How to equate running and cycling

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by angular, Nov 24, 2008.

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  1. My objective next year (by the time the local races start in July) is to knock my 5k time down to 18 minutes, rather than the fat and slow 24 I can manage at the moment.

    However, due to age/wear and tear/that unfortunate accident with the 60 pound bergan and the loose stone on the footpath, my ankles are shot, so I can only do two runs a week, leaving two slots to be filled by cycling.

    Does anyone have a rough and ready way of equating cycling to running workouts, in terms of pacing, time spent exercising etc? I appreciate they're different types of exercise that work different muscles and so on, but they're both good for cardio-vascular fitness and lactose tolerance, so there must be some benefit.
  2. Rather than go too mathematical on this, you might benefit from buying a heart rate monitor. Working to heart rate, rather than perceived level of effort can prove beneficial.

    On an aside, working to perceived level of effort is also a valid training idea, before someone shouts at me for suggesting that it isn't. ;)
  3. V. good advice, except that your Max HR is likely to be 10-20% lower on the bike than running, so you need to allow for that.

    For a 5k you're best off working out where your lactate threshold is and using the monitor and bike to do threshold crossing interval sessions of 30-45 mins or so including warm up/down (I'm sure you can google some stuff up on this).

    You'll find that a lot of cycling sessions aren't much use beyond this sort of training, since they assume you're training for events for which 18 mins isn't even a warm up.
  4. Angular, no offence intended but have you got any excess weight to lose?

    I've read somewhere (so it must be true) that if you lose two stone, you can expect to cut about 2 mins off your mile time (or something to that effect). I guess this depends on how much overweight someone is but you get the idea.

    edited to make it at least a touch relevant to the thread! - So perhaps using cycling as a non-impact way to lose weight rather than improve running fitness might be a more efficient way?
  5. Isn't he the guy that snapped his ankle? Thus weight probably isn't the issue, just the physical constraint of the injury.

    Edit: My mistake that was "Contrarian".
  6. Of course I'm carrying a bit too much weight, but unfortunately not 2 stone's worth!

    That's why I'm looking for improved training methods :D
  7. Tried getting a flotation jacket and 'running' in water. You may feel a bit self conscious in your local pool to begin with but fcuk 'em. Serious athletes have been doing this since the early '80's. Give it a go :D
  9. Interval training in the pool:

    10 x 4 25m with 1 minute in between frontcrawl best effort. Suunto T series watches come with an HR monitor that's pool proof. This sorted my fitness out a treat and is a nice break for the legs. Also a good excuse for a sauna/steam room for 30mins at the end which also helps metabolism to some degree and keeps your skin nice :wink:
  10. The thing I noticed was that cycling really carried over into running when I was a kid, but after 30 not so good.

    Have you tried up the slope on the treadmill? I did a slow jog up 15% this morning, and I was in bits but it didn't knacker my ankles or knees.
  11. Just back from a twenty minute interval session on the bike. Only at the end - last five minutes - was I doing the explosive exhalation that starts pretty much as soon as you start running. Before that I was breathing deep and regular, heart rate was quite high, but mainly my legs were suffering - and that's pretty much the way of it.

    There's an intimate relationship between oxygen consumed, energy used, power produced. A litre of oxygen is 5kcal a minute, and 4.3 litres (I think) is about 300w of power. Running (especially up a slope) is the best way to work at a high percentage of whatever total you can manage. Anything else and you are likely to start to knacker muscles long before the heart, lungs and energy delivery is totally stressed.

    People who start using an exercise bike tend to leave the non-working leg as a dead weight for the working leg to lift. That dramatically adds to the difficulty and makes cycling still worse as a way of getting the heart rate up. People also try (subconsciously) to "lengthen the crank" - pushing when the pedal is at bottom dead centre. With practise you stop doing that and (again subconsciously) unload the non-working leg, so that it is in contact with the pedal but there's no weight on it. Once that happens it's a lot easier to come within a few beats of your running heart rate on the bike.

    One thing I really notice is that hard sessions on the exercise bike really improve sprinting - I think the "scraping dog sh*t off the sole of your shoe" movement at 25 past the hour on the power stroke builds up the same muscles.
  12. Some interesting stuff in that - basically he would say I suffered like a dog and didn't hump people over longer distances in the way that maybe I could have because I didn't do enough steady state volume training. I don't think (though) that the stuff he cites on the benefits of volume holds bodyweight constant. In other words, longer and a little slower might make you faster not because it's physiologically better but just because you lose weight. Mind you, physiologists tried to prove that right with Chris Boardman (cyclist) and he never fulfilled his potential - high quality training and control weight through diet seemed fine on paper but the reality is that those who did the miles won the races. Then again, a lot of them might also have been doing more than miles.
  13. Although that probably had more to do with the hormonal illness he suffered from.
  14. That is a variable he doesn't take into account that I didn't realise.

    In his case study he uses a individual called Joe whom initally starts off overweight by 20 pounds from his pre fat days training days. Although Joe has a former runners body, I would agree that some inital HR and pace adaptions would come from his stripping of this weight. But I wonder after say 10 weeks (he must have been losing surplus calories with that volume leading up to that point) what the HR:pace:weight correlation would be.
    I guess without numbers it's nigh on impossible to tell.

    I would guess like you have indicated though, that through doing more volume in any chosen sport/activity would yield adaptions through more economical stride in this case for running along with the slow twitch fibres taking more and more of the strain at higher and higher intensities.

    I wonder what would happen for Joe if he performed 6x400m sprints with 1 min rest. Would his HR remain stable? Would he reach extremely high lactate more quickly then his previously mixed state (I would assume after his LT, because of the relatively few fast twitch now available to him, I assume through detraining of fast twich fibres, he would have a low tolerance for the lactate being built up)?
    I also wonder if he would be faster per 400 and overall. I would assume overall he would be faster due to less tailing off of speed, but the inital 1 or 2 might well be faster in his previously detrained state.