Cross-training on a bike

I'm starting to investigate other forms of exercise for the 5x50 challenge, where I'm aiming to do 50 days of 30 minutes of exercise every day. (swanscot - I had a go at relearning the 'sun salutation' yoga last night - mmm, quite a bit of flexibility lost since I last did that!) couchto5k.healthunlocked.co...

It was pretty cold (itty bits of snow) so I was very glad to be wearing my polar buff under the cycle helmet. Getting a cold/sore face was one reason I stopped going out cycling years ago, and the buff worked really well. Conveniently, my husband's cycle helmet fitted me, as I couldn't find mine - I can't remember when I last cycled - maybe 6, maybe ten years ago.

I kept seeing cyclists going past in the opposite direction. I'm not sure whether it was actually a race as such or a touring route, though they all had numbers on (but didn't look as though they were racing). Lots of them smiled or nodded at me, which was rather nice.

After 15 minutes I decided to turn round (freezing fingers and beginning to notice I was sitting on a saddle!). There was a gap with no other bikes for a bit (I was going to turn round a bit earlier, but decided not to stop while anyone was looking!) Then I rode back, and was repeatedly overtaken by speedy cyclists - quite a few of them said hello as they went past - they were a friendly lot.

I went 4 miles in 27 minutes, which I was happy with as a starting point. It made an interesting change from running or walking. Bet I have a collection of different aches tomorrow though!

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  • ''(I was going to turn round a bit earlier, but decided not to stop while anyone was looking!)''

    Love this... this is so like me too... !

    I got a new bike for xmas, but (and you'll be unsuprised by this as I think you have read/commented on a few of my blogs!) I think I overdid it when I went out and did 12km on day 1 and now I'm not really feeling the love for the bike...luckily my husband has decided its better than his and has nicked it... so at least its not feeling abandoned in the shed! My plan is to maybe ride it a bit when the weather cheers up. I'm not a 'fair weather' person in general, as I ride (horse) everyday regardless of the weather, and have run everyother day since xmas in some appalling weather, but I think on a bike its sooooo much colder!

    I'm going to research what a polar buff is... feeling left out.

  • Yeah, I found it distinctly parky on a bicycle when, so long as I have my gloves, I happily run now in a long sleeved t shirt and leggings (I do not do horses, but there is something about an animal depending on you that does help get you out - not that my dog is grateful for being taken out in the rain) My husband felt the same way about his first (similar length) trip out on his new bike. I didn't but that may have something to do with the electric assist on mine...

  • Oh, you so need a polar buff! :D I've put a link to a funny video about them in another thread. They are ridiculously expensive for what they are - just a tube of thin material, but I really do love mine!

    I think I'll need some thicker gloves for cycling though. Riding with one hand tucked under the opposite armpit, trying to get back some feeling in the fingers, is not ideal!

  • Hi,

    It's great that you're getting prepared for the challenge. I'm not very good at bike riding (no innate sense of balance and didn't learn to ride one till I was 22) but it's going to have to be one of my non-run day activities so I suppose I'd better get my old steed out of the garage and see if the tyres still pump up :-)

    My husband is a bike rider - he did 45 miles yesterday (I can only imagine how achy my bum would feel after that long :o ) but he ALWAYS complains about how cold it is cycling. He's got a buff and a special hat that goes under his helmet but the worst are apparently the feet. He thinks it's because he's got those special shoes that attach to the pedals (way to scary for me) but any number of extra socks later (running is SO much cheaper than cycling) he still hasn't sorted the problem.

    Hopefully by the time March 31st comes around it'll be rather warmer than it is now!

    Ann

  • Mmm - I've never used pedals with any sort of clips (I've just been reading about 'clipless' pedals - which bizarrely appears to mean the ones with clips underneath as opposed to clips at the front/back) and it sounds pretty scary to me too! I may investigate getting a better saddle though, as the current one has a tear in it - good excuse to get a more comfortable one.

  • Brilliant! Love that you are trying new things and going for it. I adore going off with the family on bike rides.....picnics are a great benefit of long bike rides no? Lol In the warmer months i can often be seen cycling around with a picnic rug and half a million Tupperware boxes strapped to my back ;)

    For one moment I thought you ad cycled into a race and had visions of you with your medal and cape on the podium!

  • Ha ha! Well, you never know one day. Medal and cape... Mmmmm. Sounds good!

    (It would have been a mighty chilly if I'd had a picnic today!)

  • I bike at the weekends because it's exercise I can do with the family (2 year old sitting behind me) I love it but at this time of year I don't bike much further than I run (which is weedy biking not really impressive running in case you're wondering) because the little one gets so cold. But just going out for half an hour feels like it gets the heart pumping, and it definitely uses a different set of leg muscles which has to be good.

    I bike in old woolly gloves - I might not look trendy but I'm warm!

  • PS a good saddle is an excellent idea

  • Good for you trying out your bike. I really feel the cold more on my bike than running or walking. When the weather is like it currently is (-3 to 5°C) I wear one of my many buffs under my helmet and another around my neck and over my face. windproof jacket, my fleecy running tights, two pairs of socks inside my hiking shoes and two pairs of gloves (I suffer with cold hands.feet due to poor circulation).

    Although I've been a keen cyclist for years, I've never gone down the clipless pedals routes, although I do like my toe clips: compare.ebay.co.uk/like/330...

    Using

  • hey greenlegs how ya doing?

    I find a bit of cycling before and after a run is very beneficial... in fact its great foryour leg speed and you will find if you use cycling as a supplement to running your fitness will increase dramatically... keep it up!!

    Graham

  • I'm sure you're right - I can certainly feel it has had an impact on my thighs! I should have gone out on it this afternoon, but it was cold, and my knees were a bit tired from my run yesterday, so I've had a rest instead. Wimping out! I will definitely be out on it again though.

  • you did right to have a rest...as they sayrest days are as important as training!!

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