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Hearts of Swimmers vs Runners vs... Cyclists

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Hearts of Swimmers vs Runners vs... Cyclists

Old 06-26-19, 07:17 AM
  #76  
OBoile
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
You're in a BF thread that asks what the difference is in training adaptations for the heart.
I don't recall anyone here saying there is no difference in adaptations that occur.
Originally Posted by wphamilton
If most people here find running painful at any pace, they probably aren't right that there's no difference because "all out is the same".
You're conflating two entirely separate statements here. Cycling is largely less efficient because you're coasting or soft pedaling much of the time. This doesn't apply when doing an interval.

Running is more time efficient.
and

Hard intervals do not feel any easier on a bike than they do running.
Are not conflicting statements.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:43 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by OBoile
I don't recall anyone here saying there is no difference in adaptations that occur.

You're conflating two entirely separate statements here. Cycling is largely less efficient because you're coasting or soft pedaling much of the time. This doesn't apply when doing an interval.



and



Are not conflicting statements.
You didn't really follow the flow there. The always reasonable gregf83 is saying that hardly anyone on a bike site runs, and therefore whether they could or could not see what's different in running or cycling "hard" is moot. The rejoinder is that "what's different" relates directly to the thread, if not the forum in general, and those arguing that it's all the same may be precisely those who couldn't see the difference. Their argument is moot, not mine.

And no, coasting is not what makes cycling less metabolically efficient than running.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:54 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
You didn't really follow the flow there. The always reasonable gregf83 is saying that hardly anyone on a bike site runs, and therefore whether they could or could not see what's different in running or cycling "hard" is moot. The rejoinder is that "what's different" relates directly to the thread, if not the forum in general, and those arguing that it's all the same may be precisely those who couldn't see the difference. Their argument is moot, not mine.
And again, I'll ask, who is saying it's all the same?


Originally Posted by wphamilton
And no, coasting is not what makes cycling less metabolically efficient than running.
Which is is why I didn't say that.

The only "flow" I see here is you consistently making unbalanced comparisons and misinterpreting what others have said.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:56 AM
  #79  
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All three are different forms of exercise with different demands on muscular/skeletal system. I do not believe one is superior than the other in terms of taxing your heart. I have ran as part of a physical fitness test for my job for over 28 years. I have ran 12 miles in boots and full combat equipment to include a 35lb rucksack in 1:38. I do not experience any difference in cardiovascular demand between running and cycling at high intensity. I can pace myself running just like I can pace myself on a bike. I can run at a sprint and sprint on the bike until my lips start tingling and get tunnel vision and am about to pass out (unless I tear a hamstring running). The difference is I go faster and travel longer distances on the bike. As a result of the different forms of exercise, muscle groups are taxed differently. Which goes back to my original question...how are we defining "harder".
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Old 06-26-19, 08:11 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985
Running is really, really, really hard. And runners are tough as nails. Running > Cycling. We get it.



Pay no mind to that cyclist sprinting past at 35 mph, the runner plodding along at 15 mph is actually producing "more power."

I hope you're rolling those eyes at yourself, because that's one doozy of a non sequitur.

You do understand that the whole point of a bicycle is that it's a machine that is more efficient at converting human power into speed than is walking or running, right? Power =/= speed.

Simple-minded analogy--a 200 horsepower engine mounted on a stand going 0 mph is going to produce a lot more power than a 10 horsepower engine mounted on a riding mower.

A weightlifter produces a lot of power not going anywhere as well.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:21 AM
  #81  
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The best exercise to concentrate on is the one you can sustain. I agree that strictly doing one thing is probably not ideal, but I think 90% of commitment to a fitness program is psychological--you just likely aren't going to sustain doing things you hate. I try to balance my program with some weight training/resistance training, but my focus is going to be on biking because I actually love doing it.

