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Is road riding/cycling considered an "aerobic" activity ?

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Is road riding/cycling considered an "aerobic" activity ?

Old 12-22-14, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by CNC2204 View Post

And my last 50 mile 4 hour ride my buddys Garmin said we burned 3800 calories is this accurate ?

Thanks.
Not unless it was all uphill into a headwind in mud pushing at FTP or better.

FWIW, using a power meter and a HR monitor, I burn roughly 400 calories an hour taking it easy and 600 calories an hour pushing it. The vast majority of numbers I've seen for other riders with PM and HR fall in that range. Your Garmin estimate of 950 calories per hour is way outside the ballpark.

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Old 12-22-14, 12:05 PM
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my lungs tell me it's aerobic.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 12-25-14 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 12-22-14, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CNC2204 View Post
Technically ..... and i read that cycling & running burn similar ballpark amounts of calories per hour is this true ?

And my last 50 mile 4 hour ride my buddys Garmin said we burned 3800 calories is this accurate ?
Both of you combined probably did burn close to 3800 calories just like Garmin said.

But had only one of you been riding, I would expect much lower numbers unless riding circumstances were very difficult. Most computers and people way overestimate calorie consumption.
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Old 12-22-14, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by stephtu View Post
According to this Runner's World article: How Many Calories Are You Really Burning? | Runner's World, scientific studies disagree with this.
That actually makes a lot more logical sense. I found it hard to believe what I had read before. Think of a sports car vs a slow economy car. Higher performance tends to be a less efficient use of energy.
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Old 12-22-14, 12:45 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
all those calorie counting apps pay a stiff licensing fee to the patent holders Hostess & Sara Lee. i don't trust them at all, no i do not.
Also Little Debbie, Entenmann's, Breyer's, & Haagen Dazs'.
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Old 12-22-14, 01:08 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Darth Steele View Post
that may be the total time include rest times.
Oh great another moving average thread.
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Old 12-22-14, 01:15 PM
  #32  
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The higher my HR, the more I use.

Last edited by OldTryGuy; 12-24-14 at 03:17 AM.
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Old 12-22-14, 11:42 PM
  #33  
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Running is a weight bearing activity and cycling is not. Also, running requires more movement from the body than cycling. Runners tend burn more calories per hour than cyclists.

Allen Lim in one of his books was talking about how to estimate the amount of food needing to be consumed during a ride. He said that the calories required to produce a watt of power are the same for everybody and that knowing how many watts a rider is producing in a hour will also give the number of calories that need to be consumed.
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Old 12-23-14, 01:01 AM
  #34  
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Note that a calorie is not a Calorie. And vice versa.
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Old 12-23-14, 01:03 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Running is a weight bearing activity and cycling is not. Also, running requires more movement from the body than cycling. Runners tend burn more calories per hour than cyclists.
Cyclists can sustain for longer, though. I did an out-and-back today, 1 hr 11mins at threshold. No way I could run at that intensity for that long without my legs seizing up or my knees imploding.


Actually, I just checked my Strava. Back in October I did a 12km trail race at 3bpm less than today for, wait for it, 1hr 11 mins. I didn't stretch properly and my calves were in bits. I hate when my own athletic endeavours undermine the point I'm trying to make.

Last edited by Leinster; 12-23-14 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 12-23-14, 01:16 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Cyclists can sustain for longer, though. I did an out-and-back today, 1 hr 11mins at threshold. No way I could run at that intensity for that long without my legs seizing up or my knees imploding.
Two things: 1. 71 minutes isn't long even for a run and 2. If your duration was 71 minutes then you were below threshold.
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Old 12-23-14, 01:19 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Gyrine View Post
Note that a calorie is not a Calorie. And vice versa.
ya, i've heard that a thousand times.
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Old 12-23-14, 01:25 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by CharlyAlfaRomeo View Post
Two things: 1. 71 minutes isn't long even for a run and 2. If your duration was 71 minutes then you were below threshold.
I probably misspoke on the "threshold." Lets call it "my 1 hour limit."
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Old 12-23-14, 01:30 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
I probably misspoke on the "threshold." Lets call it "my 1 hour limit."
I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Threshold and "one hour limit" should mean the same thing and if your exertion exceeded that time frame at a specific intensity then you were below threshold or "one hour limit".
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Old 12-23-14, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlyAlfaRomeo View Post
I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Threshold and "one hour limit" should mean the same thing and if your exertion exceeded that time frame at a specific intensity then you were below threshold or "one hour limit".
Let's start over.

I can ride for 6 hours in a day. And get up the next day and do it again (with liberal application of chamois cream).

1hr 11 mins is the longest I've ever run in one go, and I was less than useless to anyone or for anything the next morning.
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Old 12-23-14, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Let's start over.

I can ride for 6 hours in a day. And get up the next day and do it again (with liberal application of chamois cream).

