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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 04-04-02, 04:28 PM   #1
mbeebe
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Is biking better than running

I am looking to lose some fat and biking peaks my interest much more than running. I have started eating nothing but salad and am looking at riding 20 miles 3 or 4 times a week. Would this be a better workout than running?
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Old 04-04-02, 05:02 PM   #2
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I read more problems with people's knees when they run compared to biking.
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Old 04-04-02, 05:26 PM   #3
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First of all, eat a balanced diet. Don't just eat salads. You have to get your carbohydrates, protein and fat [yes, fat is important] from somewhere. The other thing is that you have to fundamentally alter your eating patterns, not change temporarily until you've lost a few pounds. The best thing you can do is make an appointment with a nutritionist to find out how and what you should be eating.

The advantage of running over cycling is that you can maintain a fairly consistent intensity over a period of time. You can't freewheel when you run, so there's no way to do a quick recovery without stopping completely, so you get a much more concentrated workout.

The down-side of running is that is is very, very easy to injure yourself. Even if you don't have a significant injury requiring a prolonged period of inactivity [a stress fracture or something], you WILL feel joint pain in your knees and ankles. Experienced runners know how to deal with these pains, and how to avoid turning them into serious injuries. Novices typically don't.

Running is much more difficult to learn than it looks. I was coached in cross country when I was in high school and I was coached in rugby in college -- and that training required a fair bit of running. I run as well as cycle. I prefer cycling.

For one thing, you can easily go for a 3-hour bike ride and burn 2500 calories. Unless you're a marathoner, you simply can't run for that length of time. And even though running is a much more concentrated intensity, you will rarely have a chance to get as MUCH of a workout running.

For me, running is training; it's work and I do it grudgingly in the winter to stay fit. Cycling is fun -- it's training, but it's fun, and I don't have to push myself to do it.
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Old 04-04-02, 06:53 PM   #4
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cycling is more expensive, and in that area can be
a slippery slope (got to upgrade!).
Is biking better than running?
Yes if you value your knees.

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Old 04-04-02, 07:14 PM   #5
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Good point, Marty. Running is cheaper. A good pair of shoes will only set you back about $100.
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Old 04-04-02, 08:44 PM   #6
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For me the answer is yes and no…
I agree with Marty’s opinion. Running is the cheapest sport.
But not for me. Before, my hobby was jogging but since I have broken my hip I cannot do that anymore. So I take cycling as my sport.
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Old 04-04-02, 09:23 PM   #7
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I believe there is an equation that says 4 miles of biking is equal to 1 mile of running and that equals about 500 calories burned. (There are 3500 calories in a pound.)
Slow,gradual weight loss --about 2/3 lbs per week is good, AND a BALANCED diet is best.
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Old 04-04-02, 10:59 PM   #8
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I've been thinking about this one, and the relative cost
of cycling is way cheaper than running when I factor in the
cost of knee replacement.
I used to run, currently I could go about a week before
my knees started locking up from all the damage I did when
I was young and stupid (last week ).
whatever you choose, running 10 miles daily barefoot
is NOT a good thing.

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Old 04-05-02, 03:45 AM   #9
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No contest in terms of enjoyability in my not so humble opinion, and if you commute by bike you get your exercise time for free

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Old 04-05-02, 04:35 AM   #10
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well, the short answer to your question is that running is better than cycling b/c you usually burn more calories in a shorter amount of time...

but running is hard on the knees and back and many joints... cycling is so much less impact

also, cycling is usualy 'easier' to do for longer periods...

as a cyclist who runs sometimes (used to be a triathlete) now b/c i had knee and lower back problems from running, i enjoy both, but cycling more...

if you're main goal is to loose some pounds, in addition to reducing your caloric intake and doing some strength training, either cycling or running should be fine - pick the one you enjoy more - the advantage to running is that you can do more in a shorter amount of time (i.e. 30 minutes of running 3 days a week is decent, but the equivalent in cycling will tend to be more like 1 hr 3 times a week, or 2hours 2 times a week)

so pick the one you like or you can do both
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Old 04-05-02, 06:30 AM   #11
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If you are heavy and unfit, then running will probbaly shake you to bits. Start with walking.
I find riding much more enjoyable than walking, runing or swimming, but do try to do other excercises for a change.
You can integrate cycling into your life much easier than running. I get about 1 hrs riding just doing stuff I have to do, like getting to work and shopping. Using a bike saves me a lot of money, and time, since I double up the usefulness of my transport time.

Dont try to eat less AND do more. Like people say, change your lifestyle permanently, and your weight and fitness will slowly improve.
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Old 04-05-02, 08:35 AM   #12
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So which is better cycling or running?

Running is a pretty high impact sport. Many runners have foot, leg and knee problems from the repetitive impacts. Plus, in running you have to carry your own weight so unless you are pretty thin, running can be mighty tough - this is why so many competitive marathoners look like they are starving to death.

Cycling is low impact and weight bearing. Even very obese people can cycle. And cycling can burn a bunch of calories which makes it good for weight loss. Cyclists can also put in far more hours than other atheletes (low impact again) which allows high mileage cyclists to burn prodigious amounts of calories.

About you diet, just salads is far too restrictive. A better approach would be to examine your normal diet for grams of carbohydrates, fats, and protein (you can get a book in just about any book store which will give you the numbers for common foods). Get you calories at a reasonable level and cut out excess sugars and fats. Your adding exercising will burn some more calories so being prudent with your diet + exercise should give you good results.

3 suggestions:

A) 20 miles 3 times per week sounds like a lot, but it isn't once you get some experience. I would suggest a bit more mileage on the weekends if feasible.

