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Thread: Endurance: running vs cycling

  1. #11
    Grandmaster Stagger's Avatar
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    Cycling is not only easier on the legs but also on the heart.

    I could always have a max hr fell running of 185bpm but never got over 176bpm on a bike even though I had to dis mount and push.

  2. #12
    Master Bob's Avatar
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    Cycling is a much more efficient means of motion than running - from memory I think a road bike is the most efficient known, the equivalent of 1500mpg or more.

    As mentioned above you get a lot of rests when cycling and not just the obvious ones like coasting downhill. Once you've a group of six or so riders who can work together then your power output drops dramatically for the same speed, above about 15mph most of your energy is overcoming wind drag and a group provides different effects not only for those sat in behind but also those on the front who get a "push" from those following. Get a big peloton such as you see in the Grand Tours and those in the middle of that are hardly putting out any effort (comparatively). I've been in a chain gang on the flat at 50kmh and having to constantly feather the brakes to counter the draft pulling me onto the rider in front.

    There's also the fact that your weight is supported on a bike which means even less energy is required to move.
    Bob

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  3. #13
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    With regard to the comment in several of the above posts ".....resting when freewheeling downhill ....".
    Several years ago I came to realise that I was not obtaining maximum cross-training benefit from my cycling because a fair percentage of my time on the bike was spent freewheeling.

    When running, less effort is required on descents but one is still required to move one's legs at an increased speed and often apply a braking force.

    To this end I assembled an old racing frame, with semi horizontal rear drop outs,as a fixed wheel bicycle.
    I truly love it; to the point that my wife is often bemoaning as to why I spend so much time on a bike that cost me only 200 ( I already had the 531 steel frame and many other components ) when my 2,500 titanium road bike with full Ultegra gruppo is languishing in the garage.
    It is only now, after almost 3 years, that I've built up the strength to apply leg braking on reasonably steep descents (without resorting to the rim brakes) - it's a totally different combination of muscles that has to be brought into play, from those used for forward motion.

    Also with regard to Bob's comment above, regards constantly feathering the brakes to avoid being dragged into the rider in front, whilst being drafted along by a large group; on the fixie you just ease back on the pedalling.
    Last edited by wheezing donkey; 09-01-2020 at 01:00 AM.
    I was a bit of an oddball until I was abducted by aliens; but I'm perfectly OK now!

  4. #14
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    Uphill and into the wind, the runners do seem to have the advantage over the cyclists.

    The main road from the town centre towards where I live goes up a long, gentle hill (climbs around 20 metres in about 600m horizontal distance), and today's gale is blowing straight down it. I sometimes see athletes training on the hill; this morning, as I was cycling home with a load of shopping, there was a group of about a dozen young ladies assembled at the bottom, and their coach (wearing Loughborough University kit) set them off just before I drew level with them. I managed to pass the ones nearer the back, but I struggled to keep up with those at the front, and they started drawing away from me near the top.

    OK, so it's not a very fair comparison: a group of Loughborough student athletes against an old crock on a heavily laden bicycle. But I think in general, uphill gradients and adverse winds do hinder cyclists more than runners.
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  5. #15
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    Uphill and into the wind, the runners do seem to have the advantage over the cyclists.

    The main road from the town centre towards where I live goes up a long, gentle hill (climbs around 20 metres in about 600m horizontal distance), and today's gale is blowing straight down it. I sometimes see athletes training on the hill; this morning, as I was cycling home with a load of shopping, there was a group of about a dozen young ladies assembled at the bottom, and their coach (wearing Loughborough University kit) set them off just before I drew level with them. I managed to pass the ones nearer the back, but I struggled to keep up with those at the front, and they started drawing away from me near the top.

    OK, so it's not a very fair comparison: a group of Loughborough student athletes against an old crock on a heavily laden bicycle. But I think in general, uphill gradients and adverse winds do hinder cyclists more than runners.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonykay View Post
    Uphill and into the wind, the runners do seem to have the advantage over the cyclists.

    The main road from the town centre towards where I live goes up a long, gentle hill (climbs around 20 metres in about 600m horizontal distance), and today's gale is blowing straight down it. I sometimes see athletes training on the hill; this morning, as I was cycling home with a load of shopping, there was a group of about a dozen young ladies assembled at the bottom, and their coach (wearing Loughborough University kit) set them off just before I drew level with them. I managed to pass the ones nearer the back, but I struggled to keep up with those at the front, and they started drawing away from me near the top.

    OK, so it's not a very fair comparison: a group of Loughborough student athletes against an old crock on a heavily laden bicycle. But I think in general, uphill gradients and adverse winds do hinder cyclists more than runners.
    Just wondering if the group of young ladies doing reps round the field just across the road from my office are the same ones that I saw on the hill last Saturday. Anyway, I think it's healthy that they are still doing their athletics training now that we are into the exam period.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonykay View Post
    Just wondering if the group of young ladies doing reps round the field just across the road from my office are the same ones that I saw on the hill last Saturday. Anyway, I think it's healthy that they are still doing their athletics training now that we are into the exam period.
    AK, your numerous sightings and reports of young ladies running around must make your day go quicker!
    Visibility good except in Hill Fog

  8. #18
    Master Muddy Retriever's Avatar
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    I agree with the comment that going into the wind is tougher for cyclists than runners. Before rides I will often look at the weather forecast to see wind strength and direction - I often pick routes to get the headwind out of the way early on and have the benefit of a tailwind on the way home. Before running I rarely give it a thought. I suppose conversely a strong tail wind on the bike can make you feel like you're putting in no effort at all.

    In general terms I think a 4:1 ratio in distance is about right. For me a 100 mile bike ride feels roughly like a marathon, other things (like effort and hilliness) being equal. I rarely ride with more than one or two other people so drafting is less of an issue for me than for others who ride in large groups.
    Last edited by Muddy Retriever; 14-01-2020 at 07:23 PM.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Muddy Retriever View Post
    I agree with the comment that going into the wind is tougher for cyclists than runners...I suppose conversely a strong tail wind on the bike can make you feel like you're putting in no effort at all.
    Air resistance force is approximately proportional to the square of the velocity and on a bike you should be cycling far faster than any human can run so the relative difference - running to cycling - is massive.

    Although a rear wind obviously assists a cyclist the benefit can be limited because other factors come into play, like terror that at 50mph coming off might lead to death.
    "...as dry as the Atacama desert".

  10. #20
    Master bigfella's Avatar
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    With cycling there is more opportunity to reduce the effect of a headwind by streamlining your position.
    Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

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