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  1. #1
    Dud Rocket
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    Cycling is not Superior

    This is about how running affects the body and a shout out to fellow cyclists to not get hot headed.

    In my opinion running is the best way for me to simulate race conditions for my heart, it is different muscles in your legs so I try not to get hurt, I am a cross country runner and I believe running is very good for your heart as well as your brain , running flat out hurts, it is good mental toughness/ high bpm training for shorter races.There is no way to make cycling hurt as bad as an 800 m race. I love cycling and it is more of a priority to me then running because I am a better cyclist ,but it important for me to recognize the athletic achievments that my running friends accomplish. Running is harder and more competitive then cycling in America, the best high school runners are better trained then the best high school cyclists. As a cyclist it is easy to get a superiority complex in athletics. "You cant ride a bike proportionaly as fast as I can run" is a view that cyclists take a lot. Cycling requires dedication and training of a specific set of muscles. Obviously your running muscles are proportionaly stronger then a runners cycling muscles, running is something that happens without thinking (to the house in the rain, if your late to a meeting, etc.), runners on the other hand conciously dont get on a bike and train. However in terms of your musclular system running has unique effects for everyone, Obviously sprinters are more muscular because it is an explosive motion, but most endurance runners (>5k) lose mass from there legs when they are running hard, but some runners have tree trunk legs. Comparably, if you look at Pro Tour riders some of there legs are sticks, but some of them have a lot of muscle.
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  2. #2
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    What I agree with:
    Running is more competitive than cycling, at the junior level. More teenagers run than cycle, in this country, it's true. There are track teams at every high school, therefore more kids run than cycle.

    Other comments:
    Comparing any two sports is very difficult because each sport has such different skill, fitness, and strength requirements.

    I can't ever make a statement that one sport is harder than or superior to another. Even golf, which doesn't have an emphasis on fitness and strength, takes a incredible amount of practice time and dedication. And the payoff if you're good at golf can be huge. Pro golfers make a lot of money. Therefore, I think it is a very competitive sport, but does have barriers for participation (cultural, monetary, accessibility, etc.). Any sport at the world class level, is very difficult.

    I believe the toughest sport, in this country, is basketball. Because there are little barriers for participation (very poor people make it to the NBA), the payoff can be huge if you're successful (lebron james was a 18 year old multi-millionare) thus making it even more competitive, and there are many means of accessibility for playing the sport. It's a very competitive sport. Same goes for soccer as a world-wide sport.

    Running has better accessibility than cycling. But the role models in long distance running have become less relatable, unless you relate to Kenyans pretty well. I believe the Kenyans have every world record from the 800m to the Marathon. I might be wrong.

    Cycling will continue to grow because of the increased caucasian-American participation at the world class level. I see it growing amongst junior right now. Especially with role models like Armstrong, Hincapie, Lephemier, Julich, etc., it will continue to grow. But I don't think high schools will ever pick it up.

    BTW, I was a sprinter (200m,400m) in high school. That was hard, but cycling is hard too. But they are two completely different animals for me to compare. To me, racing a 400m sprint, and a cycling criterium is about the same pain level. They both hurt like freakin hell.

  3. #3
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    I forget the source but I remember it being credible, that in a year 50% of runners who run on a regular basis seek medical attention for some problme caused by their running. Running is not a low impact activity.

    Making a post saying cycling is not superior and then mentioning the advantages of running is pretty much claiming that running is superior. At least that's how its interpreted in small minds like my own.

  4. #4
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    Comparing running with cycling is somewhat unjustified. Of course running is harder on the body from an impact perspective. The fact that it take weeks to recuperate from a marathon, while cyclists can do 4-5 hour rides every day for 3 weeks (TdF) should give a strong clue.

