Cycling or Running for Flatlanders?

DougP

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
236
Location
Lafayette, LA
I just got back from turkey hunting for my first hunting trip out West. Among other things, I realized that I need to cut some weight and improve my cardio. I also realized that it would be much easier to get in mountain shape if you lived in the mountains. It was much easier to get up the hills on day 4 than day one.

Anyway, I was wondering if you guys think cycling would be as good as running for mountain stamina. I enjoy cycling much more than running, so compliance would be better for me. Also, my wife wants a Pelaton and I would score some major points if I can bring myself to spend the coin on one.

I already do strength/circuit training several days per week.

Any opinions would be appreciated.
 

Nuke Man

Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
526
Location
Midwest
Do what you will enjoy doing is my advice. After a few years of going out west I can honestly say, nothing will get you "mountain ready" other than hiking mountains. But you can get close and most importantly substantially lessen your recovery times. I would bike, and throw in some weighted pack hill climbs on foot.

And honestly crossfit has gotten me farther than anything else.
 

WoodBow

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
962
Bike is better than running imo. Bike hills if possible. But I agree with do what you enjoy because you are more likely to actually do it regularly.
 

Poser

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
3,278
Location
Durango CO
Assuming you have some kind of baseline fitness level, Regular old running/jogging is likely one of the least effective methods for getting in "mountain shape." There is value in sprinting, however. Casual cycling is probably not much more effective than jogging. Hill sprints, hill repeats, and steep climbs (on you bike) that put you in an anaerobic state can be useful, however.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

SWOHTR

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
756
Location
Briney foam
Don't forget about strengthening your ankles, which really comes from running, hiking, or any other load-bearing activity. Having spent the winter on the rower, the first week I got back into running, my ankles were the weakest, sorest, etc. I'll also say that ankle strength was my most limiting factor last year in the mountains.
 

paleraider

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
412
Location
Idaho
If you don't have hills or mountains then crossfit, biking, and weighted step-ups are great.
 

Felix40

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
Messages
1,381
Location
New Mexico
Biking is awesome because you get the same quad burn that you would from climbing a hill. If you can get your heart rate way up and do some hills it should help a lot. Running is still good for stengthening your feet, ankles, knees, and even your core. Its not going to help if you dont do it though so if biking gets you motivated thats good.
 

timekiller13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
532
Bike. Easier on your joints, builds quads. Find some steep hills, crank up the gear and pedal away.
 

Brendan

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
3,211
Location
Boston, MA
In my mind - cross train. My routine is bike, run, stadium running / intervals, weighted pack hikes / walks (flat land), gym workouts. My biggest issue is not my cardio, it's feet, ankles and the ability to be able to beat myself up for 10 days straight.

Do you have a stadium nearby where you can run stairs or take a pack on stair workouts? Or, do you have a steep (even if short) hill where you can do the same? Good additions to a workout plan if you do.
 

Ridge Ghost

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
1,012
Location
Missoula, MT
As has been mentioned above, the most important thing is to keep active, whatever your sport is. If you prefer biking, do it. We can debate the biking vs running vs rucking vs crossfit forever. All are good, and if biking is most likely to get you out the door than that's what you should do.

Even if biking will be your main discipline, I would still mix in some work with a weighted pack (stair climbs, step-ups, long rucks, etc) to prepare your body more specifically for hunting.
 

zman

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
183
Location
New Jersey
Crossfit is great. Don't overlook swimming. Something about not being able to breathe at will translates well to altitude.
 

timekiller13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
532
I definitely agree with others that a combination of exercises is best. I still run some but prefer biking because its easier on my knees. Years of running on poor surfaces has taken a toll on my knees. I prefer biking and hiking with a weighted pack over running.
 

mtwarden

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
3,615
Location
Montana
I'd also go with both. Definitely bike if you like biking, but mixing it up is advantageous.

If you have trails, do your running there vs pavement. It's easier on joints/tendons/ligaments, but it will also better improve ankle strength, will hit your core, improve balance and strengthens all the little accessory muscles that are needed in the mountains. Even the flattest places have hills of some kind, seek these out and run/hike them.
 

Ndbowhunter

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
1,726
Biking does little for mountains. I was peddling at 6000 feet with a 30 pound 2 year old on the rear seat. 50 plus miles a week. Big hills climbs. Was I in shape? Hell yeah,! was I in shape for 8,000 foot days with a heavy pack. Nope!

My current theory is train how you enjoy, for me that's running. Injury free and year round medium fitness and 6 weeks prior to a big hunt train as close to as possible what you will encounter. A big hint is to run your pack close to game time weight for 2 hours on rough terrain 35 times in those 6 weeks. Rough terrain can be sidehills at the park, stadium stairs quartering up and down, rock piles at a river. Steep sand dunes, whatever. I focus on coming down more then the up part.

It shouldn't wear you down but your mental game will be sharp and your boots will be broke in.
 
Top