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Hearts of Swimmers vs Runners vs... Cyclists

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Hearts of Swimmers vs Runners vs... Cyclists

Old 06-24-19, 07:25 AM
  #26  
Garfield Cat
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985
I thought the theory was, you could get a more intense workout on a bike than running.

According to this theory, a person running really hard reaches a point where their legs can no longer support them, and has no choice but to stop and collapse. Whereas the person pedaling away on the bike, can reach this same point of exhaustion, but they have a bike to support them, so that individual can keep going, and maybe even recuperate, without ever stopping at any point. Thus pushing the heart and lungs to a point beyond that which is attainable while running, due to the fact that their knees never buckle.

Or so the theory goes.
That "pushing the heart" and lungs is the thing. I was imagining myself running a 400 meters on a track. But not as a youngster in college but now. The bike riding would seem to help in a long sprint. Its the long, over one minute of intense riding at high speeds. If I could maintain that for one minute, then it seems that I can also do a sprint for one minute.

The development would be in the leg speed in running. Translate that to an efficient runner's form for the 400 meters, and you will see seniors records fall.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:42 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by OBoile
All types of exercise have benefits and drawbacks. What is "best" ultimately comes down to the individual. Running is great for a time pressed person, but poor for someone who can't stay healthy when doing it. Is there a pool nearby and what are the hours it's available? What you enjoy also matters.

But, for overall fitness, you should be supplementing your cardio with some strength training... especially if what you do isn't load bearing. Muscle loss due to aging is a big factor in future quality of life.

Quality of life is key.

Focusing on a more efficient heart as in the study cited or even longevity is to miss the forest for the trees.

Variety, moderation and a well balanced life are best.


-Tim-
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Old 06-24-19, 07:49 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
That "pushing the heart" and lungs is the thing. I was imagining myself running a 400 meters on a track. But not as a youngster in college but now. The bike riding would seem to help in a long sprint. Its the long, over one minute of intense riding at high speeds. If I could maintain that for one minute, then it seems that I can also do a sprint for one minute.

If you haven't run a quarter recently, it may be a lot harder than you think. I remember when a 60 second quarter was an easy lap but that is not and can never be the case. I've been doing 400 meter reps at 80-90 seconds, and that's actually at the faster end of the spectrum for my age (60). 60 seconds would be near national class. Going all out for a minute on the bike doesn't really translate, and it's a good illustration IMO why running is more bang per session as far as overall conditioning goes.


The development would be in the leg speed in running. Translate that to an efficient runner's form for the 400 meters, and you will see seniors records fall.

It's not about leg speed - well it might be part of it at the very start but that can be developed pretty quickly and you hit the other limiters.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:10 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
It's easy to ride 100 miles on a bike.
It depends how much effort you put into it. Riding 100 miles at a casual pace is easy, riding 100 miles at tempo or aerobic threshold is not easy.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:29 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
If you haven't run a quarter recently, it may be a lot harder than you think. I remember when a 60 second quarter was an easy lap but that is not and can never be the case. I've been doing 400 meter reps at 80-90 seconds, and that's actually at the faster end of the spectrum for my age (60). 60 seconds would be near national class. Going all out for a minute on the bike doesn't really translate, and it's a good illustration IMO why running is more bang per session as far as overall conditioning goes.
60 Seconds all out on the bike is painful. I'm not sure why it wouldn't be similar in terms of bang for your buck training.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:39 AM
  #31  
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Yeah, joint and bone pain would seem to be about the only difference that I've noticed. Just because you're in more pain while running, does not necessarily mean you're getting a better workout.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:49 AM
  #32  
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Concur because you can certainly raise and sustain your HR at peak on the bike, which brings up another interesting question. How are we defining "harder"? Is it HR or muscular/skeletal?
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Old 06-24-19, 09:17 AM
  #33  
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Good physical health and longevity without good mental health is a frustrating curse.
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Old 06-24-19, 09:33 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by gregf83
60 Seconds all out on the bike is painful. I'm not sure why it wouldn't be similar in terms of bang for your buck training.
I am honestly not sure what you mean by "painful". Pain isn't really a factor either way - you just exhaust your capability.

"Why" it's not similar, I don't know why it's in question. You don't have the bike supporting your weight, you have a lot more movement etc. It's not just about what the powermeter says vs some equivalent running metric. Mainly, run some 60 second quarter mile repeats compared to biking one minute "all out", and tell me they're the same. Even I can run the 4-minute pace for some of it but I'm going to run out of "stuff" in maybe 20 seconds (at a guess) but I can go "all out" on a bike for a minute. It's not the same thing.
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Old 06-24-19, 09:59 AM
  #35  
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You guys who don't run should try it. You might change your mind about difficulty relative to cycling.

