Last modified on March 15th, 2022 at 9:28 pm

Biking vs. Running – The Ultimate Aerobic Sport

You want to be healthier.

You want to lose weight.

Maybe you just want a new outdoor hobby.

How do you know sport will you fall in love with?

Today we are going to discuss two of the most popular aerobic sports:

Biking vs Running

Biking and running are both great sports, but there seems to be a divide when it comes to which is best for your overall health. Both activities involve rhythmic aerobic activities that involve your entire body.

Cyclists tend to be really passionate about cycling, and runners seem to be very passionate about running.

Woman passionate runner

You’re probably wondering:

“Which will I be the most passionate about?”

Personally, I’m a cyclist, but I will try to be unbiased. Before you dive head first into either, you need to decide which you will be more able to do.

Do you already have a bike? Do you like in a place that’s safe for cyclists? Are you trying to lose weight?

These are all great questions!

To start with, you need to be honest with yourself. If you are not very active to begin with, cycling is a great option because it is much lower impact and you will be encouraged by the sheer distance you can cover in one session.

If you live in an area that doesn’t have a lot of cycling trails, running may be a better option. Alternatively, if you’d rather bike but stay indoors, we have a reviews of the best indoor cycles (read more).

Couple Cycling

What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?

Running has a ton of benefits to your health and happiness. You actually burn more calories per minute running than you do biking.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, someone weighing 150lbs who runs a 7-minute mile can burn 1000 calories in an hour. That same person peddling away at 16 mph will only burn 850 calories.

Okay, so cycling burns more calories. Great! What could be better than more calories with the same effort?

How about fewer injuries…

Woman stretching muscles

Running is much more high impact than biking. Cycling is non-weight bearing so it is better for your knees and joints. If you have a history of joint pain, stop reading right now and go hop on your bike.

What You Should Know About Cycling Gear:

I personally have a bad knee, so running any significant distance is almost always painful. Having a good pair of cycling shoes has made a big difference as well. If you’re like me, you may interested in cycling shoes, read more about them to see if they are a good option for you. It also helps to have a good cycling jersey as well as a good pair of cycling gloves. If  you’re not used to cycling gear, some gloves and jerseys may fit too snug for your comfort. You can learn more about them here.

As you start any hobby or activity that’s totally new to you, you’ll surely be curious about how you’re doing and if you’re improving. It’s difficult to gauge your performance when you’re already riding your bike. That’s why there is a tool to record your performance whenever you cycle.

Power meters are cyclists’ best friends. Whether you’re just a budding cyclist or interested to get into competitive cycling, a power meter will help you see how you’re performing day by day and set the right training routine. Power meters record the power you expend on the bike, which gives insight into your performance level and fitness. Just do your best every time you cycle, and the power meter will take care of recording your performance. Not only do power meters provide you with information on your performance, but they can also help motivate you to break your previous record.

One of the best things about cycling (even though you are burning fewer calories) is if you live in an area with a plethora of cycling trails, you get a chance to travel far enough away to see new things, but you’re going slow enough to enjoy what you’re seeing.

Man Cycling in Mountain

I can’t tell you how many awesome places I have discovered while cycling. For me, it’s been a life changing sport.

How About A Triathlon?

If the idea of running and cycling sounds great, why not add in swimming and start training for a traithlon!

Yeah I know what you’re thinking. “Well that escalated quickly”

However, if you’re fit enough for it, an triathlon could be a great goal to work towards.

Just make sure that if you’re actually considering it, that you learn more about what you need before you just dive into things.

Either of these activities will improve your overall aerobic fitness. Better aerobic fitness means a reduced risk of chronic diseases and a longer life span. Sweet!

There is really no easy answer as to which better, but hopefully, now you’re at least leaning one way or another.
Are you a passionate cyclist or runner? Tell us why you LOVE your sport in the comments section below.

Side Note: If you’re into cycling, having a GPS cycling watch can really help if you go off the trail. You can read more about them here.

Julie Adams

I have been a nature enthusiast since I was a small girl. My background is in online marketing and website development. It only makes sense to merge my love for nature with my skills in online marketing to help spread awareness, and appreciation for Our Beautiful Planet.