Wheels v. Feet

Yesterday was a Workout A day, which means a shorter workout. Not less intense, mind you, but not enough to meet the minimum 30-minute daily exercise commitment and only half of my current target of 45-minutes of exercise each day. So I’ve been supplementing with a walk or a bike ride later in the day. As a system, it’s been working pretty well, and I like the idea of getting my metabolism fired up twice a day.

When I was out walking yesterday afternoon, I got to wondering why I almost always choose walking over biking. I like doing both, but for different reasons.

In Favor of Walking:
I love the movement and tempo, swinging my arms and striding. I can listen to my music or a podcast, or just let my mind wander and let my feet take me where they will. I feel free when I’m walking.

In Favor of Biking:
In addition to working the legs, the balancing requirement means I get an awesome core workout on a bike. Biking has built-in HIIT (high-intensity interval training), especially if I ride in an area with hills, and burns more calories. Also, I can create a breeze on a bike, which is important during Memphis summers.

And then there’s the minus column. There are a couple of things I don’t like about both walking and biking. From a safety standpoint, a person outside a vehicle isn’t exactly “safe” no matter whether they’re on foot or on wheels. I do feel safer up on the sidewalk and feel like my feet give me more options for escaping should a car & driver go out of bounds.

On a practical side, biking is rough on the seat. Not the bike seat, MY seat. After an hour, I’m beyond uncomfortable.

Walking, on the other hand, is fine on the seat, but hell on shoes. Exhibit A:

comparing worn out asics with worn out saucony shoes

Or I guess that’s Exhibits A and B. The shoe on the left is my gym shoe, which lately is doubling as a walking shoe. The shoe on the right is my Saucony, half of the Saucony shoes I bought only a year ago! The Asics gym shoe is about four or five years old and has almost no tread left on it, but then again, it doesn’t have a hole in it either! Both of my Saucony shoes have holes in the same spot. I’ll either be going back to Asics or more likely, giving Target’s Champion C9 shoes a try. The current budget doesn’t allow for high dollar shoe purchases several times a year.

To be fair, if I rode my bike more often, I’d be putting more wear on my tires, which can also get pricey after a while.

Pluses, minuses. What it all comes down to, I think, is that walking feels more like a complete escape from the day. I get that with biking sometimes, too, but I have to drive city streets four miles over to the trails to escape. And I don’t get to listen to my tunes. :)

What’s your preference? Or do you have one?

And on another note: how long do your walking/running/shopping shoes usually last?

21 thoughts on “Wheels v. Feet

  1. Wow! I pretty much stick to saucony ‘s. I’ve never had anything near a hole in one of them! That’s some serious walking.

    At this point I think I’d love to bike a little more. I just have to figure out how to get the bike to where that’s possible. Plus there’s that whole stupid helmet rule …

    • I know I walk a lot, but I shouldn’t have walked holes in my shoes! LOL

      I hear you on the helmet. Besides wrecking my ‘do, they’re like little easy bake ovens in the Memphis heat.

  2. I’ve never been a big bike rider – I will ride for a fun little ride but not for exercise. I think because, like you said, it always makes my butt hurt!!!

  3. Umm… do I even need to answer this question?

    As for seat soreness – get out there and ride. A little every day and you will be miles and miles with an iron saddle! 😀

  4. I’m more of a walker than a rider! I must have a delicate bum (HA!) because I get saddle sore really easily. But can walk for hours with no problem. Have a great day Cammy!

  5. I love both, but if forced to choose one, it would have to be hiking. Whoops, I meant walking! Part of that is pure logistics. I’m not lucky like Lori who can simply get on her bike and go. For us, it means loading them up and driving somewhere before we can ever ride. Walking is just a matter of getting out there and doing it. I like the pace of walking as well. I don’t want to miss anything I pass. I usually replace walking shoes every few months, but that’s because these old misshapen arthritic feet change the support long before the tread wears down. Can’t explain it any better – you’d just have to see it. I could make them last longer if it wasn’t for that.

  6. Geez…clearly, I don’t walk enough, because my shoes last forever! I definitely prefer walking to biking…my butt cannot take a bicycle seat! It’s torture! I’ve always wanted to try one of those ellipti-bikes that you stand on. They sure do look silly, though!

