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What's harder for 50 Plus- Running (Jogging) or Bicycling ?

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What's harder for 50 Plus- Running (Jogging) or Bicycling ?

Old 04-03-21, 06:55 PM
  #76  
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I've dislocated my knees so many times that I've lost count - right 6 times and left 3 (I think). Couldn't run if my life depended on it -- Knees are shot. BUT I can ride all day and not feel it in my knees.
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Old 04-04-21, 03:44 AM
  #77  
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I resumed running in late autumn 2020 to give my neck a rest from pain caused by old injuries. I couldn't ride longer than an hour or so before the pain spoiled any fun.

Aerobic conditioning translated well. No problem there.

But the leg conditioning is very different. Bicycling didn't help with running. If anything, running seemed to strengthen my legs for climbing -- but running hasn't improved my riding on flat terrain.

I can't say either is harder. I remember resuming riding in 2015, after a very long recovery from a 2001 car wreck that broke my neck and back in six places. I was in such bad shape that I could ride only 400 yards at a time, stop to huff my asthma inhaler and catch my breath before riding another 400 yards. It took months to be able to ride 10 miles continuously, even slowly.

So while it was hard resuming running, I can't say it was harder. It was hard to get *faster*. It took a few months to improve my time from 15 minute miles to sub-8 minute miles. My lungs were fine but my legs felt dead. Cycling had done little or nothing to prepare my legs for running again.

I took a much more methodical approach to running, studying many training concepts and plans. And while I've had some running related aches and pains, I know what to watch for and rest, recover, do the massage, etc., to handle the aches and pains.

My running conditioning improved more quickly because I already had good base fitness. I started out walking 2, then 3, then 5, then 8 miles. Then I added intermittent jogging short distances throughout a walk. Then intermittent running/walking. I usually do 3-5 miles a few times a week, and 7 miles on Saturday or Sunday. I keep an eye on my heart rate and slow to jog or walk when it approaches 160 bpm.

I set a goal of doing 10 miles by the end of March and did that last weekend -- although my warmup was sluggish and I alternated walking/running the first 4 miles, stopping every mile to stretch and massage muscle cramps. I was able to run continuously most of the next 4 miles, stopped briefly to chat with a friend, then ran continuously the final 2.5 miles at a faster pace. At this rate of improvement I'll be able to run continuously 7-10 miles. Then I'll think about a half marathon distance, although I'll probably need different shoes.

Running is cheap compared with cycling. I started out with whatever sneakers I already had. Then I bought some adidas shoes at Ross for $25 that looked like running shoes, but turned out to be fashion shoes designed to look like running shoes. So I did some reading, checked YouTube reviews, and bought three pairs of adidas and Under Armour running shoes intended for middle distance -- 3-5 miles or so, although those shoes have been fine on 7 mile runs. I can usually find decent new/old stock running shoes at discount stores like Ross and Marshall for $20-$35.

But now I'm considering various longer distance extra-cushioned rocker-type midsole shoes from Saucony, Atreyu and others. That'll cost a bit more. Still cheaper than a new bike, although running shoes are like tires -- comparable in price, somewhat comparable in durability. Some shoes will last hundreds of miles for walking and jogging, but not really great for faster paced running. The better running shoes my last only 200-500 miles before wearing out from abrasion and the soles being compressed and losing their optimal feel. So, not much different from choosing tires.

After a few months of running I look forward to it. Running is easier to gear up for. I might just pull on some shorts or sweat pants, shoes and wear whatever t-shirt I slept in.

I'm finding it harder to psych myself up for bike rides now. Traffic annoys me more. I avoid windy springtime days, which is unusual -- I used to enjoy windy days to tackle tailwind assisted PRs and benefit from the challenge of riding into headwinds. But now I avoid routes with significant crosswinds, especially on heavily traveled roads.