    But if you take a marathoner and a cyclist and ask both of them to cover as much distance as possible in 2 hours, you will find that both will work at their maximum capacity and neither will be easier than the other. The runner will feel some significant impact on the joints compared to the cyclist, but aerobically, they will both hit their thresholds (or just under). How can one say that one is harder than the other, when both have reached maximum performance for their aerobic system?
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  5. #5
    Shut up and ride
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    who cares?

    if you like to run, go run.
    if you like to bike, go bike.
    if you like both, pick one for today and go do it. (or do both)
    if you like hiking, swimming, kayaking, crewing, surfing, climbing...whatever - go enjoy

  6. #6
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    apples and oranges

  7. #7
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    And who really gives a crap which one's superior, if even one is? Running works different muscles than cycling. Cross-training is good. Running poses a much greater risk of injury by muscle strain, excessive shock, etc and cycling gives a good workout. Of course running's more competitive; the ability is inherent in human beings. Cycling is man made; no other animal does it with exception of a few gifted mammals from the ape family.

    Let me put it this way. I'm better than you. There's no way to prove that, right? Undoubtedly, you're better than me in some respects, and I the same. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and determining who is "better" is not possible. In a less complex way, determining which is better, cycling or running, is not possible.

    I like running, but to me it's nowhere near as fun as cycling. Still, I frequently choose it over riding, if for no other reason than to strengthen my unused muscles.

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  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Each is its own animal...

    I am a sport level mtn. bike racer and road enthusiast. Throughout HS and college I ran CC and Track (400 meters (sub 49 second pr) to 5 miles in CC (26:10 pr)). They are both tough in their own right. Like I tell my former running teammates..."Biking is a lot easier on your body...until you crash".

    That being said, I have never biked myself into delirium, but I have run myself there. When biking I have raced myself to my quads, hammy's and calves cramping at the same time. The only time I have experienced pain like that in running is when I broke my foot in a CC race and ran 2 more miles on it. I love the speed and agility of cycling (road and mountain), but I miss the simplicity of running, where the only chance of a mechanical is your shoelace breaking. Right now, when time is tight, I would opt for a run because I think you get the most bang for the buck. However, like my college CC coach said, "if you want to be a better runner, run; if you want to be a better biker, bike; if you want to be a better bowler, bowl".

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterhaile
    There is no way to make cycling hurt as bad as an 800 m race.
    I felt this way as well, until I got into better biking shape. When I first started biking, my body would give out before I could push it to the point that it would hurt that bad. I can do that now if I want to. Just like now, since I don't run that often any more, I can't sprint for 800 meters or push my body by running to the point that it hurts like it hurts when I'm pushing my body cycling. Think about it, when you first starting doing 800's you were joggin because your body couldn't sustain a real pace for that long. If you were anything like me, while it hurt, it didn't hurt anywhere near as bad as it did later when you were in serious running shape.

    I will say that it is definately easy to cheat and rest while cycling than it is while running.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruinane
    I will say that it is definately easy to cheat and rest while cycling than it is while running.
    That's true. When you run long distances, you [I] get into a zone and just feel like I can't stop until I fall asleep. If I do stop, than it's so hard to get going again, providing I've already run a long ways.

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  12. #12
    El Pollo Diablo
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    I'm just curious how the OP can think that his thread is anything other than intentionally inflammatory?

    It's possible to make biking as painful and hard as an 800, he just hasn't tried hard enough.

    Both are great exercise, but trying to convince people in the XC training section of a MTB site that they should think about riding less...
    troll.

  13. #13
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    One thing that is true is that cycling especially on the road is low impact. That being said I read a study on 35 expert level cyclists over the age of 40. These guys were very compettitive riders who did not run or do any resistance training. Each of them participating showed significant bone loss and lower muscle mass when compared to men of the same age group who engaged in running and cycling and resistance training. Several of them had the bone mass of people 20 years older. Compettitive runners ofcourse had all kinds of injuries caused by the repeated impacts on the joints.

