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Off the bike fitness(16 posts)

Off the bike fitnessSpecialTater
May 15, 2003 6:25 AM
Two vacations (one 4 day and one 14 day) in the next month will likely keep me off my bike for a while. How do you stay fit? Running (brrrrr) is the obvious option, but man I hate it.

Follow up...how would you compare running v cycling mileage-wise? For example, a marathon would compare to how many miles on a bike? I guess you could compare est calories burned. I would guess a marathon would=a double century.
re: Off the bike fitnessTNSquared
May 15, 2003 7:06 AM
Hmmmm...running vs. bike mileage. Seems like I remembe a cross training article in Runners World years agos that equated 1 mile running to 5 miles biking. So that would put a marathon at about 130 miles on the bike.

However, I think it makes more sense to approach it in terms of time rather than miles, since everyones pace and relative benefit per mile is different.

What I can tell you from my experience (mostly running) is that you can get a darn good workout running in about 30 minutes. My limited riding so far tells me that 30 minutes on the bike is squat. More like 2 hours to start really getting a good aerobic/stamina workout. (That's assuming, of course, that you're not hammering at redline pace.)

My guess is you can probably get by with 30 minutes or so of running every other day ir your goal is just to maintain fitness.
not a runnerJS Haiku Shop
May 15, 2003 7:08 AM
how marathon compares to cycling has been debated here several times before, with much zeal and little concensus. some say a DC, some say a fast DC. having never run a marathon, my uneducated thought is that a 100+ mile ride done under one's own power (no drafting), fixed gear, with great effort, without stopping...might replicate marathon effort.

after a winter cross-country run series (ending with a 10k), i still can't find anything quite as difficult in cycling as running. IMHO it's all perceived effort. one cannot coast when running, and the draft offered by a pack on runs or by other individual runners is negligeable compared to cycling. running is also very high-impact compared to cycling, even if you compare a fast 10k and grinding out a mountainous 60+ mile ride.

a marathon (my first) is still on my schedule for this year; the running was interfering with brevet prep, and got dropped at the end of the x-country stuff. i'll start back running in mid june (to my dismay).

for the last of that XC series, J2 and i ran a "fast" 10k (9-10 mph miles, but mostly in deep mud, pooled water, and squishy grassy hills) in 40*F windy conditions and pissing rain, changed clothes in the back of his car, and went out & rode a fast 40 miles, pulling the pack (also in pissing rain). i was relieved to get on the bike. i still don't think this holds a candle to 4+ hours of running at a good clip (my expected sluggish marathon pace).

much as i despise running (it is evil and should be outlawed), cyclocross--the worst of both worlds--is a moral imperative. i will be anticipating 'cross season in memphis for the rest of this year. riding a road bike with fat tires on bad terrain in poor weather and cold temps, then quickly dismounting, carrying the bike while running and crossing obstacles, remounting at speed, and trying to keep those 130-pound guys in sight...great fun any day!

i'd take that 4 day vacation as a 4 day break from riding. you'll probably come back stronger. just make sure to ride lots leading up to it (is it too late?)

the 14 day trip is a cause for concern--you can lose a bit of form in a week, and 2 weeks is substantial. on past business trips or vacations, i've run or used weights in hotel gyms. vigorous swimming--if you have access to a pool--is also an option. if you're staying in a tall hotel, consider stairclimbing sessions. what's most important is not necessarily to imitate cycling, but to stay active.

have a nice vacation. i probably won't see you on rides this or next week, as the last brevet is next weekend and i'll be at home making sacrificial offerings to the great Eddy Merckx.

-J
correctionJS Haiku Shop
May 15, 2003 7:11 AM
"for the last of that XC series, J2 and i ran a "fast" 10k (9-10 minute miles, but mostly in deep mud, pooled water, and squishy grassy hills) in 40*F windy conditions and pissing rain, changed clothes in the back of his car, and went out & rode a fast 40 miles, pulling the pack (also in pissing rain). i was relieved to get on the bike. i still don't think this holds a candle to 4+ hours of running at a good clip (my expected sluggish marathon pace)."
I was wonderinSpecialTater
May 15, 2003 7:21 AM
and computin trying to figure that one out.

I can't see why any human in his right mind would run with a perfectly good bike in their hands. ;)

I haven't been able to put in the miles I wanted up to this 4 day that starts today, but it looks like I'll ride today and Sunday when I return. Only 2 days OTB.

I'm hoping to rent a bike for a couple of days on the 14 day. I'll also run (if I have to).

Thanks to you and TN for the info on the running v cycling. TN"s a good resource on this since he's been in the middle of both recently.

I'll be around next Thurs and the weekend. If you aren't around next Sat, I may do Shelby Forest (via mud island). I need a good long solo ride and that sounds like fun.
I was gonna say! :)TNSquared
May 15, 2003 8:26 AM
Actually, 9-10 minute miles is pretty impressive under the conditions you describe, especially for someone who claims not to be a runner.

Fall marathon, are you just a glutton for physical suffering? Tell you what, help me prepare well enought to finish the Fall Colors century, and I'll be glad to provide whatever advice or help I can with your marathon training.
saturday ridesJS Haiku Shop
May 15, 2003 9:41 AM
use our saturday 07:30 rides to build to a strong century, with a "kick" near the finish. we're not in the business of "well enough to finish." a few 85 milers in 95* temps, no clouds, no wind, near 100% humidity, and all the hills in the last 15 miles, and you'll be ready to scrape the others off the tarmac at the end of the fall colors ride. stick with it, and this time next year, 100 miles will be a pleasant warmup.

use our sunday rides to work in some harder efforts. J2 is a good rabbit, and also a good teacher, if approached properly. personally i use thursday nights for speedwork and pack skills. tuesday nights (not a club ride) are most enjoyable for humility: there are select few attitude adjusters (and fitness barometers) better than getting dropped by the entire (cat 2/cat 3) pack while riding 23 mph uphill. wow, i'm starting to look forward to brevet riding again.
My badTNSquared
May 15, 2003 11:53 AM
Point well taken. I've never run a marathon just to finish, and no point taking that approach to the century. Don't know what I was thinking.

