/ Cycling equivalent of a 3 hr Marathon?

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Al Evans on 22 Aug 2012
Just inspired by watching the Vuelta de Espana, it statred me remembering an unfillfilled ambition of my youth.
In running I wanted to do a sub 5 min mile (not acheived)
A sub one hour 10 miles (done but not easily and not at first attempt)
A sub 3hr Marathon (done at second attempt and never failed at on several subsequent occaisions)
I also wanted to do a sub hour 20 miles on the bike, all these on certified courses of course. I used to be able to get to work down the A6 in under an hour and that was supposed to be 18 miles, with traffic lights etc, so I was sure I could do 20 ml in a certified race or time trial, I just never got round to it. I'm a bit sad about that now I'm too old, one of the 'misses' of my youth.
Anyhow I got to thinking what is the cycling equivalent of a sub 3 hr marathon? That great fell runner Ray Aucott who only started running as a veteran used to tell me tales of how they would cycle 100 miles to a race, sleep under a bush, do the 100 mile plus race and cycle home again before the weekend was over back for work on Monday. Ray was not a bullshitter!
So I guess it must be something based on 100 miles? Any cyclists out there got any suggestions?
Enty - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

The percentage of marathon runners getting sub 3h is probably similar to the percentage of cyclists getting sub 4h for a 100 mile time trial. (just a guess mind!)

100 mile time trial in 4h is pretty good. The record is 3.22.45

E
ClimberEd - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Enty:

Do you really think that is the case?

I would have thought fewer cyclists do 100m in under 4hr.

BelleVedere on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to ClimberEd (and Enty):

Also you probably won't enter a 100mile TT unless you are reasonably good - but entering marathons then doing alot of walking is much more socially aceptable (fun running).

This proably skews the curves
DancingOnRock - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: If the record for a 100miles is over 3h then surely a cycle comparable to a marathon would be 66miles?

And therefore 66miles in 3h would be comparable to a 3h marathon?
Al Evans on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to BelleVedere: Well not really at the sub 3hr end, I don't think many Pandas and Girraffes do under 3hrs for a marathon, nor many charity 'walkers' either.
JLS on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

It's difficult to say as busy roads and new(ish) bike technology like disc wheels and aero handle bars have made historical cycle time trialing times a bit meaningless.

Back in my day (mid 80s), on the heavier, quieter roads of scotland, then only the best occassional broke 4hrs(25mph) for a hundred, most riders could beat 5hr(20mph), I once finished 8th with 4hr25 when the winner did around 4hr08.

You'd have easily done the 20miles in an hour. Beating the hour for 25miles was the thing.
ClimberEd - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> It's difficult to say as busy roads and new(ish) bike technology like disc wheels and aero handle bars have made historical cycle time trialing times a bit meaningless.
>
> Back in my day (mid 80s), on the heavier, quieter roads of scotland, then only the best occassional broke 4hrs(25mph) for a hundred, most riders could beat 5hr(20mph), I once finished 8th with 4hr25 when the winner did around 4hr08.
>
> You'd have easily done the 20miles in an hour. Beating the hour for 25miles was the thing.

I must say (without have the cycling pedigree of characters like Enty) my kneejerk reaction was 25m in the hour.
Hat Dude on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> a cycle comparable to a marathon would be 66miles?
>
Originally I'd have thought of a longer distance on a bike but then had a think about my average mph running versus cycling (neither of which I'm prepared to divulge in public) and lo and behold cycling mph is roughly 3 times running mph.
Enty - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to ClimberEd:
> (In reply to Enty)
>
> Do you really think that is the case?
>
> I would have thought fewer cyclists do 100m in under 4hr.

I think you're right.
I don't know why but I had it in my mind that the WR for a marathon was 2h30 when obviously it's nearly 2h.

Maybe a 2h30 marathon would be the equivalent of a 4h 100miles.

E
Oujmik - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: A sub-4hr hundred is certainly a benchmark, but a bloody hard one. I don't have any experience of marathon running, so perhaps it is comparable. Long-distance time trialling is very much a niche occupation whereas the marathon is the blue-riband event of distance running, so it's hard to draw comparison based on existing times.