    My point is if you only ride you may do well to consider throwing in a little running. Your bones and muscles need work to continue to grow and stay strong. If you run too much you are going to screw yourself up. I recently began running again and it has helped my riding alot. I don't get as winded on the climbs because of the extra cardio training.

  14. #14
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    my take is thus...
    running is really hard and not fun. cycling is really hard and fun.

    PS..
    cycling is definitely superior to golf....

  15. #15
    Nature Rider, Not MTBer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli
    ...

    Cycling will continue to grow because of the increased caucasian-American participation at the world class level. I see it growing amongst junior right now. Especially with role models like Armstrong, Hincapie, Lephemier, Julich, etc., it will continue to grow. But I don't think high schools will ever pick it up.

    ...
    You may be heartened to know you're wrong. High school mountain biking is here, and the leagues and teams are growing. Do a search for Berkeley Mike's posts, and you'll find some info on it.
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  16. #16
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    My $.02:

    It's almost like this was written as an example of a brief essay on the relative merits of running vs. cycling for an English class or something.

    I wonder what grade he received in his English class for the effort.

  17. #17
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    Your comparison is like trying to say "Formula 1 is not as competitive or difficult as running because there's only 22 competitors worldwide at any one time compared to thousands of runners".

    Cycling of any kind is also a more expensive sport than running. For that reason alone there's going to be less competition and participation.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro100
    PS..
    cycling is definitely superior to golf....

    Last edited by bigD-XCguy; 04-13-2007 at 06:39 PM.

  19. #19
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    waste of my time thread

  20. #20
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    Running is for criminals

    Running is for criminials
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plim
    You may be heartened to know you're wrong. High school mountain biking is here, and the leagues and teams are growing. Do a search for Berkeley Mike's posts, and you'll find some info on it.
    I'm glad it's starting. I looked up the posts and can see that it's in the club level stage.

    I guess I mean't that cycling may never be funded at the level of mainstream sports, like football and basketball. You join football, and all the pricey gear (helmets, pads, etc.) is provided by the school.

    It will take a while before it's a widespread high school sport, with teams attainable regardless of district income levels. With what they started in California, hopefully that will change some day.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterhaile
    This is about how running affects the body and a shout out to fellow cyclists to not get hot headed.

    In my opinion running is the best way for me to simulate race conditions for my heart, it is different muscles in your legs so I try not to get hurt, I am a cross country runner and I believe running is very good for your heart as well as your brain , running flat out hurts, it is good mental toughness/ high bpm training for shorter races.There is no way to make cycling hurt as bad as an 800 m race. I love cycling and it is more of a priority to me then running because I am a better cyclist ,but it important for me to recognize the athletic achievments that my running friends accomplish. Running is harder and more competitive then cycling in America, the best high school runners are better trained then the best high school cyclists. As a cyclist it is easy to get a superiority complex in athletics. "You cant ride a bike proportionaly as fast as I can run" is a view that cyclists take a lot. Cycling requires dedication and training of a specific set of muscles. Obviously your running muscles are proportionaly stronger then a runners cycling muscles, running is something that happens without thinking (to the house in the rain, if your late to a meeting, etc.), runners on the other hand conciously dont get on a bike and train. However in terms of your musclular system running has unique effects for everyone, Obviously sprinters are more muscular because it is an explosive motion, but most endurance runners (>5k) lose mass from there legs when they are running hard, but some runners have tree trunk legs. Comparably, if you look at Pro Tour riders some of there legs are sticks, but some of them have a lot of muscle.
    There is truth in that an hour of hard running is worth a bit more than an hour of hard riding ( at the same HR,) typical workout lengths of the two sports differ considerably, so you can throw your comparison out the window. If you have only 45 minutes to train after work, a run will be more beneficial to your overall fitness, but if you choose to run, this is the reason you can't reach the same level of pain on the bike. You don't ride enough. When your cycling condition is where it needs to be, your legs won't die before your lungs give up. I have many friends who came to cycling from different sports and experience the same problem, and the answer is always the same. You're not in good enough cyclingshape. I believe climbing is the hardest thing, in any sport.You can make any sport that involves climbing as hard as you want. While an 800 is hard, and I've run plenty of them, it is not harder than going anaerobic climbing, whether you're on foot, bike or skiis.
    As for body types, the thinner/lighter cyclists are good at climbing and distance, like runners, and the heavier, more muscular are sprinters, just like runners. The fact that it's not an impact sport allows for more variation.
    As for basketball being the hardest sport, give me a break. Maybe one of the harder to turn pro from the sheer volume of players, but don't even suggest that they are even close to the conditioning of endurance athletes. The first measure of fitness being VO2-. This is crucial in all endurance sports, but not even measured in basketball.
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  23. #23
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    I'm wondering why I even bothered to read this thread. What was the point of the original post anyway? If you wanna run, go run. Personally, I'm only gonna run when someone's chasing me.
    That which does not kill me, postpones the inevitable.

