Cycling v jogging/running

andyh01 Posts: 599
edited August 2019 in Training, fitness and health
Over the last six months or so I've got myself moving more started off cycling now also doing a bit of jogging.
I've joined a social cycling club once a week 50 mile round trip to cafe (no cake, just expresso) plus solo rides 3-4 times a week about 2hrs each covering 35 miles at least with a few decent hills
I've now joined a running club once a week approx 8 miles in just over an hour and 5k park run on so far is 22:07 male 36, 165cm tall, weigh approx 70kg on a bad day
BMI is 24 body fat 17% ish.
I'm looking to get fitter and faster both on and off bike
I feel stronger on bike then off so am focusing more on running then riding but prefer riding.
Is an hour jog/run better or similar to 2 hours riding?
Could I get quicker/better at running whilst on the bike or am I best cross training?
I feel running gives a better cardio workout than cycling, would I be right?
I think i prefer competing/racing on foot then bike (no bike to damage) and cycling for recreational /commuting but would like to do like still be able to cycle 100 odd miles in n a day or be reasonably nippy on a chain gang


  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    If you want to be a better cyclist ride more, if you want to be a better runner run more.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    As above. Comparisons and equivalents are meaningless.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Do both. Works out OK for the Brownlees ?
  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    If you enjoy running and cycling, do both. Works well for me. They complement each other well for general fitness, bone health and keeping my weight under control.

    I’ve been cycling for many years for pleasure and general fitness training, doing nothing more competitive than the odd sportive, including the Maratona. The toughest cycling I’ve done has been multi-day mountain tours carrying camping gear - and I’ve certainly noticed the resulting fitness boost on returning home.

    I took up running later in life and found my years of cycling had given me a good cardio fitness base. I now do around 20 running races annually on road and fells with a fair bit of age group success and really enjoy the competitive element. Running is definitely harder on my body and uses different muscles. Niggling injuries have to be carefully managed the older I get. And it’s obvious from my Garmin heart rate, calories and training effect figures that running takes more out of me than cycling. I find cycling is great for loosening up my limbs and boosting endurance.
  • the_rover
    the_rover Posts: 402
    Something a little left field.... badminton!

    I’ve started playing once a week with a mate and that really gets everything going. It’s a real HIIT session and way more enjoyable than running.
  • andyh01
    andyh01 Posts: 599
    Thanks all, yes hopefully continue with both, did an unofficial dulathom 60k ride to parkrun with about 30 mins gap than ran the 5k parkrun 2 mins slower than my current pb. Just want get quicker times in both disciplines and be able to run further, might do the local marathon or half marathon in October.

    I do quite like badminton, can't do tennis
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    why no cake?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Webboo wrote:
    If you want to be a better cyclist ride more, if you want to be a better runner run more.

  • brandy234
    brandy234 Posts: 8
    I think both will contribute to aerobic fitness, but I agree with others that there are different muscle groups in play.

    When I started running I was terrible (despite being able to do some fairly long road rides). It took a few weeks/months to build my running fitness.

    I find you have to do both regularly to be good at both. If you stop running you'll get slower (even if you keep cycling regularly) and vice versa.
  • Midnight
    Midnight Posts: 80
    Imposter wrote:
    As above. Comparisons and equivalents are meaningless.

    100%, it is like asking which is best, rowing, swimming, canoeing
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    The problem with running is that if you are mainly focussed on cycling, the amount of running you need to do to get to the point where it doesn't require huge amounts of recovery is such that it is going to impact on your cycling.. So it's going to interfere with cycling one way or the other.

    If you are a fit cyclist but don't run, you will find that if you try to run you can do it because you have the cardio fitness, but it will completely destroy your legs! In my case I can just go out and run 5k straight off, but the next day I can hardly walk, and it takes several days for my legs to feel normal again.. :) Doubtless if I started running a couple of times a week my body would adapt and the recovery would be much easier, but then the cardio fatigue would reduce the amount and/or intensity of cycling I could do each week.

    Incidentally you can get just as good a cardio workout from cycling as from running, it's just more difficult to get used to doing that because whereas running pretty much forces you to exert yourself, with cycling YOU need to push it as it's much easier to cycle gently than to run gently!
  • lesfirth
    lesfirth Posts: 1,382
    oxoman wrote:
    I do both and I mix it up as different muscle groups used for both disciplines. I find if I over do on just one I get very tight muscles and start to struggle. It's also good to mix it up a bit, parkrun is a good way to be competitive with yourself. I did do gym based cardio stuff as well at one stage but that proved counter productive as I was to tired to do anything properly, it also impinged on family life as well. Currently do 2 decent runs a wk plus a parkrun if not on shift and commute 2/3 times in a set of 4 shifts plus a mtb evening session. Hopefully time for a decent solo ride as well. Currently overweight at 84kg and fifty plus hold a few road and mtb koms ride approx 150 miles a wk at 17mph average plus run 20 miles a wk with a parkrun best of 24minutes. Basically they're just numbers, and I agree with both imposter and webboo. Just do what works for you.

    This might not be news to you but you need to change what you eat. If you are happy with your weight,no worries,carry on.
  • andyh01
    andyh01 Posts: 599
    I have changed what I eat, I think I'm now at the point where weight is staying around 75kg but muscle mass is increasing, hence the no cake on social rid e, say burn 1000 calories riding but eat 800 calories in cake , then eat lunch etc wouldn't create a deficit.

    Few weeks in and getting better at doing both running and cycling. Aimed mg to get my 5k park run down to under 20 mins by end of year, currently 22:07
  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    Well done on your park run improvements. Keep it up.

    You are not a pro cyclist competing in grand tours through the summer so there’s no reason not to run if you enjoy it. Even pro cyclists use running as a way to maintain general health and fitness and to keep their weight down in the winter. Doing some form of load bearing exercise to maintain bone density is really important for cyclists. ... mprove-it/
  • vitesse169
    vitesse169 Posts: 422
    I haven't been on this forum for years but here goes.... Join a triathlon club. You don't have to compete but the coaching advice will be invaluable. It is possible to do both disciplines (or all 3) and derive benefit from them. The experience of the membership is just that - good, practical advice.