Research: How Many Miles On The Stationary Bike = 1 Mile On The Treadmill

A new found love for cycling had me wondering how many cycling miles equate to one mile running. So, I’ve done some low budget research, with a pretty small sample. The results were much better than I’d hoped.

Running Rehab / Treadmill

I mentioned in my last post, just how much fun I’d been having on the stationary bikes at the gym. After a foot injury and more than two months without doing any cardio work whatsoever, it’s great to finally be back on the saddle – literally.

The Research

After two bike rides of 18 miles per hour and one 25 mile workout, I’d gathered a few valuable statistics;

  • 60 minute cycle: 17.88 miles / 936 kcal (per minute that’s 0.28 miles / 15.6 kcal)
  • 90 minute cycle: 25.59 miles / 1178 kcal ( per minute that’s 0.28 miles / 13.1 kcal)

Today I had my first rehab run, yes, I’m back on the road (well, the treadmill). Here are the results;

  • 65 minute run: 7.21 miles / 957 kcal (per minute that’s 0.11 miles / 14.72 kcal)

The first thing you’ll notice is that the calories burnt per minute is pretty much the same. The best thing about that is that it makes further calculations easier without having to worry about a spreadsheet. The second best is that it means that I worked just as hard on the stationary bike as the running machine.

Cycling v Running

The Results

You’ll note that in my last post, my Google research concluded that 3-5 miles on a bike would equate to 1 mile running. Here for your reading pleasure are the results of my low budget research;

  • 0.28 miles per minute (cycling) / 0.11 miles per minute = 2.54

That’s right, 2.45 miles on the stationary bike is equivalent to 1 mile running on the treadmill.

Sure, there are other metrics that can be measured including resistance and incline, but for now, my simple research is complete. I’ll continue to gather statistics and make new comparisons in a month or so.

If you’re looking for some cycling motivation, head over to Fit Recovery.

Which exercise would you rather do to keep fit? Running or cycling?

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11 thoughts on “Research: How Many Miles On The Stationary Bike = 1 Mile On The Treadmill

  1. I’d rather do running. Right now, though, my husband and I have added that P90X into our routine. We’re doing more strength training, stretching and yoga…but it’s really helping a sore Achilles. I think I needed the break.

  2. That seems about right. I can ride about 16-18 mph on rolling hills. I can also run 8.5min miles on the same terrain (outside, not indoor). At my weight, 145 lbs, ( burn 100 calories per mile running, or ~710 calories in an hour. For an hour bike ride at 16mph I burn about 715 calories. I go about 2.5 times the distance on a bike, but burn the same calories over the same period of time.

  3. Pingback: Spin/Exercise Bike Vs. Trainer. Which Is Better? « Fit Recovery

  4. Thanks for sharing your anecdotal evidence on stationary exercise bike and running distance equivalents. And thanks for including Google’s results. (Sidenote: you favorite joke is funny for the marketing types. I’m using that one at a team meeting!)

  5. Pingback: Building Muscle & Distance Running | Jesus was a Road Runner...

  6. Thanks so much for this post. I’m dealing with a minor foot injury myself right now; and with jogging being my typical form of cardio exercise, this will help give me alternative options to keep my fitness regiment up!

  7. Everyone stresses about how many calories they burn. I don’t do that. I simply try to go at least 5 miles on the stationary bike (that just seems realistic for me), then do some upper body strength training, then do some inner/outer thigh presses and ab stuff. I mix it up and do a little of everything at least 4 times a week but I don’t stress about burning calories. I watched the men in my family and others work hard every day on farms, as carpenters, etc. These people WORK but they are not running 10 miles and stressing about counting calories. They simply WORK on their feet and do normal activity and they stay in great shape. Society has it all wrong. We should just be WORKING at NORMAL things –not having to kill ourselves on equipment to try to stay in shape since that isn’t what your body is actually made for anyway. Most of us have desk jobs (completely unnatural for your body) so we are FORCED to resort to gyms to make up for what we don’t get all day. The thing everyone, including myself, missed is that, IF YOU SIT ALL DAY AND THEN GO TO THE GYM, IT DOESN’T HELP YOU AT ALL!! It doesn’t prolong your life or make you healthier because you have to KEEP moving ALL day to make any impact on your life span. It’s like eating ten bags of oreos and then running ten miles and repeating. Sure, it helps keep you in decent shape but internally, it does nothing. That’s right – even if you work out religiously it might still not be quite enough to undo the hours you spend on Facebook and YouTube. Author Doug Dupont summarized a 2013 study in his article Sitting at Your Desk Is Eating Your Muscles. The study found sedentary workers who exercised were at just as high risk for health issues as those who didn’t exercise regularly. For the desk worker, what’s much more crucial than intermittent exercise is regular movement, which prevents muscle breakdown.
    When I was in my BEST physical shape: from teens to mid 20’s–WORKED ON MY FEET IN A FACTORY SOMETIMES 16 HRS A DAY, SIX DAYS A WEEK, 30’S WAITRESSED DOUBLE SHIFTS 11-11 FIVE DAYS A WEEK. Never was above a size 1 in my life!! Worked at a desk job from 35-45 PUT ON 23 POUNDS! Case in point! Now, I am trying like Hell to get rid of it and I’m getting there but I KNEW, all along, what I need to do. STAY ON MY FEET AND MOVE– PERIOD!!

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