  24. #24
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    Dumbest thing I've heard in a while.
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  25. #25
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    On the one hand, who cares? On the other hand..road or xc biking? XC riding will hammer you more than road riding provided that the same amt of effort is put into either.

  26. #26
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    First of all this is two different sports, and I have never been in the middle of a bragging war on who was doing what....we (bikers, runners, triathletes) all have a mutual respect of what physical suffering is.

    And I agree the level of competition will not be the same since running is something easier to pick up...but the dedicated "few" who truly participate are on the line to win no matter what sport you are in. And you have to step it up to win.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterhaile
    There is no way to make cycling hurt as bad as an 800 m race.
    Absolute statements show inexperience and lack vision. Go do a stage race or even give it your all in a time trial or MTB short track and get back to me on this...Make it hurt as bad as a 800m race and see what it gets you.
    "I'm supa-fly TNT, I'm tha guns of the navarone!"

  27. #27
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    Geez Louise

    Sorry, I did not mean to make everyone angry or even start a discussion, I was just trying to limit the amount of people discounting running. I like both, but I like riding my bikes more!!
    Race like a Pee Horse

  28. #28
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    baseball is better than football.

  29. #29
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    Running is great if you can find enjoyment in it.

    I have a friend who is a salesman. He spends lots of days on the road where he can't take a bike. When he's home he want's to spend as much time as possible with his family. So... He runs. He rode a 28 mile MTB race with me this last year after only riding his bike 10 miles all summer. We both placed solidly in the middle of the pack. He finished less than 10 minutes after me. Running has its place and I'd love to do it if only I could find some kind of joy in it.

  30. #30
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    Watch running downhill,you may get hip dysplasia although more common in dogs can be quite painful.

  31. #31
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    I just want to say that both are good ways to get and stay in shape. I run every third day at work, for 30 mins on a treadmill. I love the cardio aspect of running, but the impact hurts. I definitely feel it the next day. On the flip side, I hit the trails for about 60-90 mins on my off days, and feel no ill effects whatsoever. What is better for me? I say that riding the bike for 90 mins a day, 5-6 days a week is better than running for 30 mins 3 days a week. I'm sure cardiologists across the nation would agree with this logic. I honestly could care less if someone who runs for 90 mins a day is in better shape than I am. I enjoy my time on my bike as much as they do their run. I'm glad that we have both found an exercise that we love. Mountain Biking is my thing, and if it keeps me from sitting on the couch driving the remote, than it's a great thing. I say run, bike, swim, hike, lift weights, or do whatever you like. The best exercise is the one that you can consistently enjoy doing without injuring yourself. Anyone who tells you differently is a fool.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green_Canoe
    I have a friend who is a salesman. He spends lots of days on the road where he can't take a bike. When he's home he want's to spend as much time as possible with his family. So... He runs. He rode a 28 mile MTB race with me this last year after only riding his bike 10 miles all summer. We both placed solidly in the middle of the pack. He finished less than 10 minutes after me. Running has its place and I'd love to do it if only I could find some kind of joy in it.
    When I started running I thought this is so slow and boring I've got to get an I-pod, which helped alot. For me the joy starts after the run is over and the body is swimming in endorphins. I crave that feeling and will go through some pain to get it.
    A bicycle will take you to fantastic places....if you let it.


