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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 02-20-21, 09:33 PM
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5 mph
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What's harder for 50 Plus- Running (Jogging) or Bicycling ?

I think Bicycling is harder than Running. I stopped Running a year and half ago because I was worried about damaging my knees.
I started Bicycling twenty miles a day.
Got hit by Snow last week and Bicycling was not possible. Running was.That's when I realized, Bicycling is harder. Here is why:
1. I definitely didn't miss Trucks roaring by me three feet away.
2. You can really go very fast and punish yourself very hard on a Bicycle. At 60, the best I can do is a 8 minute mile. My legs are slow and wooden now. Running is relaxing.
3. Running three miles takes maybe 30 minutes and all you do is slip on shoes. To Bike takes almost two hours and you need to pack on layers of clothing, emergency lights and tools.
4. Pedestrians on a Trail always wave to you when you are running. Lets say this, not every pedestrian loves Bicyclers.
5. All those %^* repairs drive me crazy.
6. I definitely didn't miss Trucks roaring by me three feet away. And Like I said, you can really get a tough workout on a Bike.
If my knees were younger, I'd still be...( ) Bicycling? I don't know, because after a year and a half of Bicycling, running was very Easy.

Last edited by 5 mph; 02-21-21 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 02-21-21, 04:39 AM
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For me, running is harder because I have never enjoyed it. Even when I did half-marathons, I did not really enjoy it. Bicycling does have challenges, as you list above, but it relaxes me, regardless of the weather.
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Old 02-21-21, 07:23 AM
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I do both, cycling and running. But neither in a competitive or boundary pushing way. I do two half marathons a year with a mentoring program for youth. In the offseason, I like to get out on the back county roads alone and enjoy the ride, usually 20 to 40 miles. I've never considered which is harder lest I convince myself that one is too hard.
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Old 02-21-21, 08:09 AM
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Running is harder for me as my back and legs can not take the pounding. Also, you can't coast downhill when you run. As far as the repairs go I do 90% of them myself and I enjoy that part of it also. If I had a heated garage it would be perfect but that is a topic for another time.
Be safe and enjoy whatever you do, Frank.
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Old 02-21-21, 08:13 AM
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Running is now impossible for me due to a torn left hip labrum and left knee arthritis. I can still hike uphill at a 3.5 mph pace.
Road cycling is not painful and much more enjoyable.
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Old 02-21-21, 08:13 AM
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In terms of effort both bicycling and running are as a hard as you want them to be. Personally, I'm more of a recreational rider, than competitive rider; but still the accumulation of mileage keeps me fit and faster than the person that just hops on the bike once in a long while. Additionally, I stay more than fit enough to please the primary physician with my average ride being 40 - 60 min. On weekend I may go longer just because I love it. I suppose the traffic you need to deal with depends on where you live, but that's part of why I choose to live more urban than suburban or rural. To be fair I was born urban, and it grew on me; so I really chose not to stray too far. When I'm driving/riding around more high speed/high volume suburban areas I've seen my share of pedestrians nearly get picked off by cars failing to yield or even slow down on right turns; and cars going aggressively at pedestrians in cross-walk crossing their left turn arc. So not sure running is even safer in that regard.

Running is definitely harder on my knees than cycling. And while this is a wildly varying personal experience per individual cycling is zen, running is hell. I played team sports competitively through college, varying degrees of recreational competitiveness as an adult. The worst part of any sport I other wise loved was that to be competitive involved some degree of 'out of sport' run based conditioning. Running all in out in game to make a play is exhilarating, running just to be running outside the game so I have the conditioning to make that play is pure evil. Hated every minute of it.

I don't find there's that many repairs outside of the occasional flat tire, but I ride relatively simple older bikes. You can always buck up to have lbs do it. How pedestrians perceive you on the trail in large part depends how you ride on the trail, lots of cyclists on trails are jackasses.

I have the clothing to ride cold when the whim strikes me, but jumping rope, walking, hiking, calisthenics are all good alternatives I enjoy.

