If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll have read about me road riding, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. I haven’t written much about running. Nearly 15 years ago I did run the Pikes Peak Ascent after some friends convinced me running uphill was just like riding a bike.
10 miles into the Pikes Peak Ascent I was around 80th place out of 1,800 runners. That’s when my legs painfully informed me that even running uphill wasn’t exactly like riding a bike. By the time I got to mile 12, I would walk a 100 yards and then stop and stretch.
The last mile I watched dozens of runners go by me. I still managed to finish 171st in a time of 3:24:18. I have friends that would be happy with that but it was a very painful experience.
I tried to get into running several times over the years. I’ve never gotten to the point of really enjoying it like I do biking. There are a few reasons why I wish I could enjoy running.
Easier When Traveling
If you’ve ever flown with a bike, you know how expensive that was even before the latest luggage fees the airlines have imposed. Not only do you have to get your bike to your destination or rent one, you have cycling clothes, helmet, shoes and tools. Even when driving, you need a bike rack or a big space inside the vehicle for a bike. Runners on the other hand just need their shoes, shorts and a t-shirt that they could also use for just hanging out.
Even runners that have the latest in shoe technology, wicking shirts and jackets, can get geared up for a few hundred dollars. That amount won’t even cover a good bike, let alone even more clothing, tools and a repair stand.
Other than putting some anti-odor powder in their shoes and maybe replacing the laces, runners really don’t have any upkeep. Cyclist on the other hand have chains to lube, flats to change, shifters to adjust, wheels to keep true, etc. Bike wrenching takes time away from riding.
Warmer in Winter
During the winter runners also have the advantage of staying warmer. Since they don’t move as fast, windchill isn’t as much of an issue. When I’ve been mountain biking in the winter, I’ve been known to get off and run with the bike for a little bit to warm back up. That method works particularly well with the feet since it gets them moving more and increases the blood flow.
Builds Stronger Bones
Loss of bone density can be a problem particularly for road cyclists. At least one study has shown that it may not be as big of an issue for mountain bikers although there still are concerns. Although the the problem isn’t yet well understood, the recommendation is to do weight bearing cross-training such as running.
Running clearly has several advantages over cycling. So why don’t I make the switch or at least run more? It’s because riding a bike is so much more fun and you can go so much farther in the same amount of time.