It's surprising the difference in muscles we use for cycling

matticus

Über Member
I must admit to finding walking boring these days, much to prefer cycling, you can get a lot further in the same time. Different scenery = less tedious to me.
I'm the same - seems like quite a few CCers agree! The few exceptions:
- for short walks, as I don't need to think so much about kit (locks, lights, all that jazz), especially in wintery weather. I generally walk to local shops.
- or (of course) somewhere rugged. I wouldn't ride across Crib Goch, winter OR summer!

(The other advantage with walking is that I'm more likely to notice small things, and more likely to stop to look at them.)
 

Adam4868

Guru
I like either,I cycle for myself and go for walks with my partner who is a occasional
cyclist.Totally different things to me.Saying that I'm walking between 9 and12 miles a day for the past few months...got a tempory job as a postman to pay the bills.
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
I find the post-walk experience odd.

I'm used to having had a good cardiovascular workout when cycling. I get home from walking with my legs aching but heart and lungs saying "when do we get started?"
 

flake99please

We all scream for ice cream
Location
Edinburgh
I work 6 days a week and average 23-25 thousand steps a day (roughly 16-17 kilometres). If i walk around the Pentland hills on a Sunday, my legs will certainly feel a little stiff cycling to work Monday morning.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I find the post-walk experience odd.

I'm used to having had a good cardiovascular workout when cycling. I get home from walking with my legs aching but heart and lungs saying "when do we get started?"
Slow, easy walking - yes. Making a harder effort though can reap benefits...

'Power-walk' up those Scottish hills!

I had 8 months off my bike in 2012/13 and suffered the same kind of muscle loss. I rebuilt my fitness by walking up the hill from Hebden Bridge town centre to Slack (just beyond Heptonstall) and back, 3 or 4 times a week. At first it was a struggle just to get up there, but then I started walking faster and faster. Eventually I was averaging 7 kph (4.5 mph) up the steep hill, and much more down again. After a few months of that my muscles were back!
And I started getting my cardiovascular fitness back too...
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
I benefit from 6 or so miles a day dog walking, and leg day scheduled 3 days a week in my home gym. Mucho respect to the top flight triathletes who put their bodies though all sorts of contradictory exercises, but who still manage a high at both. Not easy.
I come from a club running background (after playing football into my 30's)` - reaching a decent level without troubling the fast guys - back in the 80's when running was the thing to do. After 5 ( and a bit) marathons and regularly training >50 miles per week, I decided that too much pavement pounding was not doing my knees any good, I decided to take up triathlon, which got me my first introduction to cycling (but did not turn me into a cyclist). The next winter road race season, in my 40th year, I turned in a whole pile of pb's while only running 20 to 25 miles per week as part of the triathlon training. What I found was that the cross -training was a lot easier on the body, but the fitness level that was achieved was way above anything I'd managed in my younger days. After a marathon I'd be hobbling for a week. After a triathlon I would be out running the next day. Not that I was that good - usually in the top third of the field, having lost out in the swim and then overtaken lots of people on the run.

After all that, the point I'm trying to make is that the elite triathletes are probably not training any harder than elite athletes in any other discipline, and the cross-training may make them less liable to injury because they are less liable to be pushing any single discipline to excess. Mentally too, triathlon training should be a bit easier than training for a single event - though the standards achieved by the elite are incredible.

This doesn't mean to say it's easy, though. Anybody can run, but these guys are running at top class club runner level or better, cycling demands a level of skill and understanding, as well as fitness, and swimming is certainly a specialised skill demanding good technique and good fitness.
 

BurningLegs

Über Member
Mucho respect to the top flight triathletes who put their bodies though all sorts of contradictory exercises, but who still manage a high at both. Not easy.
Do they end up on net zero after losing points for vests and lack of socks?! ^_^
 

Gravity Aided

Legendary Member
Location
Land of Lincoln
I used to run, until my 30's, when being a tall guy with a large frame became a bit too much for my body to take, so I slowly got into back into cycling after a few years of no sport whatsoever. I find that walking is quite tiring for me now, but a bit better now that I have a recumbent tricycle to add into the cycling mix. The recumbent works an entirely different set of muscles, it seems, or works the leg muscles in a different way.
 

Adam4868

Guru
Anything physical is hard to start with when your not used to doing it.Ive been doing plenty of walking lately due to job (postman for a few months) but plastered my bedroom ceiling last week and was knackered ! Different muscles not getting used takes time.Cycling is relatively easy on the joints compared to a lot of other things though.Unlsss your pushing it ,,,,!
 
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