Alright? You may know me for constantly mumbling on about running and walking, but today I want to change gears (literally) and talk about cycling. What about cycling Scott? Well my friend, I want to discuss why I have been having the growing urge to get into cycling for sport to include with my running. Shall we?
Mixing it up
I love running and I think now I always will love it, it calms me when I get into my stride and I truly enjoy the challenge of completing a long run or trying to give it everything on a shorter course. But for a while now I have been seeing people cycle about and I have been a bit envious. I want to be going about at a decent pace and being able to travel great distances and see wonderful views. Running, or my running at least is a little restricted currently.
Also I want to try and push myself at more things and seeing as I quite enjoy giving my legs a lot of pain, cycling seemed to be the next thing. Mixing it up and cross training with another sport, can only make me stronger and fitter right?
Like I said I was getting a tad envious of people cycling and one of those was Victoria. She would collect me from work and cycle home with me as I ran. I would continuously get the thought of what it would be like to get a bike and cycle somewhere with her or just cycle home from work and natter away. Plus it looked like I would get home far quicker!
I was also influenced by my friend Leigh who is a road cyclist and continually participates in Sportives (he recently completed a 100 mile race which from the pictures and conditions looked brutal). Last year Leigh was raising money by taking part in a multitude of events by running and cycling! I followed his journey throughout the year and I felt this little need within me to get a bike.
After an injury he started up again and signed up (again for charity) for the 100 mile race and with his posts that need grew and grew and I then started to look into bikes myself. After his race I found myself going to the gym a bit more and I was using the bike a lot more. To the point where I have begun to challenge myself on the stationary bike (yes I know it’s now the same). So off I went and would do one of two cycle workouts when I was there.
The Stationary bike exercises
The first was a rolling hill 1 hour cycle, that was a lot tougher than I would like to admit, but I have been off it for a while so I am trying to tell myself that is the reason… I worked out that each little segment on the bike is 3:45 minutes, so I have been trying to tell myself that those tough hill parts are not so bad, just count down the time! Recently I have been increasing the resistance (is that right for a bike? I dunno) on the “downhill” parts so that I can keep pumping the legs to get a good distance as I can get through at the current level. I thought that pushing as hard as I can will be the first step before I move up the levels.
The second workout I do is what I call King of the Mountain. It is a 16 minute blast (16 minutes because there are 16 segments on the monitor) and I start 3 dots up at around (level 5 if you use a Matrix bike/go to Puregym) and every 30 seconds I up the level 1. So in theory every minute the dot goes up, meaning by the end you get a nice incline all the way up to level 30! But as I started a few dots up it means I have to cycle the last 2.30 minutes at level 30 and hope for the best. This workout isn’t just for speed as of yet but more for endurance and coping with it. The more I go, I am sure I will make it longer or go for a good distance!
Where to get a bike and which type and how much!?
I asked Leigh about where to get a bike and he has been very helpful, and one of the first things he asked was whether I wanted to do this as a hobby or slightly competitively. I hadn’t even thought of things this way, as I had always just thought that they would be mutually exclusive. He then gave me a breakdown of his bike and said what type of budget that would probably be required for a bike if I was serious about it.
I knew I would be laying down a serious amount of money for a decent road bike and I was surprised to find that it was only going to be around £800 for a decent enough one. So down the rabbit hole I have gone for a bike and who knows what I will come up with! But I will of course let you know!
If you have any suggestions then please throw them my way as I am more than happy to accept tips, advice and recommendations! Until next time!