Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?


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Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Vielleicht » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:34 pm

I was reading about the cycling legend Eddy Merckx and his one-hour record this morning and came to this passage:

Around 35 km Merckx showed signs of being human. He fidgeted on his seat and the grimace on his face revealed the superhuman effort he was making. There was never a question of his taking the record; the only question was by how much. Far from fading, his last two kilometres were reeled off in 1m 13s and 1m 12s. Still, he could barely speak when he first dismounted. Pictures of the moment show his face a mask of pain. It wasn't long, though, before Eddy regained his normal composure and was able to answer questions.


This lead me to wonder, which sport has the higher level of exertion, cycling or distance running? For example, would an elite runner drop into a state of "could barely speak" and "face a mask of pain" after he attacks his half-marathon PB, which should also be covered in about one hour? Please discuss.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:32 pm

Cyclists can ride pretty hard for 5-6 hours and then come back the next day and do it again. That tells us just about all we need to know.

On the bike you are sitting and use fewer muscles. Max heart rate is generally slower (~10 bpm).

When I was trying to run marathons I ran about 100 miles/week during the build-up phase. I was running more than most of the people that were about as fast as me for 10km. When I switch to racing on the bike (plantar fascia problems) I kept about the same number of hours and was doing usually no more than 200 miles a week and was doing less than everyone that I was racing with (i.e., same performance level). Part of the reason was that I spent a lot of time climbing, and usually hard. But I have ridden for more than three hours hundreds of times and have never run for three hours.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Vielleicht » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:50 pm

Thank you for your insight, 26mi235.

I think that also has something to do with the different mechanism of both sports. In cycling the gyrating motion yield much less impact and is less taxing to the muscles than in running, no matter how smooth one runs.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Powell » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:33 am

Vielleicht wrote:For example, would an elite runner drop into a state of "could barely speak" and "face a mask of pain" after he attacks his half-marathon PB, which should also be covered in about one hour?


It happens all the time in the 400 meters, which is forty odd seconds of racing :D
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:42 am

I'm biking more these days and even on the days when I'm going as hard as I can for as long as I can, it's nowhere near as exhausting (total body weariness) as running is for me. My pulse scoots up to 160 easily on a hard run, but never above 140 on the bike, unless I'm climbing a long steep hill.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Cooter Brown » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:40 am

I mountain bike a few times a week...usually 10-12 miles a ride. I doubt I could jog more than 2 miles without walking. I'd actually be happy if I could jog 1 mile without slowing to a walk. There's a lot to be said about the impact stress running puts on your body. I have had a knee injury for months that makes it difficult to walk up and down stairs and it doesn't even bother me riding except at the landing after hucking off a ledge.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:56 am

Cycling (and swimming) are non-weight bearing execises, and therefore they take a lot less toll on the body's skeletal structure. I've done three-hour bike rides at 70% of my maximum heart rate on many occasions and I always felt pretty good after I showered and relaxed for an hour or so; good enough to cut the grass or do whatever chores need to be done. I've done one 40K time trial on the bike at my anaerobic threshold 90-95% of my maximum heart rate and afterwards I was every bit as spent as Eddy Merckx was after his one-hour record, especially since I had underestimated the amount of water that I would need on a typical south Louisiana late-July day and I ran out of water about half-way through the race. However, after about a half hour if taking in fluids and cooling down I was back to normal and I wasn't at all sore afterwards.

The furthest I've ever run is a half-marathon at about 80% of maximum heart rate and aferwards, I was really sore for a couple of days, especially in my midsection, and all I did was lay around the rest of the day. However, I have done many 8 to 10-mile training runs at 70% of maximum heart rate, and afterwards, I felt as good as though I had taken a two-hour bike ride. Based on my experience,there's not much difference between easy running and easy cycling when it comes to recovery, but there's a huge difference bewteen hard running/racing and hard cycling/racing when it comes to recovery, not so much the muscles, but the skeletal structure and connective tissues. As for heart rate, I had no problem getting my rate as high at the end of a short bike race (1K, points race) as I did at the end of a short road race (eg. 2 miles, 5K) which was 195-198 b.p.m. (I've never hit 200 though my brother would regularly hit 203-208 b.p.m. when he raced).

