Any benefit from cycling as opposed to running?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by s4keithv6, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. s4keithv6

    s4keithv6 White Belt

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    I had ACL surgery about 2 years ago, and I find that every time I run my knee ends up aching and I get bad shin splints. When I took up long distance cycling I found that it was much easier on all my joints. Can I get better cardio from biking?
     
  2. iama

    iama Orange Belt

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    Sure why not as you say its low impact, I was in the same boat a while ago I know from experience.
     
  3. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Ebony Belt Platinum Member

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    It depends on how you define "better". If you can't Run without significant pain and, more seriously, a risk of injury, then Biking is definately better for you.
     
  4. shunyata

    shunyata Red Belt

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    Much easier on the knees, but harder on the taint.
     
  5. cheez whiz

    cheez whiz Brown Belt

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    Most competition cyclists are considered paragons of cardio.
     
  6. anomynous

    anomynous Orange Belt

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    Sure you can. Get yourself a heart rate monitor. Find your minimal/maximal heart rates, then work out your training zone and put in the time. Don't forget to work in intervals if you want to increase your cardio capacity even further.
     
  7. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Cycling is an excellent form of cardio, as is swimming, jumping rope, light shadow boxing, incline walking, ballroom dancing... the list goes on.

    Anything where you are keeping your heart-rate in the desired zone for the desired period of time will work fine.
     
  8. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    If you're using an exercise bike, instead of biking outside, you can stand uo on the pedals. No stress on the taint, and muscle endurance is less of a limiting factor.
     
  9. pottro563

    pottro563 Blue Belt

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    I would still try to incorporate a quick pace walk into your routine. Cycling just wasn't enough for me.
     
  10. PUO3

    PUO3 You are a can. Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    much lower impact on the knees.

    i would say however that if you want to cycle, use an actual bicycle and not a stationary. youll notice the bicycle is a much better work out.

    also, im a firm believer in swimming over both of them, if that is an option for you.
     
  11. PUO3

    PUO3 You are a can. Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    they are in incredile shape in terms of endurance.

    seen some damn impressive lifts from cyclist also.
     
  12. TeddyRoosevelt

    TeddyRoosevelt Brown Belt

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    As has been said multiple times, cycling is a fine and oft-used method of conditioning. There are other low-impact options as well, that you might want to look into. What are you goals? Anything specific, or just "better cardio"?
     
  13. marian

    marian Orange Belt

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    I come from a cycling background & I get loads of positive feedback from my training partners about my strength & endurance. My jiu jitsu still sucks, but I can train for daaaaaaays. So, yay! cycling.
     
  14. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Yeah--cycling will get you to your destination a lot faster than running will.
     
  15. Chucknate

    Chucknate Blue Belt

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    It's the EPO
     
  16. cheez whiz

    cheez whiz Brown Belt

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    My original wording was "PED allegations aside..."

    It's too bad they've stained their sport with all the PED use. However, the fact remains that serious cyclists are cardio machines.
     
  17. Boekind

    Boekind Orange Belt

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    Bike shorts and generous amount of Chamois Butt'r take care of taint.
     
  18. SunNovaGun

    SunNovaGun Blue Belt

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    If you choose to cycle over running be sure to incorporate some weight lifting into your overall fitness program

    The lack of skeletal stress in cycling can lead to lower bone density in people who don't supplement with some running or lifting.
     
  19. Ethan

    Ethan Green Belt

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    I don't run at all, because I like cycling better. My knees get burnt out ridiculously fast if I run as often as I cycle. I usually do a 2-3 hour trail ride on Sundays with intervals during the week. I have a bike on a trainer as well as my trail bike so that helps.
     
  20. SunNovaGun

    SunNovaGun Blue Belt

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    I have a few questions for the TS.

    How often have you tried running?

    How long did you run for and how hard were you running?

    I only ask because running is pretty stressful on your body at first and most people overdo it by trying to run too far and too fast. Start with an easy pace a couple of times a week for 10-15 minutes. Don't worry about how far you go, just run for the amount of time you set out for and increase the duration gradually, no more than 10% a week.

    If you follow those two guidelines you shouldn't hurt too much and be running pretty far in a couple of months.If you still get shin splints try landing more on the mid-foot to ball of your foot and run on grass instead of asphalt or concrete. Although if your knee still hurts with a gradual buildup maybe running isn't for you but remember that your musculature will adapt much more quickly than connective tissues so give it some time.

    If your running form is good (ie you don't heel strike too bad) real shin splints (your bone feels like it's going to shatter with every step type, not the muscle in the front of your lower leg is sore for a week type people commonly mistake for shin splints) take a while to develop unless you do too much too soon.

    Running is really good for building stronger tendons and ligaments so it's worth a shot to tough it out, just don't rush it.
     

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