There's also personal physical characteristics to consider. The benefits of running are irrelevant to me as my feet would be destroyed very quickly if I took it up due to congenital issues. There's a lot of people for whom running just isn't a real option.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:48 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by guachi
What made it so difficult in your estimation?
Just a thought but, it may be that it's easier to get yourself way beyond the level of exertion you ever intended--e.g., having a great workout only to appreciate when you return to go that you've got what turns out to be a long slog because of big hills or change of weather on the way back. It reminds me a bit of the advice I got from the guy who sold me my first ocean kayak when he cautioned me to start off paddling against the wind or you may regret it.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:48 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by guachi
What made it so difficult in your estimation?
In competition, or any time your giving your "Best Effort" really, it just HURTS. As cyclist we've all felt this when going hard, whether climbing, sprinting, bridging a gap, or just trying to catch that lone cyclist out in front of you.
Bottom line, your lungs tend to give out before your muscles. Sure, your legs burn, but your lungs man, your lungs. So then it becomes a mental battle within. We've all heard this, why are you doing this, what are you trying to prove, just walk, stop, etc. And we all know even if you stop the chase, walk the climb, give up on the sprint, it still HURTS!
I know some will say Sure, but you can say the same thing about running. Well....No. Because your body or muscles will give out before your lungs and even Mind. You'll slow down then succumb to walking. It's just nature's self preservation kicking in. But nature/our bodies gets confused when machines are involved...hell 99.9% of us are still trying to figure it out.
Remember I'm referring to giving it your best, but even casual riders, recreational riders, know what I'm trying to convey. Think about that one hill where you think if I had a low enough gear I could climb a lot easier, but could you? You'd possibly just go up quicker and the work/effort would remain the same....Welcome to cycling.

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Old 06-26-19, 09:10 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
You're in a BF thread that asks what the difference is in training adaptations for the heart. If most people here find running painful at any pace, they probably aren't right that there's no difference because "all out is the same".

If you want to know what *my* point is, go back to my first post. It's what everyone is arguing with, and I haven't said "it is harder on the body" because I don't necessarily believe that, if you're talking about injuries. More stress yes, which produces different training adaptations. That's what this thread is about.
I suppose I simply disagree with you that an intense interval on the bike is somehow less stressful on the heart than running. Your only evidence seems to be that running all-out for one minute feels harder for you than cycling all-out for a minute.

The reason running is often touted as being more efficient (better bang for your buck) is that the floor of intensity for running is higher than cycling. I've not seen any evidence that running at high intensity is more stressful on the cardiovascular system than cycling at the same intensity. Personally, a 5k running race doesn't feel any harder on the heart and lungs than a short TT on a bike. Lots of other parts hurt when running as the stress on ligaments and tendons is much higher than in cycling but that's not what this thread is about.
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Old 06-26-19, 09:28 AM
  #85  
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One difference between running and cycling is that running requires concentric and eccentric muscle response. I am not sure about swimming but I suspect it is mostly concentric contraction.

Cycling is all concentric muscle contraction. What that means to the heart is that the heart wall thinkers due to increased blood pressure to get blood through the system. Weight lifting thickens the heart wall as well.

If one wants to figure out which event is harder running or cycling, I suggest that one pins on a number and go to the front of the race and race against the top 100 runners in a 10K race or race against the top 100 cyclists in a time trial. I know I can generate and endure more pain in a 20K time trial than a 10k run. The reason is that my body is supported on the bike and I do not have to deal with the foot strike and eccentric muscle contraction of running. I can ride hard enough on the bike to make my arms go numb. I cannot do that running 400 meter repeats. Running that hard, I would collapse. Now I have barfed after 400 meter running repeats and I have not barfed but swallowed some you know what after kilos. If I could swim as hard as I could cycle, I would probable drown.

Here is my equivalency test. If you are barfing when finished, you are going hard. It does not matter what the modality.

Last edited by Hermes; 06-26-19 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 06-26-19, 09:39 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by gregf83
I suppose I simply disagree with you that an intense interval on the bike is somehow less stressful on the heart than running. Your only evidence seems to be that running all-out for one minute feels harder for you than cycling all-out for a minute.
Well no. I also cited "Differences in blood glucose levels, differences in capillary adaptations. Running generally produces more stress in more diverse systems. Running is more metabolically efficient believe it or not, which means you can produce more power running than cycling. Internal temperature control is different. "

I am simply confident that if those opining simply attempted both and compared for themselves, they would likely see the numerous differences for themselves.


