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  1. #1
    Disgruntled Planner bpohl's Avatar
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    So why in the heck can't I run?

    I've been taking some time off the bike lately in this whole transition period between peaking and foundation for next year. In teh meantime, I thought I'd try some running to keep up aerobic endurance and maybe work some muscles that I hadn't worked before. Well, I went out this morning, and I was teh WORST runner you have ever seen! I could barely move out there. My feet slapped the ground really hard each time I put a foot forward, and I looked like someone from another planet trying this thing. I only made it about 3/4 of a mile before I had to throw in the towel and walk. After walking for a little bit, I was able to jog the 3/4 mile back home. I really thought this would be a fairly easy transition. No, I haven't actually run in about seven years (since high school), but I have an awesome aerobic fitness from cycling; therefore, to my logic, should have been a much better runner. No dice. WHat gives? Are the muscles you work in the two disciplines really that much different to make you able to race with cat 4's in one discipline, yet barely able to keep your legs underneath you in the other?


    I don't understand.....
    Don't waste your breath to save your face when you have done your best.

  2. #2
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    You've trained the muscles to work in a specific manner, but now, you're switching the muscles to working in a different manner you aren't accustomed to. Add that to the fact that running requires more energy and is a high impact activity, and you're soon out of breath from the effort required to maintain a steady running pace.

    The good thing is that if you are sufficiently trained for the cardiovascular efforts from cycling, you'll be fit enough to build up enough endurance with running to become better at it, provided that you continue to run on a regular basis. Over time, as you become stronger with running, you'll notice that you're able to use the running to complement the cycling, which could result in a higher lactate threshold and an increased endurance overall with both disiplines.

    Get better running shoes too.

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  3. #3
    Fly sillygirl's Avatar
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    I had the same problem, so I know what you are going through.

    Running was really tough for me, esp since I would get all these aches and pains during and after. Thats a big reason to start slowly and work your way up. Running is a high impact sport, cycling is not. That new impact on your body can be rough.

    Tricks I found that worked. Start jogging only -running at real speed made it impossible to get any length in and really hurt my knees and ankles. So I started just jogging 1 miles until that was easy. 2 weeks later I bumped it to 1.5 miles etc.

    Also, when I had more time I would walk fast for 1/4 mile and then run 3/4 mile. I would switch off doing that until I hit 4 miles. It mimics the natural fluctuations of cycling so helped my endurance I was already used to kick in.

    Final tip: If you can, start on a treadmill and then work your way outside. Really helps to diminsh the impact and decrease strain from uneven ground and hills. Then when your used to the cardio and the enurance, then work your way outside and you will expereice a new boost from working your core muscles.

    Its frustrating to feel like you are starting all over again huh? You will find it really rewarding in the long run - esp when you are on vacation, its so easy jsut to take a pair of running shoes with you. It also really improved my cycling.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F Scott Fitzgerald

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  4. #4
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    Yeah I feel your pain. My first year of college was spent running since I couldn't have my bike with me

    It's definitely not my thing, especially with my high arches. Lots of injuries! Anyway, I managed to run the Boston Marathon, even without great form. (Took 6 months off from running after that...) Then I went back to cycling and have been happy ever since.


    (I tried to go through some of the stuff I learned by making a new website, which is listed in my sig, if you're interested.)

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    So, I show up at my professional association meeting last Friday and someone announces that they signed the association for a relay for the California Invitational Marathon in three weeks and they need some of us to run five mile legs. Someone says, Lambert is in great shape have him run. After some protest, I ended up on the roster.

    I ran two miles Friday night and two miles tonight. It feels like what you described, Bpohl, but I think I can do it. Fortunately, I was in physical therapist's office today for some tuning. He is a cycling coach and racer among other things. Now, I have a training plan: run a few minutes at a slow place every other day. Take the weekend off. Mix in a little cycling and walking.

    I think I'll live!

  6. #6
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    Simple your not a runner your a cyclist DUH. if you wanna be a better runner train in running, it's simple. runners can't cycle like a cyclist. also if your just starting into running, you just started out wrong! you should have started out with long walks and build up to it, i bet your legs will be sore as hell.

