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2019 Elementary Super Meet
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User since:
Dec 13th, 2013
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Distance Stud said 1 week ago

Running to Cycling correlation

Hey guys I recently competed in a cycling road race thinking I was pretty fit as I’m in very good aerobic shape. I competed in the “B” category and 3 laps in I got dropped and had to ride the rest of the race solo, which was a grind. I have to say, I’m certain that I could beat all the guys who beat me in a running race. It was a bit of an eye opener of how I couldn’t stick with them pack longer. I’m certain that even if I raced the “A” guys in a running race, that I would be towards the top. Why didn’t my running aerobic fitness transfer over to the race? How did I get dropped so early when I’m in much better “running shape” then the guys that beat me? I thought there would at least be a bit better fitness “carryover” then my race showed.

This post was edited by Distance Stud 1 week ago . 
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  • cooperaa User since:
    Sep 25th, 2014
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    cooperaa said 1 week ago

    How expensive is your bike?

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    dillusional said 1 week ago

    Those guys could probably beat you in a running race as well.

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    Anonymous said 1 week ago

    So much more goes into a cycling race than a running race than pure fitness. It depends on the type of terrain, type of race, tactics, and pure luck most of the time.
    There is some cross over for a few people who can run and ride pretty well, but for others, I've seen, just don't know how to push on a bike. You may be one of those, but if you stick at it, i'm sure you can train yourself to be at the higher level.

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    anonymous said 1 week ago

    The only way to get better in cycling is to get dropped, and dropped, and dropped, until you don't anymore. You'll learn overtime when to attack, when to let an attack go, and when to stay on the wheel of those attacking, and most important you'll learn that you have to be willing to suffer and possibly blow up numerous times during a race.

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    Anonymous said 1 week ago

    I think this brings up the important point that many of our oft injured runners should spend more time on the bike where there is less wear and tear on their bodies and less time thinking they are doing the right thing by running 100km+ per week.

    Aerobic conditioning is aerobic conditioning be it from swimming, running or riding. In other words pavement pounders you need to cross train and put less wear and tear on your knees, hips, shins and feet.

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  • meizner User since:
    Oct 8th, 2013
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    Meizner said 1 week ago

    Once A Runner... now basically cyclist full time when there isn't skiing to be done.

    I came into cycling about 2 years ago with a 'great' aerobic base. I took to it reasonably well. I now race on the local circuit and can roll with some of the top local riders.

    My observations re: the two biggest differences:
    1. Fueling for training and racing is a huge issue. Unless you are doing the marathon you don't think about it at all in running. Even in my marathon days a 'long run' would be 2.5 hours, I now routinely roll 3-5+hours on the bike.

    2. The physiology of racing is massively different (mainly for road racing, but it holds true for mountain and CX to some extent). Because you can draft which conserves massive amounts of energy, there are multiple very violent bursts that require short term power output that would effectively never be seen in a running race. The feeling of 'red-lining' many times early in a road race to stay with the pack was a very unsettling feeling that I had to get used to.

    This post was edited by Meizner 1 week ago . 
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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 1 week ago

    I think you need to look at the primary muscles involved in cycling compared to running. In running, more of your body's total muscle mass is being used to take advantage of your aerobic fitness when compared to cycling. When cycling, effectively the only muscles that are active are in your legs, so your legs are now attempting to utilize 100% of your aerobic fitness.

    If you put a top level cyclist and distance runner side by side, there would be some very obvious anthropometric differences, but the most obvious would be the volume of the cyclists thighs would be much larger compared to those of the runner. You need this increased thigh volume to allow for the fitness of your heart and lungs to translate into cycling, especially on flat terrain were increased body mass is not an issue in cycling. If you look at the best track cyclist they are massive compared to distance runners.

    This is one of the reasons I think that Clara Huges had success in multiple sports, as the primary muscles involves and anthropometry required to be a high level cyclist and speed skater are very similar.

    Also, yes the tactics and nutrition play a large role. But If you did a VO2max test on the treadmill, then did a VO2max test on a bike a few days later, your VO2max would be lower on the bike. This holds true for all athletes except cyclists I believe. And while VO2max is not a perfect indicator of race performance, Lactate and ventilatory thresholds would follow the same trend.

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  • distance-stud User since:
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    Distance Stud said 1 week ago

    I think part of my problem is my inability to handle several short bursts of very hard efforts in the race where you’re putting back out 400+ watt efforts. The last 2 races I did, both times I got dropped during a high intensity effort where it was simply to hard/tough for me to hang in there. In running races I would never go to the well that early and launch an attack like in these cycling races where these powerful efforts happen several times. How do I better handle these accelerations without feeling like I’m in the “red line”?? Last race my legs literally seized up and and I literally couldn’t respond enough to counter the effort and keep with the peloton. How do I prepare myself to feel more comfortable in races and stop lactic acid from building so early? .

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  • meizner User since:
    Oct 8th, 2013
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    Meizner said 1 week ago

    Quoting: Distance Stud
    "I think part of my problem is my inability to handle several short bursts of very hard efforts in the race where you’re putting back out 400+ watt efforts. The last 2 races I did, both times I got dropped during a high intensity effort where it was simply to hard/tough for me to hang in there. In running races I would never go to the well that early and launch an attack like in these cycling races where these powerful efforts happen several times. How do I better handle these accelerations without feeling like I’m in the “red line”?? Last race my legs literally seized up and and I literally couldn’t respond enough to counter the effort and keep with the peloton. How do I prepare myself to feel more comfortable in races and stop lactic acid from building so early? ."


    Ride more. Race more. Ride with faster guys. Practice such bursts in training.

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 1 week ago

    How about Cycling to Running correlation?

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  • new-post-last-visitanonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 1 week ago

    Quoting: Meizner
    "Once A Runner... now basically cyclist full time when there isn't skiing to be done.

    I came into cycling about 2 years ago with a 'great' aerobic base. I took to it reasonably well. I now race on the local circuit and can roll with some of the top local riders.

    My observations re: the two biggest differences:
    1. Fueling for training and racing is a huge issue. Unless you are doing the marathon you don't think about it at all in running. Even in my marathon days a 'long run' would be 2.5 hours, I now routinely roll 3-5+hours on the bike.

    2. The physiology of racing is massively different (mainly for road racing, but it holds true for mountain and CX to some extent). Because you can draft which conserves massive amounts of energy, there are multiple very violent bursts that require short term power output that would effectively never be seen in a running race. The feeling of 'red-lining' many times early in a road race to stay with the pack was a very unsettling feeling that I had to get used to."


    Is World trials still occuring in Gatineau every other week? The consistent attacks up Pink, then again up Fortune was always the biggest hurt I have ever been in. Especially when Derrick St. John and Woods show up for a head to head battle. Oh how I miss the Gats.

    The other difference in cycling is that anybody can feel like taking control of the race and to go for it despite not having the aerobic fitness. When you start a race in cycling, you may be competing against 50% of the racers who think they will win, where in running, its less than 1%. So attitudes, hard headiness, and conflicts gets amped up exponentially through out the race.

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