I'm considering switching one of my road bikes to platform pedals so I won't fuss over the mess of choosing the right shoes, etc. I have three road bikes now, no reason to make it such a serious chore when I just want to hop on for a casual ride.
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Old 04-04-21, 07:20 AM
  #78  
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Cycling is transportation. It's like driving, only more convenient if the distance is fairly short. Running a sport where you win by being more resistant to pain than your competitors. Which is easier?
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Old 04-04-21, 08:03 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I resumed running in late autumn 2020 to give my neck a rest from pain caused by old injuries. I couldn't ride longer than an hour or so before the pain spoiled any fun.

Aerobic conditioning translated well. No problem there.

But the leg conditioning is very different. Bicycling didn't help with running. If anything, running seemed to strengthen my legs for climbing -- but running hasn't improved my riding on flat terrain.

I can't say either is harder. I remember resuming riding in 2015, after a very long recovery from a 2001 car wreck that broke my neck and back in six places. I was in such bad shape that I could ride only 400 yards at a time, stop to huff my asthma inhaler and catch my breath before riding another 400 yards. It took months to be able to ride 10 miles continuously, even slowly.

So while it was hard resuming running, I can't say it was harder. It was hard to get *faster*. It took a few months to improve my time from 15 minute miles to sub-8 minute miles. My lungs were fine but my legs felt dead. Cycling had done little or nothing to prepare my legs for running again.

I took a much more methodical approach to running, studying many training concepts and plans. And while I've had some running related aches and pains, I know what to watch for and rest, recover, do the massage, etc., to handle the aches and pains.

My running conditioning improved more quickly because I already had good base fitness. I started out walking 2, then 3, then 5, then 8 miles. Then I added intermittent jogging short distances throughout a walk. Then intermittent running/walking. I usually do 3-5 miles a few times a week, and 7 miles on Saturday or Sunday. I keep an eye on my heart rate and slow to jog or walk when it approaches 160 bpm.

I set a goal of doing 10 miles by the end of March and did that last weekend -- although my warmup was sluggish and I alternated walking/running the first 4 miles, stopping every mile to stretch and massage muscle cramps. I was able to run continuously most of the next 4 miles, stopped briefly to chat with a friend, then ran continuously the final 2.5 miles at a faster pace. At this rate of improvement I'll be able to run continuously 7-10 miles. Then I'll think about a half marathon distance, although I'll probably need different shoes.

Running is cheap compared with cycling. I started out with whatever sneakers I already had. Then I bought some adidas shoes at Ross for $25 that looked like running shoes, but turned out to be fashion shoes designed to look like running shoes. So I did some reading, checked YouTube reviews, and bought three pairs of adidas and Under Armour running shoes intended for middle distance -- 3-5 miles or so, although those shoes have been fine on 7 mile runs. I can usually find decent new/old stock running shoes at discount stores like Ross and Marshall for $20-$35.

But now I'm considering various longer distance extra-cushioned rocker-type midsole shoes from Saucony, Atreyu and others. That'll cost a bit more. Still cheaper than a new bike, although running shoes are like tires -- comparable in price, somewhat comparable in durability. Some shoes will last hundreds of miles for walking and jogging, but not really great for faster paced running. The better running shoes my last only 200-500 miles before wearing out from abrasion and the soles being compressed and losing their optimal feel. So, not much different from choosing tires.

After a few months of running I look forward to it. Running is easier to gear up for. I might just pull on some shorts or sweat pants, shoes and wear whatever t-shirt I slept in.

I'm finding it harder to psych myself up for bike rides now. Traffic annoys me more. I avoid windy springtime days, which is unusual -- I used to enjoy windy days to tackle tailwind assisted PRs and benefit from the challenge of riding into headwinds. But now I avoid routes with significant crosswinds, especially on heavily traveled roads.

I'm considering switching one of my road bikes to platform pedals so I won't fuss over the mess of choosing the right shoes, etc. I have three road bikes now, no reason to make it such a serious chore when I just want to hop on for a casual ride.
Well said.
I love riding but if my feet/ankles were able to handle it I would definitely choose running as my main activity these days to stay in shape.
I ran track and XC throughout high school and miss that feeling and level of fitness.
No muss, no fuss.
Simply lace up a pair of sneakers and run out your front door.
One hour later you are back home and you spent no time airing up tires, lubing a chain, storing a helmet and gloves, etc...
And forget about the whackadoodles that spend time after a ride handwashing their bibs lol.

