How Many Miles on a Bike is Equivalent to Running?

Wondering how many miles on a bike is equivalent to running? This article shows all you need to know.

Running Vs Biking

Running and biking are both popular forms of aerobic exercise that provide many health benefits. However, they differ in terms of impact, intensity, and the muscles they work.

Running is a high-impact exercise that involves a lot of pounding on the joints, particularly the knees and ankles. On the other hand, biking is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints and is suitable for people with joint problems or injuries.

Cycling is also a more efficient form of exercise than running, as it allows you to travel longer distances in less time. For example, a person can bike 20 miles in an hour, while it would take them more than two hours to run the same distance. Cycling is also less affected by wind resistance, which can make running more challenging.

However, running burns more calories than cycling, as it requires more effort to move the body against gravity. According to research, a person burns about 100 calories per mile when running, while they burn about 40-50 calories per mile when cycling.

When it comes to strength and endurance, both running and biking work different muscles. Running primarily works the leg muscles, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles, while biking works these muscles as well as the glutes and core. Biking is also a good way to improve cardiovascular health, as it gets the heart pumping and the blood circulating.

Both running and biking have their benefits and can be used interchangeably as a substitute for each other. It is recommended to vary your workouts and include both running and biking in your training regime to achieve the best results.

Conversion Factors

When it comes to converting cycling miles to running miles, there are several factors to consider. These factors include caloric expenditure, terrain and conditions, and individual fitness levels.

Caloric Expenditure

One of the primary reasons people want to know how many miles on a bike is equivalent to running is to understand caloric expenditure. According to, cycling 20 miles at 15 mph burns as many calories as running 5.7 miles. However, the exact number of calories burned will depend on factors such as intensity, terrain, and effort level.

Terrain and Conditions

Another factor to consider is the terrain and conditions. According to Cycling Fly, wind resistance can play a significant role in the conversion factor. Additionally, hills can make cycling more challenging and increase the energy expenditure. The same can be said for running on hilly terrain.

Individual Fitness Levels

Finally, individual fitness levels can play a significant role in the conversion factor. Endurance Fam states that generally, one mile running is equivalent to approximately three miles cycling or biking. However, this ratio can vary based on an individual’s fitness level and effort level.

But conversion factor is not an exact science. While tools like the Bike A Ton can help you estimate the equivalent distance, it is essential to listen to your body and adjust accordingly. Additionally, cycling can be a great substitute for running, especially for active recovery or cross-training.

By understanding the conversion factors and distances, you can incorporate cycling into your fitness routine and achieve your weight management and fitness goals.

Health and Fitness Benefits

When it comes to achieving fitness goals, cycling and running are two of the most popular workouts. Both have their unique advantages, and the choice between the two often depends on personal preference, experience, and fitness goals. In this section, we will explore the health and fitness benefits of cycling and running and how they can complement each other in a training regime.

Cardiovascular Health

Both running and cycling are excellent for cardiovascular health. They increase heart rate, improve blood circulation, and strengthen the heart muscle.

According to an article from Medical News Today, regular cycling reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps improve lung health. Running, on the other hand, has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, and boost immune function.

Muscle Strength

Cycling and running are both great for building muscle strength, but they target different muscle groups. Cycling primarily works the lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Running, on the other hand, targets the calves, quadriceps, and glutes, as well as the core muscles. Incorporating both activities into a fitness routine can help achieve whole-body strength and balance.

Mental Health

In addition to physical benefits, cycling and running can also have a positive impact on mental health. Both activities have been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost self-esteem.

According to an article from Medical News Today, cycling can also be a form of active recovery, helping to reduce muscle soreness and promote relaxation.

Practical Considerations

Equipment and Cost

When considering the question of how many miles on a bike is equivalent to running, one practical consideration is the equipment and cost. While running requires only a good pair of running shoes, cycling requires a bicycle, which can be a significant investment.

The cost of a bike can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the type of bike and its features. Additionally, cycling also requires maintenance and repairs, which can add to the overall cost.

Weather Conditions

Another factor to consider when comparing cycling and running is weather conditions. Running can be done in almost any weather condition, while cycling is more affected by wind resistance and other weather conditions such as rain, snow, and extreme heat or cold.

Wind resistance can significantly affect the speed and distance covered on a bike, making it more challenging to compare cycling and running miles.

Training Regime

A person’s fitness level and training regime can also impact the comparison between cycling and running miles. While cycling can be less taxing on the joints than running, it requires different muscles and training.

A person who is more experienced in cycling may be able to cover more miles on a bike than someone who is new to cycling. Similarly, a person who has been running for years may be able to cover more running miles than someone who is just starting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the equivalent distance of cycling to running a 10k?

Research shows cycling 20 km is equivalent to running a 10k. This is because cycling is a low-impact exercise that requires less effort than running. However, the actual distance equivalent may vary depending on factors such as terrain, intensity, and individual fitness levels.

Recommended weekly mileage for cycling?

The recommended weekly mileage for cycling is at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. This can be achieved by cycling for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. However, cyclists who are training for races or events may need to increase their weekly mileage to improve their endurance and performance.

How does cycling compare to running in terms of difficulty?

Cycling is generally considered to be less difficult than running because it is a low-impact exercise that places less stress on the joints. However, cycling can be just as challenging as running when performed at high intensities or on steep terrain. Additionally, cycling can be more difficult for beginners who are not used to sitting on a bike for extended periods.

What is the equivalent distance of cycling to running a half marathon?

The equivalent distance of cycling to running a half marathon is approximately 60 km. However, this may vary depending on factors such as terrain, intensity, and individual fitness levels.

How many miles on a bike is equal to 1 mile of walking?

According to the research, cycling 3 miles is equivalent to walking 1 mile. This is because cycling is a faster mode of transportation than walking and requires less effort than walking.

What is a good workout distance for cycling?

A good workout distance for cycling depends on the individual’s fitness level and goals. Generally, a beginner cyclist can start with a distance of 5-10 miles per workout and gradually increase the distance as their endurance improves. Intermediate and advanced cyclists may aim for distances of 20-30 miles or more per workout to improve their endurance and performance.