  7. First off, I hope you take some pride in how your shoes look – you’ve definitely used them, which means you’re truly living an active lifestyle! On the other hand, eek! They are making my feet and legs ache from just looking at them. Do you keep track of how many miles you’re putting on them? You should be replacing them after 400 or 500 miles, even if they don’t look as worn as the Asics (maybe at that point rotate the old shoes into gym shoes?). And I know that running stores get a bad rap for having expensive shoes, but our local store always has a bunch of super-discounted sale shoes (last year’s model, only a few left, etc) – I’m talking a $140 pair of shoes for $40. So you might want to check out the running stores in your area (and also, Running Warehouse online does some fantastic shoe sales).

    Oh, and I prefer walking over biking – biking around my area, if I leave my neighborhood, is pretty scary. There seems to be a lot of drivers who like to make it their mission to try and scare bikers – complete jerks, yes.

    • I don’t keep official mileage records, but I do count on having to replace annually. What got me about these was the HOLE. So much for converting them to something other than yard work, for which I already have 3 pairs of retired Asics. :) I usually buy from our local Fleet Feet store, or Breakaway Running, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any deals like that. I need to shop in your area!

      Biking’s the same here, but I’m hopeful for bike lanes on the main route to the trails. They’re painting as fast as they can around here, but this section hasn’t made it to the top of the list yet.

  8. I live in south Texas. Biking is not an option in 3 digit temps with humidity over 70-80%. (It was 90% this morning when I saw off family who’d been visiting. It wasn’t even cool enough to bike at 6am!) I can walk indoors any time of the year. I do have a recumbent bike at home I use, too. But it’s just not as much fun as getting outside and having the balance thing toning the muscles, too. Walking has always been my first choice.

  9. Love doing both! My problem is traffic. My walking route is through neighborhoods, so not much traffic. Right now, I’m able to just hop on my bike at the house and head out. I’m noticing my bike route is getting a little more traffic-y. I dread the day I’ll have to load up the bike to ride. :(

  10. I enjoy doing both. Walking takes less prep and less time. I do love biking and feeling the breeze but it does require more of a time commitment and prep. To help with the back side issues I have found that padded biking shorts make all the difference in the world. Some have less padding than others so go for the deluxe padded ones and you can ride much longer! If we rid our bikes near our home we have to go on busy roads for part of the ride and it makes me nervous. If we want to go to a long distance bike bath we have to load up our bikes and drive there and that takes a more time.

    Have a great weekend!

  11. The answer to saddle sore (besides just getting used to it) is Aquaphor. Lots of it. And bike shorts.

  12. Because I’m currently very heavy, biking is not an option yet, but even when it will be, I’d probably stick to walking due to the safety issue. Although then I could ride the stationery at gym, I suppose.

  13. Walking for me. Never worn a hole in my walking shoes but I wear down the outside of the heels. How often should walking shoes be replaced I wonder.

  14. I really love to walk, but it’s too slow and impractical to be useful for anything over a mile or so. Plus, my neighborhood is ugly, so I have to jump on the bike (or much less frequently, the car) to get somewhere nice to walk, unless I want to walk back and forth to grocery store. When it’s raining, like today, I walk to the shuttle, which is over two miles, but generally, I’ll take the bike that distance. Since I didn’t bring my bike, to get to my science talk, instead of a mellow 6 mile bike ride, I’ll have to walk a half mile to a different shuttle, take the shuttle, take the train, then walk another mile. Then get a bus later to boyfriend’s house, and walk 2+ miles to shuttle in morning, then a half mile after shuttle. The entire bike ride to work is only 8 miles (ugly, industrial, hilly, car-exhaust filled), but I can bike it. Stupid rain, bike is very practical, but I hate it in the rain.

    I’ll take any of this over sitting 1.5 hours in car to get to work, then 1 hour into city, 20 minutes circling for parking, then another 30 minute bumper to bumper experience in the morning (yes, that’s 8 miles in 30 minutes – or 45 with just the bike). I love my bike! Just not in the rain.

    And they do make soft bike seats, makes all the difference. Plus, your butt gets used to it, just like you get used to riding a horse.

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