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Cycling vs Running

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How do people feel bike training compares to running in relation to alpine climbing preparation?

I am interested in substituting biking for running as I've long felt, with no hard evidence, that running is the best form of training but have been injured so many times -sprained ankles, knee issues, etc. - that I am rethinking this approach.

 

Theoretically shouldn't biking get me the same cardio stress (VO2 max) as running but without the stress?

 

And of course incorporating lots of hiking i was hoping to severly decrease my running routine with no noticable loss in fitness for alpine climbing.

 

Your experiences and input are appreciated

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Depends on the kind of cycling you do. It's harder to maintain a consistent heart rate riding a bike because you end up doing a lot of coasting and easy spinning. If you can find a big long hill that takes an hour to climb up, you can get a pretty decent workout, but I've found it takes at least a couple of hours to get a good cardio workout on a road bike on the flats.

 

Mountain biking is better.

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I have found that climbing steep hills on my roadbike seems to work the exact same muscle group that I use in steep alpine climbing, even more than running up hills. It is also definitely easier on you legs because there isn't the jarring effect associated with running. If you're carrying a load at all, it seems like it is almost better to go on steep hikes carrying wieght to train for that.

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I'd give cycling a thumbs up too. The most important thing is to pay attention to your cadence and keep it at least 80rpm - and more is better. I've found that many people who don't like training on a bike are'nt spinning nearly fast enough. "I can't push a hard enough gear without going up a big hill, and there aren't any good hills around here" is the wrong way to go about training on a bike. The flats are considered boring in road races because drafting allows a group to easily chase down breakaways--not because you can't get a good workout on them!

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Yeah just find a long road, go as fast as you can, and don't stop pedaling. You can keep your HR way up if you are trying to maintain 20+ mph AVG. Yes I do think biking is better training than running for climbing. You never really flex your legs enough while running, and the impact forces are hard on your body.

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I have to weigh in on both sides of the fence. I like biking better and feel like it's a better cardio workout. I have noticed that when I train only on a bike that I have more problems in the hills. I think that this is do to a bike being non-weight bearing and running or pack walking keeping the weight bearing parts excercised. Of course I am on old dude that has to pay attention to such things but,... What I found works good for me is to bike and work the cardio that way and to load a pack and climb stairs or hills to excercise the hips,knees, and ankles.

 

Just my $.02

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Since I almost ruined my achilles tendons last year from too much uphill running (and, I would guess, I wasn't stretching enough...although I tried to be vigilant about it), I've had to switch to biking for cardio/training, and I hike long mileage, with some elevation gain, at least once a week. Seems to keep me in reasonable shape, but then again, I don't have much of an option anymore.

 

I felt best when I did a combination of the two, and added a bit of weight lifting in once or twice a week. Still, I think that cycling, if done right, is adequate, and will help with the injuries. Just my .02 cents worth, as well.

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i come in heavily on the biking side. when you're running, you tend to "push" off (builds your achilles) whereas biking, if you're maintaining a good cadence, you are "pulling" with your thigh muscle (builds your quads) which i find translates very easily to the "lifting/straightening" of your leg that hiking steep trails and slopes with a pack requires. it seems to me that hiking and running basically require totally different muscle groups whereas hiking/biking have about 80% overlap.

 

the comments people have made about getting a workout on the flats are well taken, but i have also found that bike hills are the ideal interval training - hit it hard on the way up, drift down with no knee strain, repeat until tired...

 

finally, i've found that biking, since is also serves as transportation, allows me to more easily work exercise into my daily routine without having to set aside as much special time for it, which is important for me (YMMV, of course)

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I think that this is do to a bike being non-weight bearing and running or pack walking keeping the weight bearing parts excercised.

 

That is definitely important, but I think that there is no substitute for carrying a heavy backpack, not even running can train this.

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Cycling: Pro- Joint stress far less than running. Con- Takes a lot longer to get a good strong cardio workout in. Has little effect on the "impact" muscles...those weightbearing muscles that are sore after long hard runs or hikes with a heavy pack.

 

Running: Pro- a great way to get a quick cardio workout in. Con- joint stress and pounding...requires more recovery time.

 

Recommendation.....incorporate both into a workout schedule. Run one day then go for a long cycle ride. I've found that if road biking anything less than an hour just isn't really worth it. Whereas if I'm out trail running I can get away with 20 minutes but prefer more like 30 or 40 minutes.

 

Ever thought of throwing swimming into a workout schedule?

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Are any of the cyclists here concerned about being squashed by cars? I've been thinking about getting a road bike but the memory of a childhood neighbor's father getting killed mitigates my thoughts. FWIW the guy was a very experienced cyclist.

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re: Gaper_Jeffy: I think the experienced cyclist is bolder on the road, and is susceptible to a false sense of security through past experience. You have to assume that you are invisible at all times, and then pick your battles. Never stop watching your back. I think I'm going to have to break down and get one of those obnoxious jerseys pretty soon.

 

re: Eerie: If you're not getting strong cardio on the bike then you're not biking hard enough.

