I suppose it’s not quite fair to compare the two, but here’s what I’ve discovered so far in training for a run versus training for a ride.
1. I recognize my limitations in running better than I do in biking.
After multiple injuries and difficulty in breathing from running, I am less apt to push myself. On one hand, I’m less prone to injury, and train more gradually. On the other hand, I have much less confidence in my abilities as a runner.
I seem to willfully ignore my limitations as a bicyclist. I can blame whatever problems I have on the bicycle, or I can fool myself into thinking that coasting and taking breaks can keep me going indefinitely. I can push myself much harder on the bike, and sometimes with deleterious effects.
2. Fueling is completely different for each activity.
After a long ride, I am ravenous and want to eat all the things. I need to replenish my fluids right away, lest I become dehydrated. After a run, I am not at all hungry or thirsty until much later. I forgot this, and after Thursday’s run, ate a granola bar because I thought I had to. Big mistake– that bar sat like a rock in my stomach for the rest of the morning.
3. Bicycling is a more social activity for me.
I like biking on my own, and I do that fairly often, but I think it’s more fun when I’m with friends who enjoy bicycling too. Running is still not altogether fun for me, and although I like running with R, I don’t think I can run in a large group. That stems partly from my lack of confidence in keeping up, and also in that I feel like I should suffer alone.
4. And yet, running improves my mood better than bicycling.
I’m not quite sure why this is. Perhaps running at the current distance and speed is the perfect setting for an endorphin rush for me, and I run out of energy from pushing myself too hard on the bike? I don’t know, but as long as I can stay healthy, I’ll continue to run on a regular basis.