Research at the Appalachian State University (ASU) in North Caroline, USA has found that after comparably intense workout periods, long-distance runners experience more muscle damage, soreness and inflammation than cyclists.
“Runners just can’t put in the same volume of exercise as cyclists without experiencing more inflammation, soreness and muscle damage,” said Principal Investigator David Nieman director of the ASU Human Performance Laboratory.
“Long-distance runners are encouraged to vary their training schedules, mixing higher and lower exercise workloads, and to include other training modalities like swimming or cycling to maintain the highest level of performance.”
The study saw 19 to 45-year-old long-distance runners and cyclists work out for 2.5 hours per day for three days. The athletes had blood samples taken throughout the study and the results showed that the runners had greater muscle damage, inflammation and soreness than the cyclists.
If you enjoy running there’s no need to swap your running shoes for wheels completely, just mix it up. “I recommend switching back and forth between cycling and running,” Dr. Nieman says.
If you’re starting a running program, do so gradually with 10 to 15 minutes initially, and then working up to 30 minutes or longer. And if you hate running? Consider this your guilt-free excuse for taking it off your fitness to-do list.