Last edited by downhillmaster; 04-07-21 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 04-04-21, 10:59 AM
  #80  
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I used to run in high school, intermittently in college, and as a young adult. I gave it up around the early 2000s as I just couldn't take the stress on my knees. I have don't a lot more cycling in those years as it is less hard on the knees, hips and feet.

That said, for me, running is harder, but also a better overall workout than cycling. And probably a more efficient use of time, if that is what you are after. You can be out the door for a run in just a few minutes, whereas it takes a little longer to get ready for a bike ride. And, something like a 45 minute run is a good workout, where as I would say i need to go about twice as long to get the same workout from a bike ride. But bike rides are more fun, so there is that.
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Old 04-06-21, 09:03 AM
  #81  
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I had been running less and less in recent years due to wear and tear on the body. But bicycle riding and new shoes that fit better have gotten me running more. Still, I could see myself going out for a five hour bike ride before going out for a five hour run.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:50 PM
  #82  
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I've ridden a bike my whole life, but didn't get into running until I was 49. Now at 53 I like to mix up my week between runs and rides. So far I haven't had the knee or back problems many have.
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Old 04-07-21, 10:30 AM
  #83  
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Riding a trike is by far the easiest. No falling over problems, and no wobbling to keep your balance. Once clipped in you can stay clipping in till you need to get off. Ride as fast or slow as you like. No shock strain on ankles knees or hips. None on wrists and elbows either.

Last edited by rydabent; 04-08-21 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 04-07-21, 07:57 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Riding a trike is by far the easiest. No falling over problems, and now wobbling to keep your balance. Once clipped in you can stay clipping in till you need to get off. Ride as fast or slow as you like. No shock strain on ankles knees or hips. None on wrists and elbows either.
If you canít ride a two wheeled bicycle without worrying about wobbling or falling over you have larger issues
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Old 04-08-21, 05:29 AM
  #85  
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In college I broke my ankle running a QB option. It was never set and I played two more games with it taped up before I just couldn't play any more. So, running is not something I do. Cycling is no problem.
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Old 04-08-21, 01:44 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
If you canít ride a two wheeled bicycle without worrying about wobbling or falling over you have larger issues
Not what the thread is about. BTW I have no problem riding a 2 wheel bike. The thread is on hard and easy. And as I say the the easiest way to cycle in on a trike.
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Old 04-26-21, 12:24 PM
  #87  
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I met up with a running friend on the bike path. I asked her how far she was running, and she replied that she was doing a slow training run of 10 miles for her marathon next weekend. When she asked how far I was riding, I told her about 20 miles. She gasped and said she couldn't bike 3 miles last time she tried.

So I guess it's all about muscle memory. But I'll say running is harder since I don't see runners stopping to take a nap, eat a snack, or drink a beer on their weekend runs.
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Old 04-26-21, 01:28 PM
  #88  
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For me it's running by a long shot. I was never a good runner. Ran the 880 in HS track because my football coach wanted me to stay in shape in the off season and was always dead last...like really, really last...lol. I'm just not built for running. When I was a kid, I was a biking fool on my Fuji Gran Tourer 12 speed. Trying to get back to be an old guy biking fool these days on my newer Fooge.
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Old 04-26-21, 03:09 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Rotgut View Post
I met up with a running friend on the bike path. I asked her how far she was running, and she replied that she was doing a slow training run of 10 miles for her marathon next weekend. When she asked how far I was riding, I told her about 20 miles. She gasped and said she couldn't bike 3 miles last time she tried.

