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Cycling vs Running – Can they compliment each other and which is best?

cycling vs running

Which is best, cycling vs running? This is a common question, and the simple answer is that running is compatible with cycling and vice versa. Running is an endurance sport close to cycling. It is compatible, but above all complementary to the practice of cycling. The benefits of a double activity running and cycling are numerous. On the one hand, the muscles are used differently in both disciplines. Running allows for adaptive musculo-skeletal benefits for cycling. On the other hand, the energy aspect of running is very similar to that of road cycling. The cardiovascular stresses are similar and the benefits of the endurance qualities are reproducible in both disciplines.

In short, the practice of running is the twin discipline of the bike. It requires adaptation, but it can be complementary throughout the season, even outside the winter period.

Common Training Patterns for Cycling vs Running.

During a jog, cardiac activity is fairly stable. Your heart beats at about 70% of your maximum heart rate. This level of intensity corresponds to the stamina of cycling.

From there, the cardiovascular benefits are the same whether in running or cycling. This reproducibility applies to all intensities encountered in competition. Thus, a session of maximum aerobic power type 30s30s by bike allows the same central adaptations as a session of maximum aerobic speed in running.

As part of your training, if you have option of including running, don’t hesitate to integrate several sessions of running in place of the bike. On the one hand, the progress from your training will be strengthened and on the other hand, you will break with the monotony of doing 100% bike practice all season. The sessions can be diversified from recovery jogs to full aerobic workouts.

Beginners should start slowly at first with a progressive practice and on soft ground such as the forest. To avoid injuries, it is important to allow time for the musculo-skeletal system to adapt to the practice of running, which brings more mechanical stresses than the bike. Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes, tailored to your practice and morphology. Shoes for running on the road are different from those for the trail.

Running Sessions = Reduced Training Time.

Just like disciplines such as cross-country skiing, running has a very good “energy expenditure / training time” ratio. Indeed, the energy expenditure in running is greater than that of cycling. For example, for a 70 kg man carrying 1 hour of training, he will spend 800 Kcal while jogging at 10 km / h against 380 Kcal for a bike ride at 25 km / h. In short, he must do 2 hours of biking or 1 hour of running to obtain the same energy expenditure. This aspect is very attractive for people in training time deficit. In order to reconcile professional and family constraints with your passion, running is a solution to enhance your training schedules.

Running is an excellent sport for general fitness.

So where does cycling vs running fit with regards to fitness? Cycling has the particularity of being a sport where the forces exerted on the body can lead to tensions and muscle imbalances. Running is, on the contrary, a sport that needs good balance and form. Muscular contractions are different from cycling. The muscular chains from the top to the bottom of the body are stressed, which allows adaptations to the entire physical condition. Incorporating sessions of running into your training can help prevent injuries during your season, but also reinforce your strength in your core, leading to increased efficiency on the bike .

In summary, running is a discipline that is perfectly compatible with cycling and, in some situations, it can be complementary to the physical preparation of a cyclist. To avoid injuries and obtain the most benefit, it is necessary to take the time to learn to run smoothly and efficiently. Be progressive in your training volumes and vary the routes and surfaces you run on. If you have sensitivities in your joints or tendons, try to run on soft ground, but be careful with mountain and trail routes, as the impacts in the descents can be pretty severe.

So there you have it, rather than think about cycling vs running, we recommend you choose cycling and running!

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