Couch to 5K
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is crosstraining like running?

hmm feeling really good about getting this far (w5r1 done so half way) in terms of cardiovascular and other benefits - just noticed my waistband gaping. Can hardly believe it.

I've been doing all this on my cross trainer though. Just beginning to imagine actually running out there in the big outdoors... me??!! Then searched here about cross trainer and read that it uses completely different muscles to running. Will I have to start C25K all over and do 'real' running before I can happily run outside?

5 Replies

Yes and no. Your cross trainer will work some of the same muscles you use for running and some other muscles as well. Most importantly, it will work your heart and teach your body to supply oxygen to working muscles.

So no, you won't have to start from scratch. A lot of the fitness you have built up and some of the improved muscles will carry over perfectly fine. And the weight you have lost will mean less weight to carry around when you're out pounding the pavement.

On the other hand, you will probably find that once you complete the cross training and are able to cross train for 30 minutes then you won't be able to right away go out and run for 30 minutes.

But hey, you're exercising and toning up, and that's what you wanted, right? :)


Wot Tomas sez... The only way to find out is to get out there and try it. Don't expect to move across at the same level. I'd try dropping back in the programme a couple of weeks and see how it feels. I suspect that your cardiovascular fitness will be ok, but be careful about not stressing any of those previously unused muscles too much initially.

I move about between running, riding a diamond frame (conventional) bike and riding my recumbent bike (one of those lie flat and zoom down the road feet first things - great fun). Each sport uses a slightly different combination of muscles with different techniques and I need to be careful that I don't overcook things because the heart feels fine but the legs aren't up to it. I pay particular attention to those muscle twinges and ease back if I have the slightest doubt. I've not had any problems doing that so far.

Just try it, but take it easy at first.

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I saw one of them (recumbent bikes) when I went for a ride in my lunchbreak today. The guy had a huge smile on his face. You don't happen to be living in the East Riding, do you? ;)


No - I'm a little further North, but there's a chance I may know who it was as there aren't that many of us. Smiling comes with the territory. They are impossible to ride without doing that. The only downside from that relates to the number of bugs you end up eating by mistake as they get funnelled into your open mouth. My mates refer to it as "refuelling on the move". Recumbents are great fun to ride and you get lots of "thumbs up". wherever you take them.

I took it round the closed roads around Ripon last summer when the Tour de France came through (the best way of getting to our viewing point was to ride). I must have had a continuous cheer for all of the 10 miles I was on the route for. The bike was well loaded up at the time. Being a french race I had an appropriate picnic strapped to the rear rack (baguettes, a large french cheese and a bottle of red wine). The best laugh I got was from a little kid who was jumping up and down pointing at me and shouting "Mummy, mummy - I want one of them for my birthday!" Her father's laconic reply was "I think we might stretch to a french stick, but you are too young for the wine"...


brilliant- ask a question, get help, just like that. That all makes good sense (even the smiling on a recumbent bike... I think). OK, just keep going for now, then a bit of sensible caution. Much appreciated.


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