Cycling or running- which is better?
Aerobic exercise is an effective tool to assist with fat loss. It can be fun and can help sculpt your physique into something awesome. Unless you are a competitive strongman, aerobic exercise, like running or cycling, is good for you. In a previous article, I wrote about engaging in a variety of physical endeavours to challenge your body and find your fitness Zen.
This week I am comparing and contrasting two aerobic workouts- running and cycling. As a fitness person, it’s okay to make time for both. But maybe you’ve only got time for one or you’re trying to decide which to engage in first as you dip your toe in the aerobic waters. Well, read on, and make an informed decision about which is best for you.
There are a lot of hardcore runners who just love making their bodies move with nothing but running shoes propelling them. Running can be very enjoyable, but if you’re into speed and bit of tough tasks, cycling is where it’s at. Some road bikes can reach pants-crapping speed when going down a steep hill, and it really lets you know you’re alive.
At the metabolic level, fast running beats fast cycling. There is also the fact that when you’re riding downhill, you’re essentially at rest because you’re coasting. Not so with running. Speaking strictly about aerobic results and caloric burn, you can do more in less time with running. You’re also getting more of a total body workout with running than you get with cycling. With running, it’s often possible to just head out your front door.
Well, from a time management perspective, cycling kicks the butt of running. You will get where you are going way faster on a bike when reaching a specific destination is your goal. It’s also easier for carrying things like a change of clothes on a bike. The one merit to running is not having to worry about your bike being stolen. But still…
It’s possible to spend a lot of money on both of these activities, especially if you’re travelling to run marathons. Every five months, it’s a new $150 pair of shoes, plus a small fortune over the years for a variety of all-weather running clothes.
You can cheap out on cycling and get a basic bike from the hardware store for $250. However, some road bikes cost up to $3,000 with all the accessories. Clothes are extra here as well. One bike alone can be nine years’ worth of running shoes, so…
Difficulty Of Adoption
Just think about what it was like to be a kid with a new bike. You could ride that beauty for hours. There’s no pounding on your joints, you can go far and fast, the wind ripping through your hair… Now compare that to taking up running. The first few times I tried running, I was huffing and puffing, wondering why the hell I was putting myself through such torture.
It takes tremendous perseverance for most people to become runners. In my experience, cycling is just easier to get into.
Pain And Injuries
I’m not saying you can’t get injured while cycling, but I’d argue running injuries are more prevalent. The things I notice get the most sore from cycling are my private parts, from getting mashed into the seat, and my neck, from having to tilt my head back to see where I’m going. Running, conversely, has the ability to cause pain from the eyebrows on down.
Foot races are prevalent the world over. There are 5Ks, 10Ks, half and full and ultra-marathons. Any decent-sized city will have your choice of races, and entering them can be very motivating because it forces you to train and pushes you to get better. Conversely, it’s harder to find many races for cycling.
People tend to run more in better weather, with the simple explanation being that it’s harder to ride in bad weather. Most people can handle any kind of weather when it comes to running, and any kind of slippery surface.
Truth be told, there is no winner. It’s about analysing the various categories and deciding what’s right for you. Running wins for time, cost, racing and weather, but cycling is tops for enjoyment, commuting, ease of adoption and injury avoidance. I’ll leave you to decide but they both have something to offer.