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Cycling Equivalent of a Marathon

What would be the cycling equivalent of running a marathon?

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  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Depends whether you're talking about running a competetive marathon or jogging round London in 6 or more hours raising money for charidee.

    Recently debated was whether a sportive was equivalent to a marathon
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12572877
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    I am used to big miles and tough sportives and reckon one hilly sportive 100 miles plus sportive is about equal to a hard marathon. Its easier on the joints and body in general and feel thats why you dont knacker your body as bad as when cycling and easier to recover - you could not run marathons every weekend without sustaining injuries.

    I know a guy who is an experienced long distance runner who has done the Fred Whitton Challenge and he said that was worse than even running 50 miles.

    I did the Mega Challenge this year and it took me 11 and half hours to do it. My body was knackered for about a week - no other sportive has did that to me and reckon that event may be harder than than a marathon.
    Brian B.
  • robbarkerrobbarker Posts: 1,367
    Having done many of both, I'd say a very hilly 130-150Km or a flattish 300Km is equivalent in psychological terms to a marathon.
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    What would be the cycling equivalent of running a marathon?
    Tests have been done on Hawaii Ironman triathletes which showed that an individual’s average wattage was the same when running as when cycling at about 3 times his running speed. What the actual wattage was, varied with ability level, but the basic rule applied to all tested, and also irrespective of what their actual average running and cycling speeds during the event were.

    If you apply this rule-of-thumb to someone who runs a marathon in about 5-30, then they need to ride a 180 km/1000 m sportive (what the Ironman bike route has) in less than 7.5 hrs to have done more work (measured in Kj) than in the marathon. In terms of work, therefore, even this ‘slow’ marathon wins as being the harder.

    Things change, though, when the bike route has much climbing in it. I would guess that for every additional 1000 m of climbing done in a 180 km event, the number of Kj would go up by 20-25%. So for the Marmotte (ca. 5000 m climbing), almost twice as many Kj would be used as in the Hawaii triathlon bike route.
    This would mean that someone who managed the Marmotte in 7.5 hrs has probably worked as hard as someone who runs a 3hr marathon.

    Even then, though, a cycling event like the Marmotte allows some recuperation when underway, so the sensation isn’t the same as in a marathon.
    Having done several marathons and hilly/mountainous cyclosportives in the last few years, I'd say if you want a good cycling equivalent you’d have to find a route which rose 4-5000 m in ca. 150 km, just always slowly up and up, and without ever any level or downhill to recuperate.
  • richaricha Posts: 2,020
    knedlicky wrote:
    I'd say if you want a good cycling equivalent you’d have to find a route which rose 4-5000 m in ca. 150 km, just always slowly up and up, and without ever any level or downhill to recuperate.
    A 150km climb @3.3% :shock:
  • wildmoustachewildmoustache Posts: 4,010
    interesting ... so hard to compare though ... marathon ... bang bang bang all aches and pains in the joints ...

    very hard sportif in the heat ... no pain in the joints ... just the feeling of being incredibly drained of electrolytes ...

    you get a rest in cycling as others have said, though you can end up spending FAR longer in the heat which is much more difficult IMO.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,689
    interesting ... so hard to compare though ... marathon ... bang bang bang all aches and pains in the joints ...

    very hard sportif in the heat ... no pain in the joints ... just the feeling of being incredibly drained of electrolytes ...

    you get a rest in cycling as others have said, though you can end up spending FAR longer in the heat which is much more difficult IMO.

    Oh, is that the feeling? Low electrolytes?

    Not sure, I've never noticed any difference whether I drink or not the bleach tasting stuff (SIS or similar)

    Oh, and some energy bars make me fart really badly... am I the only weirdo?
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    edited August 2008
    knedlicky wrote:
    I'd say if you want a good cycling equivalent you’d have to find a route which rose 4-5000 m in ca. 150 km, just always slowly up and up, and without ever any level or downhill to recuperate.

    As a general point, its worth noting though that there are "Grannies and Grandads" wearing Winny the Pooh t-shirts and women with "Bunny suits and Rabbit ears" running Marathons around Britain every year........ I think its worth keeping some of this in perspective........ (full respect to them BTW for the charity work they do). I'd like to see these "Grannies and Grandads" and "Women in Bunny suits and Rabbit ears" doing the Dave Lloyd Mega challenge next year........

