Runners versus cyclists: body makeup differences?

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davidalone
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by davidalone

I come from a cross country background, but cycling is now my main sport. There is obviously lots of cross-over between Long-D runners and road cyclists in terms of the cardiovascular fitness, focus on weight/effeciency because in principle both are endurance sports.

What I've noticed, however, is if you compare elite marathoners to cyclists, that cyclists tend to have a little bit more mass in their upper bodies. obviously, weights are very similar ( with most elite GC cyclists/Long D runners having a BMI of between 19-20. Sprinters and The TT guys tend to have slightly higher, around 21 -24. ) . but I mean if you put say, contador beside say Mo Farah, cyclists look absolutely ripped next to the Long D runners. Even Quintana, who's pretty puny, or froome and schleck, who are skinny as hell, don't look as malnourished as the elite Long D runners. heck put a rouleur or a slim sprinter like demare next to an elite Long D runner and it's even more obvious.

anyone notice this ? would cyclists benefit from losing even more upper body mass like the elite runners do?

by Weenie


russianbear
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by russianbear

Froome looked pretty gangly at the tour last year

Image

Low weight (w/kg) becomes very important going uphill, but not say if you want to stay planted bouncing around the cobbles of Arenberg. Same goes for flatter time trials (majority of them) where the absolute amount of watts and your drag are more important than less weight.

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Devon
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by Devon

Top tier and professional cyclists spend time on core strength as it aids in bike control and power output; whereas I imagine this does very little (or less) for a runner. Also Cyclists tend to be vain (come on, we shave our legs) so maybe that has something to do with it?
Campagnolo; because it's a bicycle, not a fishing rod.

Zakalwe
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by Zakalwe

You mean to say that the predominantly East African endurance athletes are of a different build to the predominantly Caucasian endurance cyclists?

ultyguy
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by ultyguy

Cycling is non-weight bearing and running is weight bearing, there's your biggest difference.

Amusingly, in the 2012 Etape to La Toussuire, there was a group of around 12 Kenyans ( http://www.kenyanriders.com/our-acomplishments/ ). For the most part they were pretty handy climbers, but......horrid descenders (it was a bit damp, but not that bad at all). I spent the entire day yo-yoing w/ them and in the end only got beat by 2 of them which I counted as a result given I outweight them by prob 10-15 kgs on avg.

Zakalwe
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by Zakalwe

Was one of the Kenyans who beat you Chris Froome?

ultyguy
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by ultyguy

No, I beat him, he's a crap descender ;)

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WMW
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by WMW

davidalone wrote:anyone notice this ? would cyclists benefit from losing even more upper body mass like the elite runners do?


Maybe... but unlike runners, cyclist need to use their arms a bit to support weight, so they naturally will not just disappear when they get lean.

Climber cyclists are all spindly up top anyway.
formerly rruff...

cookiemonster
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by cookiemonster

Devon wrote:Top tier and professional cyclists spend time on core strength as it aids in bike control and power output; whereas I imagine this does very little (or less) for a runner.


Reminded me of the Alberto Salazar (Mo Farrah's coach) interview where he cites core and strength development as the main reasons for Mo's more recent success: "When Mo first came to the US, he was very weak muscularly, with a lot of muscle imbalances," says Salazar. "The improvement in that area is the number one reason for Mo's kick [at the end of his races]." Full interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/20763653

Not really sure about the general point though as its very hard to tell how chunky someone is from a tv screen! Mo Farah at 1.73 & 65kg looks very similar to Contador (1.76m & 62kg according to wiki)

jon

KB
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by KB

Stats for weight and height can vary a lot. On Wiki, it has Mo Farah as 1.65m and 58kg. For me, this would tie-in more to how they look. I've also seen the 65kg quoted elsewhere as well and had to have a double take. To me, Farah looks more like a Pantani (who I understand was also approx 58kg) as opposed to Alberto, who in turn looks more robust than Pantani was.

I can't think of any 70kg top marathon runners, but many cyclists are in excess of this.


ultyguy
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by ultyguy

I def don't believe for a second that Farah is 65 kgs. I also think that even though you can turn a 10k runner into a marathoner, generally, 10k runners are a bit more muscular.

by Weenie


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