cycling v running ?

stronginthesun
stronginthesun Posts: 433
edited June 2009 in Road beginners
i was a commited runner for 20 years until i got a long term injury and decided to take up cycling . one year later and i would say im now fitter than i ever was when running and ive lost weight ( not that i needed to ). i only spend the same amount of time on the bike as i used to run ( 4 to 5 hours a week ) but i do always try my hardest on the bike , trying to beat pbs ect . big downside to cycling thou , the bottomless pit you can throw your money into , upside to running , its more convinient , especially when cold . also not one injury whilst cycling . ok im rambling , any thoughts ?
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Comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Erm, basically what you just said!
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Less injuries (unless you crash)
    Cycling is about a million times more expensive though.

    I prefer to do both.
  • doog442
    doog442 Posts: 370
    I do both but find running far better for keeping the weight off...cant see how 4-5 hours cycling can equal 4-5 hours running in the calories used stakes unless your running was low key and your cycling is manic.

    I would agree with the fitness aspect. I can never obtain the same lung busting cardio vascular exhaustion during a run that I can on a bike tackling a hill.
  • fidbod
    fidbod Posts: 317
    Never having been an endurance athlete, I am one of life's prop forwards, I find cycling far superior to running. For me the big pluses are

    Lack of joint injury
    the ability to really work on endurance much more effectively than running - I could never run for three or four hours like I can work on the bike. Don't mind the weight loss either!
  • Mettan
    Mettan Posts: 2,103
    Cycling uphill at a decent pace can be pretty extreme in the cardiovascular stakes - For fun, imho Paula Radcliff's heart-rate would go through the roof going up 10 % + gradients at a decent pace on a bike - and she's "fit" - plenty to do cycling-wise if you want an extreme cardio-workout. Hill-repeats amongst other things, can give you a nice workout.

    Obviously, running uphill (at a decent pace) is extreme.
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    personally I've found it harder to train for bike related events, whereas for a half marathon (my first) I did in March I was having to train for the distance, ie upping my mileage 10% per week which got me really focussed and motivated.

    I'm doing a sportive next weekend (77 miles) and my day rides have been few but take up much more of the day. I am loving my longer rides in summer though.
  • themightyw
    themightyw Posts: 409
    I like to do a bit of both (nothing too full on - do the odd 10k run but I'm pretty slow) and find that running is definitely better for all round fitness, but cycling better for CV and more rewarding.

    I'm surprised at how different the two are in many ways - through the winter I only went runnint, but I haven't run for 6 weeks as I've significantly increased my exercise and have been trying to increase my bike miles for an upcoming event. Went out for my standard 50 minute run yesterday and was 2 minutes slower than usual, found it slow going and felt pretty achey this morning which never normally happens.

    One thing I've found interesting is looking at my heart rate - when out cycling it goes up and down all over the place, but on a decent run it slowly increases from the start of the run till the end, and is much higher on average. However the 'peaks' in heart rate on a long cycle are much higher.
  • jimwin
    jimwin Posts: 208
    As a long distance runner (marathons and more) and now a long distance cyclist, here's my 2c worth....

    • You need twice the time on the bike for the same expended effort (even in a hilly area where I live). If you don't, you're not running hard enough - running needs a constant heart rate typically 5~10 bpm above the *average* needed for cycling.

    • You need *MUCH* more spare cash for cycling.

    • Running is good for joints in moderation, but bad for joints in excess.

    • Cycling has no joint impact, just joint rotation which is a bad thin IMO. Impacts strengthen joints as long as it's not overdone.

    • I regularly travel abroad on business and running kit is easily carried. I took my airnimal a few times, but the business meant too little time to cycle and the cycling's wasted on guesswork mapped routes. In contrast you can easily find a 4~6 mile running route almost anywhere that's civilised.

    But both are better than doing nothing. Have fun whichever,

    - JimW
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    The thing I like about cycling is the fact that greater distances are involved, you can actually ride to somewhere interesting. Using a powermeter it is also easier to train consistetly.

    Plus, I can ride a bike at the moment but I can barely walk :D

    To lose weight, running is supposed to be the most time efficient exercise...
  • hotspur
    hotspur Posts: 92
    I ended up with shin splints when training for a half marathon two years ago, and have never been able to shift them, despite an awful lot of physio. I'm a little flat footed, which apparently seems to have been pinpointed as the main cause.

