Which Is Better Cycling Or Running?

I’ve been running for over 10 years and cycling for only one, but now that I’m doing both, I often find myself wondering which is better.

Here are a few reasons why I like cycling better than running.

cycling or running

  • Hills. I think getting up a steep hill is harder on a bike, but running just can’t match the wheeeeee of coasting down a hill and halfway up the next one.
  • Scheduling. I really only like to run early in the morning, but I enjoy cycling at any time of the day. As my husband points out, we are making our own 15 mph breeze and that helps keep us cool even on a hot summer afternoon.
  • Exploring. Since it takes less time and effort to ride a mile, I am much more adventurous about seeing what’s around the next corner, over the next hill, or down the next street.
  • Romancing. My husband got me a bike so we would have something fun to do together after my son started college. Now our weekend cycling dates have become something we both look forward to.

Here are a few reasons why I like running better than cycling.


  • Simplicity. Yes, I have my favorite running gear (Garmin, iPod, fuel belt), but all I really need is my running shoes.
  • Traveling. My running shoes usually are the first thing I pack in my suitcase. Running is a great way to explore a new city, especially when most of the rest of my visits are spent in business meetings. On recent trips I’ve run in New York CityChicagoBoulderPortland, and even Switzerland!
  • Independence. I usually run by myself, which means that I can choose my route, go at my own pace, and run longer or shorter depending on how I’m feeling. Running also is my “me time,” when I can run off stress, think through issues I’m facing at work or at home, or just space out to my music.
  • Friends. When I don’t run by myself, I run with friends. When else do I have a whole hour to talk to a girlfriend without interruptions or distractions? Running also has been a great way to make new friends, even if we don’t live close enough to run together.

So, which is better?

cycling or running

At least for now, running is still the clear winner. I may be a sweaty mess after a long run, but I don’t often come home from a run dripping in blood. 😉

Do you have a favorite sport?

Have you ever thought about why you like it?

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9 Responses to Which Is Better Cycling Or Running?

  1. eatrunlivehappy says:

    I never thought I would like running! It wasn't until I started running for pleasure and not for weight loss that I fell in LOVE with it. I love it so much. BUT I do want to do a triathlon one day so I guess I need to re learn for to ride a bike and learn how to swim correctly! Running will always be my first love though.

  2. Carrie says:

    So funny you mention that you can cycle any time of the day – I will actually only go for a bike ride in the early morning because of traffic. I have to do most of my rides on streets and I just feel so unsafe the busier the streets get.

    But, I love having both options. I'd love to have my husband get in to biking more too. Maybe when the kids are older 🙂

  3. Steena says:

    It's tough to compare really.. I agree with your bullets though. I enjoy both equally as much!

  4. Valerie D. Meyer says:

    Cycling is an option for knees beat-up from running. I used to do both, but now I walk instead of running – and I ride, a lot. However, when I travel, I rarely take my bike.

  5. I like your set up – both are "better." Variety is the best. What we actually will do and enjoy is the best. Having options is the best. Fortunately we don't usually have to choose between a and b. We can have both and more! Your lists are compelling and so on target (well, for bike riding. My boomer knees can no longer run).

  6. Kammie says:

    Wait WHY are you dripping in blood, did I miss something???? This has not hapened to me, although I do not bike daily or anything but I have been biking a lot more and I do like it better than running for recreational purposes. For exercise purpose, I prefer running just because I can tell it requires me to exert more energy.

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  8. Just like you, even I have being doing both of them for my daily fitness. However my running is more like brisk walking at times. You have beautifully listed the benefits of both and I think the best way out is to take a midway solution i.e to utilize both of them in the best possible way 🙂

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