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Cardio Substitution: Cycling vs. Running

General discussions on joining & training in the Royal Marines.
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Kane
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Cardio Substitution: Cycling vs. Running

#1 Post by Kane » Tue 28 Mar, 2006 3:28 am

I've recently come into a bad leg injury from an "out of aligned hip." Simple question really: If I was running 5 miles at a 7:30 min/mile prior to the injury, what distance would I have to cycle to get the same cardio workout now? I'm trying to think of activities to do instead of running to maintain my cardio during this "downtime," so suggested by my Physio doc.

Cheers, Brent

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Re: Cardio Substitution: Cycling vs. Running

#2 Post by Brian- » Tue 28 Mar, 2006 4:53 pm

Depends on the intensity really - distance doesn't mean much by itself because any old fat geezer could cycle for miles on end at a crap pace. Also speed is affected by loads of things (surface, wind, bike) so don't just look at that either. Going by your heartrate and perceived effort is best I reckon. I do some nice 30 minute rides at around 85-90%MHR (doesn't feel nice), some 1 hour rides at around 75-80%, and much longer rides at 65-70%.

Just mix it up and see what happens. :)

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#3 Post by nufc_rulz » Tue 28 Mar, 2006 6:06 pm

With cycling you can go for ages at a good pace. If you are relativley fit and can do a good 5 miles then you could probably easily cycle 20 miles in a good time. Last may i cycled from coast to coast (workington to newcastle) which is 140 miles in 2.5 days and it was a killer.

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#4 Post by Sarastro » Tue 28 Mar, 2006 6:14 pm

First off, if you have a leg injury, I would seriously consider swimming instead of cycling, as even though it's low impact you can easily mess yourself up on a bike (been there, done that).

If you do cycle, what you get out of it depends on many factors, like Brian said. If it's windy, you will end up being twice as tired as you would otherwise, makes a big difference. Biggest unalterable factor is your bike and how fast it is. If you want to get a good all-rounder though, aim for the following.

Approx 1 to 1.5 hours at 20-25MPH (so around 20-30 miles).
Keep your bike on a single speed (unless on very steep hills) to get a range of strength workouts on your legs
Mix in 3-4 decent sized hills to go up at regular intervals.

For example, I do (on single-speed road bike in London) 30 miles around town in around 1.5 hours, taking in several hills and ending up going up & down steep hills in Hampstead. Gets the job done, but not sure how good it would be for your injury.

PS Just noticed that you said leg injury not hip injury...if it is anywhere near your knee, do not go cycling, as this will almost certainly make it worse. Also check with your physio before doing any replacement exercise.

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#5 Post by Kane » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 6:15 am

Thanks for the suggestions guys. My physio actually suggested that biking would be good, so I'll give it a wirl and see what comes of it.

Cheers, Brent

Doc

#6 Post by Doc » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 9:44 am

Get an indoor turbo trainer (£50-£300 quid) clip your back wheel into it and do fartlek on it.

With a turbo you cant spin so 30 mins and your hanging out, if you arent then up the gears and resistance.

Also lets you train as you want and not what the road wants.

I use one with I-magic, that links to my laptop and cycle Alp Dheauz (sp) in DVD, with my sterring and cadence etc transfered to screen. Brills it is.
But about 500 notes.

Get lance armstrongs performance book, theres a 7 week programme in it that is very good. Can do it outside or on your turbo.

Turbo session is nails if done right, speaking off which Im going to do one now, chin chin

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#7 Post by Sarastro » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 11:17 am

Doc wrote:Get an indoor turbo trainer (£50-£300 quid) clip your back wheel into it and do fartlek on it.

With a turbo you cant spin so 30 mins and your hanging out, if you arent then up the gears and resistance.

Also lets you train as you want and not what the road wants.

I use one with I-magic, that links to my laptop and cycle Alp Dheauz (sp) in DVD, with my sterring and cadence etc transfered to screen. Brills it is.
But about 500 notes.

Get lance armstrongs performance book, theres a 7 week programme in it that is very good. Can do it outside or on your turbo.

