How Much Cycling is Equivalent to Running? A Detailed Guide

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Interested in partaking in a potentially more low-impact workout to reach your fitness goals? Cycling is often considered an ideal complement to running, as it can help build endurance and speed while maintaining a lower-body injury risk. But how much cycling is equivalent to running when it comes to effectiveness? In this guide, we answer this question and more as we explore the comparison between cycling and running.

The Benefits of Running and Cycling

Running and cycling are both excellent ways to exercise, as they both provide physical benefits such as improved heart health, increased muscle strength, better coordination and balance, a healthier metabolism, and increased endurance. Additionally, running is an easy way to increase your cardiovascular endurance while also providing mental health benefits. Meanwhile, cycling provides an aerobic exercise that is potentially less hard on the joints than other forms of cardio. Thus, running and cycling are both highly effective methods of meeting fitness goals.

Calories Burned during Cycling vs. Running

One key way to compare how much cycling is equivalent to running is to look at the amount of calories burned during both activities. Depending on the person’s weight and intensity, a person can expect to burn anywhere from 200-600 calories in an hour of cycling. As for running, again depending on weight and intensity, one can expect to burn 400-700 calories in an hour of running. Therefore, while a person may be able to cycle longer than they are able to run, running can still provide more intense calorie burning activity due to the greater number of muscles used.

Which Is More Efficient: Cycling or Running?

While both running and cycling are effective ways to improve fitness, which is more efficient really depends on the individual’s goals. If someone is looking to increase overall cardiovascular endurance, then cycling might be the better option due to its low impact nature. However, if someone wants to build strength or improve calorie burning efficiency then running might be the preferred choice due to its higher intensity level. It’s important for athletes of all levels to understand the differences between the two sports and create a program that fits their fitness goals.

running or cycling

Guidelines for Converting Minutes of Cycling to Miles of Running 

It is possible to roughly determine how long it would take to cycle what you would run, as a general rule of thumb you can use the following guidelines. For every 25 minutes of cycling, a person will cover the same distance as running for about 1 mile. However for faster runners this may not be accurate, and results may vary between individuals. Additionally, both inclines and wind resistance can affect the cycling to running conversion ratio.

To know how much biking is the equivalent of running, you need to do some basic calculations. Multiply your total bike miles by 0.3 to 0.2 to find out how many walking miles were done instead. This will give you an indication of how much cycling is equal to running. 

 How much cycling is equivalent to running? For many people, it’s about a third the distance if you are going at the same pace. If you’re running 5km then cycling 15km would be roughly equivalent in terms of energy expenditure. To get more accurate measurements, take your running pace into account as it will affect the multiplier. 

 Wondering how much cycling is equal to running? The general rule of thumb is that one mile of cycling is equal to roughly 0.3 miles of running. This means that to figure out your running equivalent, you need to take the total number of miles you cycled and multiply it by 0.3. For example, if you cycled 15 miles, the running equivalent would be 4.5 miles. 

 If you were to cycle for the same amount of time it would take you to run a mile, how far would that be? Well, the average cycling speed is typically 15 miles per hour, so in an hour you would cycle 15 miles. Therefore, if it takes you 20 minutes to run a mile, then cycling for the same amount of time would cover a distance of 3 miles.

Miles On BikeEquivalent When Running
2 – 3 miles1 mile
4 – 6 miles2 miles
6 – 9 miles3 miles
10 – 15 miles5 miles
20 – 30 miles10 miles
40 – 60 miles20 miles
50 – 75 miles25 miles
60 – 90 miles30 miles
80 – 120 miles40 miles
100 – 150 miles50 miles
200 – 300 miles100 miles
cycling or running

Maximum Performance Training: Combining Cycling and Running

Combining the benefits of running with the low-impact nature of cycling is a great way to maximize performance training. By alternating between the two activities and varying the intensity levels, you can ensure that both your aerobic capacity and muscular strength are being improved in an efficient manner. Additionally, it allows for plenty of variety to keep training fresh and exciting. Try substituting shorter runs with cycling sessions to get even better results!

How To Determine The Best Pace for Cross-Training

Looking for some guidance on how to determine the effort level for cycling cross training? It is important to understand that running and cycling paces do not directly correlate. As a result, it’s more effective to use effort levels when measuring the exertion. If it is a recovery ride, you should keep your pace moderate. Seek to listen carefully to your body and its needs during the workout.

With cross-training activities, it is essential not to push yourself too hard as it can mostly be used for supplemental or recovery training overall. Beginners are encouraged to make this fun by seeking out a training partner and doing their workouts together. Doing so provides support regardless of experience level. So, go ahead and grab a buddy for your next cycling challenge – you know you’ll get an amazing workout!


How much cycling is equivalent to running? Generally, one mile of running can be substituted for three miles of cycling. This means that if you usually run one mile, you could get the same workout by cycling three miles instead. So if you’re wanting to cross-train with cycling, make sure to calculate your equivalent mileage in order to recreate the same workout!