    I've never been injured cycling, well only a scar or two from coming off in the past. Although I enjoyed running, cycling wins for me as you get to have a lovely machine to go around on, and as already mentioned you can go a lot further afield unless you're Forrest Gump.
    If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

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  • da goose
    da goose Posts: 284
    Been riding over 21 years recently started `jogging/running` as i had a piriformis injury (the one none can fix?) in a nutshell i will run full on this winter as its more enjoyable less bike cleaning and hassle with anti half asleep winter motorists..i agree too much running is probably not the best idea but the same goes for cycling as you need hours to train really well AND recover as a friend said just mix it up for all round fitness as opposed to just cycling and being good at one sport.
  • Lunar Tick
    Lunar Tick Posts: 62
    Running pros:
    Convenience - can be done almost anywhere in any weather
    Efficiency - very effective CV conditioning per hour of time invested
    Cost - cost of kit is minimal
    Weight loss - since every step is taken against gravity, running is an extremely effective method of weight control


    Cycling pros:
    Very low risk of injury (providing bike set up is correct
    Can be used as a means of transport - eg commuting
    Develops far more power and strength than running
    Although not as efficient in terms of 'per hour', the low risk of injury means you can spend far longer in the saddle, which is great for fitness and weight loss
    The thrill - no matter how good a runner you are, there's a certain thrill that cycling fast gives you, and this for many is the clincher!
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    I HATE running/jogging!!!

    Cycling i love and always look forward to my next ride. Yes it is expensive but hey you can't take your money to the grave can you


    :D
  • I do both cycling three times a week and running three times a week. I agree with one of the previous posts you should spend at least twice the time cycling compared to running. I enjoy both activities and reckon the cross training is good for CV fitness. What I would like to figure out is how you can get both cycling and running performance to peak at the same time. I competed in a duathlon a month or so ago. In the running legs I was crap, way down the field then in the cycling leg I passed a lot of folk ( I was 4th fastest on the bike leg) then lost some places on the second run. Ended up 14th overall. At that point I wasnt long back running after an injury. The other week I ran a 10k at pretty close to my PB coming home in the top 2% of the field however my cycling seems to have slipped a bit as I was just in the top 10% in a recent Sportive. Any tips on how to be reasonable at both at the same time?
  • nasahapley
    nasahapley Posts: 717
    Another runner/cyclist here - if placings in events are any sort of guide I'm a better runner than cyclist, but I'm not too bothered about that as I enjoy them both the same. As others have said, cycling's good as it lets you go further afield, but with running you can go pretty much anywhere you like if you're prepared to venture off-road. If I could only do one it'd be running as I think it's a bit better for all-round fitness whereas cycling is quite a specialised discipline (though I'd hate to give up either). I think the 'running=certain injury' thing is a bit overdone; if you've got poor running technique and don't bother to correct it then yeah, you'll get injured, same as if you rode everywhere in 53-11 with your saddle six inches too low.

    I'm actually a bit frustrated at the moment as I've got a running event coming up which I really should do some serious training for, but when the weather's like this all I want to do is get out of the bike!
  • Gav888
    Gav888 Posts: 946
    I used to run and hated it, cycling is so much more fun, as you say further distances are covered so you can get out and about at a resonable pace and have fun.

    Also, I find cycling cheap.... but then I used to have a motorbike for fun, buying that and all the gear, plus insurance, fuel etc etc it came to nearly £7,000. So far ive spend about £700 on the bike and gear... I know its a cheap bike but I didnt want to spend £1000's incase I didnt get into to. I have so I will be buying a nice bike soon :)
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • bomberesque
    bomberesque Posts: 1,701
    Running is evil. Welcome to the light :wink:
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • GyatsoLa
    GyatsoLa Posts: 667
    When out for a ride in the mountains on sunday I met loads of cyclists and most of them were smiling.

    I don't think I've ever seen a runner smile.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'd be a triathlete, except I hate running, and have to force myself to go swimming twice a week. I find both of them mind-numbingly boring. I love cycling though.

    I was delighted when my knee surgeon told me not to take up running but that cycling would be good post-operative physio.
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    One big difference is that almost anyone (e.g. my girlfriend) can go out and ride a bike at a gentle pace for a few hours as long as its not too hilly. Running on the otherhand requires a very slow build-up and even a very fit cyclist will probably be surprised at how hard it is on their first few runs.

