Couch to 5K
52,572 members84,648 posts

Week4 Run1 - on a stationary bicycle

Looks like I accidentally found my exact right starting level for spinning, by simply not having an earlier week than this left on my phone. I don't think I'll be too much in a hurry to push on from here. Took a bit of time to figure out how to set up the parameters (and the effort level I initially chose was impossible to budge). Because it's a new set of muscles that are emphasised, I was surprised at how close I was to not being able to walk when I got off at the end.

So what's nice about spinning? This afternoon I zoned out at one point watching the buildup to a good try by Griquas (underdogs) against the Bulls. Something like that can probably make you more completely forget that you're flogging your legs to death than the real world does, out there on the roads that were made for running.

The machine also gives you your pulse rate. Looks like my resting pulse rate is falling nicely, for starters (below 80 in the "walks"), and I know that if I'm doing 140 I'm up near the upper limit of what I can sustain for any length of time. 120 is a nice level of effort (and when I started this c25k, I'm estimating that 120 would have been where it was starting to get difficult). I pushed a bit, but somewhere in the low 150's was enough for me. Anyone pushing up above that is really giving it stick. It's nice to have an instantaneous "effort meter" like this.

It's also better than a treadmill when it comes to adjustabilty of pace. You pace yourself; the machine doesn't pace you.

What's not so great about spinning? The worst is that your cooling system doesn't work properly without the wind you create by moving through the air. If I ever set up something like this at home, I'll have a big fan blowing on me. Drips of sweat mean you're running hotter than you should. They're meant to be evaporating to cool you. I also don't like the wide stance. I keep drifting in toward the middle, and losing the pedals or getting snagged. Give me a bicycle, rather.

On a balance, it's an adequate way of staying fit if there's nothing better (like running) available, so I'd better stick to it. Exercise is just going to have to be work that one has to do, instead of a small adventure somewhere out there, at least for now.

4 Replies

Sounds great and a nice way to spend some time and get fit. Do you think you'd cycle outdoors? I used to love to cycle outdoors a couple of years back, but could never adjust to indoor cycling on a stationary bike. I could go for hours outside, but 15 mins top was all I could stand at the gym!


I do cycle outdoors sometimes. For a while I was actually cycling to where my runs started. It's hilly here, so the mountain bike I once gave up on, and parked in a corner is still given up on. I still can't manage most hills, and I hate pushing a bicycle. The pedals always get me. What I do is use an electric bicycle I still have great ambitions of using in place of my motorbike for commuting. It needs some help, but I'm strong enough to provide that - especially now I'm half-way through c25k (even if I'm on Pause).

I could make myself do whatever I need to do on that stationary bike, but it might be a hard job learning to enjoy it. The sensible exerciser learns to find some joy in the work (I suppose the sensible worker does the same), but spinning will take some time to reveal where its bliss lies.

With proper bicycles, it's easy! Struggle along to the top of that hill, and then fly down the other side.

And a memory comes back from many years ago ... walking along Ridge Road, which has steep hills. I'm near the bottom of a dip. "Wheeee!!!!", I hear, loudly behind me from the "drop-in", and all the way down that dip, this Wheeeeeeeee drops in like sonic skateboarder. It's a pretty girl on a bicycle, and the way she does this dip is to raise her arms up high, like she's flying. Look Ma, no hands, no brakes, and I'm not scared that the bicycle might run away from me. Pure joy like that is rare, so it sticks in ones memory. (She also had to do quite a natty - and dangerous-looking little jinx to the left to glide off into a little side street at the bottom).

Real bicycles are fantastic. They bring out the dog in a human being.

1 like

Good for you Gary for doing an alternative exercise. Cycling does use different muscles from running as my poor legs found when I was on the IC last year but if you do it regularly it does a great job of keeping your fitness levels up. And you can be quite competitive with a bike too!


Thanks. Yes, those legs of mine were a bit of a shock. Funny thing is they weren't really sore, just not willing to function as legs for a moment or two. As for being competitive on bikes, I think if I let those little monsters out of their cage, I'll just hurt myself. It's probably wiser to try to find a more hippy reason for exercising (for Me; this isn't a universal prescription I'm pronouncing).


You may also like...