As for energy expenditure of cycling vs running, I've always used a 3:1 ratio; that is one mile of moderate running equals three miles of moderate cycling. However, as the effort goes up the ratio comes down due to the exponential nature of wind resistance, and for sprints the ratio is 2:1. Not coincidentally, the world record for cycling's 200 meters is 9.572s.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby bambam » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:52 am

Interesting since jazzy and I agree so often but I've always used a 3:1 ratio as well for my running and cycling in terms of perceived effort.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:03 am

According to Åstrand and Rodahl, the most efficient mode of transportation by any animal is riding a bicycle. The least efficient?....A slug..
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:07 am

Marlow wrote:I'm biking more these days and even on the days when I'm going as hard as I can for as long as I can, it's nowhere near as exhausting (total body weariness) as running is for me. My pulse scoots up to 160 easily on a hard run, but never above 140 on the bike, unless I'm climbing a long steep hill.


Using a heart monitor it is amazing how hard you have to work on a stationary bike to get your heart rate above 150. While running on a treadmill, it takes nothing at all.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Vielleicht » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:33 am

Conor Dary wrote:Using a heart monitor it is amazing how hard you have to work on a stationary bike to get your heart rate above 150. While running on a treadmill, it takes nothing at all.

For me it's not hard on both equipments - could I have cranked the resistance of the stationary bike too high?
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby odelltrclan » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:41 am

Isnt this like the question "what weighs more a pound of rocks or a pound of feathers?"

This isn't about recovery time, it is about pushing yourself to the limit and, including a number of sports, running, biking, or swimming, if you truly gave "100%" then it must be a tie.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:12 am

Conor Dary wrote:
Marlow wrote:I'm biking more these days and even on the days when I'm going as hard as I can for as long as I can, it's nowhere near as exhausting (total body weariness) as running is for me. My pulse scoots up to 160 easily on a hard run, but never above 140 on the bike, unless I'm climbing a long steep hill.


Using a heart monitor it is amazing how hard you have to work on a stationary bike to get your heart rate above 150. While running on a treadmill, it takes nothing at all.

Try using less resistance and increasing your cadence, and you should have no problem getting higher heart rate. My heart rate when I'm mashing a big gear is never as high as when I'm spinning a small gear, and I don't fatigued as quickly either. The more you pedal with a higher cadence, the more natural it will feel.

Also try to increase the efficiency of your pedal stroke if you aren't already doing so. I used to do drills to increase my pedal stroke efficiency when I raced on the track, such as pedal with one leg with a low resistance and high cadence for a few minutes on each leg. If you're not clipped into or strapped onto the pedals and you're only using your quads and gluts, it's been my anecdotal experience that your power output is 15 -20% less than it could be with clips/straps.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:12 am

When I was a for real runner, sixty years ago, I don't recall ever taking my pulse or even considering heart rate. I was a sprinter and only started running occasional 5K and 10K as a Master. Distance was/is not my thing.

Thirty years ago, at age 50ish when I could still run and had a 38-40 bpm resting pulse, I did start taking my pulse during runs and discovered I could not seem to get it above 180 bpm, even if I was staggering spraddle legged and had blood half way up my eyeballs.

Question: Was my low max bpm a function of a low resting bpm or did I just not run hard enough to get it higher?
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:48 am

Your maximum heart rate decreases as you get older, and it's also a affaected by your genetics. Mo Farah's max HR might be significantly higher or lower than Kenesia Bekele's or Galen Rupp's max HR.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby marknhj » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:38 pm

Marlow wrote:...but never above 140 on the bike, unless I'm climbing a long steep hill.


The highest point in FL is 345' and in Jacksonville it's 40'. Do you head up the coast to the mountains to ride at the weekend?