So I guess it's all about muscle memory. But I'll say running is harder since I don't see runners stopping to take a nap, eat a snack, or drink a beer on their weekend runs.
I ran a lot more and rode my bike a lot less than usual over the winter thinking that was a time efficient way to get my workouts in during what seems like round-the-clock WFH. At the 200k season opener Saturday I was almost 90 minutes slower than last year on the same course, so it turns out you have to ride a bike if you want to be fast on a bike. In case anyone was wondering.
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Old 04-27-21, 05:03 AM
  #90  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downhillmaster
If you canít ride a two wheeled bicycle without worrying about wobbling or falling over you have larger issues

Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Not what the thread is about. BTW I have no problem riding a 2 wheel bike. The thread is on hard and easy. And as I say the the easiest way to cycle in on a trike.
The OP was never about whether or not anyone can ride a two wheeled bicycle without falling over yet you felt the need to reference that while needlessly promoting a trike.
You are comical.
You have hijacked countless threads in your longtime efforts to promote trikes.
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Old 04-30-21, 12:07 AM
  #91  
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Running would damage my knees, bicycle riding or cross country skiing (either style) is completely OK. I guess I never had running style and my joints suffer when I run.

I remember seeing some running event for general public and this woman in her 30s was being interviewed and she said how her knees hurt... and I thought, wait till you are 50+, you will be in wheelchair. But people like punishing themselves like that and what will be 20-30 years hence is beyond their care. If your knees hurt from running, you weren't made for running.
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Old 05-07-21, 06:19 PM
  #92  
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Cycling is more user friendly than running.
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Old 05-08-21, 03:26 AM
  #93  
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I retired from the army 10 years ago. I was always a strong runner, a 6 minute mile guy but I haven't ran one mile since. Never actually enjoyed running much, it was boring. My knees thank me.
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Old 05-09-21, 06:23 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
If you canít ride a two wheeled bicycle without worrying about wobbling or falling over you have larger issues
Oh but I can. I have a 2 wheel recumbent that I ride out of town with the bike club. It is just so much easier to ride the trike in town on trails.
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Old 05-09-21, 06:26 PM
  #95  
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Also witness all the joggers and runner that have had joint problems that changed over to cycling.
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Old 05-10-21, 11:33 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Also witness all the joggers and runner that have had joint problems that changed over to cycling.
Thankfully, I only ran really hard for fewer than 10yrs, much of that mileage on softer surfaces. My knees thank me for that as well.

Miss it. But to this day I still don't have overt joint issues to deal with. Most of the runners my age who are still plugging away have any number of bone and joint problems.

Back I the day, I could run fairly hard for 3yrs and on a couple of occasions did a really hard bike ride for 3hrs. I'd be seized-up for days, after the hard ride, whereas with a day's recovery I'd be back at it with the running. Go figure.

These days, I can't imagine even attempting a run. Old injuries just won't allow it. Gettin' old sure is fun.
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Old 05-11-21, 04:02 PM
  #97  
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As an old dude (63) who only recently resumed jogging after a 40 year hiatus, I can confirm the conventional wisdom from qualified doctors, trainers and experts that -- presuming we had no previous underlying disabilities -- there's no reason why jogging/running should inherently involve injuries or damage to joints.

I've experienced a few aches and pains since resuming jogging last November. Especially since February when I ramped up my speed and effort after spending several weeks building up a base fitness. But every ache in the knees, hips and ankles was due to poor running form, failing to work on my exercises to warm up and strengthen my body, and neglecting to follow a sensible training program.

For example, I set an arbitrary and unwise goal of running a half-marathon before summer. I had to bail out after 7-8 miles the first few tries. And after a successful 10 miler, I ended up with injuries. It was a stupid goal for someone my age without at least a year of building up a base fitness very carefully.

So I'm back to 5k and shorter runs for now, intermittent running/walking some days, very leisurely consistent jogging other days, and sometimes just walking 5 miles or so, no jogging or running. I had to disregard that cutoff point of 10 minutes per mile that most runners use to differentiate between running and jogging. I've settled back into the groove of jogging at an effort I can maintain without injury, even if it's barely faster than a brisk walking pace. And, on days when I do push to run faster, I'm learning to slow down as soon as my form degrades. So rather than pushing a continuous 7 or 8 minute/mile pace for three miles, I'll run that pace for half a mile, then slow to a jog or walk until my form recovers, then pick up the pace again.

I just had to accept the reality that I was pushing too hard, too soon, and disregarding the fact that I was consciously pushing myself after my running form had degraded.

