In coming back from an injury, I’ve decided to cross-train much more often. And, by more often, I mean once or twice per week. [Look, it’s hard to find time to cross-train, AND add miles to my running]
So lately, I’ve been cycling on this great virtual cycling machine in our gym. It basically mimics a course (with about 30 to choose from, 1.0 mile to 10 miles, and flat to 40% grades).
The first time I hopped on, I was a mess. Clearly. First, I didn’t know how to get the machine turned on. A neighbor (who I’ve met at the pool, but space on her name, and she lives in my building) showed me how to turn it on. Good start.
I thought doing 4-5 miles should be “easy” and I should be able to get them done in like 20-30 minutes. I used to ride my dad’s old stationary bike at about 17 mph, so this really wasn’t too far-fetched.
I picked the first of the moderate level (distance dictates level), and it was about 4 miles long. City Express or something.
OH MY GOD.
It was the hardest ride of my life. I’m not sure what city it was depicting, but my best guess is San Francisco, or maybe Denver or something? It started out with a 12% grade, and it just kept getting steeper and steeper. It got to about 38% continuous grade when I started thinking man this some bulls***! I jumped off 2.xx miles, and 20 minutes into the ride. Yep, I was going, on average, about 6-8 mph. I had been huffing and puffing the whole way, and felt like a real amateur.
But, surely, they weren’t all that hard.
So, a few days later, I tried one of the easier courses, 3.3 mile Beachside Bluffs, and it was fun. Maximum grades about 15%, and it felt easy, and I was done in 15 minutes, and I even ran for a couple minutes after.
Last night, again, cycled 2.93 miles (higher grade changes, maxxing at about 25%, but not for too long). Then, I did 15 minutes of strength training, all-over. And called it a night.
The thought has occurred to me I will have to run more than 3 miles at a time on weeknights if I want to eventually build to about 30 miles per week (plus two strength training/ cross-training sessions).
Hard work ahead.
The other thought that has occurred to me is I am doing all the parts of a tri… swim (though not since last summer, because I’m lazy and come up with a slew of reasons not to get to the pool, including it closing May-August this year), cycle (indoors), and definitely running. Hmmmm….
Unrelated, I signed up for my fifth half marathon- Crawlin Crab in October. And I’m pretty stoked about it. Still hoping for a PR, even if it’s not sub-2:00 yet. I’ll decide a goal once I actually start training at the 20-30 miles per week plus cross-training.