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  33. #33
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    Well I can say Swimming is the most difficult sport and works the body harder than any other sport around too. Every sport has it's ups and downs so you can't really compare them. I can swim for hours on end but I can't run a few miles. Of course I can ride hours on end on the bike too..

    it's all relative.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klein_man
    the only chance of a mechanical is your shoelace breaking.
    I just got back from a 75 km training up in the hills. As I was eating my Applesauce and Whey protein, I read this and about spit it all out on my computer.

    Friggin Hilarious

  35. #35
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    As stated before, every sport has pros and cons. IMO I think it's important to cross train with running and biking/another cardio geared sport. I mean as far a loosing weight, I have lost about 50 pounds ( I want to be between 150-160, I was 220 and I'm 170 now) since November without any diet pills or gimicks, just biking, running, light weight lifting and eating slightly less. I usually ride for about an hour, then I get off my bike and run for about 30 mins 5-6 days a week (depending on weather), and 100 pushups (in sets of 30, which I worked up from not even beeing able to do 10) and very low intensity weights 3 days a week.

    I believe you can be both a good runner and rider, heck, Lance Armstrong started out as a triathlete, not a pure rider.

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  36. #36
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    Most difficult sport = Soccer (Futbol) the training is intense. :-)

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid 5
    I just want to say that both are good ways to get and stay in shape. I run every third day at work, for 30 mins on a treadmill. I love the cardio aspect of running, but the impact hurts. I definitely feel it the next day. On the flip side, I hit the trails for about 60-90 mins on my off days, and feel no ill effects whatsoever. What is better for me? I say that riding the bike for 90 mins a day, 5-6 days a week is better than running for 30 mins 3 days a week. I'm sure cardiologists across the nation would agree with this logic. I honestly could care less if someone who runs for 90 mins a day is in better shape than I am. I enjoy my time on my bike as much as they do their run. I'm glad that we have both found an exercise that we love. Mountain Biking is my thing, and if it keeps me from sitting on the couch driving the remote, than it's a great thing. I say run, bike, swim, hike, lift weights, or do whatever you like. The best exercise is the one that you can consistently enjoy doing without injuring yourself. Anyone who tells you differently is a fool.
    I'm with you. I'm also heavily built, 79-80 kg and 179 cm with very rigid muscles and tendons. It really takes pains to get into the rhythm of regular running. I took up running 3.5 years ago as a spare activity being temporarily laid-off by a cycling injury (funnily enough, that was a knee problem).
    I've never been able to run more than 3.5 hours/week without injuries but I've been enjoying it and really envy those who can run. Usually I run during off-season, adding some biking or xc-skiing, but I'm always thinking about inserting some running into my biking training schedule just for fun and, finally, I'm very close to make it. I had a 40-min run a week ago and I hope I'll have another one again on Wednesday

  38. #38
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    My left hand feels better than my right hand...

  39. #39
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    I thought I knew everything in high school too

    no worries kiddo, you'll find out thousands of times in the next few years how you really don't know jack

  40. #40
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    Measuring one sport against another is often way too subjective. Are you measuring?:

    Strength
    Endurance
    Intensity
    Coordination
    Technical Skills
    Learning Curve
    Training Required
    Level of Competition
    etc.

    Of the above criteria, how do you rank their importance? why?

    Sorry OP but, as authoritative as it comes across, your original post is really flawed.

    Ant

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro100
    my take is thus...
    running is really hard and not fun. cycling is really hard and fun.

    PS..
    cycling is definitely superior to golf....


    no ripping boulderstrewn 35degree downhills on foot...

