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Rev Med Suisse. 2009 Aug 5;5(212):1564-7.

[Physiological differences between cycling and running].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Institut des sciences du sport et de l'education physique (ISSEP), Université de Lausanne (UNIL), Bâtiment Vidy, 1015 Lausanne.


This review compares the differences in systemic responses (VO2max, anaerobic threshold, heart rate and economy) and in underlying mechanisms of adaptation (ventilatory and hemodynamic and neuromuscular responses) between cycling and running. VO2max is specific to the exercise modality. Overall, there is more physiological training transfer from running to cycling than vice-versa. Several other physiological differences between cycling and running are discussed: HR is different between the two activities both for maximal and sub-maximal intensities. The delta efficiency is higher in running. Ventilation is more impaired in cycling than running due to mechanical constraints. Central fatigue and decrease in maximal strength are more important after prolonged exercise in running than in cycling.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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