Substituting long runs for cycling

I am thinking of buying a road bike. Although I have training 5 times a week for 1500m-5k So I wouldn't really be able to use it that often without missing training. But if I were to cycle instead of the 2 long runs I would be able to fit both in so I really want to know if I would be at a disadvantage cycling for an hour+ instead of the long runs? (The long runs are 50mins long)


  • Long runs are purely for time on your feet mate. I'd be replacing some of your easy runs for cycling if anything or do them on your rest days.
  • Completely different. It's fine for cross training but not a replacement for a run - and 50 minutes isnt really a long runimage
  • Okay well thanks for your help!
  • But is a long run relative depending upon what you're training for? If R Mcl 2 is training for 1500 then perhaps 50 mins is sufficient, or not?

    I find cycling is good for hill running. Since I've been cycling / spinning I've been particularly fast on the hills because it uses the quads.
  • Fair point but if he's racing 5k then 50 minutes isn't that long ?

    Why would you do a longer bike over a shorter run ? It can't be a time thing ? Cycling always takes longer anyway - you have to put more kit on and get the bike ready too - and then clean it.

    How many miles a week are you running ?
  • This cycling/running question comes up a lot on this forum. I do not think there is a definative answer. There is no way that cycling does not help your running, cycling is easier on your joints etc and makes a change. But I would not like to replace elements of my running training with cycling (unless suffering from minor injury, not aggravated by cycling). For me the long runs are an important part of my run training and would not replace them with a cycle. But to answer the question; an hour of cycling should have the same effect on your heart/lungs as running at the same intensity. But bear in mind that slightly diffrent muscles are used.

  • I don't think a 1:1 ratio for replacing running with cycling is recognised. From what I have read, the ratio is more like 3:1 or 4:1 to gain similar training effects. e.g a 30min recovery run could be replaced by a 90min ride. Google "J Strength Cond Res.May;17(2):319-23), 2003" to find one of the studies on cycling as a cross training method in distance runners.

    As has been said, cross training can compliment your running, but you are not going to be able to substitute it for your key run sessions.

    I use indoor rowing for cross training. There the ratio is said to be between 0.75 - 1 :1. Can be very dull though




    Also-ran wrote (see)

    I don't think a 1:1 ratio for replacing running with cycling is recognised. .



    Just to be clear I was not suggesting you can replace cycling for running, just that either would have the same effect on your heart and lungs (cardiovascular system) thank you for the link to the article (3000 metres; a distance run?)

  • Well thanks for all your suggestions I have decided to buy a bike and I am planning to use it after training on weekends or before training on weekends as it seems to be the best solutions as I am not missing out any running but I'm still getting to cycle
  • Ask 1000 cyclicsts to run 5 miles note down their times. Ask the same cyclists to cycle 20 miles note down their times, compare these to a sample of 1000 runners doing the same. I'll bet money the fastest runners will be as quick on a bike as the fastest cyclists, but the same cyclists won't be anywhere near the fastest runners.

  • Also just to say, I have purchased a btwin triban 3 from decathlon
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