B) Also, I would suggest some crosstraining - like walking 2 miles twice per week on nonbiking days.

C) Do a little weight training - the biking will do the legs pretty well. But doing a little weight training for abs and upper body is a good idea mainly for muscle tone.
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Old 04-05-02, 09:53 AM   #13
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First of all crash diets don’t work . The body slows down the metabolism and when you start eating “normally” again, let say 2000 kcal it0 feels like 5000 kcal to the body, so you gain weight in no time. You should eat reasonably!! I suggest buying a book from Michel Montignac: Eat yourself slim, it is very helpful and what is most important based on scientific facts.

Further more I disagree with people claming that running “burns more calories”. I think that work intensity is far more important for the number of the calories burned.

Heart rate training is the key to any successful training, as for weight management it is important not to work too hard, you should be working at approximately 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, as you burn 55% fat and 45% carbohydrates at that work intensity.

I also recommend downloading a training guide from: www.concept2.co.uk/v4/docs/guide.pdf, it is basically meant for rowers but I think is very helpful for any kind of training.

Cheers,
Blaz

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Old 04-05-02, 10:44 AM   #14
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I used to run. While I enjoyed it back then, it screwed up my right knee for life. My Dr. back then told me, running was not made for my knees, but I did it anyway.
My biking takes far more time but I do enjoy it far more than running. My favorite type of biking- touring. Great time. Can't tour tran-continental, unless you are Forrest Gump. So I graduated from Running to biking. Found that many other cyclists have done the same.
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Old 04-05-02, 05:54 PM   #15
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I am a runner, but i just took up cycling cuz... i dunno seemed like fun. Running is the best work out for your heart and lungs, but it is harder on the joints and such. I really enjoy how i feel after a good hard run... I think both will do fine for helping lose weight... and if you really dread the thought of running, then chances are you wont actually keep up with it. So the important thing is do something you enjoy so it wont be so hard for you to do. took me about 4 tries before i started to enjoy running... took me one try to enjoy cycling. My $.02
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Old 04-05-02, 06:20 PM   #16
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Hilly100man says: "I ride for fun and run to get out of the rain!" How many sports are there that you get to take a seat with you?
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Old 04-05-02, 11:47 PM   #17
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I don't believe biking has to take more time then running. I would think that if you crank hard for a half hour, it would burn as many calories as running a half hour, and maybe more. Sometimes when I ride, it feels so good to go fast, I just keep pushing myself, even though my heart rate is way up. It's a real struggle to push that hard running.

Running has the advantage that you can do it practially anywhere, such as on the sidewalk, without traffic problems.

Running can be very satisfying, but cycling is satisfying and fun. Running is work/work, cycling is fun/work.
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Old 04-06-02, 01:45 AM   #18
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I suspect, with me cycling takes longer, because I am along for the ride and am in no hurry for it to end. The further I am away from home the better I feel. I have really accomplished something.
We used to think a century was a thrill now some brag about double centuries. Thanks, I am still working on refinning my centuries.
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Old 04-06-02, 05:11 AM   #19
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As an ex-runner I must admit that i really enjoyed my years of cross country running, but like many others i paid the price with a damaged knee (the left one in my case)

As an alternative to this I find cycling in all its forms equally enjoyable , possibly more so insomuch as it takes me much further . see more country.... know what i mean?
And my knee is holding up well to the cycling.

Whatever you choose...... enjoy! as it is half the battle with weight loss to be motivated by your chosen programme.

regards Willi`c
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Old 04-06-02, 05:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by mbeebe
am looking at riding 20 miles 3 or 4 times a week. Would this be a better workout than running?
They're both good, but cycling is different than running. In my opinion, running is more cardiovascular, cycling is cardio & muscular... but that partially reflects where I run and my riding style. I enjoy both, but my focus is on riding.
All I can add to what's already been said is an equivalent cycling work-out takes roughly twice as long as running. (I'm just talking time on the bike, not including prep.) 7 miles on the bike are approximately equivalent to 1 mile running... so, a 20 mile ride is roughly equivalent to a 3 mile run.
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Old 04-10-02, 08:29 AM   #21
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I'm a runner/ mountain biker who just recently took up road biking . I really enjoyed running for its weight loss/ conditioning, but I started getting a lot of nagging injuries that really became frustrating. I also liked the fact I could run trails ( no SUV's). I've never been injured on a bike, except when I wrecked. Tired and sore, yes absolutely. I hope to gradually ease back into a consistant running schedule in addition to biking. But for now, road biking has really added a lot to my efforts to keep fit and enjoy life.
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Old 04-10-02, 08:48 AM   #22
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I have never yet seen a happy runner,(they all look miserable) but cyclists often smile.
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Old 04-10-02, 09:13 AM   #23
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1) If one enjoys hunting at yard sales and turning a wrench, cycling is NOT more expensive per km/mile than running, because one cannot skimp by buying cheap or used running shoes! Because of pronation problems, I have to wear $65+ ASICS shoes with medial stiffeners (that gray insole material on the inward side of the heel), and they last about 1000mi/1500km, at best. That's 7 cents (plus 100 calories worth of food) per mile, folks! The Internal Revenue Service allocates 34.5 cents per mile for car expenses.

2) Strongly consider racewalking or power walking, both of which provide a good aerobic workout without the pounding of running or jogging. My twice-dislocated left knee does not let me run or jog long or fast enough to challenge my cardiovascular system, but it does not keep me from cycling or walking fast.
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Old 04-10-02, 11:27 AM   #24
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buy shoes out of season, its alot cheaper, i paid 30 bucks for my asics.
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