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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For cross-training, instead of running I used the elliptical machine (Precor) at work the other day. I figure the leg motion was somewhat similar to standing/pedaling, and that strides/mnute divided by 2 was equivalent to cadence. I did a 30 minute "hill" routine where the resistance level got progressively harder, starting at about 100 cadence, low resistance, and about 230 watts.

Naturally my cadence decreased as the resistance increased, but I held roughly the same watts (and similar heart rate) until the cadence dropped below about 70. When the cadence dropped to 55-60 the the watts dropped off to maybe 200 and heart rate went up. At the end of the program, the resistance decreased again and I recovered most but not all of the cadence, watts and heart rate.

Now the questions: Can I expect a similar decrease in power output on the bike at a similar cadence threshold? How close might the power numbers be to what I produce on a bike, since I don't have access to a power meter? And how much lower heart rate might I expect on the bike, since its mostly non-weight bearing?

For what its worth, this session was average HR of 148 and max of 168; max pretty typical for me. I'm 51, 5'-10, 185. Thanks for your input.

Oh yeah, my objective, such as it is, is to regain some running shape without beating up my joints and maybe get better climbing hills. Cycling 3x per week, usually Tues-Thurs-Sat, something else 2x, usually Mon-Wed.
 

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The first thing to determine would be whether or not the elliptical trainer's power numbers are real or not. Just because it's giving you a wattage number doesn't mean it's necessarily measuring power.
 

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kenyonCycleist said:
umm ride more, dont waste your time running
Maybe he's got a job like mine, where he doesn't have a set schedule, and can't ride every day? I use my elliptical at home, and find that if you set the resistance high enough, you can get a pretty good burn on your quads going. It's also easy to get to a set heart rate, and leave it there, for a while if you want.
 

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Who knows?

sdjeff said:
For cross-training, instead of running I used the elliptical machine (Precor) at work the other day. I figure the leg motion was somewhat similar to standing/pedaling, and that strides/mnute divided by 2 was equivalent to cadence. I did a 30 minute "hill" routine where the resistance level got progressively harder, starting at about 100 cadence, low resistance, and about 230 watts.

Naturally my cadence decreased as the resistance increased, but I held roughly the same watts (and similar heart rate) until the cadence dropped below about 70. When the cadence dropped to 55-60 the the watts dropped off to maybe 200 and heart rate went up. At the end of the program, the resistance decreased again and I recovered most but not all of the cadence, watts and heart rate.

Now the questions: Can I expect a similar decrease in power output on the bike at a similar cadence threshold? How close might the power numbers be to what I produce on a bike, since I don't have access to a power meter? And how much lower heart rate might I expect on the bike, since its mostly non-weight bearing?
IME, exercise equipment wattage reads high, typically by 20-40%. That doesn't mean that your unit reads high, but it is a common problem. That said, if you're working hard then you're working hard, you're getting a good workout and that's all you need to know. It doesn't teach you much about cycling to take uncertain numbers from a machine that doesn't mimic cycling motions. Your perceived effort is probably just as accurate as the power numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
kevhogaz said:
Maybe he's got a job like mine, where he doesn't have a set schedule, and can't ride every day? I use my elliptical at home, and find that if you set the resistance high enough, you can get a pretty good burn on your quads going. It's also easy to get to a set heart rate, and leave it there, for a while if you want.
Time is an issue, weight-bearing exercise for bone density is an issue, and I seem to expend a lot more energy in a shorter time period running or on a machine than biking. Not to mention days when being outside isn't all that much fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kerry Irons said:
IME, exercise equipment wattage reads high, typically by 20-40%. That doesn't mean that your unit reads high, but it is a common problem. That said, if you're working hard then you're working hard, you're getting a good workout and that's all you need to know. It doesn't teach you much about cycling to take uncertain numbers from a machine that doesn't mimic cycling motions. Your perceived effort is probably just as accurate as the power numbers.
I'm less interested in the actual numbers than the observed trend - more watts at a high cadence for a given heart rate. That would be consistent with what others here have posted, where they recommend turning an easier gear at a higher cadence for best overall performance. If I use the elliptical as a guide, it would tell me to keep a cadence of 70-75 or better going to maximize my power output while riding. Of course, doing that can be a problem for my on a 7-8% grade... but thats a different issue.
 

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kevhogaz said:
Maybe he's got a job like mine, where he doesn't have a set schedule, and can't ride every day? I use my elliptical at home, and find that if you set the resistance high enough, you can get a pretty good burn on your quads going. It's also easy to get to a set heart rate, and leave it there, for a while if you want.
Ever heard of a stationary trainer? Sure running is good for your aerobic system, but its not gonna make you a better cyclist.
 
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