  7. #7
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Growing up, I did a little cross country and track & field in HS. I hated it. I kept thinking to myself that things would be so much more fun on my bike. I wasn't a great runner but somewhat decent... not sure about now though. I just couldn't stomache the activity for some reason. On the other hand, I recently tried trail-running and that was a blast. Maybe give that a try.
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  8. #8
    Go hula
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    Throughout high school and college I was a mediocre runner at best, even though my cardio was great. Being a PE major, we learned about body types, muscle fibers, etc and I came to the conclusion that my body type was just not meant for running. I carry a lot of muscle and muscle = weight which is not efficient for long-distance running. You may want to evaluate whether your body type is better for low-impact endurance training rather than high impact. Also, as silly as it sounds, people need to be trained on how to run efficiently. I watch people on treadmills and there are some who just flounder while others are smooth as a gazelle. You may want to talk to a running coach (check your local running club or a nearby jr college). There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed if you plan to pursue running on a long-term basis without serious injury -- gait, muscle tightness/responsiveness, stride, upper body pull, etc.

  9. #9
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    They are just different. When you run, you have to lift the entire weight of your body with each step. When you are riding, you are sitting for the most part. I just think some body types are better for running and vice versa. I am probably a better pure runner than a cyclist and can pick up running after months off and run faster than most people who have been doing it for years.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member rich007's Avatar
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    I pretty much have the same feeling as all who said they aren't natural runners... I'm one of you... I tried to complement my bike training with some running (about five miles, a couple months ago) and boy, did I have lactic buildup in my legs, could still feel it two days later... My HR was hitting 185 easily, while on a bike I have achieved this HR only once - sprinting uphill (on a 14 degree hill), if you can call it sprinting...

    Seriously though, I need slowly to transition to more running (for my winter training...) as it puts more stress on my aerobic system which can only be good for my cycling next year... Besides, i'd like try a triathlon also... Then again, swimming (a nd by that I mean: efficient swimming) is altogether another problem...

  11. #11
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    I like running...admittedly, I have put a lot of miles in running in the past, so that might have somthing to do with it, but for me, it just takes a bit of time (10-14 days) to transition to running. its a different motion then cycling, and your body needs time to adapt.

    that said, I ran a turkey trot today...I ran a 20:19 5K...much slower then the mid 18s I was running in april...just because I hadn't run since the 5th of november.

  12. #12
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    Running is why I cycle.

    (Translation - I hate to run. I suck at it, my body hurts and I run like a turtle on Quaaludes.)

  13. #13
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    I'm also in the same club with the rest of you guys here... I can cycle just fine but I'm dead after a quarter mile of running.. lol... I just can't run to save my life.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ht001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich007
    I pretty much have the same feeling as all who said they aren't natural runners... I'm one of you... I tried to complement my bike training with some running (about five miles, a couple months ago) and boy, did I have lactic buildup in my legs, could still feel it two days later... My HR was hitting 185 easily, while on a bike I have achieved this HR only once - sprinting uphill (on a 14 degree hill), if you can call it sprinting...

    Seriously though, I need slowly to transition to more running (for my winter training...) as it puts more stress on my aerobic system which can only be good for my cycling next year... Besides, i'd like try a triathlon also... Then again, swimming (a nd by that I mean: efficient swimming) is altogether another problem...

    What you've experienced with HR between biking and running is normal. Your max HR for running and max HR for cycling are not going to be the same. I have a book that I was just flipping through to try to find an average % difference, but couldn't. Anyhow, suffice to say while running your HR will be elevated more quickly than on the bike, and your maximums will be different.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    yeah.. i was breathing hard because i ran a block to catch a bus today... cycling is much more efficient.
    Brilliant! You da man!
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  16. #16
    natural born loser
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    Every once in a while I run just to remind me of why I love to bike.When I started to race cyclocross I about died just running ten feet ofer some berriers.Now, after a seaon of it, and running trails, Ive gotten better at it.Run off road, its softer ont he joints and you wont hurt yourself as much.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravityhatesme
    Every once in a while I run just to remind me of why I love to bike.When I started to race cyclocross I about died just running ten feet ofer some berriers.Now, after a seaon of it, and running trails, Ive gotten better at it.Run off road, its softer ont he joints and you wont hurt yourself as much.
    Trail running is a blast. I got a pair of Solomon trail running shoes with Gore-tex and they keep the feet dry in almost anything but ankle high snow.
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  18. #18
    Disgruntled Planner bpohl's Avatar
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    A little update: I've been running about four times a week, since I can't handle cold on the bike at ALL (!). I'm now up to aboout a mile without stopping. After a little walking, I can start running again for about a total of 3 miles running altogether. It feels pretty good now, but I still see other people running and marvel at how smooth they hit the pavement. I want to run by and say, "Hey, jerk, why don't you and I get on bikes and see who's better then?" Ahhhh... you gotta love the male ego!
    Don't waste your breath to save your face when you have done your best.