A sub-1hr ascent of Alpe d'Huez perhaps... but that depends where you put the start and finish. To me that feels a bit easier than the others too...

Alternatively, you could go for the traditional sub-1hr 25 miles, which is more in line with your original aspiration. It's probably far more attainable than the others, but still a respectable benchmark for an amateur.
Enty - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Oujmik:

Interesting that. I'd say a sub 1h 25 and a sub 1h Alpe d'Huez (to the top!) are identical in terms of physical exertion.

E
Oujmik - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Enty: I've only done AdH once by the normal route and I didn't try that hard or time it very well so I'm pretty vague on exactly how hard it would be. I'd guess perhaps it is on a par with the sub hour 25 as you say.
Steve John B - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to ClimberEd)
> [...]
>
> I think you're right.
> I don't know why but I had it in my mind that the WR for a marathon was 2h30 when obviously it's nearly 2h.
>
> Maybe a 2h30 marathon would be the equivalent of a 4h 100miles.
>
> E

3hr marathon nearly 50% slower than WR, so if 100 mile record is 3'22 maybe 100 miles in 5hrs is the equivalent?
Chris the Tall - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
I'll be happy if I can complete the 100 miler I'm doing next month in 12 hours !

Mind you, it's an MTB race, almost all off-road, was won in 8 hours last year and less than a third of the starters finished. It rained all day....
Nutkey on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> 3hr marathon nearly 50% slower than WR, so if 100 mile record is 3'22 maybe 100 miles in 5hrs is the equivalent?

To do a 3hr marathon I need to generate 68.7% of the power/kg that the word record holder generates - because there is a pretty much linear relationship between speed and power/kg for running. To do a 4 hr 100 mile cycle I only need to generate 70.8% of the power, because air resistance is dominant, and that's related to the square of the speed (assuming a flat course). So they're pretty comparable - especially if you bear in mind that a few spare pounds will have far more of an effect on the runner than on the cyclist (even if the course is uphill, the fat still gives some energy back when going downhill). Wind and hills affects the cyclist more though....
altirando - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: I would have thought a sub-hour 20 miles would still be achievable at quite an advanced age. Evens as we used to call it. I never quite managed to get under the hour for a 25 mile event, but a 240 mile 12 hour was within my scope. And just to give you all a laugh, I was many years ago induced to go for the Brum/Oxford record on a racing trike, as my club had the bike record. 110 miles in 5.34 is close to evens over a hilly route where the third wheel drags. So 20 under the hour on a modern carbon fibre racebike - age is no excuse Al, of course you can do it.
Toby S - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to Al Evans) If the record for a 100miles is over 3h then surely a cycle comparable to a marathon would be 66miles?
>
> And therefore 66miles in 3h would be comparable to a 3h marathon?

Not sure they're comparable, I've cycled from Lochcarron to Inverness a few times in just over 3 hours and thats 65 miles. I felt pretty good during and after it, although we did have the wind behind our back for most of it. I'm nowhere near fit enough to do a marathon. In fact I can't run more than 5 miles without being reduced to a crumpled sobbing heap! I would have thought there are more variables in cycling to make a decent comparison?


Chris the Tall - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
I remember doing 21 miles in a hour on a ride near Blackpool without too much effort.

It was only when I turned for home that I realised just how strong the wind had been....
telemark - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: I'd have thought one of the hilly 100 mile sportive type events would provide a similar experience to a 3 hour marathon. Something like the Pendle Pedal used to be, which looks like it was turned into this year's Ride with Brad. 106 miles or thereabouts with about 3200 metres of climbing. Do that in under 6 hours. (My time 3 years ago just turned 50 was over 9 hours, and I wasn't last back, quite!)
Tiberius - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Enty:
> ...I'd say a sub 1h 25 and a sub 1h Alpe d'Huez (to the top!) are identical in terms of physical exertion.