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Getting hit by a car is always a concern of mine, too many close encounters. It's just like climbing though, you never know what unexpected thing could happend. A couple weeks ago I was walking on the trestle at 38 and somebody knocked over a shotput sized rock that almost hit me and the person I was with. If it had hit either of us in the head it would have probably been game over. A couple feet, a couple seconds. You just have to ride in predictable ways and always be ready for the unexpected. Staying off busy roads help too which I hope is obvious.

 

There seem to be people who can go and run for hours on end, without it damaging their knees or their backs. I'm not one of those people. With the exception of trail running I don't find it that fun either. At least cruising around on my road bike I get the rush of going fast and I find I can push myself as hard as I want. That said you can still injure yourself on the bike by not being properly setup on it. Knees, back, weak hipflexors, and arm and hand numbness are the most common overuse injuries.

 

My opinion is biking works more hiking/climbing specific muscles because it more replicates the range or motion of going up; putting pressure at a 90 degree and pushing down and through the bottom of the pedal is pretty similar to what you are doing hiking uptrail. Going downhill is another story and is always the part that kicks my ass.

 

The other consideration is that you can ride a bike longer than you can run, so you can spend more time developing your aerobic capacity and prepare it for a long days work. Since I'm not an avid runner I don't know how low of a heart rate people are capable of maintaining on a long run, but on the bike you can ride at a heart rate that is pretty comparable to most climbing situations.

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What about an old one-speed piece-of-shit bike for workouts? Or a track bike? Wouldn't this give a better workout than a traditional Mtn/road bike? Any thoughts?

 

My current workout:

 

Day 1) Run 45 min @ 8+mm pace.

Day 2) One hour gym cardio workout on "Stair-Mill" machine. Then, some light weights.

Day 3) One hour bike ride w/ some long hills. (Mtn bike w/road slicks)

Day 4) Rest

 

repeat.

 

Longer run (8-13 miles) once every two weeks (if I haven't been climbing) @9min pace.

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Are any of the cyclists here concerned about being squashed by cars?

 

Naw, I bike commute 3-4 days a week in Portland traffic; most times I'm faster than the cars. Good hill training in this city.

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I don't have a clue what's physiologically "better" but...

Have you ever watched a cow run? Enthusiastic but utterly lacking in grace. That's how I feel when I run...like a lumbering lummox (no offense there dude). I've always hated running; always liked riding my bike. So I ride for the pleasure of it & to be in shape for other things.

I think it pays off well especially if you mash some. Mashing seem to be anathema to roadies but it's exactly what you do on foot on steep ground with a pack.

No I don't worry particularly about getting hit by a car (something's gonna get you), but I do as a rule stay off SR2; heavy fast traffic is a drag.

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i like to ride my bike around and out of town. i like to run on cool days through the forest. i read poems and cry. wait a minute. . .

 

carrying heavy shit around on your back is good training for carrying heavy shit around on your back.

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Mountain biking will get you in shape quickly. Try riding up Sun Top Look Out. Uphill for about 7 miles. A killer. Running is ok, but the pounding is no good. Mountain biking for the cardio and weight training for strength. Keep it simple and train hard. It works!

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My opinion is biking works more hiking/climbing specific muscles because it more replicates the range or motion of going up; putting pressure at a 90 degree and pushing down and through the bottom of the pedal is pretty similar to what you are doing hiking uptrail. Going downhill is another story and is always the part that kicks my ass.

I agree that cycling is much more specific to climbing than is running. I still do both. I like to run and can train in a higher HR zone running than I can cycling. And I really think that running, especially downhill, alleviates the problem Jon mentions about downhill kicking his ass. A couple of my old climbing partners got into bike racing. They became animals on the uphill, and cramped and tired terribly on the downhill. They were getting no eccentric training on their quads. They tossed in just a bit of running and it seemed to take care of the problem. They had the quad strength - just needed to hit the eccentric phase a bit to prepare for what the quads need to do coming downhill.

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And I really think that running, especially downhill, alleviates the problem Jon mentions about downhill kicking his ass. A couple of my old climbing partners got into bike racing. They became animals on the uphill, and cramped and tired terribly on the downhill.

I've had similar problems when I cycle w/ reduced downhill performance. Running downhill is REALLY bad for your joints however - run up, walk down.

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Running downhill is REALLY bad for your joints however - run up, walk down.

whatever fag. rolleyes.gif

it is called 'plyometric' exercise. and that shit works. because you get your ass kicked by it not does nullify its worth. beeotch. the_finger.gif

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whatever fag. rolleyes.gif

it is called 'plyometric' exercise. and that shit works. because you get your ass kicked by it not does nullify its worth. beeotch. the_finger.gif

Chondromalacia (aka runner's knee) is not the good kind of asskicking. rolleyes.gif

 

That was the advice of my Sports Medicine doc, who is doc for the Giants, Raiders, and Sharks, among others. rolleyes.gif

dude. i preciate the lobbed softball to wack back down your throat but i am gonna pass. this time. evils3d.gifwave.gif

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