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ultracycling vs ultrarunmarathons

Old 02-04-21, 09:22 PM
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CanadianBiker32
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ultracycling vs ultrarunmarathons

question to ask of anyone who has done bothultra marathon and done ultracyclingso like 100plus mile.running and ultra cycling as anything that u rode more then 10 hours etc

what are your thoughts?
was cycle less harsh on the body compared to the long run events?

what did u think was more fun?
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Old 02-05-21, 12:52 PM
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GadgetGirlIL
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Marathons (both running and walking) vs 200Ks - cycling is much less harsh on my body and recovery is quicker. Cycling is much more fun! Except in headwinds. I can hike long distances in headwinds and not whine.

ETA: time spent on a marathon ~5.5 hours (best case), time spent on a 200K ~10 hours (best case). We won't talk about the worst case events.

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Old 02-05-21, 10:12 PM
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I'm not one who has done both ultra-distance running AND ultra-distance cycling. I knew a woman who did ultra-distance running AND set a world record as a participant in the Race Across America (RAAM) event. And I have watched with great enjoyment many YouTube videos featuring Courtney Dauwalter, who is an ultra-distance running fenom. I have done distance running, and I have done randonneur events that lasted 1200k.

The comparison you pose is not all that fair. Most ultra-distance running events are races. And probably most ultra-distance cycling events are not. A fair question might be: Which event is more harsh on the body: a 24-hour cycling race or a 24-hour running race? This would be a fair question since you are isolating key variables: time and intensity. I suspect common sense will tell you that the cycling event was much less harsh on the body than the running event.

The easiest way to answer the question is to ask how many fat old men on statin drugs participate in ultra-distance cycling events (and finish) compared to ultra-distance running events. Fat old men on statin drugs probably cannot even run in their disabled years, but they certainly get out on their bikes and ride and ride and ride.
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Old 02-07-21, 12:27 AM
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A similar question has been discussed before as to whether it's easier to run a marathon or ride a 100-mile century.
The problem comes in with people's expectations of what either event is. I can ride a 100 miles with no problem. But probably couldn't run a marathon at all. But if you define that century to be done in say, 4 hours, or 5 hours, well, then I can't do that either. Or if you define "running a marathon" to also include "walking 26.2 miles", then heck, I can do that. If there are no expectations on speed in either case, the cycling would generally be easier, though.
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Old 02-07-21, 02:19 PM
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I have ridden along a marathon course and there were a lot of walkers. Or near walkers. I get the impression that for many ultra-marathoners, walking is a big part of it.
There is a wilderness half marathon near here and when I rode by the clock, it was over 10 hours and later I saw people fairly far from the finish. So there is a spectrum of effort at all of these kinds of events.

Running is definitely harder on your joints, i can't run down the block because of an ankle.
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Old 02-07-21, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
what did u think was more fun?
I was smiling at the end of my 200k yesterday, even though I had been throwing up in the heat.

When was the last time you saw anyone running any distance with a smile on their face?
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Old 02-08-21, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
I was smiling at the end of my 200k yesterday, even though I had been throwing up in the heat.

When was the last time you saw anyone running any distance with a smile on their face?
a few years ago I did a trail race to support my friend's birthday. It was a ~3 mile loop through the woods. There was a 6, 12 , and 24 hour event I think. Someone had set up one of those cameras they use to track wildlife along the race route in a couple of places. They posted pictures from that event.

The vast majority of the runners caught on camera didn’t look like they were having fun at all especially as the day went by. Made you wonder why people run, especially very long distances.

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Old 02-08-21, 12:39 PM
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I do not run, have not run since 1975.

But the longest brevet I have ridden is only 200k, so that is not ultra either.

Note to the OP, in this thread where people refer to distances such as 200k or 1200k, those are kilometers, not miles.
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Old 02-09-21, 11:42 AM
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I've run 15 marathons and two races longer than 26 miles. I've ridden so many centuries - I've lost count. Curious thing, I have no memory of ever comparing much of anything between them.
It is true that people have a tendency use distance as the measure for difficulty comparison. One might just as well use environment or road/trail surface features.

was cycle less harsh on the body compared to the long run events?
Must be a rhetorical question.........

what did u think was more fun?
Ditto.

I have a tendency to remember difficulties associated with very specific parts of a long ride or run. I guess I could compare how much my feet hurt on my first quad century to how my feet hurt on my first sub three marathon. ( a lot )
But - no - I never compare the whole event.
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Old 02-09-21, 12:08 PM
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cycling is way easier , you can bring your food and water in a back pack or frame bag , runners need support cars and official events
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Old 03-01-21, 07:02 AM
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Having done ultra marathons, but never an ultra bike ride. It is tough to say. I am currently training for a 200 plus mile trip with 9,300 feet of climb in a day. A century ride is just part of the training for me now, but I have still yet to spend more than 6 hours of steady riding. When training for a running event the goal was always to be running or fast walking for more than 12 hours. My best guess is that at this stage of the training for me '153 miles this week on the trainer' is that most of this comes down to the mental game and planning when doing more than any event you can power through. Just about anyone in shape can finish a marathon or a century ride. Try and run 50 plus miles or ride more than a 175 miles in a day takes training planning and mental toughness. For either the real excitement is in the planning and training. I have never seen of photo of me smiling at a running event with the exception of the start and every picture taken during or after it looks like I am in pure misery. I am hoping for a smiling shot at the end of my 200 mile trip.
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Old 03-01-21, 07:35 AM
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I know it's not particularly representative of long distance running, but there is a documentary about the Barkley Marathon that reminds me a lot of 1200k rides. Usually I feel pretty good on a 1200k, but there definitely are some low moments. Particularly the first 10 hours of the second day.

There is also a documentary about the Trans North Georgia mountain bike race that reminds me a lot of randonneuring. Particularly the people that should stop talking and either eat or sleep.
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