Friday, September 2, 2016

What I Did Last Summer - Adding Cycling to the Mix

I have not written much about my other passion: cycling.  I have always had a bike and I loved riding it everywhere.  I was not always good at keeping the rubber side down, which is another story entirely.  I started as a runner in middle school and ran competitively until university, but my university did not have a track or cross country team.  I then walked on to a varsity rowing crew and did rather well at that.  All the way along, I kept riding my bike.  After university, I decided to try  my hand at bike racing and kept it up for a few years, but I was never a really good at it and eventually gave it up.  Now I do the odd tour or triathlon/duathlon, but cycling is more for recreation or for cross training.

To be completely open, I was not that fit as Spring passed into Summer.  Running was difficult, especially in the hot weather, but do-able.  Cycling had been starting to look more and more attractive, especially with our proximity to good trails nearby.  My MTBs ended up getting a good workout.

I like to build bikes as much as I like riding them (actually, maybe more) and a few years ago I built two great mountain bikes: one is a 3x9 geared hardtail and the other is a rigid singlespeed.  Both are a blast to ride, but I especially like the single because it run so quietly, and it became my bike of choice these days.  My goal had been to try to get in 45 minute rides three times per week, interspersed with running - again hopefully three times per week.  That worked for quite a few weeks.

Picking up cycling ended up working very well for me because I ended up with a pretty bad left calf strain at the end of July that I could not shake until Autumn.  (Remember how I said that I was finding running difficult.)  The injury didn't affect my cycling, but I couldn't run more than a few hundred metres.  I'm quite sure that it didn't stem from my running experiment (transitioning to minimalist shoes), but from some trauma that I (no pun intended) minimized and neglected to treat.  In any case, cycling was my go-to activity all Summer and fortunately, I didn't have to invest anything - no broken or worn-out parts, no repairs, no new clothing, shoes or accessories.  I just hopped on and rode.

Going forward, I believe that I am done with just running.  At my age, I need a mix of activities to get (and hopefully stay) fit: resistance training and cardio activities (i.e. more than one).  I am going to look for a resistance training program and enjoy a mix of running and cycling.

No comments:

Post a Comment