  42. #42
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    I have a running/cross train exercise that will blow your heart through the chest. The running is minimal 80 seconds at most. The exercise was taken out of a Men's Fitness magazine a little while back. It is an unbelievable exercise for your cardio system. Even for how much I cycle, I was SO sore the next day. My friend who goes to the gym everyday with me (but doesn't cycle) puked about 30 mins into it.

    I had the mile record for awhile in HS, but I hate running. I use this exercise strictly for my heart and cardio. If you want to know what it is PM me.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppie58
    I have a running/cross train exercise that will blow your heart through the chest. The running is minimal 80 seconds at most. The exercise was taken out of a Men's Fitness magazine a little while back. It is an unbelievable exercise for your cardio system. Even for how much I cycle, I was SO sore the next day. My friend who goes to the gym everyday with me (but doesn't cycle) puked about 30 mins into it.

    I had the mile record for awhile in HS, but I hate running. I use this exercise strictly for my heart and cardio. If you want to know what it is PM me.

    Was it a firemans drill, or an astronauts circuit?

    The kids 18, you can do crazy stuff at that age. Fair enough, i coudnt do much beyond a 50m sprint, couldnt swim fast either, crap endurance all round-but i could push 40+ kmh , most of the day, on a bike.
    Go figure.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by axiomaxx
    Was it a firemans drill, or an astronauts circuit?

    The kids 18, you can do crazy stuff at that age. Fair enough, i coudnt do much beyond a 50m sprint, couldnt swim fast either, crap endurance all round-but i could push 40+ kmh , most of the day, on a bike.
    Go figure.

    So what is superior in the sport which every cripple can do? Fastfoodlike fitness. From this point of view running is much more superior. It's the sport for the chosen ones!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    So what is superior in the sport which every cripple can do? Fastfoodlike fitness. From this point of view running is much more superior. It's the sport for the chosen ones!
    Hmm, not sure what you mean, just saying i had lousy short burst endurance, couldnt keep the breathing regulated i guess. Didnt realise this had been covered before, and interesting the supposed bone density studies.
    Running, or jogging? Thats for people who arent smart enough to time things correctly to have walked to the same location, and its murder on knees

    If your ligaments and joints are all knackered from jogging, is bone density that important?

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    Runners (joggers) look like death, are weak, tight, slow and injured. Yuk. Maybe not at first--but they degrade into what I described after 10 years of the nonesense.

    2-3 miles 2-3 times/week=fine--but WHAT FOR?? Sprinters on the other hand....

    PS: Why does nearly every issue of every running magazine have a mention of injuries on the cover?

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    How in the heck did I miss this thread?

    Two things:
    "here is no way to make cycling hurt as bad as an 800 m race."
    You've obviously never done a crit. And 400m races hurt more anyway.

    Running is for Neanderthals.

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    IMO it's like everything else, too much of anything is not good. if you run a few miles it will probably not cause long term negative injuries, but if you're running 30 miles 7 days a week, i'm sure your joints will take a beating.

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    I use to love to run but gave it up due to knee pain. That was 20 years ago. The old adage is that people who can run anymore take up cycling.

    But I have been helping coach the local high school track and cross country team. Injuries are a major part of the equation with shin splints being the worse problem. It did get me to start running a little bit again and I must say I enjoy it.

    It is true you must keep on your feet or you will lose bone density, so if you can you might want to mix cross training in with your biking.

    I think the key is to limit your running so you avoid injury and to use good shoes and run off pavement.

    I hope to get some of the kids to start cross training by using a bike to keep up areboic fitness and minimize the impact injuries. Some of the world's best distance runners use the bike for this.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    run off pavement.
    YES!!! When I joined CC, my biggest reason was that I got to run in the woods. But guess what? The only place I got to run on trails was in races. So I quit. To me, running on roads is pretty much running on a treadmill+dangerous vehicles.

    Tim
    I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

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