Last edited by gear64; 02-21-21 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 02-21-21, 08:20 AM
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I "run" whenever the Sport I'm participating in requires it. Ball/Ice hockey, baseball, football, etc.
Go jogging?.....nope. Tried to get into it but never liked it. Found it hard on the knees and hip joints.
Cycling.....I could do for hours or even just a quick blast in the neighbourhood. A lot easier on this Old Phart (61)....
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Old 02-21-21, 08:28 AM
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Over 50 and running should not be in the same sentence! I never liked it anyway, as it reminded me too much of Marine boot camp!
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Old 02-21-21, 08:39 AM
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LOL, as my wife and I both say, at this age We DO NOT RUN!! We ride bikes MUCH EASIER and do a lot of walking but running is history for us!!
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Old 02-21-21, 09:38 AM
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Running is harder for me due to arthritis. I would run only in an emergency. Cycling doesn't bother my knees at all, unless I do something stupid, like push a massive gear.
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Old 02-21-21, 09:40 AM
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Depends on what you mean by harder. Cycling as a hobby definitely takes more effort, skill and risk tolerance. Running is much more physically demanding per unit of time. I use running in the off-season to maintain cardiovascular fitness for cycling since I can get the same workout on the treadmill in about half the time as rollers.
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Old 02-21-21, 09:58 AM
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I pretend I'm a racer. My body can deal with the cycling wear and tear quite well. Right now my running is suffering due to an Achilles issue. It's always something with running: toes, knees, shins, ankles,...running from one injury to the next.
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Old 02-21-21, 09:59 AM
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Riding a Fixed Gear is akin to running in sneakers. There are moments of riding when the bike disappears under you.
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Old 02-21-21, 02:21 PM
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Running is harder. I was a runner for more than 50 years until my knees just couldn't take it anymore, so I started cycling three years ago. I ran five marathons (bucket list items, just to say I did them), the most recent more than 30 years ago, and it always took me two weeks to recover from a marathon. This past October I rode my first century (again, bucket list item) and the next day I was cycling as usual, with no recovery needed. It look more time to ride a century than to run a marathon, but not nearly as hard on the body. Same thing with shorter distances. I'd run three miles in under half an hour and be more tired than riding 15 miles in under an hour. I'd run nine miles and be exhausted in about the same time it takes me to ride 20 miles, and I feel pretty good after the bike ride. Cycling is not as hard on the body as running, and also not as fatiguing. More evidence beyond my personal experience: Riders in the Tour de France ride nearly every day for more than four hours. Competitive marathon runners finish a marathon in just over two hours and need more than a month to recover. (That's why the Olympic qualifying races are held so far in advance of the Olympics.) I've done both--running in my younger years (up to three years ago) and now cycling as a greybeard, and running is harder in every way.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:32 PM
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If you could to swim you could do a triathlon!
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Old 02-21-21, 03:49 PM
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I am 67 and used to be a runner. I stopped 5 years ago because of an unrelated back injury and surgery. To rehab and get back in shape, I bought a Peloton and really pushed it. And got into riding road bicycles near my home. Faster and faster.

I tried running again, but found it too hard on my knees and feet..

I now ride around 175 miles a week on the road, mostly with a group. Usually around 20 mph but with a few miles as high as 24 mph. I like pushing myself. And I mountain bike once a week on single track with my son.

Road bicycling is by far the easiest, with running and mountain biking being about the same. Because I fall riding trails, I probably shouldn’t be doing. But it’s fun and I like spending time with my boy.
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Old 02-21-21, 04:04 PM
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LOL you're asking the wrong people! But seriously, I ran for years because I agree it was simpler. Throw on a pair of shorts, shoes and out you go and my argument for it against cycling was i could do a 30 minute run and get a great workout which would be the equivalent of about a 1.5 hour bike ride, so running won out. Knees started to bother me which then impacted my hockey so running had to go and it was on to cycling only in the warmer months. I started to really get addicted last year with the lockdown and felt much safer on my bike as i could socially distance much easier than running or walking. I have several bikes which I use for different types of rides. When I have time (weekends) I take out the newer road bike and go for longer rides (50 KM +). When I'm short on time, I take out the vintage road bike and just get in 30-45 minutes of pedaling which is decent exercise and motion meditation.