*also, that I haven't mentioned yet, the higher heart rates associated with running, greater power generated, the mitochondrial concentrations associated with running (providing more anaerobic energy) would all seem to me to impact the stress on the heart relative to cycling. I wouldn't posit details on exactly how or what, but it would be surprising if there were *no* effect arising from these differences*
The reason running is often touted as being more efficient (better bang for your buck) is that the floor of intensity for running is higher than cycling. I've not seen any evidence that running at high intensity is more stressful on the cardiovascular system than cycling at the same intensity. Personally, a 5k running race doesn't feel any harder on the heart and lungs than a short TT on a bike. Lots of other parts hurt when running as the stress on ligaments and tendons is much higher than in cycling but that's not what this thread is about.
If I read it right, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11528345 the "delta efficiency", or the change in energy used per work performed, is higher in running. One reason for that may be "the floor of intensity", or as the researchers mentioned the metabolic cost of moving larger muscle masses. Might be the same thing, but it looks more nuanced than that.

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Old 06-26-19, 12:31 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by gregf83
I suppose I simply disagree with you that an intense interval on the bike is somehow less stressful on the heart than running. Your only evidence seems to be that running all-out for one minute feels harder for you than cycling all-out for a minute.

.
? I am not much invested in this subject but hasn't there been numerous studies showing VO2 max, VO2 peak is higher for most people (like as much as 10%) when measured on treadmills vs stationary cycles due to more muscle involvement?
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Old 06-26-19, 01:24 PM
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There are two foundational levels of health or fitness for the heart associated with exercise. One is what we would generally call health and the other is what we would generally call fitness.

Exercise the heart at 60 percent of maximum heart rate for an X amount of time and you will get the maximum level of heart health, related to exercise. What you will not get is the maximum level of heart or cardio-fitness.

Exercise the heart at 80 percent of maximum and beyond for X time and terrain and you will achieve both heart health and fitness. (The health benefit is functionally the same as the 60 percent and any exercise level above that.)

Running is physically harder than cycling because of the weight bearing plus G-forces impacts and it requires greater total body muscle recruitment.

As to bone density, broadly speaking bone density is determined by muscle use. A workload level is put on the muscle which gets stronger and in reaction to the bone it is attached to increases in density. (For instance, check the muscle mass and bone density of the pitching arm of a MLB pitcher. Dramatically more mass in the pitching arm.)

Last edited by BengalCat; 06-26-19 at 04:24 PM. Reason: Clarity and typos
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Old 06-26-19, 03:53 PM
  #89  
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I'm surprised that you rephrased a comment that I began with the word "Anecdotally..." and then stated "Hardly scientific". Does that qualify as redundant on your part?

I am making comments and observations based on my experience. I have no desire, or need, to "defend" cycling or "criticize" running. I don't understand the uproar.

Originally Posted by FrenchFit
LOL, all the knee replacement buddies I can think of are or were cyclists. hardly scientific, but I know of no runners that have more than the periodic aches and pains. But truth be told, marketing and media got a lot of runners injured young by promoting bad practices and techniques. I think those of us that run, some running competitively in our 60s, somehow survived decades of indoctrination into stupid, stupid, stupid. (And, it's still out there.)
What, pray tell, is a "pure cyclist"? Do you really think that the number of triathletes "dwarfs" the number of cyclists who neither run nor swim on a regular basis? REALLY? I thought triathletes were a rather small segment of athletes compared to those who 1. primarily run 2. primarily cycle 3. primarily swim 4. primarily play tennis, golf, soccer <insert your sport here>

Originally Posted by wphamilton
Are there more older cyclists than older runners, I don't know. But whenever numbers of cyclists comes up I tend to step back and consider triathletes - who are ALSO cyclists and whose numbers dwarf those of pure cyclists. So I'm a little skeptical that there are fewer older runners.