1hr 11 mins is the longest I've ever run in one go, and I was less than useless to anyone or for anything the next morning.
Gotcha
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Old 12-23-14, 01:48 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by CharlyAlfaRomeo View Post
Gotcha
Phew. Thought I'd never get out of that one.
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Old 12-23-14, 01:50 AM
  #43  
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I'm not sure if I always hit the recommended aerobic exercise thresholds... But, it is easy to be out on the bike for a couple hours at a time, so just saddle time would have to help quite a bit.
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Old 12-23-14, 03:33 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Let's start over.

I can ride for 6 hours in a day. And get up the next day and do it again (with liberal application of chamois cream).

1hr 11 mins is the longest I've ever run in one go, and I was less than useless to anyone or for anything the next morning.
The question of which can be done longer of course is cycling, mainly for the reasons I have already mentioned. Cycling you can push yourself to exhaustion and recover many times. Not as easy to do when running.
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Old 12-23-14, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
The question of which can be done longer of course is cycling, mainly for the reasons I have already mentioned. Cycling you can push yourself to exhaustion and recover many times. Not as easy to do when running.
Exactly. So even if you burn twice as many calories/hr running as cycling, if you can cycle more, for more days in a row, than running, then in the long run, you'll burn more calories cycling.

I do find if there's only time for a half-hour workout, I go for a run. Less prep to do, no tire pressure to check etc, and quicker to get up to full speed, and a more intense workout. If I have a whole morning to work with, I'll go for a bit of a spin.
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Old 12-23-14, 06:27 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Exactly. So even if you burn twice as many calories/hr running as cycling, if you can cycle more, for more days in a row, than running, then in the long run, you'll burn more calories cycling.

I do find if there's only time for a half-hour workout, I go for a run. Less prep to do, no tire pressure to check etc, and quicker to get up to full speed, and a more intense workout. If I have a whole morning to work with, I'll go for a bit of a spin.
Yes, but you don't burn ANY MORE calories running than cycling for the same interval at the same heart rate measure of intensity. And there is no reason why the intensities of the two activities can't be matched. What is this even about?
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Old 12-23-14, 07:12 AM
  #47  
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Based on my experience with a Power2Max powermeter and my buddies with Stages powermeters, our devices consistently report around 750 calories burned per hour while riding with a normalized power of 200W.
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Old 12-23-14, 07:57 AM
  #48  
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Garmin's calorie burned numbers are very optimistic, and even more so without a HR monitor. It could be off by as much as 100% based on my power meter numbers. Here is a calculator that should give you some rough idea about how much you actually burn based on variety of factors: Bike Calculator
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Old 12-23-14, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Cyclists can sustain for longer, though. I did an out-and-back today, 1 hr 11mins at threshold. No way I could run at that intensity for that long without my legs seizing up or my knees imploding.
I am going assume 'threshold' means anaerobic threshold. In running this is commonly referred to as a tempo pace--a effort that's 'comfortably hard', one in which you can sustain for about an hour.

Your running fitness is likely nowhere near your cycling, so obviously you wouldn't be able to sustain that intensity without risking injury. Your aerobic system could likely sustain it, but your musculo-skeletal system, no way.

In terms of calorie burn, my longest run has been about 130 minutes which burns about 1740kcal according the the calculators.

A 130 minute ride for me would burn about 1900kcal, and I would say the perceived effort is similar.

I would say that I can burn many more calories cycling by the simple fact that I can go much longer than I can running. Two hours of running is about my current limit right now, but I've gone close to four hours on a bike, and I would say my body feels a lot less beat-up from the ride. The pavement just pounds my body relentlessly.
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Old 12-23-14, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I am going assume 'threshold' means anaerobic threshold. In running this is commonly referred to as a tempo pace--a effort that's 'comfortably hard', one in which you can sustain for about an hour.

Your running fitness is likely nowhere near your cycling, so obviously you wouldn't be able to sustain that intensity without risking injury. Your aerobic system could likely sustain it, but your musculo-skeletal system, no way.

In terms of calorie burn, my longest run has been about 130 minutes which burns about 1740kcal according the the calculators.

A 130 minute ride for me would burn about 1900kcal, and I would say the perceived effort is similar.

I would say that I can burn many more calories cycling by the simple fact that I can go much longer than I can running. Two hours of running is about my current limit right now, but I've gone close to four hours on a bike, and I would say my body feels a lot less beat-up from the ride. The pavement just pounds my body relentlessly.
That's a little optimistic.

Just an general rule, I use these numbers: putting out 250 watts for 60 minutes on a flat course riding at 22 mph for a 160lb rider with 20lb bike would burn 800 calories.

My personal observed number is that riding in the aerobic range (or zone 2, 65-75% max HR), I burn 40 calories per mile at about 16mph speed. Bike and I together weight about 180lbs.
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