I recently took up mountain biking as my knees no longer permit me to hike downhill for any length of time. I'm finding going up significant hills (actually, even ones that look insignificant) to be incredibly difficult, much harder than I anticipated. My goal is to ride up a 2800' one near my house by May. I'm not at all confident of succeeding, especially on a mountain bike.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:46 pm

lonewolf wrote:

Question: Was my low max bpm a function of a low resting bpm or did I just not run hard enough to get it higher?


220 - your age=Max HR. is a very good approximation. (A and R)
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:28 pm

Thanks, Conor.
220-50 =170, so at 180, I was in the ballpark :)
220-81= 139, now I have to go out and see what it is now. :(
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:38 pm

If you were still getting to 180 into your 50's my guess is that your current max HR is greater than 139.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:02 pm

Conor Dary wrote:
lonewolf wrote:

Question: Was my low max bpm a function of a low resting bpm or did I just not run hard enough to get it higher?


220 - your age=Max HR. is a very good approximation. (A and R)


A better one is probably 210 - k * Age, where k = 0.8 or so which yields 170 at 50 but declines more slowly.

When I was in marathon training my hardest workout was a 4-mile warmup (running to the location), then 3 x 3000m rolling terrain, with an uphill finish (not steep). The last time I did it I got (very noisy, hard to take pulse) 200 after the first, 210 after the second and 220++ after the third (I guess I was zero years old :lol: ). That was the highest HR I ever recorded, but it is hard to take it at that rate (in part because I could hardly see straight).

They had a running race up Mt Baldy (first 600m downhill to ~6000+ then 7.5miles up to 10,064) with a rather steep last 800m (I think everyone but Chuck Smead walked some up that steep pitch). At the finish I would fell as stressed as I ever felt. However, a couple minutes later after catching my breath I did not feel all that fatigued (which is a good thing because you have 8 miles to get back to the base!) because the work rate was not really that high due to the oxygen limitation.

jazz's sprints on the track are of a different sort; I am not sure that he could hold that level of HR for a much longer effort. (I was not crazy, I never raced on the track, to fast/dangerous and not enough hills)
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:36 pm

26mi235 wrote: When I was in marathon training my hardest workout was a 4-mile warmup (running to the location), then 3 x 3000m rolling terrain, with an uphill finish (not steep). The last time I did it I got (very noisy, hard to take pulse) 200 after the first, 210 after the second and 220++ after the third (I guess I was zero years old :lol: ). That was the highest HR I ever recorded, but it is hard to take it at that rate (in part because I could hardly see straight).

Whenever I checked my HR it was always with a HR monitor but I didn't always wear it. The workout that you described above where you could hardly see straight, reminds me of a really hard interval workout that I did with a friend one time that I wasn't wearing a HR monitor and that I suspect I might have hit the 200's, because at the end of it, I literally couldn't see straight, and keep in mind that this was on a pancake flat road that runs next to the Mississippi River and which is literally a few feet below sea level.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Vielleicht » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:49 pm

Is it universal that HR correlates to the RPM of pedalling? From many personal experiences I've always learned that it's perhaps highest at climbing very steep moutains with relatively low RPM; incidentally, the "difficulty to see straight" thing happened to me only once, also during mountain climbing, but it was more like the dimmer was gradually off.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:23 am

Vielleicht wrote:Is it universal that HR correlates to the RPM of pedalling?

If your power output remains constant, your HR will decrease as your cadence decreases. Think of it as a car going 60 m.p.h. in fourth gear vs 60 m.p.h. in fifth gear or overdrive.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:39 pm

Vielleicht wrote:Is it universal that HR correlates to the RPM of pedalling? From many personal experiences I've always learned that it's perhaps highest at climbing very steep moutains with relatively low RPM; incidentally, the "difficulty to see straight" thing happened to me only once, also during mountain climbing, but it was more like the dimmer was gradually off.


Armstrong took the approach of high turnover and lower force at each revolution. The muscles do 'more reps' at a 'lower weight'. In weightlifting if you lift a given weight until you cannot lift anymore the total lifting (reps x weight) is higher for lower weights.