It is very difficult to keep heart rate low, especially as a beginner. It takes a long time to build the cardiovascular ability to maintain a steady, slow pace without spiking heart rate over threshold.

Cycling really doesn't translate at any intensity. Cycling is definitely easier.


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Old 06-24-19, 01:15 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
I am honestly not sure what you mean by "painful". Pain isn't really a factor either way - you just exhaust your capability.

"Why" it's not similar, I don't know why it's in question. You don't have the bike supporting your weight, you have a lot more movement etc. It's not just about what the powermeter says vs some equivalent running metric. Mainly, run some 60 second quarter mile repeats compared to biking one minute "all out", and tell me they're the same. Even I can run the 4-minute pace for some of it but I'm going to run out of "stuff" in maybe 20 seconds (at a guess) but I can go "all out" on a bike for a minute. It's not the same thing.
This seems like an apples to oranges comparison.

Do a minute at a pace that is too fast to hold for a minute.

vs.

Do a minute at a pace you can hold for a minute.

One minute all-out running is really hard. One minute all-out cycling is really hard. One minute all-out anything is really hard. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be "all-out".
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Old 06-24-19, 01:46 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by OBoile
This seems like an apples to oranges comparison.

Do a minute at a pace that is too fast to hold for a minute.

vs.

Do a minute at a pace you can hold for a minute.

One minute all-out running is really hard. One minute all-out cycling is really hard. One minute all-out anything is really hard. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be "all-out".
Do you run?
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Old 06-24-19, 01:49 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by OBoile
One minute all-out running is really hard. One minute all-out cycling is really hard. One minute all-out anything is really hard. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be "all-out".
That sounds right. For a serious, competitive athlete, they can work as hard and suffer as much running or cycling. But for me, as a casual runner and cyclist, it is easier to rest on the bike, either on downhills or just not pushing quite as hard when I'm tired. I can't rest as easily while running. I can slow to a jog or a walk, but then I'm no longer running. On the bike I can rest while still moving at a high speed, so I don't work as hard on the bike.
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Old 06-24-19, 02:06 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
Do you run?
Yes.
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Old 06-24-19, 02:11 PM
  #40  
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I'm a triathlete, you know master of none. But it's no surprise to me about the running findings. However.....
Swimming is hypoxic by nature but can make your lungs/breathing efficient. And you can go all out in interval training and be ready the next day to do it all over again. It should he noted the best triathletes STARTED off as swimmers. But for me the recovery and rehabilitative nature is its best reward.
Cycling is my favorite event in triathlons. You can get a good workout and yet still be outdoors and enjoy the scenery. But like swimming it doesn't give you any load bearing/impact resistance. Also It is the hardest sport in the world on a competitive level.
Running is the simplest and most natural of the three. We (as humans) were made to run. All you need is a good pair of good running shoes, shorts, shirt and you're on your way. Also if you need to shed some pounds that's the exercise.
Swimming and cycling have a gravitational device/cheat, (water and bicycle). So when you get thru cycling or swimming, you're starving. You're body is saying if you're gonna do that day in and day out I'm gonna need calories. But you run you're body says if you're gonna do that, I'm gonna need to lose weight or I'm gonna get injured, so it doesn't trigger the hunger mechanism.
I love staring and admiring bikes and I can build one from frame up. I started training in triathlons when there weren't many "sprint/fun" triathlons it was usually a mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6 mile run. So you had to train. Now its more of a bucket list thing. I'm not complaining, but I had to train my butt off back then. Our motto was train hard, eat right, get plenty of rest and Go Like Hell.
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Old 06-24-19, 02:11 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by GailT
That sounds right. For a serious, competitive athlete, they can work as hard and suffer as much running or cycling. But for me, as a casual runner and cyclist, it is easier to rest on the bike, either on downhills or just not pushing quite as hard when I'm tired. I can't rest as easily while running. I can slow to a jog or a walk, but then I'm no longer running. On the bike I can rest while still moving at a high speed, so I don't work as hard on the bike.
This is true. I agree.

I also think that the high impact nature of running can make even a slow jog somewhat unpleasant where as a slow zone-2 type bike ride doesn't really create any discomfort unless it is quite long.

