Running Vs Cycling (endurance)

RitchieJoe

Active Member
I just wanted to ask which of these you think is best for building endurance/ cardiovascular fitness? Please try to leave the bias at the door :tongue:

Well can I build a high level of cardiovascular fitness from cycling alone? I appreciate it may take longer than running. It may seem that the obvious answer would be yes, but from searching the internet I seem to be getting mixed responses.
 
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I just wanted to ask which of these you think is best for building endurance/ cardiovascular fitness? Please try to leave the bias at the door :tongue:
I'd be interested to know what people think as well as I completed my first trail race the other day and am now cycling around 60 miles a week - wondering whether I can get away with just running a couple of times a week and maybe swimming once a week as less impact on the old joints.
 
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RitchieJoe

RitchieJoe

Active Member
I have lower leg issues and I have been informed that cycling will cause less issues, but I am not intending to buy a bike for a leisurely ride..... I want to build endurance/fitness and really push myself.
 

crazyjoe101

New Member
Location
London
I think running used to be harder work on the cardiovascular system than cycling seems now, and in general really.

I would say go with whatever is more comfortable for you. Long distance running can come with a lot more drawbacks than long distance cycling in my opinion, especially when you're not young. I don't run any further than 3 miles regularly now, having done a half marathon which I did not really enjoy. On the other hand, I can quite happily cycle until exhaustion without any bad pain so for me cycling is much better as it results in far fewer injuries.
 
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RitchieJoe

RitchieJoe

Active Member
Do you really push yourself on your bike or is it just a leisurely ride? I'm thinking about doing a lot of hill climbing etc ( I live in a very hilly area) and I'm hoping that with enough intensity I will be able to bring my heart rate up to a similar rate to that which I run at
 

flake99please

We all scream for ice cream
Location
Edinburgh
I was told by a good friend who is a cardiologist, that 12 minutes running equates to 20 minutes in the saddle. Speed is relative in that if you're walking at 4mph then you need to cycle at 8mph for the effect to be the same.
 

Tin Pot

Guru
It's not all about heart rate.

But even if it were, cycling is not as hard on the heart as running. for endurance, this is a good thing.

Whats your starting level of fitness?
 

moo

Senior Member
Location
North London
Well it worked for me. One year ago I was an unfit, overweight, junk food loving slob who hadn't exercised in 20 years.

Today my resting heart rate is ~40 and my 1 minute heart rate recovery is ~60. I can hold 90% max for an hour, 85% max for 2-3 hours and think nothing of a 6+ hour ride. My preferred cadence at threshold power is >100rpm, which places a strong reliance on cardiovascular fitness.

Cycling is the only form of exercise I do, other than walking the dog.
 
Don't know where you live but before Arthritis hit my right knee, I did a fair bit of Challenge walking and found that the best way to build up the endurance for a challenge was a mixture of Power walking (with and with out poles) and slow fell jogging over longer distances. I think those work outs are now paying dividends with the cycling, so though I am slow (very) I can keep going for ten or more hours. Though I do not use one for cycling a good quality Heart Rate monitor will certainly help you, even if it is only used to keep your fitness journal up to date.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
I just wanted to ask which of these you think is best for building endurance/ cardiovascular fitness? Please try to leave the bias at the door :tongue:

Well can I build a high level of cardiovascular fitness from cycling alone? I appreciate it may take longer than running. It may seem that the obvious answer would be yes, but from searching the internet I seem to be getting mixed responses.
Of course you can!

Do you really push yourself on your bike or is it just a leisurely ride? I'm thinking about doing a lot of hill climbing etc ( I live in a very hilly area) and I'm hoping that with enough intensity I will be able to bring my heart rate up to a similar rate to that which I run at
You will not get your heart rate up as high when cycling as you would when running, they are two very different sports with different muscle recruitment patterns, running utilises a far larger proportion of total musculature.

I was told by a good friend who is a cardiologist, that 12 minutes running equates to 20 minutes in the saddle. Speed is relative in that if you're walking at 4mph then you need to cycle at 8mph for the effect to be the same.
On what basis do they equate? Quite frankly, I'd refer to a sports scientist, rather than a cardiologist on such a matter, those in the medical profession don't have a great track record for advising on sports matters, or better yet, I'd try not to compare two different activities in such a way. Where on earth are your coming up with these speed comparisons?

Well it worked for me. One year ago I was an unfit, overweight, junk food loving slob who hadn't exercised in 20 years.

Today my resting heart rate is ~40 and my 1 minute heart rate recovery is ~60. I can hold 90% max for an hour, 85% max for 2-3 hours and think nothing of a 6+ hour ride. My preferred cadence at threshold power is >100rpm, which places a strong reliance on cardiovascular fitness.

Cycling is the only form of exercise I do, other than walking the dog.
When you say things such as "I can hold 90% max for an hour" and "85 max for 2-3 hours" you are not really giving any indication of your fitness, since there are essentially the ballpark heart rate values anyone should be able to hold for those duration's, they are self referencing values. Similarly, your resting heart rate being ~40 bpm is not really indicative of your fitness. To illustrate my points, your resting heart rate is around 40 bpm, as is mine, I too hold around 90% MHR for an hour and 85% MHR for 2-4 hours. Does this mean we are both of similar fitness?
 
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Turbo Rider

Just can't reMember
Completely different sports and will have completely different effects, as will swimming. Try all three and you'll know for yourself.

Depends where you do those things too. I find cycling up a hill far harder than running up a hill but then find cycling downhill and flat works me far less than running would. As Rob says, different muscle groups, different stresses on different bones and joints and differences in breathing too. I can cycle for far longer than I can do either of the other two but, were it not fo the toll it takes on your body, I'd prefer running to either of the other two. My calves let me down these days though, so I can't be bothered, having torn muscles.

Swimming is a different kettle of fish altogether as well. Far more exhasuting for me. Can come out of an hour swim shaking with exhaustion, whereas running I need a nice warm bath and for cycling, a nice stretch and a sit down is more than adequate. I'd probably say that if you're looking for pointers on which form of regular exercise is best for you all round, I'd go with cycling. Can't speak for anyone else, but it leaves me in less of a mess afterwards...and you also get to go really, really fast...if that's your thing :biggrin:
 

vickster

Legendary Member
If you want to be pushed, join a club and ride with a fast group. Unless you are very determined, it's unlikely you'd push yourself as hard riding alone

Turbo training can be hard work too but most find it dull, killer videos can reduce the boredon
 

Citius

Guest
I just wanted to ask which of these you think is best for building endurance/ cardiovascular fitness? Please try to leave the bias at the door :tongue: .
If you want to build endurance/CV fitness for running - then run. If you want to build endurance/CV fitness for cycling - then cycle. If you want to improve at both, then do both. It really isn't as complex as you think.
 

crazyjoe101

New Member
Location
London
Do you really push yourself on your bike or is it just a leisurely ride? I'm thinking about doing a lot of hill climbing etc ( I live in a very hilly area) and I'm hoping that with enough intensity I will be able to bring my heart rate up to a similar rate to that which I run at
Most of my riding is with others so it's pretty variable. Some times it'll be at my upper limit for long periods but mostly I'd describe it as 'comfortable' with regular spikes for the hills which I sprint up, as they are short on the club run.

Since we're on a cycling forum it's got to be swimming, kettlebells, gym balls and skipping.

No bike required to get good at riding a bike.
I think he means cardiovascular fitness in general, not for cycling.
Obviously the best way to train for a sport is by doing that sport though.

Where on earth are your coming up with these speed comparisons?
You can compare running and cycling energy consumption based on speed on the flat but I doubt it would work for heart rate as well.
 
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