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Old 06-26-19, 04:49 PM
  #90  
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If you're talking about the people who train for running or cycling - and we are - there are far more triathletes competing than just cyclists. 575,000 triathletes having licenses in one year - for races - as opposed to 70,000 total members of USA Cycling. Yes, literally dwarfs the number.
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Old 06-26-19, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
If you're talking about the people who train for running or cycling - and we are - there are far more triathletes competing than just cyclists. 575,000 triathletes having licenses in one year - for races - as opposed to 70,000 total members of USA Cycling. Yes, literally dwarfs the number.
The numbers above speak for themselves. However, I wonder how many "serious recreational bicycle riders" there are? You know, (as one subjective example), folks that do at least three rides a week of 25 or more miles on each ride as an arbitrary figure. For Strava members alone the past year 22 million cyclists (worldwide) used the service.
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Old 06-26-19, 06:17 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Rje58
I'm surprised that you rephrased a comment that I began with the word "Anecdotally..." and then stated "Hardly scientific". Does that qualify as redundant on your part? .
Not sure I rephrased anything and I can't parse out what you are trying to say ... but I suspect we agree more than disagree. The slam on running because it is somehow harmful is simply mis-information. Belittling cycling as not being aerobic or stressful enough is a narrow view. They are what you make them be as part of a overall fitness routine, useful or detrimental. Cycling or running alone as the sole fitness element - not so good.

But it makes me think of another aspect of this post about heart functioning/efficiency, I wonder how many cyclists/posters in this forum, including the Training & Nutrition forum have done the cardiologist exams, blood panels, EKGs, full on stress tests and actually know what their level of heart/cardio health efficiency is? Are people really relying on some fitness app to gauge the quality of their cardio performance?
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Old 06-26-19, 06:58 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
? I am not much invested in this subject but hasn't there been numerous studies showing VO2 max, VO2 peak is higher for most people (like as much as 10%) when measured on treadmills vs stationary cycles due to more muscle involvement?
Yes I believe this is true. HR is generally higher when running too.

Whether this actually means it's better for your heart is another matter. Furthermore, due to it being easy on your body, it's possible to keep your heart rate elevated for far longer (or far more hours per week) while cycling than while running.

Ultimately, I suspect both are about the same for someone's heart, and things like training frequency/intensity/duration, nutrition, rest, lack of stress etc. matter far, far more than which type of exercise you choose.
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Old 06-26-19, 09:27 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
? I am not much invested in this subject but hasn't there been numerous studies showing VO2 max, VO2 peak is higher for most people (like as much as 10%) when measured on treadmills vs stationary cycles due to more muscle involvement?
If you're talking about untrained people I would agree as running is more natural than cycling. For trained athletes it's less clear. Physiological Differences Between Cycling and Running is a good summary. Here is snippet:
Pechar et al.[5] concluded that athletes with previous experience in cycling may exhibit . VO2max values that are either equal to or approach those obtained in treadmill running. Various studies that have compared . VO2max in cycling and treadmill running in trained cyclists and runners support their premise.[30,39] Stromme et al.[39] reported a significantly higher (5.6%) . VO2max in cycling compared with treadmill running in male elite cyclists. Ricci and Leger[40] also found a higher . VO2max in cycle ergometry when compared with treadmill running (62.4 8.1 vs 54.7 8.1 mL/kg/min). Bouckaert et al.[34] later compared . VO2max in cyclists and runners completing incremental treadmill and cycling activity. These authors reported the . VO2max was 14% higher in treadmill running compared with bicycle ergometry in runners and 11% higher on the bicycle ergometer than on the treadmill in cyclists. Moreira-da-Costa et al.[32] found that . VO2max was highest in the exercise mode that the athletes had trained exclusively in.
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Old 06-27-19, 09:27 AM
  #95  
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It's probably a debate in itself as to whether running a marathon and cycling a century are roughly equivalent but I can't think of any exercise that tops the TdF, requiring on average about a century a day for weeks-- even so, the fact some can compete at that level probably is because it probably would just beat the body up too much to run (race) on average, a marathon a day for 21 days over a 23-day period.
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Old 06-27-19, 09:50 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by McBTC
It's probably a debate in itself as to whether running a marathon and cycling a century are roughly equivalent but I can't think of any exercise that tops the TdF, requiring on average about a century a day for weeks-- even so, the fact some can compete at that level probably is because it probably would just beat the body up too much to run (race) on average, a marathon a day for 21 days over a 23-day period.
There are male and female marathoners and ultra runners that have done the 50 in 50 and 60 marathons in 60 days, Dean did this running each of his back to back marathons in different states. Obviously, the logistics are insane, but they weren't racing. The Self-Transcendence 3100 requires about two marathons a day for a couple of months, and they are racing. Bitter ran 100 miles in under 12 hours. There are plenty of such examples.