Edit to add: it's not just about being serious/competitive but the time frame involved and terrain. Cyclists at any level are likely going to have some parts of their ride where they are coasting or going easy. That doesn't happen in running. But, for a short concentrated interval (or a longer one for those lucky enough to have no interruptions and/or those training indoors) you can pretty much make it as difficult as you want. If something is easy, you can make it hard by... going harder.

Last edited by OBoile; 06-24-19 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 06-24-19, 02:24 PM
  #42  
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Swimmers and cyclist can have good lung capacity but have soft legs, meaning tendons, ligaments, muscles, are not suited for the high impact nature of running. In fact you can be OVER your recommended WEIGHT and still be a fast swimmer and cyclists. Also you cycle hard ALMOST every day and swim hard every day and still be injury free. Don't try that running...unless you weigh 80 lbs and an elite runner.
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Old 06-24-19, 02:30 PM
  #43  
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Athletically, I've participated in a few events, swimming, cycling, running, grappling, boxing, karate, triathlon. But Cycling is without a doubt is the most difficult sport in comparison, competitively speaking.
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Old 06-24-19, 02:35 PM
  #44  
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Never been a swimmer 🏊 but ran🏃🏼 many 10K events, one 15K, and one Stride and Ride in my late 30ís and 40ís. I liked running but running didnít like me!!! Now at almost 69 years young, arthritis and a ruptured Achillesí tendon have ruled out running. About 6 months ago I decided to get more serious about cycling and I plan to start learning how to swim properly and add that training later this year with a goal of doing the swim and bike stages of a local Triathlon. Itís just a goal to motivate me and I need that.
To me, my advice is to stay away from running. We are all different in body structure and what damaged me may not cause another person issues. As a matter of fact my good friend and old training partner has no issues and still runs. I donít know........🤔

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Old 06-24-19, 02:44 PM
  #45  
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All athletic gifts equal, swimming is about technique, cycling is about bike fit, and running is about weight.
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Old 06-24-19, 03:50 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by OBoile
Yes.
So the last time you did 8-10 quarter mile sprints, say with 1 minute rest between, did you feel that it had the same physiological impact as 8-10 one minute intervals in cycling? For me, absolutely not.

And I'd rather sprint than anything. but once a week, maybe twice every once in awhile, is the limit. Cycling, I could do it far more often. "All out for a minute" is vastly different.
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Old 06-24-19, 04:28 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
If you haven't run a quarter recently, it may be a lot harder than you think. I remember when a 60 second quarter was an easy lap but that is not and can never be the case. I've been doing 400 meter reps at 80-90 seconds, and that's actually at the faster end of the spectrum for my age (60). 60 seconds would be near national class. Going all out for a minute on the bike doesn't really translate, and it's a good illustration IMO why running is more bang per session as far as overall conditioning goes.

It's not about leg speed - well it might be part of it at the very start but that can be developed pretty quickly and you hit the other limiters.
Here's a site for the National records for seniors. 400 meters under 1 minute is doable

https://nsga.com/media/documents/nat...F400mTop10.pdf
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Old 06-24-19, 05:09 PM
  #48  
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If you can run 1 mile you can bike 5. But if you can bike 20 miles it doesn't mean you can run 4 miles. Which leads to the paradox that cycling is more difficult.
When you run to your near maximum limit in competition you may be reduced to walking. However, do the same effort in a cycling competition and you just keep going, suffering. It's as though you hurt enough to quit but just enough to not quit. The pain is ALMOST insufferable...but not. And somehow (nature's way) in running you are forced to stop thereby ending the pain.
I believe nature's way, you stop running when it becomes intolerable. However that same type of intolerable pain when cycling is clouded/confused between man and machine and allows you to continue the SUFFERING!!!
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Old 06-24-19, 05:50 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Here's a site for the National records for seniors. 400 meters under 1 minute is doable

https://nsga.com/media/documents/nat...F400mTop10.pdf
That's what I said, near national class for 60 years old. I don't know how old you are, but do you think that makes it easy?
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Old 06-24-19, 06:59 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
So the last time you did 8-10 quarter mile sprints, say with 1 minute rest between, did you feel that it had the same physiological impact as 8-10 one minute intervals in cycling? For me, absolutely not.

And I'd rather sprint than anything. but once a week, maybe twice every once in awhile, is the limit. Cycling, I could do it far more often. "All out for a minute" is vastly different.
Intervals while cycling feel largely the same in terms of discomfort as intervals while running to me.

But again, you're not comparing the same thing. It takes more than a minute to do a quarter mile, particularly with only one minute rest.
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