Already planned to ride in Fayette County this Saturday. Is the Sunday ride going on this weekend?
As a Runner who Cycles....serbski
May 15, 2003 7:28 AM
...I've always heard that the very *loose* estimate is 3-cycling miles equals 1-running mile. Running does burn approx. 100 cals. per mile of running (slightly more or less if one weighs more or less) regardless of effort/pace whereas it seems that in cycling one cannot just call "a mile a mile" (i.e. a "climbing" mile is certainly quite different, energy expenditure-wise, than drafting in a group or "cruising" on the flats with a tailwind...) I am sure that somebody on this board can provide some figures on energy expenditure etc. for various cycling efforts but it still seems that there are so many more variables to consider such as speed, windspeed and incline whereas with running, a mile is, quite simply, "a mile". Seeing as you are a cyclist who wants to maintain fitness via running I guess that you should estimate what you think you expend calorie-wise daily/weekly on the bike and then determine how much you feel that you need to burn to, at least, maintain weight and then convert that figure into running miles. Regarding the marathon equaling a double century, FWIW from my experience after having run dozens of marathons, I found that a "cruised" century felt about the same as a "cruised" marathon effort/recovery-wise (minus the sore quads one gets from the marathon!). The great thing about running is that you can do a very relaxed 6mph run (10min/mile) and still burn as many calories (per mile) as you would if you were flying along at 6min/mile. Running is good if you have time issues and it requires little in the way of gear or good weather. If you don't run that often, err on the side of caution and take it slow/easy and don't crank out the miles too soon as you don't need to get injured while cross-training. BTW, if you have access to a gym, the stairclimber and the elliptical are great ways to stay fit without the injury factor that running may present. I'm in the same boat by the way as I will be on a trip for almost one month. Anyone know of road bike availibility in Cape Town S.A.???
running vs cyclingtarwheel
May 15, 2003 7:41 AM
Running used to be my main sport, with cycling for off days. Personally, I would equate about 3 miles cycling with 1 mile running, if you're cycling at a fairly high effort. It's difficult to compare directly, though, because running puts so much more wear and tear on your joints and muscles. In terms of calorie expenditure, I think the 3:1 ratio is pretty close. But running a marathon is much more difficult than cycling 78 miles. A fit cyclist can ride centuries every week, or day after day, but you can't run marathons very often -- the stress on your body is just too great.

If you don't like running, how about hiking? Hiking at a brisk pace will give you a lot of exercise and can be very enjoyable in parks, trails, etc.. I can't run any more due to foot injuries, but can walk or hike all day. That's what I try to do when traveling without a bike. Swimming is good too, but so boring.
running vs cycling vs swimmingSteve_0
May 15, 2003 8:24 AM
swimming in pool = boring
swimming in ocean = exhilirating.
perspectivesctri
May 15, 2003 7:30 PM
Who has ever gone on a ride at the same slow pace, with no riding buddies, with no downhills for speedy efforts, and no up hills to get the heart racing and competitive juices flowing?

NO ONE!
So why would you swim that way?!?!?

In order for swimming to be fun, it needs to be some what stimulating... back and forth and back and forth at the local Y will put anyone to sleep.

Find a group to swim with
Learn to work with the pace clock (its easy, my 5 and 6 y/o's do it)
Challenge each other,
and have fun

Swimming is/can be a very enjoyable experiance, you just have to make it so

RC
I run when I can't (or won't) ride.dzrider
May 15, 2003 9:17 AM
I find it pretty difficult to compare the mileage because you can lower the level of effort much more cycling than you can running. For an accomplished rider it's possible to ride with less effort than walking. I found my 200k ride felt much like the first 30 miles of a 50 mile run. I found my 300k took 90 minutes longer than a 50 mile run but was considerably easier. On day to day workouts I can exhaust myself in an hour on the bike or run lazily for 2.5 hours. All's according to how hard I want to work.

My estimate for long events, based only on my limited experience comes in at 4 to 1. I have often speculated that the most valid comparison I could make would be to stay at the same heartrate for the same length of time for a run and a ride and then compare the mileage. I really don't care quite enough about the answer to get a heart monitor.
A Fellow Ultrarunner??? nmserbski
May 15, 2003 6:00 PM
Faced that on a cruise last week ...Humma Hah
May 15, 2003 10:48 AM
... the wife booked us on a cruise up the Alaska coast last week. Great vacation, but no chance for me to ride. If I'd been in charge of the excursions, each town had bikes for rent, but she had other priorities.

We did manage one short but hard hike. Otherwise, I amused myself with activities on the ship. My favorite was a "stairclimb challenge" put on by the fitness department. Start on deck 12, race down the main staircase to deck 3, back up, and back down and up again. Essentially 18 floors down and up. The record is about 3 1/2 minutes ... took me 4:01, but I'll argue that I'm turning 50 in 2 months. I could beat everyone who tried except one 24-year-old kid who was about 10 seconds ahead of me.

They also had deck walks, step aerobics, and spin classes.
re: Off the bike fitnessridingthegyro
May 16, 2003 1:44 AM
I stay fit by running-in-place in the hotel room each day for least 20 minutes of zone time using a heart monitor. I also do a lot more walking during vacations.