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Anyone taken up cycling for running?

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Anyone taken up cycling for running?

Old 04-07-16, 08:41 AM
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TL2
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Anyone taken up cycling for running?

I used to run to keep my scale down but my knees finally told me that's not cool. I miss it, mentally and scale wise. I've put back on some weight but not all that I had originally lost. I know that is part of my most recent knee pain. I have had knee issues since I was 27 and didn't take up running regularly until I was about 39. It was only a short lived new found passion. About 3-4 yrs long.

Recently I have been going to PT for chondromalacia/arthritis. My PT said I could run again someday as it's not out of the ? but I don't dare. I'd rather save my knees and find something different to do more long term. So I'm dusting off my mountain bike and going to start riding that again (now that my kids are older and I can leave them home alone for an hour or 2. That was part of my not using my bike the past few years).

Has anyone taken up riding their bike instead of running?
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Old 04-07-16, 08:48 AM
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I do both. For the times of the year I'm not training for a half marathon or marathon, I find keeping with daily bike commuting is really great to keep my cardio base up. I definitely feel it in my legs when I start running again, but I'm not having to build up cardio again.

Sorry to hear about your knee issues, and hope you're still able to take an occasional jog on a soft surface or something. What did you like about running? You might be able to pursue those same things on the bike. Even training or weight loss techniques are similar on the bike as when running, so if you had a running routine you liked to follow, you might try converting it to biking.
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Old 04-07-16, 08:51 AM
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I had to give up running due to a bad back. Cycling is a lot of fun, but I'd still prefer to run.
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Old 04-07-16, 09:03 AM
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I just really like the "break in my day" type of thing. I would go alone for a run, think, listen to my music and just "forget" about a busy/bad/enjoy the break from a good day" type of thing. All of that i can definitely do on a bike. I also liked that I could get my workout done in a shorter amount of time than a walk. And the bike will get that done faster than a walk as well. So I know it can be done, just a matter of being able to start.

My husband just put my clipless pedals on my bike yesterday. Between weather and needing to rest my knee this week, it won't happen until possibly next week anyway. I see my Dr. on Monday for a 6 month follow up. I had a good 4 months of getting better but my cortisone shot has just worn off in the past couple of weeks.
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Old 04-07-16, 09:08 AM
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I like that feeling too. One thing about biking is that there's more planning involved because there's more equipment and longer distances involved. So I'd recommend getting everything together the night before (or morning for a later ride) so you don't have to think about it, or check your bike over, or look for your helmet. Same thing goes for a route. Plan a quiet loop that will get you out there for the time you want to spend so you don't have to think about that part either.

It is a bit more hassle than just changing into running gear and putting on your shoes, but once you get into the prep routine you won't even notice it.
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Old 04-07-16, 09:13 AM
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Sucks that you can't run anymore. But in all honesty what you describe is typical for someone who gets into running late in life.

I will say this: Shoes make a hell of a difference. Even in college, young me (at 21 years old) would get knee pain when my shoes started to wear out. Also, this may be very boring, but running on a treadmill is easier on the knees than pavement. So is running on dirt/grass/gravel. All are better for your knees than pavement.

Depending on the type of person you are, you may be able to switch your running style to more of one that runs on the balls of your feet instead of your heels. Doing this also insulates the knees a bit (but will immediately aggravate shin splints and calves if you don't approach that style VERY... VERY slowly.) If you're having a hard time imagining this, go outside and jog around, you'll probably find that you let your heals strike first. Now sprint! You'll find that you naturally run on your toes when you sprint. If you run like that ALL of the time (it takes a while to get used to... and not sprinting of course...), your knees will thank you. For me I don't really run on my toes, but my feet land almost perfectly flat (except for the fact that I supinate (under pronate)((my feet don't "roll in" as much as they should, which is quite the opposite of the majority of the population.)).)

Last edited by corrado33; 04-07-16 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 04-07-16, 09:22 AM
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My brother, who is a PT, explained that type of running to me over the phone last week. He said that is what I should adapt to if I choose to run in the future. I think if I ever try it, I will once i lose some weight. Right now, my head isn't in it to run. Once I lose more weight I might feel more confident in doing so.
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Old 04-07-16, 09:32 AM
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I was running to lower my blood pressure. My knee started hurting so I started biking again.