I found that you really had to work to train yourself to pedal fast and efficiently. I was not really good at doing this, maybe because I was in my 30s when starting it and partly because I was not a sprinter (see jazz on high turnover on the track - I would not have been able to touch him even if I could out-climb him in a sprint).

I always had trouble with HR monitors; often they would not work or would give screwy readings (e.g., what looked like half my true HR, but other times no real pattern other than it clearly was no my HR). It might be because I am really thin and monitors back a ways were not that good (unless you paid top dollar).
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:36 pm

26mi235 wrote:Armstrong took the approach of high turnover and lower force at each revolution. The muscles do 'more reps' at a 'lower weight'. In weightlifting if you lift a given weight until you cannot lift anymore the total lifting (reps x weight) is higher for lower weights.

It has definitely been my experience that I don't fatigue as quickly when I push smaller gears at higher revs.
26mi235 wrote:I found that you really had to work to train yourself to pedal fast and efficiently. I was not really good at doing this, maybe because I was in my 30s when starting it and partly because I was not a sprinter (see jazz on high turnover on the track - I would not have been able to touch him even if I could out-climb him in a sprint).

One thing to keep in mind is that track bikes have shorter cranks than road and mountain bikes to make it easier to pedal at higher cadences. I'm 5'11" and my road bike (Cannondale) came with 175mm cranks while my track bike (also Cannondale) came with 167.5mm cranks. When I was racing on the track, I changed my 175mm road bike cranks out for 170mm cranks, to minimize the difference in feel when switching from one bike to the other. In theory, I've reduced my power at the bottom bracket by ~3% by going to the shorter cranks, but since I spin the shorter cranks 10-15 r.p.m. faster than I used to spin the longer crank, I feel that the loss in torque is worth it.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby gh » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:01 pm

Fascinating tech insight here!

But in terms of the basic question, even though I don't claim any particular knowledge of cycling—and let's add swimming to the mix—the key seems to be one of fluid motion vs. pounding the substrate.

Moving through a fluid (be it air or water) just isn't the same thing as fighting gravity with every step.

I mean, if you want to talk exertion, then "looks on faces" etc., makes cycling a pussy sport compared to boxing or wrestling, neh? Ascribing wondrous power to cyclists simply becuase it takes longer for them to look on death's door makes no sense if you stop to think about it.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby bambam » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:07 am

26mi235 wrote:Armstrong took the approach of high turnover and lower force at each revolution. The muscles do 'more reps' at a 'lower weight'. In weightlifting if you lift a given weight until you cannot lift anymore the total lifting (reps x weight) is higher for lower weights.


Interestingly that was only Armstrong in his second career, after the cancer. Prior to his cancer he was known as a hammerer, somebody who pushed big gears a lot, and pretty successfully. But that can wear you out in a multi-day stage race. Bernard Hinault maybe only really successful stage racer known to push monster gears. Some say he did it mostly to intimidate other riders. Read a pretty good big recently on the 1986 Tour de France about the competition between him and LeMond.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby bambam » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:09 am

jazzcyclist wrote:One thing to keep in mind is that track bikes have shorter cranks than road and mountain bikes to make it easier to pedal at higher cadences.


That is true but the other reason that track bikes have shorter cranks is so you don't hit the pedal on the banked turns if you're not tilted enough. Track bikes also have a higher bottom bracket to protect against this problem.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby bambam » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:10 am

gh wrote:I mean, if you want to talk exertion, then "looks on faces" etc., makes cycling a pussy sport compared to boxing or wrestling, neh? Ascribing wondrous power to cyclists simply becuase it takes longer for them to look on death's door makes no sense if you stop to think about it.


The editor is correct. Boxing and wrestling are brutal sports for conditioning. Another one to consider for efforts of only 5-8 minutes is rowing. Those guys are brutes.

For boxing witness the Thrilla in Manila and Ali's quote "Fighting Joe Frazier was the closest thing to death I could ever imagine."
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:28 am

bambam wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:One thing to keep in mind is that track bikes have shorter cranks than road and mountain bikes to make it easier to pedal at higher cadences.


