Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 59 Posts

· Out of work goaltender
Joined
·
147 Posts
I think it's a lot more dependent on speed than distance. My fat pot-head roomate ran a marathon in well over 4 hours (friggin slow) and thinks he's a badass. There's too many variables (hills, wind, drafting, etc) in cycling to set a milestone at a distance like you can do with running. I agree with you that it would have to be over 100 though for most conditions if there was one.
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
Joined
·
7,749 Posts
Yeah, I think a century is nowhere near the physical challenge of running a marathon. Witness that the average cyclist can ride a century but the average runner can't handle a marathon. And running is just so much harder on the body... some folks' bodies just break down and give up with distance running. I think that is extremely rare on a bike, and would really only occur in more endurance riding, like a double century or something like the Death Ride, etc.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
That is hard to qualify but I have run three 26 mile marathons and many 100k rides. The most I have ridden is 78 and 84 miles on consecutive days and it was not close to the effort of a marathon run. Everyone is different but based on my experience I would say that something in the 150 mile range would equal a marathon. Another way to look at it is Tour de France riders race over a 100 miles a day for many consecutive days but world class marathon runners only race marathons two or three times a year.
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
Joined
·
7,749 Posts
Eric S said:
Another way to look at it is Tour de France riders race over a 100 miles a day for many consecutive days but world class marathon runners only race marathons two or three times a year.
Actually, that's an excellent point. Even a hard core endurance runner does his/her long run (say in the 15-20 mi range) once a week, and most recreational runners couldn't even do that without developing overuse injuries, shin splints, hip pain, foot problems, etc. etc. In comparison, some of the weeklong tours I've done have multiple century days and other 80-90 mile days and I'm a very average recreational roadie.

It may just be that the two sports are so "apples and oranges" that there can't be a formula, but if there is it most definitely is NOT that century = marathon.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
1,844 Posts
can you really compare the two?

I dont think they can be compared-- running involves so much more impact and abuse on the body-- that's the reason so many people can bike, but not run. After soccer, I couldnt run-- cycling saved me from becoming a total couch potato.

Without the impact you can go much longer. If you did have to compare, I'd tend to think a double metric would be more like it-- about 125-130 miles. I've done 150 @ 17+ mph.

Also, if you've ridden 80 miles, but not 100, you really can't compare. Mentally it's a whole different monster. I remember doing a century with a group and at 50 miles they thought no problem-- at 75, they were none too happy at the idea of riding another 25 miles-- if you've done it, you probably know that feeling.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,252 Posts
Mdeth1313 said:
Also, if you've ridden 80 miles, but not 100, you really can't compare. Mentally it's a whole different monster. I remember doing a century with a group and at 50 miles they thought no problem-- at 75, they were none too happy at the idea of riding another 25 miles-- if you've done it, you probably know that feeling.
Isn't that the truth.

On my first century at 80 miles I was thinking, it's in the bag and what's the big deal? By mile 90 I was thinking I was hurting pretty good, by mile 95 all I could think about was the finish, at mile 100 I was thinking where's the freaking finish line? Finally at mile 103 I pulled in and was worn out, but glad I had completed my first Century.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Mdeth1313 said:
IAlso, if you've ridden 80 miles, but not 100, you really can't compare. Mentally it's a whole different monster. I remember doing a century with a group and at 50 miles they thought no problem-- at 75, they were none too happy at the idea of riding another 25 miles-- if you've done it, you probably know that feeling.
That's a good point. Until I ride a distance that duplicates the effort I expended in running a marathon I can't know what a valid comparison would be. I do know that I ran the marathons over 20 years ago when I was in my early 30s and 75 to 80 miles on a bike today isn't even half the effort of a marathon and I generally ride at 18 MPH +. I need to continue to test my limits and find out.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
marathon is far harder i think. maybe if it was a loaded touring bike out on nevada 50 or something though....but of course you could also compete in an ironman length race and let us know what you think! :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Marathon run vs. Cycling Century

having done one or two centuries and currently training for a marathon, the running is far more stressful to the body.:cryin: CTS mentions that calorie wise a 20mile ride at between 16-17 miles an hour = a 5.7 mile run.:idea:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,000 Posts
Well based on past clients that I have trained...

for marathons and century rides I would save around 125-150 miles depending on condtions. Falt running course vs moderate cycling course.

This is based of HR and PRE. Running is far more harder on the body than cycling due to impact on the body's joints. Also also came up with these numbers after 15yrs+ in the Fitness Industry. Just a educated guess form testing and that's it.

I had clients run Marathons at 82-88% of the MHR and then ride a a bike full 100-150 miles at the same HR of 82-88%. Based on how they felt and analysing the rides/runs I came up with these ruff numbers.
Also a person's health in relation to the discipline can make a differnce.

