The big difference between running and biking is the impact. It affects your bones and entire body in varying degrees. When you’re on a bike with a high-capacity pedal power meter, there’s little or no impact as it is a non-weight-bearing sport. When you’re on the run, you can feel the force on every stride.
Running presses on the body for as much as seven times your own weight. Pedaling from a high-cushioned chair does not give the same amount of pressure. With that much difference, is there any way these two sports can complement each other?
For triathletes, there’s no escape—they have to do both. But for those who do only one, there’s much to talk about how each sport affects beginners or professionals individually.
Most cyclists don’t do running because it affects their performance. For runners, it’s more on the practical side of things. Getting into cycling can be costly, whereas running only needs the basics. Here are reasonable starters for you to know that you can actually do both—though in an alternating manner every month.
For runners, there’s a lot more hammering happening on their bodies compared to those of cyclists. Those who do long-distance running, at least two hours a day for three days, have been found to sustain muscle tearing and soreness.
The inflammation levels are higher for runners and take longer for most runners to recover, at least more than 24 hours for regular runners. Though you can reduce the recovery period by using muscle tapes on your knees, you’ll still need the same amount of time for resting.
When you run, you put more pressure on your body, mostly because of the surface contact. With the impact, there’s more muscle trauma involved, which is why it’s best to add an alternative to your running routine. By alternating your workout regimen between running and biking, you give your legs enough time to recover from the trauma and rebuild muscle mass.
Burn More Calories
Though cycling is the softer sport, in terms of muscle damage, compared to running, there are still a lot of benefits in running that you don’t want to miss out on. Depending on the goal of your routine, adding quick runs to your daily workout can burn more calories per mile than biking does.
If you need to lose weight, fast, then running is your best friend. It beats you up more than biking does, so the excess weight you may have put on over a few days can be torched quicker.
In every stride, you have to lift your own weight off the ground to propel yourself forward. When you come back down, your body absorbs all the impact, which makes it burn calories even more. These up and down motions can make it harder for you to run miles than it is pedal away on a bike.
Enjoy the Scenery
Both running and biking can take you to places you’ve never been to. They can offer you different points of view. When you run, you can cover a lot of ground and enjoy the scenery passing through.
On a bike, you can do that and more on a vantage point while covering more miles along the way. What makes the trip even more pleasurable is that you can carry along more stuff on a bike than you can on foot.
You can take snacks and drinks with you and take breaks in between to breathe in the landscapes you happen to be in. You can also bring some food on a day pack and have a mini picnic in between your runs. However, it’s a lot heavier, and it can make your running less comfortable.
Either way, taking turns in biking and running can definitely give you the varied perspective you need for your workout. It won’t feel like a routine even if you do it every day.