cycling vs running avg hr

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cycling vs running avg hr

Postby soniczip » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:40 pm

given the same effort, my avg hr when running goes much higher then when cycling.

this is understandable in a way. when cycling the heart needs to pump less frequently to assure the needed oxygen level, ... because of the position of the body i guess.

but why such a huge difference?
in my case, a medium intensity training means:
- 140bpm, when cycling
- 160bpm, when running

and ...

- if cycling, when i try to push hard, unless there's a long steep hill, my heart never reaches the anaerobic threshold
- if running, oh ... so easy to reach that point!

is it maybe because the muscles i use when cycling are not as developped as those i use when running? is it a problem of muscular efficiency?

if the answer is yes, are there exercises (trainings) i could do to counterbalance the situation and be more efficient when cycling?

thanx guys :D
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby fredrikw » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:06 pm

soniczip wrote:- if cycling, when i try to push hard, unless there's a long steep hill, my heart never reaches the anaerobic threshold

This is certainly odd, sounds like your local capacity (legs) are terribly inefficient, your legs can't deliver the power needed. Are you sure this is true?
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:08 pm

I find the my heart rate is astronomical when I run compared to swimming or biking. As a result, I can do much harder work for much longer in either of the other two sports. The reasons I've read have not really resonated.
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby fredrikw » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:12 pm

One thing to consider though is that heart rate is an indirect measure of exertion. For an activity that activates more muscles the heart rate corresponding with a certain exertion level will be higher than that of an activity that activates fewer muscles.
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby soniczip » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:18 pm

fredrikw wrote:One thing to consider though is that heart rate is an indirect measure of exertion. For an activity that activates more muscles the heart rate corresponding with a certain exertion level will be higher than that of an activity that activates fewer muscles.

like say, if i did arm wrestling i couldn't reach high hr? it sounds reasonable, yes.
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby soniczip » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:20 pm

xrodolfox wrote:I find the my heart rate is astronomical when I run compared to swimming or biking. As a result, I can do much harder work for much longer in either of the other two sports. The reasons I've read have not really resonated

i'm not alone then :D
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby fredrikw » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:28 pm

fredrikw wrote:
soniczip wrote:- if cycling, when i try to push hard, unless there's a long steep hill, my heart never reaches the anaerobic threshold

This is certainly odd, sounds like your local capacity (legs) are terribly inefficient, your legs can't deliver the power needed. Are you sure this is true?


I just want to add here, that if you instead of looking at your HRM try to go by how it feels in your legs, are you never reaching your lactate threshold (ie your legs start burning and you can't continue longer than a couple of minutes)?

Generally, your heart rate zones are sport specific, you rarely can take zones from one sport, running for example, and use them in another, in this case cycling.
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby ultra_whippet » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:46 pm

soniczip wrote:- if cycling, when i try to push hard, unless there's a long steep hill, my heart never reaches the anaerobic threshold

Yeah, as Fredrik says your thresholds will be different for each sport, maybe you need a cycling-specific test to find your HR zones for biking? I find the same thing as you though - 160bpm is a fairly comfortable running pace, but agony on the bike!
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby soniczip » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:09 pm

ok. it's much more clear now. which test should i do for cycling? i did the conconi test for running. actually, i did it thinking it was going to be good for any sport!
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby skoptic » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:55 pm

Although someone will probably science-blind me .. I have always read that the fact that you support your entire body (rather than being seated) explained the difference in HR's for the 2 sports. You always need to offset your Max or Working Hr to get your zones for biking :-)
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:57 pm

ja, as said it can be different for cycling vs running and will be a function of your relative fitness in each sport.

Conconi has been shown to be pretty bad, as, really, has HR in general, as an indicator. It is just too heavily influenced by so many other factors so it is difficult to know what it means (ie, it will be highly variable). Perceived exertion is really a better way to go, especially if you have a longer training background and understanding, as you do. However, there are various different ways to define your threshold (and depends on whose/which definition of threshold you mean) on the bike. A moderate distance TT is usually what is done.
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby CoeyCoey » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:35 pm

Your muscles indirectly tell your heart how fast to pump, right? If your muscles are getting all the nutrients they can handle, you have reached your max HR for that exercise. If you have a high perceived exertion, but a low heart rate, it means your cardio is supplying enough nutrients and can supply more, but your muscle lacks the conditioning to use those nutrients. You need to increase your muscles strength and/or conditioning to use more nutrients and get your HR higher.

So, I would say you are correct about muscular efficiency. If you train on a bike more, you will get your HR to raise for the same medium intensity exertion. This is counter to what many people believe about an exercise. They often think their HR will get lower the more they become conditioned to a certain exercise. This is true if they maintain the same energy output, but as you become conditioned, you will naturally maintain the same exertion level which will be an increase in energy output. More energy out, means more nutrients from your blood, means higher HR.

Of course this assumes a conditioned individual. If someone who is not conditioned to exercise at all starts exercising, they will likely see their heart rates drop as their bodies become conditioned to exercise.
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby DanielS » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:00 am

soniczip wrote:in my case, a medium intensity training means:
- 140bpm, when cycling
- 160bpm, when running


How long can you maintain 140 bpm for while cycling at this intensity? How long can you maintain 160 bpm for while running at this intensity?

soniczip wrote:- if cycling, when i try to push hard, unless there's a long steep hill, my heart never reaches the anaerobic threshold


That seems strange.... just ride harder and your HR will go up eventually! Probably pretty hard to do in some situations (e.g. a descent) but you should be able to do it on an uninterrupted flat road.
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby soniczip » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:37 am

thanks all for the nswers :D

DanielS wrote:
soniczip wrote:in my case, a medium intensity training means:
- 140bpm, when cycling
- 160bpm, when running


How long can you maintain 140 bpm for while cycling at this intensity? How long can you maintain 160 bpm for while running at this intensity?

i should try, but i'd say at least 100k when cycling at 140bpm, and a marathon when running at 160bpm, since i ran my last half marathon at an average of 175bpm. but i haven't done long distances lately (60k cycling, 14k running for the past 12 months).

DanielS wrote:
soniczip wrote:- if cycling, when i try to push hard, unless there's a long steep hill, my heart never reaches the anaerobic threshold


That seems strange.... just ride harder and your HR will go up eventually! Probably pretty hard to do in some situations (e.g. a descent) but you should be able to do it on an uninterrupted flat road.


yes, it goes higher. but what i meant at the beginning was that it wouldn't go as high as when running. it'd probably go as high as 165/175 but that would be the maximum and i could keep it that way only for a short period. but i think the other answers clarified the problem. i need to find my two anaerobic tresholds, one for running, the other for cycling :?
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Re: cycling vs running avg hr

Postby MikayP » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:24 pm

from my experiences my racing hr's of each sport, in triathlon, are about the same as yours...20 bmp less on the bike

i dont know a whole lot but most triathletes of all skill levels have a lower max hr on the bike than the run. and, in an ironman race, energy expenditure is really only 1/2 way done until you start the marathon even though time wise youve been racing for 65%ish of the overall time

i did a few 30 minute TTs during spring i got my hr as high as 161 if i recall. the highest my running has ever gotten, for a 10k run, is 178

grain of salt since i know dedicated cyclist who have really high hrs, but i do now know what their running hrs are
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