The Debate Over Miles on a Bike vs. Miles Running
As an avid cyclist or runner or just someone who loves fitness, it is quite common to wonder about the actual equivalence between miles on a bike vs. miles running. Is it true that cycling 1 mile is equivalent to running 1 mile? Well, the answer to this question is not straightforward because there are a lot of variables to consider.
The Science behind the Comparison
Firstly, the comparison between miles on a bike and miles running is based on the concept of “metabolic equivalence”. This concept is used to compare the energy expenditure of different physical activities, and is expressed as METs or metabolic equivalents. A MET is defined as the amount of energy you burn per minute of physical activity relative to your resting metabolic rate.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), cycling at a moderate pace has a MET value of 8.5, while running at a 6mph pace has a MET value of 10. Therefore, it can be concluded that cycling 1 mile is not equivalent to running 1 mile. In fact, you would have to cycle about 1.2 to 1.5 miles to achieve the same energy expenditure as running 1 mile.
The Role of Intensity
However, it is important to note that the intensity of the cycling or running workout plays a significant role in determining the actual equivalence. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, cycling at a high intensity can be equivalent to running at a moderate to high intensity. This means that cycling 1 mile at a high intensity can be equivalent to running 1 mile at a moderate to high intensity.
Miles on a Bike vs. Miles Running: The Calories Burned
Another way to approach the comparison between miles on a bike vs. miles running is to look at the number of calories burned. According to ACE, a person weighing 155 pounds can burn about 260 calories by cycling at a moderate pace for 30 minutes. On the other hand, running at a 10-minute mile pace for 30 minutes can burn about 295 calories. This suggests that running burns more calories than cycling, although the actual values may vary based on individual factors such as age, weight, and fitness level.
Factors Affecting the Equivalence
Apart from the intensity, the actual equivalence between miles on a bike vs. miles running may depend on other factors such as:
– Terrain: Cycling uphill requires more energy expenditure compared to cycling on a flat surface, just as running uphill requires more energy expenditure compared to running on a flat surface.
– Wind: Cycling against the wind requires more energy expenditure, just as running against the wind requires more energy expenditure.
– Body position: The actual equivalence may also depend on your body position when cycling or running. For instance, cycling in an upright position may require less energy expenditure compared to cycling in a bent-over position, which is more aerodynamic.
Making the Most of Your Workout
In conclusion, the equivalence between miles on a bike vs. miles running is not a straightforward concept, as it depends on various factors such as intensity, terrain, and wind. However, both cycling and running are excellent forms of physical activity that offer several health benefits such as improved cardiovascular fitness, strength, and endurance. Therefore, you should choose the activity that you enjoy the most and that fits your lifestyle and fitness goals.
|American Council on Exercise||https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/exercise-library/|
|Journal of Sports Sciences||https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640414.2015.1022570|