Cycling speeds

I am looking to start cycling.
Can anyone tell me how I can equate speeds on a bike to speeds on foot with respect to how much of a workout it gives me.
I don't have a heart rate monitor but i have a garmin so i can calculate my speed and distance.
What would be the equivalent of say 6/7/8 min miling on a bike ?
Thanks in advance.


  • I wouldn't get too hung up on this.

    I'd go by your perceived exertion level.

    Its almost impossible to compare one sport with another.
  • Yes like Cougie says, cycling is different as weather, terrain, solo/group makes much more of a difference in cycling.
  • if it helps at all
    i have a little rule of thumb that i go about four times as far on a bike for the same effort as running

    a 5k run is a 20k bike ride approx in terms of effort
  • Yes that's about right normally, and it takes you about twice as long - so a 10 mile run = 20 mile ride timewise but 40 mile ride effortwise.

    If you want a target do evens (20mph) for 10 miles - i.e. a 30 minute 10. That's normally the target for an absolute beginner. A reasonable club cyclist would be maybe 25 minutes for a 10 and a top club cyclist probably 20 minutes - all a bit approximate though and some people can road race but not time trial very well etc.
  • Speeds I just dream of. Agree with Cougie, they are not comparable in that fashion, go by perceived effort.
  • If I do a run route - it takes me twice as long to run it as it does me to ride it. I guess thats a pretty decent paced training run - no chatting, and a pretty easyish bike.

  • absolute begineer, 10 in 30 mins....

    fookin ell....

    I'd better put my stabilisers back on then and get my buzz lightyear helmet out!

  • pops - don't you also beleive every runner can run a sub-40 10k off 6 months training?
  • I think i remember someone saying a sub30min 10 mile TT was roughly equivalent to going sub 50 in a 10k run. So perhaps not such a bad goal for a beginner.

    At the moment I can't imagine riding at 20mph for 30 mins though. Did 17mph for 30 mins during my long ride at the weekend though i think.
  • I'd consider myself more of a runner than a cyclist. I'd run a 10 miler in 65-67 at the moment and bike the same distance in 23-24. THerefore 1 to 3 may be more accurate?
  • I think anyone that thinks a 30 minute 10 is fast has probably never ridden a 10, it's totally different to going out on your own in training and averaging 20mph - if you average 17-18 in training you'll do 20 with a number on your back - you'll just have to trust me on that!
  • It's an interesting point pops. I find if I compare the RPE of my bike training speed and race speed to that of running there is a much greater performance difference in cycling.
  • Gumps, a 23:30 minute 10M TT would give you a Gold Standard TT award!
  • What's that?

    NB - this is an extrapolation from a slightly TT course I do now and the predictions of the cycle ponces in the club who think I should be quicker based on their TT times. Of course it's a load of rubbish as I've only started this year. I do hope to cruise past some bike ponces on their TT bikes early next year though.
  • I like TT's

    But im just to slow

  • 100 miles in 5 hours on a bike requires about the same exertion level as running a marthon in 4 hours.
  • *marathon*
  • There are 3 standards to reach within TT, Bronze, Silver and Gold, with 23:30 being Gold for the 10. 60 mins for 25 etc
  • I think my cycling ability is similar to my running ability. I think the conversion is about 2.33 miles on the bike to 1 mile running for a given duration.

    So a 1 hour run covering 10 miles is probably equivalent to 23.3 miles on the bike in the same time.

    Applying it to elites it seems to work well.
    25 mile TT in 50 minutes would be equivalent to 10.7 miles in 50 minutes (or 10 miles in 46.36)

    For a beginner cyclist 20mph for an hour would be very good. This is about 7 minute miling for running.

    Grumps - your 1:3 is based on comparing the same distance. To get a truer comparison you need to compare DURATION. In any case, your 23.30 10mile TT is equivalent to a 27.30 5 miler. So you are quite a bit better as a cyclist than runner.
  • In 1 hour i could run about 8 miles, an hours cycling at same effort would probably see me do about 20 miles.
  • the answers all just prove cougie's first statement that you shouldn't try to compare. everybody is different.

    eg punchy says a 100 mile ride in 5 hours is the same as a 4 hour marathon. personally i would have trouble running a marathon that slowly (except in an ironman, of course!!) but i'd have to push moderately to maintain 20mph on the bike for 5 hours. So for me, I guess that a 100 mile ride in 5 hours would be the same as a 3:20 marathon.

    it depends which you are better at. no point trying to compare.
  • My top speed at IMCH (an excellent race) was 59mph
  • LOL Barly, you're getting more tenuous by the minute!

  • Find your own thread this is mine.
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