to shin splints, only ran partial distances before marathon.

    He ran his first marathon w/o getting in the right endurance miles, and he ran it w/ shin splints, and he still ran it at a fast pace. That's a very painful way of doing it, but it was still impressive.
    Exactly. He wasn't "laughing" through it.

  23. #23
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    It is a testament to Lance's genetic aerobic snot that he can run his first two marathons since he was a kid in 3 hours and then 2:45 or whatever he did in Boston. That's amazing.

  24. #24
    Duathlete indygreg's Avatar
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    the idea that running will injure all and that all runners will have to give it up do to injuries is total garbage. Go to a bunch of weekend 5k's and see all the old runners. Bad running form leads to injury. Overbuildt14+oz shoes and low cadence lead to heel first contact and injury. This is a case where technology has greatly hurt us.
    We were meant to run. Period. If you run with good form and very minimal shoe, and you keep a healthy bodyweight, you can run injury free for a lifetime. The fact that a vast majority of half or full marathon runners are fat, wear motion control shoes and land way out on their heels completely skews the injury stats (approx 70% of all runners get hurt in a given year).
    Run, Bike, Run.

  25. #25
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indygreg View Post
    . . . wear motion control shoes . . . .
    Just curious - - what is your beef with motion control shoes? My gait is neutral, I'm told my form is excellent and I have a somewhat-scrawny 175 lbs. over a 6'-1" frame - - but my favorite shoe is the Asics Kayano, which is technically a MC shoe. I happen to like them for the plush ride and the fact that I run trails and freeze/thaw broken blacktop; and the motion control technology built into them has saved me rolled ankles more than once.

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