Turbo session is nails if done right, speaking off which Im going to do one now, chin chin
That's just a fixed-gear bike, no? (ignore the bearded whacko, the info is quite useful) Plenty of messengers use them, and though they're great for stunts & control, and can be beautiful things in the hands (legs) of a good cyclist, they are totally not for someone just starting out, would probably break your legs.

Oh, and indoors exercise bikes are evil...why would you want to do that instead of having the wind in your face? It's like only rowing on an ergo, no fun. Besides, having to train as the road wants instead of how you want builds endurance and adaptation imo, and stops your body getting into a training rut.

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#8 Post by GGHT » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 4:57 pm

My legs give up before my lungs when I have tried cycling, although the two (running and biking) are meant to compliment each other.
Running primarily works the back of the legs (hamstring, calves), cycling the front (quads).

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#9 Post by Sarastro » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 5:56 pm

GGHT wrote:My legs give up before my lungs when I have tried cycling
Do a five-day week starting out with normal cycling for 30mins to 1 hour, then the second week do 1 hour to 1 hour 30 mins cycling up & down hills in a high gear. After those 2 weeks you won't have much problem with your cycling legs being weak. I tried lunges & squats etc for months trying to build strength in my quads, after 2 weeks cycling they were cast iron.

I have the opposite problem, need to build strength in running legs. Considering what we're training for, I'd rather have your problem :wink:

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#10 Post by borisimo » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 7:09 pm

i know what you mean sarastro my legs give up but i know i have plenty left in my lungs.

are there any specific excerises you're doing to try and improve it?
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#11 Post by Sarastro » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 7:52 pm

Well, cycling (obviously) as having good quads etc can't hurt. Also taking my bike on my back and speed-marching up hills to have a crack at my calves. Aside from that, just building it up doing frequent short periods of running, and trying to make sure I have the best technique possible, because it's usually rubbish.

No idea whether any of this helps particularly, I suspect the best thing to build up running strength is to run.

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#12 Post by Greg The Great » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 8:23 pm

I'm sure I've read that runners tend to have very weak hamstrings but that hill running helps develop them.

Get some clipless (SPD type) pedals for your bike if you haven't already and turn circles when pedalling. It will develop hamstrings and ultimately be far more efficient as you can pull up as well as push down on the pedal.

I've ridden mountain bikes competitively and for leisure for 10 years and now mostly stick to 40 mile rides with a local mountain club each Sunday and a couple of shorter rides during the week on the days I don't run. The Sunday rides are great for stamina as I'm on the bike for 4 hours.

Ta ta.
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#13 Post by Sarastro » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 10:33 pm

I think you mean cleated pedals...where here you replace the pedal with a clip & put a cleat into your shoe which clips onto it? If so, I've already got some on order with the shop :wink: Not sure what you mean by turning circles when you pedal though? Surely pulling up on a freewheel gear is pointless?
I've ridden mountain bikes competitively and for leisure for 10 years and now mostly stick to 40 mile rides with a local mountain club each Sunday and a couple of shorter rides during the week on the days I don't run. The Sunday rides are great for stamina as I'm on the bike for 4 hours.
Check out my job mate :wink:

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#14 Post by Greg The Great » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 10:50 pm

You can call them cleated if you like but they're more commonly known as clipless or SPD's (Shimano Pedalling Dynamics). Clipless comes from when people used to use toeclips. SPD's were developed so they become known as 'clipless'.

Ok, turning circles - When you pedal you press down on the pedal right? Now imagine using your other leg to pull up at the same time.

It makes each revolution smoother and more efficient and is important to avoid 'bounce' on full suspension mountain bikes.

Greg.
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#15 Post by Sarastro » Thu 30 Mar, 2006 12:17 am

Sorry mate, wasn't correcting the name, was just saying what I know them as :D

Understand what you mean about turning circles now, though it's unnecessary on my bike - I find road bikes are a lot smoother anyway, and since there's no extra length on the chain (single speed) you get a lot more control over it naturally. Have to be really speeding along to even come close to having any freewheel in one pedal rotation.

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