Running cycling, which one better, which one harder


New Member
Jul 22, 2019
Hà Nội
I used to be an average 3rd cat, could hold my own in bunches even in E123 races if they were flat. I was decent at going uphill for a 3rd cat and estimated my FTP to be around 300w. My point is I was reasonably fit .Long story short, I packed in cycling a couple of years ago ( got fed up and felt stale with the whole thing) and took up running. Now, even though I trained just as hard at running as cycling, I was really, really terrible at running. I ran competitively for a couple of years but never really felt I got to anywhere near the level i got at with cycling.
My problem with running was I was always running out of puff....something that never really happened with cycling. Even when at 90% MHR, I felt my breathing was ""controlled''. Yet when running , even at 80% MHR or less, my breathing was all over the place...completely ragged and I always felt like I was breathing through a straw.

Has anyone experienced this ?

Is there any truth in the assertion that cycling places more stress on the heart than the lungs whereas is running it's the other way round? This is the only conclusion I can come to unless this is a particular quirk of my own physiology: namely that my lung capacity/efficiency is my limiter.

I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on this.
You have to by way more careful with running, even increasing weekly distance by few km can "brake" your legs. It is very important to periodization your training plan and focuses on recovery, stretching foam roller.
Yes, running is much harder than cycling.
Hey there! Gotta say, I can totally relate to what you're saying about being careful with running. It's a whole different ball game compared to biking, right? I mean, one little increase in distance and your legs feel like they've hit the brakes! That's why it's all about periodization and giving those legs some recovery time. And hey, speaking of recovery, ever tried using a foam roller? Works wonders for those muscles! But hey, no shade on running, it's just a whole different level of intensity compared to cycling. Keep rocking, my friend! ‍♂️
It's fascinating how individual strengths and weaknesses can vary between sports. In cycling, your FTP of 300w and ability to hold your own in E123 races are impressive. When you transitioned to running, it's possible that your cardiovascular fitness translated well, but the specific skills and muscle recruitment required for running might have needed more time to develop.

Running and cycling engage different muscle groups and require distinct techniques. For instance, running is a high-impact activity that demands strong leg drive and efficient absorption of impact forces, while cycling is non-impact and relies heavily on leg speed and power output.

Your experience highlights the importance of training specifically for each sport and being patient with the learning curve. It's great that you tried something new and challenged yourself in a different way. Have you considered giving cycling another try, or perhaps trying a different sport altogether to further explore your athletic capabilities?