That is true but the other reason that track bikes have shorter cranks is so you don't hit the pedal on the banked turns if you're not tilted enough. Track bikes also have a higher bottom bracket to protect against this problem.

That is true, but mainly on 45 degree tracks. On 33 degree tracks, I've seen guys ride their road bikes without bottoming out.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:46 am

bambam wrote:
gh wrote:I mean, if you want to talk exertion, then "looks on faces" etc., makes cycling a pussy sport compared to boxing or wrestling, neh? Ascribing wondrous power to cyclists simply becuase it takes longer for them to look on death's door makes no sense if you stop to think about it.


The editor is correct. Boxing and wrestling are brutal sports for conditioning. Another one to consider for efforts of only 5-8 minutes is rowing. Those guys are brutes.

For boxing witness the Thrilla in Manila and Ali's quote "Fighting Joe Frazier was the closest thing to death I could ever imagine."

It's been my experience that you achieve much higher heart rates during short races (<5:00) than longer races (>1 hour), even if you sprint at the end of the longer race. I routinely hit HR's in the high 190's for short races but rarely got out of the 180's for longer races. This leads me to believe that my body was a lot more flush with lactic acid at the end of the short races than the long races. Also, the pain and discomfort that I felt after a short race was a lot more intense than the longer races though it didn't last long, while it took me a lot longer to recover after longer races, presumably because of elevated body temperature and dehydration.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Vielleicht » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:05 pm

gh wrote:I mean, if you want to talk exertion, then "looks on faces" etc., makes cycling a pussy sport compared to boxing or wrestling, neh? Ascribing wondrous power to cyclists simply becuase it takes longer for them to look on death's door makes no sense if you stop to think about it.

Boxing and wrestling are without any doubts heavily taxing sports, but neither is an endurance sport, that's the point I made by specifically choosing the approximately one-hour half-marathon to compare with the one-hour cycling time trial.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby TN1965 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:42 pm

After suffering a hamstring injury in a 10K race in late October, I went through an interesting experiment on cross training for the last five weeks.

I could not run for nine days, and stayed on stationary bike and elliptical machine. My daily routine was 30 minutes on bike and 30 minutes on elliptical. It was hard for me to get my heart rate over 140 on bike, but I managed to push it around 140-150 on elliptical.

On the 10th day, I managed to run 2 miles -- in 18 minutes. For the next six days, I continued to run a little longer each day, while continuing my cross training (30 minutes of either bike or elliptical).

By the end of the third week, I was back to running 10 miles, in about 79 minutes. The problem was that it was 13 days before I was to run a marathon. There was not enough time left to squeeze a longer run (I did a 20 miler on Oct. 14, and a 16 miler on Oct. 21). So I went to the race grossly underprepared, and not knowing what to expect.

After 17 miles, my calves started to have some issues, and I had the biggest blow-up in five marathons that I have run (1:42-1:58). Surprisingly, my quad and hamstring held up, and they are feeling better than other times right after my previous four marathons (I guess they were not pushed to the limit during the race). I was breathing comfortably throughout the race, even to the last mile.

So my conclusion is that the cross training I did preserved my cardiovascular fitness. But it was not good enough to preserve my leg strength. And retaining the calf strength was harder than retaining the hamstring and quad strength.

What could I have done differently? Longer time on bike and elliptical? Aqua running to supplement other forms of cross training? Anyway, I hope I will never have to go through this again.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:10 am

You should have been on a road bike for part of it. That would have worked your calves but a stationary bike has your arch over the pedal, not the ball of your foot -- major difference for some of the muscles. You probably need clip-in (clipless, etc) pedals to get the most from the riding and you will not get that in most exercise bikes (some spinning classes maybe). You might also have a problem with the saddle height -- errors can be on both sides but my guess is that you were too low or you would have gotten a bit more of the calf into it if you were too high.