  19. #19
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    The only reason you can't handle the cold on a bike is you aren't dressed properly for the weather.

    Good bikers are not usually good runners, and good runners are not usually good bikers.

    It was a shock to me and I also had thought I would be a natural runner as I did lots of biking. But doesn't translate. Think about it and it makes sense. Biking is pushing and running is pulling. Different use of musles. You push your pedals and lift your legs.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  20. #20
    Rider in the Storm
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacesetter
    Simple your not a runner your a cyclist DUH. if you wanna be a better runner train in running, it's simple. runners can't cycle like a cyclist. also if your just starting into running, you just started out wrong! you should have started out with long walks and build up to it, i bet your legs will be sore as hell.
    Runners can't cycle like a cyclist? I'll take that bet 'cause I'm pretty quick in both modes. And I've seen some triathletes that can fly on a bike and run sub 6 min. miles for what seems like forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman
    ...that said, I ran a turkey trot today...I ran a 20:19 5K...much slower then the mid 18s I was running in april...just because I hadn't run since the 5th of november.
    That's a pretty respectable 5k and mid 18s is plain fast. I think my fastest 5 miles (non-race, but I also don't run 5ks) this year is 31:26 and I just ran a 1/2 marathon in 1:33:25.

    Anyway, as Koffee so aptly put it, and others have reiterated, cycling well will not directly translate to running well. You must train and log many hours in both activities in order to do them effectively.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChezJfrey
    That's a pretty respectable 5k and mid 18s is plain fast. I think my fastest 5 miles (non-race, but I also don't run 5ks) this year is 31:26 and I just ran a 1/2 marathon in 1:33:25.
    31:26 for 5 miles is quite a bit faster then my 20:19...do you run a lot in addition to cycling?

    I kinda want to get back into running. I kinda miss it. thing is, now that I'm good at cycling, I dont want to lose my cycling skill. a catch-22 indeed. plus, I have no excuse to not ride...its not that cold here in NC, it was almost 60 degrees today when I rode.

  22. #22
    Rider in the Storm
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    Yes, it is a delicate balancing act.

    But yeah, I run quite a bit; about 25-30 miles a week and 125 mls./week on the bike. If I start running intervals to increase my speed, my cycling speed during that week sometimes slows and vice versa. So, what you get is more modest performance increases in a given amount of time than you would if you specialized in either running or biking.

    It's a price I'm willing to pay, because I'm getting faster in each discipline and I like the diversity.

  23. #23
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    The only reason you can't handle the cold on a bike is you aren't dressed properly for the weather.
    Yes, but for the same amount of clothing, you'll stay warmer if you're running. Last year I would run when it was real cold since cold weather cycling gear is real expensive. Now I have some more cold weather cycling gear, and xc skis, so hopefully I won't be running!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpohl
    A little update: I've been running about four times a week, since I can't handle cold on the bike at ALL (!). I'm now up to aboout a mile without stopping. After a little walking, I can start running again for about a total of 3 miles running altogether. It feels pretty good now, but I still see other people running and marvel at how smooth they hit the pavement. I want to run by and say, "Hey, jerk, why don't you and I get on bikes and see who's better then?" Ahhhh... you gotta love the male ego!


    It is okay to take walking breaks even for experienced distance runners.

    Please keep in mind that the most important thing in running is to avoid injury. Running is very abusive when your body is not conditioned for what you are attempting. I recommend hooking up with a running club or an experienced trainer. It is very easy for beginning runners to over-do it and get hurt (ie shin splints, heel spurs, knee problems, stress fractures).

    If you don't hook up with other runners then at least take a look at "Galloway's Book on Running". This book has excellent and proven training schedules that you can use to "program" your training to meet your goals. The main idea of the book is to do short runs most of the time and long runs once a week and to alternate easy and hard weeks.

  25. #25
    It's good to be the king!
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    I started as a runner, and started cycling when my legs wore out. I think you can do both pretty well, but you basically have to train for both - you are using different muscles, breating rhythm etc. I can run one day, and go to the bike the next day no problem. However, when I go from the bike to a run it takes a mile or two to get the kinks out of my legs. I've never done a triathalon, but I have a real appreciation for the ability to tansition from what activity to the next.

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