IOW, not much different from my experiences in 2015 when I resumed cycling after a 30 year hiatus. I was anxious to regain fitness quickly and didn't make allowances for the reality that I'm not in my 20s.

I've had few aches and pains from cycling (other than crashes) simply because I follow a more sensible training program and learned not to push myself to the point of injury. Not because it's inherently less damaging to the body.

It's just as easy to damage the body with cycling if we ignore bike fit, ergonomics, good form, and a sensible approach to training. But in reality most cyclists don't pedal 100% effort continuously for any distance. We vary between hard pedaling, soft pedaling and coasting when the legs and lungs need a rest. There's no real equivalent to coasting in running, although walking comes close.
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Old 05-12-21, 09:52 AM
  #98  
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Gave running up completely after a 8 month bout of plantar fasciitis. Don’t want to go through that again. Besides after being a life-long runner, I never really enjoyed it except when doing trail running with my dogs. Even in my prime, I always Found it rather boring.

Is running harder? Well, you cant coast going down hill.
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Old 05-13-21, 07:13 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Gave running up completely after a 8 month bout of plantar fasciitis. Donít want to go through that again.
I've found a good insole is crucial to avoiding plantar fasciitis and similar foot injuries. I have very narrow feet with high arches, and it's very rare to find a shoe that fits me perfectly off the rack. Usually I remove the original insole and add a ProFoot Miracle insole -- the best I've found in decades of trying insoles. If I can't remove the original insole (some are glued down) I'll add a ProFoot Miracle insole trimmed to offer support only where I need it -- usually the arches.

The one exception I've found in running/walking shoes is the older adidas Adizero Prime, which is perfect as-is, despite having a very thin sole. It's mainly suitable for walking or running on smooth, flat surfaces -- the neighborhood sidewalk or nearby high school track. But the racing flat sole is so thin I can feel every pebble through the shoe.

Recently I tried the Atreyu standard running shoe, which has received mostly enthusiastic reviews from experienced runners. Overall it's an excellent shoe, but it has too much of a raised lump opposite the arch support. Hard to explain, but it's like an arch support on the wrong side. It puts too much pressure on the lateral outside of my foot, which results in cuboid pain -- that bump just in front of and below the outer ankle bone. So I've had to gently remove the glued-in insole, trim the excess to minimize the lump, and try it again until it feels right. Good shoe, but not quite right for me. It's best for folks with D width feet.

esides after being a life-long runner, I never really enjoyed it except when doing trail running with my dogs. Even in my prime, I always Found it rather boring.
I definitely prefer cycling to running. But I enjoy the challenge and change of pace. It had gotten to the point that suiting up for a road bike ride was taking too long and becoming a ritual. With running I just pull on some shoes and shorts and go. Usually I wear whatever t-shirt I slept in. No clipless shoes, no Lycra and Spandex, no helmet, no need to check tire pressure, flat repair kit with pump, etc., or to be sure all my batteries are charged in the bike computer, lights, etc.

Is running harder? Well, you cant coast going down hill.
Yeah, when I began to notice slight pain around the knee and shins I realized I was pushing too hard, too soon, on running up and down hills. I hadn't built up enough base fitness for good stability. So I did the run/walk/jog/walk/run thing that so many trainers advise. I'd run on the flat terrain, walk or jog up or down hill. I also found it helps to walk backward to build up the muscles supporting the knees. Helps with balance too. I'm sure my neighbors and passing drivers think I'm nuts, watching me walk or jog backward. But, hey, boxers like Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali used to train by jogging backward.
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Old 05-13-21, 10:30 PM
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cj3209
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I took up running last year when the pandemic hit and have continued to run around 15-20 miles per week. I mix in around 50-90 miles of cycling and my week is good.

Running is definitely harder on the legs and will affect your knees/ankles unless you know how to run properly (I run on my tippie-toes and try to avoid landing on my heels). But going up miles of steep hills is also a great work out on the bike. I do both but I like cycling more.

Running is definitely cheaper but good running shoes/shorts are not cheap but worth it, if you ask me.
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