If you are not going high enough on the HR on the bike, try this. After warm up, do some version of X seconds hard, X seconds easy, X seconds at 'steady-state'. I often do it with a break down starting at maybe 90 seconds and making each one 5-10 seconds shorter. The hard should be that; you should be ready to be done and the easy will be a huge relief. At first, you will be ready for the 'steady-state' part way through the X seconds of Easy, but that will slowly disappear and 'steady-state' will slow down eventually. If these things are not happening you are not working the Hard hard enough.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Cooter Brown » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:58 am

26mi235 wrote:YYou might also have a problem with the saddle height -- errors can be on both sides but my guess is that you were too low or you would have gotten a bit more of the calf into it if you were too high.


Anyone riding a bike should go get fitted at a real bike shop. Frame size, seat shape, crank length, stem length, etc all work together to make cycling comfortable. Most knee or back pain associated with cycling will go away with a proper fitting.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:05 am

26mi makes some good points. There are three things that I can think of that would make it hard to get high heart rates on a bike and all of them have to do with not generating enough power:

1) Having the seat to low will make you mechanically inefficient and unable to generate optimum power.
2) Not being clipped into the pedals in some fashion (straps or clipless pedals) will make it impossible for you to generate power throughout the pedal stroke. It's a bike, not a stair stepper. And as stated above, the ball of you foot should be directly over the pedal axle.
3) Pedaling in too big a gear (bike)/too much resistance (stationary bike) with too low a cadence will make it hard to generate optimum power. I would recommend that you always keep your cadence at 90 rpm's or above.

By the way, I remember reading a story about 1996 Olympic Marathon Trials winner Bob Kempainen getting hurt less than two months before the trials and being forced to do only aqua running for two weeks.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby TN1965 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:38 pm

Thanks for all the feedback. I did not realize the saddle height would make such a difference. My gym has some spinning bikes, but I have never used them. I should try it the next time. And doing "interval" on a bike makes sense, too.

Although I hope I will never have to go through "rehab" like that, incorporating cross training on a regular basis might be a good idea to avoid overuse injury. I am not running a high mileage, but my body might be more fragile than other people's.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:58 pm

Bill Koch, the most successful US cross country skier of my era, use to ride in the summer for training -- he would do 100-mile rides (this is in Vermont, so hilly) and he would remove the seat post/saddle from the bike!

In fact, when you are standing (i.e., out of the saddle) your motion is more similar to a running motion and hence standing some might be a thing to work at. When I was training for marathons I would often incorporate both supplemental rides (4 miles to and from the track/university in addition to the running). I also did long rides fairly hard because I never had running workouts that lasted for three hours but regularly rode for that long, which helped my body adapt to the long duration of a marathon without over-doing the legs too much. I was my general sense that the muscles were more susceptible to to injury when fatigued and riding would get me there both more often (i.e., sometimes running 19-23 miles and sometimes riding 50-65 miles) without as much injury.

After I had prolonged plantar fascia problems so that I could not run enough to improve at the marathon I took up bike racing for several years. I mainly did hilly races and hilly time trials. The running physique (which got even leaner riding) was an advantage on the climbs, as was the runners mindset of staying with a continued hard effort without the drafting of the pack.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:52 am

26mi235 wrote:Bill Koch, the most successful US cross country skier of my era, use to ride in the summer for training -- he would do 100-mile rides (this is in Vermont, so hilly) and he would remove the seat post/saddle from the bike!


Very interesting. Never thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense. I might even try it sometime soon.

I remember Koch very well, the first to use the skating style. I wonder how he came up with this not using a seat post.
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Re: Level of exertion, cycling vs. distance running?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:19 am

Conor Dary wrote:
26mi235 wrote:Bill Koch, the most successful US cross country skier of my era, use to ride in the summer for training -- he would do 100-mile rides (this is in Vermont, so hilly) and he would remove the seat post/saddle from the bike!


Very interesting. Never thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense. I might even try it sometime soon.

I remember Koch very well, the first to use the skating style. I wonder how he came up with this not using a seat post.

I understand the rationale for riding out of the saddle during training rides, but I don't see the point of removing the seat post unless he felt that he lacked the self-discipline to stay off the saddle if it was on the bike.
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