:) ...I think I could do a sub 1h 25 (with a bit more training and a decent TT bike)...but Alpe d'Huiz is uphill :)
Padraig on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
"That great fell runner Ray Aucott who only started running as a veteran "

Kinda off topic but i rem meeting Ray in 1984/5/6? It was on the Scottish Islands peaks race. He was a late replacement runner on a boat and when he turned up the sailors were looking at each other thinking "FFS! this guy can't be a fell runner?" Needless to say on arriving at Troon they had changed their minds! iirc he won Jura the year after as a vet! TY Al, you've just brought back some nice memories. RIP Ray.
FrankBooth - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: as I see it...
Cycling is around 3 times more efficient than running
Therefore, running 26 mile in 3 hours = cycling 78 miles in 3 hours
In other words, averaging 26 mph

Padraig on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to FrankBooth:
> (In reply to Al Evans) as I see it...
> Cycling is around 3 times more efficient than running

Purely from memory....
26 miles running WR is circa 123 mins.
25 miles cycling WR is circa 45 mins.

I'd just do the maths Al.





Steve Waddell - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

The Fred Whitton in under 7 hours. If you can get an entry...
Henry Iddon - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

The problem with comparing running and cycling is technology has a greater effect on cycling performance - more know than ever.

I did several 3'40 100's mid 1990's finishing 4th in BBAR one year ( top 12 3 other years) an equivalent ride now would be a 3'30 - due both to equipment and changes, nutrition and changes in training. Then it was all pulse monitor based - now its wattage based and more of a numbers game.

Of those who have crossed sports my good mate Gethin Butler moved from cycling to running and rattled out a 2'30 marathon and I know Chris Newton has also done sub 3 hour marathon on only a winters running training.
parkovski - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to FrankBooth:
> (In reply to Al Evans) as I see it...
> Cycling is around 3 times more efficient than running
> Therefore, running 26 mile in 3 hours = cycling 78 miles in 3 hours
> In other words, averaging 26 mph

Only using GCSE physics! You have to consider the variable losses to air resistance with increasing speed. At maximum speed I reckon drag drops it to around 2.5 x more efficient than running.
IainRUK - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: I agree sub 20 miles in an hour on a bike would be easy for you. As a none cyclist I did 20 mph for 30 miles in a time trial last year, and that was a hilly 30 miles up over the pass and around Ogwen.

I generally think a running mile is 3-4 times that of a cycling mile, so agree it should be a 100 mile event..
Chris Shorter - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:
>
> I did several 3'40 100's mid 1990's finishing 4th in BBAR one year ( top 12 3 other years)

Ah, so I am not the only UKC top-12 BBAR finisher! Rather earlier than you and only 9th.

Chris

Henry Iddon - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Chris Shorter:

Good work Chris - a Champions Night Derby - happy days !

heres on for you - Harrogate Nova 50 > http://twitpic.com/an2grr
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The New NickB - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:

Chris had more than a winters running training before he did 2:59 at London, I was racing against him regularly for the previous year, given that he was running 16:40 5ks at least a year before his first Marathon, he should really have run much faster, although I appreciate it was a hot day and he has since run a faster Marathon.
Henry Iddon - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

Fair play - wasn't that long after he retired from the bike tho heh.
The New NickB - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
>
> Fair play - wasn't that long after he retired from the bike tho heh.

Whilst he is faster than me, for someone with such super human CV ability, he isn't that great a runner. I don't think the adaptation is as straightforward as you are suggesting. He may contunue to get faster as a runner, even as his CV ability reduces.
wbo - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: I'd agree that marathon is not so great. I know an exi-international ultra runner Matt Lynas who wasn't much quicker than 16.30, but ran 2.30ish routinely for a marathon.

You get into strange interactions of aerobic fitness, muscle bulk, power and efficiency at different things trying to compare running and cycling. The sub 4 hr. 100 teams reasonable tho'.

One point to remember is that people with the will to do 100 mile time trials are pretty dedicated. Running is a bit more accessible and so there are a lot more 'punters' doing marathons, and so a lot more running under 3 hrs.
Henry Iddon - on 24 Aug 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

Yeah not quick - Gethin has done the job sub 2'30 tho but has spent more time training specifically for it.

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