I have been following the swimming versus biking versus running

discussions and have found them quite interesting. I have always

awarded points to my workouts according to Dr. Ken Cooper's

Aerobic points system. This provides me with a method of comparing

and grading the efforts in the three sports.

For those of you who don't know Dr. Cooper, he popularized the

term aerobics in the 1960's and published many books that espoused

the value of cardio-vascular exercise including "Aerobics",

"The New Aerobics", "The Aerobics Way", etc. Each of these books

gave tables or formulas for assigning "points" to a workout

with "points" being a measure of energy expenditure. The tables

and formulas were derived from the research he did for the

U.S. Air Force in the 1960's. He addresses many sports, but

emphasizes swimming, biking, and running as the best forms of

cardio-vascular exercise. (We all knew that, right?)

In one of the books Cooper published the following formulas for

swimming, biking, and running:

Swimming ( for distances > 600 yards, velocity = yards / minute ):

points = { [ ( velocity / 4800 ) + 0.005 ] * yards } - 3

Bicycling:

points = ( 6 * miles**2 / minutes ) - 1.5

Running (for distances > 1 mile, velocity > 6 mph,

velocity = ( miles * 60 ) / minutes ):

points = { [ ( 2 / 3 * velocity ) + 1 ] * miles } - 1

So, the point I would like to bring to the discussion is that

the relationship between the sports is not a simple distance

formula like x miles swimming = y miles biking = z miles running.

It is, as one might expect, a function of distance AND pace.

To illustrate this point, I have worked out an example by

equating the formulas. This group lists several twenty point

efforts with all the workouts having the same energy expenditure

according to Dr. Ken Cooper's research:

Swimming:

800 yards in 00:06:57 ( 115 yards per minute )

1200 00:17:09 ( 70 yards per minute )

1600 00:35:33 ( 45 yards per minute )

2000 01:06:40 ( 30 yards per minute )

Biking:

10 miles in 00:27:16 ( 22 miles per hour )

15 01:04:17 ( 14 miles per hour )

Running:

3 miles in 00:19:30 ( 6:30 per mile )

4 00:38:00 ( 9:30 per mile )

5 00:57:30 ( 11:30 per mile )

I could also list for you the equivalent bowling, tennis, and

golf workouts thanks to the breadth of Cooper's work, but that's

another topic.

Thanks for listening,

Dan Becker

IBM Corporation, Design Validation Engineering

Phone: (407) 443-1660, Tie Line: 443-1660

Boca Raton, Florida 33431-1328 USA