I agree there's more involved in getting ready (I hate wearing lycra so only gear up in the kit for those long rides) but it's not a bother after a while and I really like being able to cover a greater distance on the bike, see new things and get a bit more of a rush then I did when running.

My 2 cents.
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Old 02-21-21, 04:55 PM
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Easy answer for me - 5 yrs of pretty bad lumbar stenosis and 20% of a meniscus left in one knee means running is a whole lot harder. And, I'm only 55
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Old 02-21-21, 10:37 PM
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No running but enjoy hiking with backpacks and a walking stick. Bicycling I enjoy because I can cover many miles at once and see more stuff. The low impact on my joints is a plus.
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Old 02-22-21, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 5 mph View Post
I think Bicycling is harder than Running. I stopped Running a year and half ago because I was worried about damaging my knees.
I started Bicycling twenty miles a day.
Got hit by Snow last week and Bicycling was not possible. Running was.That's when I realized, Bicycling is harder. Here is why:
1. I definitely didn't miss Trucks roaring by me three feet away.
2. You can really go very fast and punish yourself very hard on a Bicycle. At 60, the best I can do is a 8 minute mile. My legs are slow and wooden now. Running is relaxing.
3. Running three miles takes maybe 30 minutes and all you do is slip on shoes. To Bike takes almost two hours and you need to pack on layers of clothing, emergency lights and tools.
4. Pedestrians on a Trail always wave to you when you are running. Lets say this, not every pedestrian loves Bicyclers.
5. All those %^* repairs drive me crazy.
6. I definitely didn't miss Trucks roaring by me three feet away. And Like I said, you can really get a tough workout on a Bike.
If my knees were younger, I'd still be...( ) Bicycling? I don't know, because after a year and a half of Bicycling, running was very Easy.
So much science
You left out the part though about how often you coast while running...
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Old 02-22-21, 05:13 AM
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Imo running is way harder on your body. You easily develop knee, ankle, hip stress / injuries etc. Just try to find 1 runner with no issues. Biking on the other hand i super easy and gentle on the body, if you don't wanna do anything hardcore or do downhill mountain biking, you can just cruise at your own speed and the only stress is on your ass cheeks lol
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Old 02-22-21, 09:11 AM
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I haven't run since high school, but I do walk in addition to biking. Since my goal is to get a cardio workout I sweat no matter what I do, so I like to change out of my regular clothes anyway.
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Old 02-22-21, 09:29 AM
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I used to run marathons. When an orthopedic surgeon explained to me the process of repairing and rehabbing my achilles tendons I decided to give up running and just ride my bike. A good choice.
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Old 02-22-21, 12:23 PM
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Always found a solid workout of running to be harder than cycling.

Just from an efficiency standpoint, for a similar distance, that makes sense.

Used to be a modestly-competitive middle-distance runner. At my peak, decades ago, I was typically doing ~60mi/wk or more of running and ~150mi/wk cycling. Recovery always took a bit longer with running. Pushing "hard" (say, for 3hrs' worth) on either could require a couple days of recovery, for me, with either discipline.

Ditched running hard out of fear of joint and stress injuries. Avoided most every type of damage, doing that. To this day, the joints are fine and otherwise look (to the orthopaedic folks) like any normal person my age.

Of course, the one big injury I did sustain forever made it simpler to do cycling. Less stress, far less strain on the muscles that had gotten damaged, and easier to travel longer distances without resorting to 1-800-YellowCab at some point.

Last edited by Clyde1820; 02-23-21 at 12:14 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-22-21, 01:09 PM
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I do both run and cycle alternating during the week. I have been off cycling for a long time and just recently decided to restart. I found that running had primed my endurance and helped me with cycling. On the same note, cycling also helped my running as I feel stronger particularly when running up a hill.
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