Running Vs cycling

I’ve been riding MTB competitively for years, but strictly Downhill. Few podiums and 3rd in DH nationals master group this year…so decent.

I recently started structured training, as while I’m fast pointed downhill and it’s all anaerobic work…I get dropped by everyone on All mountain rides.

After sweetspot base 1 my ftp was at 179 up from 150. That’s 2w/kg for me, which I found surprisingly low considering I’ve been doing a mix of polarised or v02 max intervals twice a week for a year and riding HARD every sat for hours.

A few years back I broke my wrist badly in 5 places and needed 6 months to get back on the MTB. In the mean time I picked up trail running 3 times a week, and my fitness skyrocketed. I found it MUCH easier to progress to a high level in running than cycling. My first trail race was 13km and I nearly passed out in a bush after vomitting. It took me over 4 hours to finish. 6 months later I was around 1.5 hours for the same trail and came 13th.

Anyone else find it much easier to get better running fitness than cycling fitness. Seems I need to put in almost triple the work to progress at cycling…

1.5 hours for 13km is a great improvement, but I’m not sure many would consider it high level.

2w/KG at 179w means you weight ~90kg? That’s a pretty low FTP figure for anyone active at that weight, what equipment & protocol are you using to measure this, and is it accurate/ calibrated?

Cycling and running are very different, though for running, starting from nothing there’s a definite need to increase training time/ mileage steadily so that your cardio doesn’t outmatch your joints and ligaments and get you injured.

For cycling that’s much less of an issue so you can train a lot more and bump into problems like fuelling much earlier.

Are you on any kind of unusual diet that restricts carbs?

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I am sure some people are better suited to one or the other. In terms of lifetime performance, my running results are arguably on a much higher level than my cycling ability would show. I have found i very hard to progress in cycling. Whether that’s due to having picked up cycling in my late 30s, or due to some physiological reason, I don’t know.

True, but that’s a 13km trail race across several peaks, so without seeing the elevation map I can understand why it doesn’t seem very good :sweat_smile:

I eat clean food, but carb load for big workouts and don’t restrict what I need.

I’m 50, running since I was 23, and riding bikes seriously since I was 35. Running has always had a bigger bang for the buck for me, fitness-wise. YMMV, but I’ve also found when I had to take breaks from either, that it was easier to come back to the bike if I had been running, rather than coming back to the running from bikes.

I basically took the past ~3 years off from running and started again with the new year, and am just now back to > 5k distance runs. It’s been tough, but satisfying. I’ll never stop riding, but the time away has taught me how important the runs are for me, too.

How much Z2 have you been doing? Polarised needs both the high and low intensity with the vast majority the latter else it’s something else.