Cycling vs. running for cardio fitness

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  • Cycling vs. running for cardio fitness
  • IanMunro
    Member

    Cycling’s a great method of cardio exercise. But for the majority of people running longer distances their performance isn’t cardio limited.
    I.e. Bradley Wiggins has a level of fitness far in excess of ours, but it will make naff all difference if he tries to run 69 miles tommorrow.

    Good luck whatever you decide to do!!

    crikey
    Member

    Bad knee + 69 miles = not very clever thing to do, IMO.

    piemonster
    Member

    This doesn’t look great to be honest. In your position I wouldn’t. You’ll take a hell of a beating over that distance. Even when fit.

    Which ultra is it btw?

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Rowing? Pretty brutal but 30 minutes in zone 4 several times a week gave me an incredible improvement in cardio fitness. Use it on setting 3 or 4 and the display showing the power curve so you can be sure you’re using good technique.

    brooess
    Member

    If your knee is that knackered I wouldn’t put it through an ultramarathon. I’m not a medic of any kind but you may want to consider if putting it through a 69 miler in only 8 weeks time when you can’t manage a 3 mile run now, might lead to a permanent injury or lifetime of weakness…

    I’d cancel and spend the time getting the knee 100% and go for it again in the future – the risk here could be daily mobility and all the events you want to do in the future…

    I’d recommend lots of flexibility and core work too – really helps overall conditioning. A weak core/poor flexibility can lead to issues all over the place…

    johnj2000
    Member

    Unfortunately I bring bad news. Ultra running is a specialist event, you really need to prep forI at least 12 months prior to the event. Whereas a combination of running and cycling can work just doing cycling wont. Ultras really hammer you and you need to get your body used to the hell you will put it through on the day, cycling won’t replicate the impact, the leg movement, and the muscle usage. Sorry, but you need to run 🙁

    mcwyc
    Member

    Sorry, I’m with Johnj, running is good cardio but running cardio is a whole different game esp when it comes to ultras. I’ve done a handful of ultras, the body and joints take a hammering esp if large parts are on Tarmac. You need to run the miles to get used to it not cycling miles.
    Is it The Wall? Mate did it last year, good but there is a f air bit of road running.

    willard
    Member

    Background: I’ve entered a 69 mile ultramarathon in June. Training has been going well up until a month ago when I took a week off with a cold, then took another week off with the sinusitis that followed and then put my back out. That all healed, I went out for a short run and loved it. So I went out for a longer one, loved that too. The third time I had to walk home after 3 miles because my right knee would not bear weight.

    Long story short, I’ve not really run in a month. The physio has given me a load of exercises to try and build up some weak muscles in my right leg, but cycling appears to be the only way I can do any cardio exercise right now.

    Given the short time between now and the race (June the 22nd) is cycling my arse off and hoping that my knee gets better with the exercises in time going to be enough to keep me fit enough to attempt 69 miles, or should I just admit defeat and try and sell on my entry and hotels?

    By the way, I tried MingTFU, but brufen is a bit lightweight for the pain.

    dirk_pumpa
    Member

    I did a 56 mile fell race when i was 25 or thereabouts. I’d echo what others have said in that fitness won’t carry you the 69 miles. Iron will, will.

    I’ve no plans to do anything similar again.

    redben
    Member

    Hi Willard

    Trust me dont do it! Bide your time and get it fixed.

    I managed 76 miles of a 100 ultra with a bad knee last August and its still sufficiently bad than I can only run occasionally now!

    Increasing the maximum distance you can run from 3 miles to 69 miles within 8 weeks really doesn’t sound like a realistic goal.
    I’d say sell on your entry as soon as you can to someone who’s got a good chance of lasting the distance.

    EarlofBarnet
    Member

    Did your physio say what was wrong with your knee? If its your ITB then I came back from that quite quickly after using a foam roller.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Not being funny but what was your training plan?

    My gut feeing is that the fact you are asking the question means the answer is no.

    djglover
    Member

    Just to counter all the advice given above, I recced the 3 peaks race off my winter bike base training and no running in 5 hrs with no I’ll effects, 12 weeks of running later and I ran it in 3:56. I know the distances are longer here, but I would happily race it with no running as training

    willard
    Member

    I was actually sticking to a good plan prior to the injury and was up to 33 miles a week (injury free, lots of rollering and stretching,etc) prior to the taking time off. Before that I was running between 20 and 30 miles a week and hitting the gym twice a week for strength. The plan called for me to peak at about 55 miles a week in Mid June before tapering down. As of now I was supposed to be up to 41 miles a week.

    Sadly, last night’s 1 mile run (actually 1.1…) was as far as I could go. The quick blast around the village and up some local hills on my bike was easily doable though.

    I see all your points, I really do, but I really want this. My wife doesn’t really understand why, but imagine that, after a lifetime of not being able to run and being generally unfit (see previous threads regarding AF) I’m now in decent shape and actually half decent at running (well, apart from the knee now). I enjoy it, I wont to go further and this just makes me intensely frustrated. I can’t even go for a run to work that frustration out either.