    I got into running a bit last year in my year off from serious long-distance cycling with the intention of doing some fell running and eventually some ultramarathons. Furthest I got was about 15miles up and along Highstreet in the Lakes and then I started cycling again. Suddenly I just couldn't be bothered to run anymore. I don't dislike running, but given the choice I'd opt for a bike ride every time.

    Running is much, much easier to fit around a 'normal' life though - a few hours running (a marathon say) would be equivalent in exertion terms to around 10 hours on the bike I'd say. One takes up part of a morning, one takes a whole day. I certainly saw more of my girlfriend when I was running :lol:
    More problems but still living....
  • nasahapley
    nasahapley Posts: 717
    amaferanga wrote:
    I got into running a bit last year in my year off from serious long-distance cycling with the intention of doing some fell running and eventually some ultramarathons. Furthest I got was about 15miles up and along Highstreet in the Lakes and then I started cycling again. Suddenly I just couldn't be bothered to run anymore. I don't dislike running, but given the choice I'd opt for a bike ride every time.

    Nice route that, but if you didn't catch the fellrunning bug from that then you're right, you never will! I'm hoping to do the Ullswater horseshoe (Pooley Bridge - Threlkeld via High Street and Helvellyn ridges) sometime this year, which starts off the same way. I do love cycling in the Lakes, but I always get the nagging feeling that I want to be up on the fells, rather than just looking at them!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    amaferanga wrote:
    One big difference is that almost anyone (e.g. my girlfriend) can go out and ride a bike at a gentle pace for a few hours as long as its not too hilly. Running on the otherhand requires a very slow build-up and even a very fit cyclist will probably be surprised at how hard it is on their first few runs.

    I got into running a bit last year in my year off from serious long-distance cycling with the intention of doing some fell running and eventually some ultramarathons. Furthest I got was about 15miles up and along Highstreet in the Lakes and then I started cycling again. Suddenly I just couldn't be bothered to run anymore. I don't dislike running, but given the choice I'd opt for a bike ride every time.

    Running is much, much easier to fit around a 'normal' life though - a few hours running (a marathon say) would be equivalent in exertion terms to around 10 hours on the bike I'd say. One takes up part of a morning, one takes a whole day. I certainly saw more of my girlfriend when I was running :lol:

    That's why I cycle, to get away from the mrs!

    I was going to post an inappropriate comment about me seeing your girlfriend more when you were cycling but thought better of it. :o
  • Variety is the spice of life... I love both, but as I'm getting older I expect to do less time running and more time cycling to prolong the life in my joints.

    The comments about running being cheap made me giggle, though...

    As much as I enjoy the sport I also enjoy shopping for sports stuff. Especially bargain sports stuff. I've spent over two grand on running kit in the last few years. (It's all relative, I suppose) I daren't add up how much I've spent on cycling... which wins all hands down on the "which sport is better to waste a few hours shopping for" stakes.

    So there's my confession. My names ALOB and I'm a Cantresistthesaleatwiggleaholic

    :oops:
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    nasahapley wrote:
    Nice route that, but if you didn't catch the fellrunning bug from that then you're right, you never will! I'm hoping to do the Ullswater horseshoe (Pooley Bridge - Threlkeld via High Street and Helvellyn ridges) sometime this year, which starts off the same way. I do love cycling in the Lakes, but I always get the nagging feeling that I want to be up on the fells, rather than just looking at them!

    The fact that the wind was blowing a gale, it rained continuously so we couldn't see a bloody thing and couldn't stop cos it was so cold (stopped once, but I started shivering uncontrollably - was fine when I got running again) didn't help :)
    More problems but still living....
  • Mettan
    Mettan Posts: 2,103
    edited June 2009
    amaferanga wrote:
    Running is much, much easier to fit around a 'normal' life though - a few hours running (a marathon say) would be equivalent in exertion terms to around 10 hours on the bike I'd say. One takes up part of a morning, one takes a whole day. I certainly saw more of my girlfriend when I was running :lol:

    Grannies, Grandads and Tesco checkout girls in Bunny suits do Marathon's every year....... - I'd like to see them riding a bike continously for 10 hours...... if its that easy. Don't mean to sound too irratated about this, but peeps regularly overstate how easy cycling is (which of course, it isn't) - Jogging at 6-7mph for 1 hour is easy (for me) (and that's with a chronic injury aswell) - riding a bike at 9 mph for 1 hour is easy (aslong as it isn't hilly - typical bloke from a pub) - running at 10 mph for 1 hour is harder - riding at 20 mph for 1 hour is much harder - all down to intensity. If runners can't get there heart-rate up enough on a bike, then they need to ride more, and develop more power. If cycling's that easy, why can't typical club runners (who ride a bit aswell ) do solo 21 mph avg loops here there and everywhere? (which of course they can't). It'd be very easy to put Paula Radcliff'es heart rate through the roof when going uphill on a bike at a decent pace............ with sufficient intensity, cycling can be very hard.
  • Mettan
    Mettan Posts: 2,103
    amaferanga wrote:
    Furthest I got was about 15miles up and along Highstreet in the Lakes and then I started cycling again. Suddenly I just couldn't be bothered to run anymore. I don't dislike running, but given the choice I'd opt for a bike ride every time.

