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Old 02-03-10, 12:29 AM   #1
FrenchFit 
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Running vs. or + Biking

Years ago I used to run regulary, then I switched to biking exclusively. After an unpleasant and fairly weak century ride this weekend, was thinking maybe I needed to switch off with running again - that my routine pleasure rides just don't provide enough intensity for serious conditioning. So, I went to gym and ran for 40 minutes today, almost effortlessly. I was amazed how easy it was and thinking it must be due to all that riding.

So, has anyone studied mixing running with biking as part of overall training regime, or the benefits of one over the other? Would you say running is the rough equivalent of doing intervals or more agressive riding, but otherwise they are fairly equivalent in terms of getting the benefits and conditioning? Or, is it an apples and oranges comparison?
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Old 02-03-10, 07:25 AM   #2
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As far as I've always understood running uses different muscles, so although I'm guessing it may help with general fitness, it won't help with cycling as much as spending the equivilent time and intensity on a bike will.
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Old 02-03-10, 07:30 AM   #3
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I have always hated running, because I sucked at it. I think it is a great thing to do and is something that should be done along with riding. I have now set a goal to do a half marathon. I think you can make a run anything you want it to be. It can be a long slow great work out or a great interval type of work out also.
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Old 02-03-10, 07:50 AM   #4
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... that my routine pleasure rides just don't provide enough intensity for serious conditioning.
Maybe the answer is to increase the intensity of your rides.
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Old 02-03-10, 09:32 AM   #5
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My routine pleasure rides just don't provide enough intensity for serious conditioning.
Pleasure???... You don't ride for pleasure, where in the pain game in these parts. Your not out there smelling the roses you know. You ride for pain, that wonderful & satisfying feeling of lactic acid seeping through every pore in your legs, enhancing your animalistic qualities. I guess its about time you come out your pleasure shell & start cranking the crap out of your bike. Start doing power intervals, 90/120 RPM's a minute right off the bat, chunking big gears, you'll soon start blowing.

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Old 02-03-10, 09:54 AM   #6
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I bike; swim; run and weight train. I've been off running since the temps dropped a lot in my area and since the outdoor track got covered with snow. for 2 years I ran 2-3 miles every day at lunch (weekends off) walking and running uses complimentary muscles to biking. not sure running will help your centuries though. maybe there was something else to consider? sleep? nutrition? nutrition timing? over training? faster stronger riding partner that pushed you a tiny bit past your comfort level?
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Old 02-03-10, 12:22 PM   #7
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++ on the pain thing. A good thing to improve all your riding is doing long climbs as hard as you can do them and not blow up. Though occasional blow-ups are OK, too, because you have to learn where that is. By long climbs, I mean at least 10 minutes. And at least once/week, and multiple climbs per ride. If you see a hill, ride up it. Make that your standard.

The other thing that really helps is simply mileage. If you are riding 200 miles/week, you'll ride a century and wonder why people make such a fuss over something like that.

But to answer your question, it's a little tricky. Running does a lot more damage to your bod per unit time than biking can. And doing damage and then recovering from that damage is called training. So if the reason your biking is not so great is because you are time restricted, then yes, running might help your conditioning.

But since you say your running was unexpectedly easy after doing all that biking, then I'll hazard a guess that you are going better physically by biking than you were by running, so just bike more instead of taking time from biking to run.
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Old 02-03-10, 02:51 PM   #8
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Personally, I think running, especially hill running/sprints will do more for increasing lung capacity than what road cycling has ever done for me from experience.
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Old 02-03-10, 02:54 PM   #9
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yes, deeper breaths with running. for sure. hill sprints! ugh - did them in a gym boot camp last year. I was surprisingly good at them. I think cuz of my cycling and butt machine training
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Old 02-05-10, 09:21 AM   #10
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Pleasure???... You don't ride for pleasure, where in the pain game in these parts. Your not out there smelling the roses you know. You ride for pain, that wonderful & satisfying feeling of lactic acid seeping through every pore in your legs, enhancing your animalistic qualities. I guess its about time you come out your pleasure shell & start cranking the crap out of your bike. Start doing power intervals, 90/120 RPM's a minute right off the bat, chunking big gears, you'll soon start blowing.
LOL, but that forces me into the Spandex Zone, and that's where I draw the line.
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Old 02-05-10, 09:44 AM   #11
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no one is saying cycling isn't an amazing and difficult workout. what we're saying is that it's different when you use a machine to do the work of moving your body. machines make work easy
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