Unless you are shooting for a remarkable finishing time, I don't think a century is particularly difficult. Add racing, hills and speed, then sure. TdF?, crazy.
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Old 06-27-19, 10:04 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by gregf83
If you're talking about untrained people I would agree as running is more natural than cycling. For trained athletes it's less clear.
"Trained athletes" being a bit suggestive. Seems to me these studies tend to involve tri and duathlon competitors as their trained athletes, or full time sport-specific college level athletes, which focuses on what ... far less than 1% of the general population? Just not sure what this means for any average guy or gal.
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Old 06-27-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
"Trained athletes" being a bit suggestive. Seems to me these studies tend to involve tri and duathlon competitors as their trained athletes, or full time sport-specific college level athletes, which focuses on what ... far less than 1% of the general population? Just not sure what this means for any average guy or gal.
I do not know how translatable it is to the general population but, as for myself, I could never run a marathon, but I can imagine that if everything went perfectly in my training schedule for the next two years, I might conceivably do a century but I would definitely need to wind at my back.
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Old 06-27-19, 04:11 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
"Trained athletes" being a bit suggestive. Seems to me these studies tend to involve tri and duathlon competitors as their trained athletes, or full time sport-specific college level athletes, which focuses on what ... far less than 1% of the general population? Just not sure what this means for any average guy or gal.
When I see "trained" or "elite" in studies I always think "what about training specificity" in the conclusions, which I don't think is inordinately superficial of me. Maybe a little superficial, but it's at least a valid concern. But I also think there is a big gap between that and "untrained" which could mean someone who rides or runs two or three times in a year.

Inside that gap are all of the "recreational" runners and cyclists, including a large portion of those who compete in events. It's not easy to get a handle on the numbers of that group however so I can't really address @BengalCat's question. The best I could come up with is the percentage of commuters, but that leaves out potentially a lot of people who just ride, so there's no way to know really. The census stuff lumps them all together with people who've ridden once or twice in a year ... all of which is one reason I cited numbers of people who compete in the two sports.
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Old 06-28-19, 07:29 AM
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Still, the 400 meters run is short enough and long enough as to allow cycling fitness to benefit a short distance sprint that is also long enough for sustained velocities.

Running a 1,500 meters is a way different thing on a cyclist body, capillaries, etc. Even 800 meters would be way too long.

Intervals: depending on the distances, the intervals are timed/targeted for runners. This means my 20 quarter miles was done at 5 minute per mile speed with a standing rest period in between. even with 110 yards, its still not "all out" because of the number of repetitions/repeats involved. As the running season progressed, the time/targets change.

A cyclists who maybe was a track or cross country runner in say college, would know the types of workouts and how it can actually translate to cycling
and then back to that 400 meters sprint/run. Its like a full circle, from running to cycling and then back to running.

Therefore, this attempt at 400 meters is not for everyone, especially those who never had the benefit of college type track/cross country training. High school runners are different because their workouts are not as intense, unless trained by coaches like Bob Timmons (Jim Ryun's coach).

Does this mean a cyclist just goes out and does a 400 meter run? Of course not. That same runner who had the benefit/background of track/cross country training would know step 1, step 2, etc. The running form and stride, knee lift, arm movement needs to be remembered, muscle memory.

Form: a side thing but I recall watching the Olympian Allyson Felix run the 400 meters. Such good form, seemed effortless, very efficient.

Last edited by Garfield Cat; 06-28-19 at 07:35 AM.
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