    That's not suprising :wink: 15 miles on a fell - enough to test anyone 8) - used to love running in the Lakes before my knee injury. I took a risk on a Fell (adrenaline pumping, not thinking clearly), and paid a heavy price (Sports-wise).
  • chaffordred
    chaffordred Posts: 131
    Personally I think running is much more intense than cycling and for pure calorie burn and cardio workout, you can't beat it. For instance with cycling you can regularly freewheel and carry on moving, with cycling you have to stop dead.

    Whenever I go out for a run at sub 8 min mile pace I always get back sweating and know I have had a good cardio workout. When I go out cycling and push it to the limit I find it very hard to build up a sweat even if I average 20+ MPH average over an hour.

    I would say if you gave someone a correctly fitted road bike most people could ride for 50 miles non-stop on the flat, but I would be surprised if 5% of the population could run (non-stop) for 26.2 miles. I ran a marathon last year and it was the hardest thing I ever did. Yes, you see people in funny suits and grannies etc doing marathons, but most of them will probably have done a minimum of 16 weeks training beforehand and will also be doing a run-walk, which is completely different to running 26.2 non-stop.

    Don't get me wrong, cycling is much more enjoyable. With running you are limited to places you can go from your front door and usually end up doing the same old routes. With cycling going to places further afield you never thought you would ever be able to get to is fantastic.
  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Whenever I go out for a run at sub 8 min mile pace I always get back sweating and know I have had a good cardio workout. When I go out cycling and push it to the limit I find it very hard to build up a sweat even if I average 20+ MPH average over an hour.

    Sweating is a reaction to the cooling needs of your body, not a reaction to how hard you worked. Simply because you're travelling faster, with more cooling wind, you do not have as great a cooling needs for the same intensity work.
    I would say if you gave someone a correctly fitted road bike most people could ride for 50 miles non-stop on the flat, but I would be surprised if 5% of the population could run (non-stop) for 26.2 miles.

    But they could all walk it. Your problem here is assuming that the equivalent to cycling is running, but it's not. Low intensity cyclings equivalent is walking. And why do you say "non-stop" for the running, but let the cyclist freewheel.

    Yes running is "harder", but then you're not comparing the same thing.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • Mettan
    Mettan Posts: 2,103
    edited June 2009
    When I go out cycling and push it to the limit I find it very hard to build up a sweat even if I average 20+ MPH average over an hour.

    I find that hard to believe - if you can genuinely do 20 mph avgs without building up a sweat you should find it easy in a Cat 2 race (where you'll be doing 25 mph avgs and you'll be sweating....... alot). Oh, and when running at sub-8 min mile pace I hardly sweat - very relaxed.

    I would say if you gave someone a correctly fitted road bike most people could ride for 50 miles non-stop on the flat, but I would be surprised if 5% of the population could run (non-stop) for 26.2 miles.

    Disagree - only a small percentage of people (hadn't biked for 10 years) could ride 50 miles non-stop imho (nobody I know could do). I could take 30 or 40 of my neighbours at random - few if any imo could ride 50 miles non-stop. Pretty much everyone in my Road would get finished off on a trivial 4 - 7 % gradient for 750 metres. You did say on the flat, but in a typical real world 50 miler there will be several/many 4 - 7 % gradients, even if only fairly short. I suppose in your Road, Aunty Lill who works behind the Ciggy counter at Tescos can do 4 - 7 % gradients willy-nilly.........I actually think with "Dave the 18-stone builder" his legs would get very quickly fatigued and eventually finished off on a 50 miler through flat Norfolk - I could go on.
  • Garz
    Garz Posts: 1,155
    Careful of the one post wonders, it could be a troll wanting some food. :wink:

    *off to the running forum for a good slagging then mentioning cycling is a "better cardio" workout should do the trick! *