    The OP needs to provide a more specific question.
  • wildmoustachewildmoustache Posts: 4,010
    interesting ... so hard to compare though ... marathon ... bang bang bang all aches and pains in the joints ...

    very hard sportif in the heat ... no pain in the joints ... just the feeling of being incredibly drained of electrolytes ...

    you get a rest in cycling as others have said, though you can end up spending FAR longer in the heat which is much more difficult IMO.

    Oh, is that the feeling? Low electrolytes?

    Not sure, I've never noticed any difference whether I drink or not the bleach tasting stuff (SIS or similar)

    Oh, and some energy bars make me fart really badly... am I the only weirdo?

    i don't get the flatulence thankfully ... lots of burps however (make me go backwards instead of forwards as a fart would).
  • wildmoustachewildmoustache Posts: 4,010
    Mettan wrote:
    knedlicky wrote:
    I'd say if you want a good cycling equivalent you’d have to find a route which rose 4-5000 m in ca. 150 km, just always slowly up and up, and without ever any level or downhill to recuperate.

    Its worth noting though that there are "Grannies and Grandads" wearing Winny the Pooh t-shirts and women with "Bunny suits and Rabbit ears" running Marathons around Britain every year........ I think its worth keeping some of this in perspective........ (full respect to them BTW for the charity work they do). I'd like to see these "Grannies and Grandads" and "Women in Bunny suits and Rabbit ears" doing the Dave Lloyd Mega challenge next year........

    Very few people can manage a 3hr marathon - that is extreme, and yes, that kind of effort would be equivalent to a "severe" cycling test.

    The OP needs to provide a more specific question.

    well put. I'm planning on doing the whole gorilla/rhino thing at the etape next year, but i'll save the mask until the finishing straight i think.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    well put. I'm planning on doing the whole gorilla/rhino thing at the etape next year, but i'll save the mask until the finishing straight i think.

    I'm going as a Penguin - if Tesco's check-out ladies/gents can run the London Marathon dressed as Penguins, I'm sure I can do the Marmotte dressed as one :wink:
  • agnelloagnello Posts: 239
    Oh, is that the feeling? Low electrolytes?

    Not sure, I've never noticed any difference whether I drink or not the bleach tasting stuff (SIS or similar)

    Oh, and some energy bars make me fart really badly... am I the only weirdo?

    You're not the only one. It smelt like a farmyard at the feed station at the top of the Galibier during the Marmotte.

    Thousands of eggy (oatty?) farts when your lungs are inside out at 2700 metres is not ideal!
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  • Agnello,

    My delightful colleague has just dropped one that smells exactly the same as the odour you describe at the top of the Galibier.

    I'm choking at Sea level let alone 2700M

    :mrgreen:
    weight.png
  • BlondeBlonde Posts: 3,188
    There isn't one because cycling is totally different to running. It can be sustained at lower effort or HR for longer so in terms of distance or time spent on the activity a 4 hour ride is nothing like a 4 hour run. Having said that I have never run a marathon. I have done a half though, and I'd say the half was like a 300km ride (the last one took me 14 hours inc stops) in terms of how tired I was afterwards. However, I was not as fit when I did the half marathon as I was when I last rode 300km so again, not really comparable. Some might say that the nearest is something like PBP 1200km ride (particularly if they find running really tough) but that also involves lack of sleep, which running for 4 hours doesn't - so.. I still think they just can't be compared like that.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I reckon about 4:1 in terms of mileage - so long as you are racing both - so say 100 miles on the bike.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Blonde wrote:
    There isn't one because cycling is totally different to running. It can be sustained at lower effort or HR for longer so in terms of distance or time spent on the activity a 4 hour ride is nothing like a 4 hour run. I still think they just can't be compared like that.

    I agree. It's apples and pears.

    At the end of the day though, if you go for the best time in any of the events, you're likely to be wasted at the end of it.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • The obvious cycling comparison isnt a sportif with the peaks and troughs of effort, surely much more appropriate is a flat time trial. Personally, I run at a similar aerobic load as time trialling, therefore somewhere between a 50TT and a 100TT should do it.
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