I'm losing more weight, in fact, but I actually enjoy biking, so I do a lot more of it. I hated running and I'd always stop right at the thirty minute mark.

Last edited by Roadwanderer; 04-07-16 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 04-07-16, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by TL2 View Post
Has anyone taken up riding their bike instead of running?
Yes, but not for a physical reason. I just hate running.
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Old 04-07-16, 10:14 AM
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Yep, I was a runner all my life. First knee injury was around 1985. Continued to have knees issues but didn't give up running until my last marathon in 2003. Had been told to stop years earlier by the docs and ignored them. Blew my right knee 9 miles into the marathon and didn't quit. 17 miles on a jacked up knee was stupid and I haven't run since. Started biking seriously around 2010 and wonder why I didn't do this years earlier. So much better for your body without the wear and tear of running.

If you're already having knee problems I say step away and get riding. Get a proper fit on the bike and learn to spin vs mashing the pedals. Your knees will thank you and you just may put off surgery and/or knee replacement.

There are times I miss running but daily riding all year long does me pretty good.
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Old 04-07-16, 10:28 AM
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You know another name for cyclist is "former runner", right? No matter how much or how hard I ride, my over fitness isn't as good as I was with running. It's ironic because I am a very slow runner. After 3 years of no running, only riding, I happened to read the book "Born to run" and was intrigued by the barefoot and minimalist approach so I looked at my old running shoes and realized my problem was the raised-heel that kept my foot from striking in the ball/neutral position. I went out and bought a pair of minimalist, flat shoes and started slowly and voila, no pain. Now a day I run and also ride and am in better shape overall.
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Old 04-07-16, 10:30 AM
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Sometimes I run when I can't bike. I'd 100% rather ride than run. I'm supposed to be training for a sprint triathlon this summer but all I'm consistently working on is the daggum bike
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Old 04-07-16, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Cycling is a lot of fun, but I'd still prefer to run.
Can I ask why?

I run, not much, but more than I'd really like to. I read all that stuff about cyclists having weak bones because of lack of impact, and I run to try to correct that. Got hit by a car last year and didn't break anything, so maybe it's working. But I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to, so when I hear somebody saying they'd really prefer to run, I'm always curious. Hell, maybe if you can explain it in a way I can understand, I'll start enjoying my runs too!
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Old 04-07-16, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Can I ask why?

I run, not much, but more than I'd really like to. I read all that stuff about cyclists having weak bones because of lack of impact, and I run to try to correct that. Got hit by a car last year and didn't break anything, so maybe it's working. But I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to, so when I hear somebody saying they'd really prefer to run, I'm always curious. Hell, maybe if you can explain it in a way I can understand, I'll start enjoying my runs too!
It's safer for one. I can get any running I would need to do on the city sidewalks. I have to share the road with cars and the people who drive them. Also, whenever I used to run I always felt like I had a good workout. With cycling it's too easy to dawdle around. I know that's a discipline problem.
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Old 04-07-16, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

I run, not much, but more than I'd really like to. I read all that stuff about cyclists having weak bones because of lack of impact, and I run to try to correct that. Got hit by a car last year and didn't break anything, so maybe it's working. But I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to, so when I hear somebody saying they'd really prefer to run, I'm always curious. Hell, maybe if you can explain it in a way I can understand, I'll start enjoying my runs too!
I do jumping jacks (lots) for my higher-impact workout. Easier on the knees. I also to lots of barbell clean and presses. Most of my cardio comes from biking though.
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Old 04-07-16, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
It's safer for one. I can get any running I would need to do on the city sidewalks. I have to share the road with cars and the people who drive them. Also, whenever I used to run I always felt like I had a good workout. With cycling it's too easy to dawdle around. I know that's a discipline problem.
I find running much more CONSISTENT, in terms of effort and heart rate. With cycling I can have 20 minutes at a HR of 175, just to be followed up by a 10 minute downhill with a HR of 100. I don't know if this is a good thing or not for training. With running I have much more control over where my heart rate is, so if I want to do a very specific HR based workout, it'd be running, not cycling. See the two HR graphs below. First one is cycling, 2nd is running.