    Just for interest, the 69 miler is The Wall Run. Carlisle to Newcastle. I reckon I could walk it in 24 hours, but I wanted to beat 17.

    JCL
    Member

    Hammer some ketamine and give it your all.

    mulv1976
    Member

    You can’t even run a mile, yet in eight weeks you want to run 69?!

    Its your decision but what’s the rush? Why not wait until you’re fully fit and run it next year instead of risking permanent damage?

    And no, bike fitness is not enough to train for this – you use completely different muscle groups and movement patterns.

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber
    tonyd
    Member

    Don’t do it. You think you’re frustrated now, imagine how you’ll feel if you attempt to run that far on an injured knee and do yourself some permanent damage. You risk being frustrated for the next 20+ years.

    Rest up and let your knee heal properly. Work out a training plan so you can attempt it next year or the year after instead.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    You don’t say how good your running was before the injury.

    If you’re generally in good enough shape to do an ultra, then if I were you I’d just stop running and preferably walking until your knee is better. You don’t lose all your fitness in weeks, but your body does heal a lot.

    I’d do nothing at all until it gets better, then nothing for a week, then hit some short interval sessions. I’m not a coach or a doctor though!

    Premier Icon stever
    Subscriber

    I’d be thinking more about how long your long runs were, not your weekly mileage. If you haven’t been able to bang out a few 20 milers then the writing’s on for The Wall. I know a lot about bodging and surviving on will but suspect this is a bodge too far. It’s terribly sad facing up to these things – my two key events of the year so far were both cancelled – but they’ll all be there to come back to another time.

    willard
    Member

    Stever, nice pun! That’s almost worthy of the bloke here in the office!

    Ok, so long runs… Before the time off, I could smash out a half marathon in 1:45 and some seconds. I did two of those on consecutive weekends and still managed to keep up the normal training. My longest run after that but before the time off was 14.5 miles cross country though snowdrifts. I’ll not lie to you, it was tough, but then again, I was running through two/three foot drifts with mud hidden underneath. Without that, I’d have gone faster.

    I know I’m behind the curve now for the longer runs and I’m hoping that longer bike rides can make up for that.

    surfer
    Member

    Training needs to be specific. Thats not to say that you wont get benefit from cycling but it will have limited benefit.
    I am not sure you have made a great decision taking this on and interesting use of the term “smash out” 🙂

    willard
    Member

    Sorry, I’m reverting to type. I’ve heard that term used a lot recently and it’s sort of rubbed off. I appreciate that 1:45 half marathons are exactly smashing out, but you get the idea.

    As for making the decision, I made it last year before Christmas. I was fully working then and was happy that I could do such a thing.

    johnj2000
    Member

    I still stand by my original advice. I know people who do these things a lot and the training they put in for one or maybe two events a year is amazing. Long runs in the 30’s and 40’s not teens of miles. Or at least back to back 20’s on the weekends.

    I would dump the idea until fit again (fit as in not injured as opposed to being generally fit which you obviously are) don’t get hung upon one race as there are loads of interesting ultra challenges out there. It’s an unfortunate statistic that most ultras and distance races are over before they start due to training injuries. Feel for you Willard as I have been where you are lots of times.

    willard
    Member

    Thanks John. Hearing this from so many other people is not exactly easy, but it does make some decisions easier I think. At least this way I can blame you lot when I feel down about it!

    Anyone want to buy an entry into a 69 mile ultra? Going cheap, can supply hotel rooms at either end as well…

    johnj2000
    Member

    I’ll take it Willard, I am sure I can go from 5 miles to 69 in a few weeks 😉

    glupton1976
    Member

    Before the time off, I could smash out a half marathon in 1:45 and some seconds.

    Not really smashing anything out is it?

    I wouldnt give up on it just yet. You still have two months. What I’d be doing in your situation would be two runs a day 6 days a week. Chop and change the distances so that your body doesnt really know what it’s got coming.

    I’m not sure that you’d be able to do permanent damage just by attempting an ultramarathon with not much training.

    willard
    Member

    Glupton,

    For someone that has never been a runner due to other health problems, 1:45 is pretty impressive (to me at least). I appreciate what you are saying and I know it’s not that fast, but completing them was a success for me.

    As for running, right now I can’t run. Full stop. I’d love to, but having a leg that just about fails to weight bear due to pain after a mile is not conducive to doing two runs a day six days a week, however much I want to.

    mcwyc
    Member

    1:45 is a good time in a half esp if you’re not a keen runner. There are always people who say they can go faster – good for them! If you can’t run now I’d say can it unless you fancy doing it as a walk, defo can the running. Blatting out 15m training runs and 30/40m cumulative in a week isn’t too bad but doing 30+m single runs is a different ball game – nutrition, will power and practice play huge parts in getting thru it.
    You might be able to defer your entry for a year if you get in touch with RR people.

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