Now go do a ride with some major climbs and this miles will drop.
Also having a runner ride will be lower numbers and having a cyclist trying to run will be harder.

No I also figured out that an Ironman uses the 2.4M swim, 112m ride and 26.2 run and each disiclipne feels very similar in exertion to a well trained athlete.
I still feeel that cycling distance needs to be just a bit longer to compare to a marathon.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
21,853 Posts
I've done both, they are hard to compare.

For the marathon speed matters-the faster you go the harder it is on your joints. The more you weigh the harder it is on your joints. Slow down, do the thing in 4+++ hours and it just becomes a long walk.

You can walk a long way day after day-just like riding.

Riding 100 miles; if you can deal with the pain on your parts that touch the bike and don't go fast and eat a lot 100 miles just isn't that big of a deal. I'm thinking that you have to do 100 miles in pretty close to 4 hours or include at least 8,000 feet of climbing before you can even begin to compare it to running (as opposed to just doing) a marathon.

More likely a 300k bike ride (that isn't flat) equles a marathon run.

YMMV

BTW good question.
 

· C 1/5
Joined
·
613 Posts
So along this line of thought...would a "ultra" endurance runner (someone who runs 100 miles at a time) be at about the same fitness level as a professional cyclist? How many miles would running 100 miles have to equal on a bike? I've read the top ultra runners have a VO2 max in the high 90's similiar to top pro cyclists.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
I hate running but....

A training partner of mine who is extremely fit and has a never-give-up attitude decided he was going to do a marathon a week before it started and he didn't even train for it.:eek:

He ended up finishing it in 3hr 7mins and collapsed at the finish.He could'nt walk for two days afterwards.He and I have regularly done 120 mile training rides(just the two of us)in under 6 hours and he said it doesn't even come close to the pain he felt both mentally and physically running a marathon.:eek:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
I agree that it's hard to compare cycling and running. The impact of running is hard in a different way than the challenge of turning over the pedals for 11-12 hours. With all of that said, if you're going to make the comparison, I think that a marathon is probably more comparable to a double century than a century. I've done both and it seems like I was a similar degree of "done" at the end...
 

· Ti me up
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
Chase15.5 said:
So along this line of thought...would a "ultra" endurance runner (someone who runs 100 miles at a time) be at about the same fitness level as a professional cyclist? How many miles would running 100 miles have to equal on a bike? I've read the top ultra runners have a VO2 max in the high 90's similiar to top pro cyclists.
Interesting question. I have a buddy who's one of those ultra-runners. (He seems sane otherwise.) He cycles for cross-training, and did one Ironman. Even after building up his cycling endurance, he'd still rather run 100 miles than ride it. That goes a ways toward saying that the differences are highly individual. You could certainly convert calories expended, watts produced or something like that to arrive at a comparison, but would that mean anything? I suspect that, if you could somehow remove all the jarring on the body that running produces, that any reasonably competent distance cyclist could run a marathon. But you can't remove it - it's part of the sport.

I've always felt like this question is kind of like saying, "How many home runs equals a touchdown?" They're just not directly comparable.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
6,492 Posts
Marathons were easier for me, but I was a lot younger...

2ride said:
How many cycling miles do you think equals a marathon's 26 miles? Someone said a century but it seems to me that running a marathon is far more difficult than riding 100 miles.
I did my last marathon at about 40, when I was forced into cycling by bad knees. In memory, it was a lot easier than any century I've done --as another post said, you're feeling fine at 80 miles, hoping you don't die at 90, then willing to consider it at 95. But I didn't do my first century until I was close to 50, and I haven't ever achieved the fitness in cycling that I had from running 40-70 miles a week for more than 10 years. If I had to go out and do one tomorrow, though, it would be the ride. I'm pretty sure I could muddle through that in eight hours or so. No way I could run for four hours.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
Joined
·
4,298 Posts
When I was in the Army, I was on a running team on the base, and we did half marathons for fun. We did it as a way to show "community involvement" with the surrounding area.

At the time, I was in my early 20s, and in absolute top shape, and trained daily. We'd run the half around 1:25 - 1:35, and i'd feel like I was going to die at the end.

Ten years later, and significantly heavier, I find that the challenge of riding a century is really in the mind. I think just about any schmuck on a bike could do it. Hell I rode my first century less than a month after riding again, at 250 pounds and solo.

I still don't have a pleasant memories about running, and whenever I do now (playing baseball or basketball), I get incredibly sore after just a few minutes.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
TylerDurden said:
I think it's a lot more dependent on speed than distance. My fat pot-head roomate ran a marathon in well over 4 hours (friggin slow) and thinks he's a badass.
In my experience, friggin slow marathons are still friggin hard.
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top