The running HR is usually even more stable, but that particular day had a 20 MPH wind blowing consistently W-E, so I had a headwind some of the time.
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Old 04-07-16, 02:43 PM
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Ran for yrs, decades. Still do but now on a tread mill. Wouldn't give it up.

But I get an endorphin high from a good ride like I never got from running.
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Old 04-07-16, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
I find running much more CONSISTENT, in terms of effort and heart rate. With cycling I can have 20 minutes at a HR of 175, just to be followed up by a 10 minute downhill with a HR of 100. I don't know if this is a good thing or not for training. With running I have much more control over where my heart rate is, so if I want to do a very specific HR based workout, it'd be running, not cycling. See the two HR graphs below. First one is cycling, 2nd is running.




The running HR is usually even more stable, but that particular day had a 20 MPH wind blowing consistently W-E, so I had a headwind some of the time.
Interesting. Thanks for posting the graphs.
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Old 04-07-16, 03:21 PM
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I bike to commute in the summer because it's faster than running. (also faster than driving) In the winter I have the excuse to take the extra time.

I do/did some competition running, I never have biking, which may be some of why I like running better.

Mostly the price seems too high, and the time harder to find with kids. Which is probably why I don't race as much as I used to running either.

To the OP's point though, I've never hurt my knee in 10+ years running, but have several times in the 3 years I've been cycling - once a fall, and other than that it just seems harder on my knees.

Last edited by Viich; 04-07-16 at 03:25 PM. Reason: I wasn't done
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Old 04-07-16, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
and other than that it just seems harder on my knees.
In what way? Physical therapists recommend cycling as a way to rehabilitate an injured knee. But then, they also recommend doing so in the lower gears.
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Old 04-07-16, 04:07 PM
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I'm keeping my heart rate around the same as where it'd be running, 150-160 for easy.
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Old 04-07-16, 04:07 PM
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I used to run a lot, and loved it, until I developed problems with my knees and back in my 40s.

Cycling is a great substitute for running, but it is still a substitute in my case.
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Old 04-07-16, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
I bike to commute in the summer because it's faster than running. (also faster than driving) In the winter I have the excuse to take the extra time.

I do/did some competition running, I never have biking, which may be some of why I like running better.

Mostly the price seems too high, and the time harder to find with kids. Which is probably why I don't race as much as I used to running either.

To the OP's point though, I've never hurt my knee in 10+ years running, but have several times in the 3 years I've been cycling - once a fall, and other than that it just seems harder on my knees.
Price seems "too high" for running? THIS is what makes an excellent thread/debate alone. As (anyone knows) running is cheaper in cost, than cycling. Prove me wrong.
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Old 04-07-16, 04:36 PM
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Sure. The price of races has gone up, why I'm not doing races very often. There're a few cheap ones, but the prices have gone up significantly on most races in the past 10 years. $60 for a 10K !?!?!

I never meant that running is expensive, just that even recreational competition has gone up a lot in price - biking appears to be even more expensive.

I still run, but I'm not training as hard (time, mostly) and I'm racing maybe once or twice a year, and 5-10K exclusively.
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Old 04-07-16, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TL2 View Post
I used to run to keep my scale down but my knees finally told me that's not cool. I miss it, mentally and scale wise. I've put back on some weight but not all that I had originally lost. I know that is part of my most recent knee pain. I have had knee issues since I was 27 and didn't take up running regularly until I was about 39. It was only a short lived new found passion. About 3-4 yrs long.

Recently I have been going to PT for chondromalacia/arthritis. My PT said I could run again someday as it's not out of the ? but I don't dare. I'd rather save my knees and find something different to do more long term. So I'm dusting off my mountain bike and going to start riding that again (now that my kids are older and I can leave them home alone for an hour or 2. That was part of my not using my bike the past few years).

Has anyone taken up riding their bike instead of running?
How many days a week were you running at your peak?

If you are able to run in the future, perhaps running twice a week or 3 times a fortnight and then do other stuff like cycling, would be a better fit for your situation.

And as corrado33 stated, treadmill running is much kinder on the joints.
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