Wednesday running and riding

Ran for a half hour and rode for 1 1/2 hours today, and I’m getting ready for a rest! It’s time for a rest week next week. I can tell not just because I feel tired — in fact, except for tired quads from all the climbing I’ve done I don’t feel that fatigued — but because my heart rate doesn’t want to go up very high these days. That always happens after a difficult workout when I’m recovering, so I know what it means now. I had to head up the uphill part of my road again; I’m hoping that they don’t close the downhill part tomorrow so I don’t have to do it again — it’s hard to head straight up a hill without a warm-up.

Running HR: 147, an easy, mostly flat run, my lowest HR yet.


5 comments so far

  1. zhiv on

    Now that the days are already piling up it looks like you’re not going to have any trouble doing a triathlon, mainly because you seem to spend a ton of time on your bike. A half-hour run and a 90 minute ride is pretty serious stuff, especially for a weekday. The adjustment to running should go very quickly, but it seems like it may be hard for you to pull yourself off the bike. But of course you can’t go wrong because you love it.

    I guess you have a weather issue. I’m curious about the swimming logistics, and assume you have to wait on warmth to get in the pool. I swam a little bit today (only a 500 yard stretch) after Pilates, and did a couple of standing poses in the (indoor) pool too.

    Pulling for you to keep the yoga going. Because you ride so much, the yoga should really help not just the transition to running and general fitness wear-and-tear, but also the eventual transition to swimming. Since you’re feeling like you’re ready for a more restful week (not just a day or two?), you could keep the yoga going, cut back the cardio grind, and still make a lot of progress. Get out the epsom salts, get the hot water going, and your bathtub edition of Boswell!

    And my approach is to take whatever yoga class you damn well please! The trick is to stay on your own mat and within yourself and what you can do. Arm balances and handstands?! Who cares? You try ’em, you fall, you do the dog, you work on different kinds of sitting–and have fun watching all the amazing yogis. Much more important is finding teachers (multiple) you like, where you can pick up different things that help your own practice. Above all, there’s no rush, and you’ll be doing all of these things for a long time.

  2. Dorothy W. on

    Zhiv — thanks again for the comment and encouragement. Your point about pulling myself off the bike is very timely because I was thinking today that while I really want to do triathlons, I don’t want to ride any less. But that’s not possible, or at least not practicable at this point. Last year I averaged about 6 hours a week on the bike, and that includes a month or so when I wasn’t riding at all. I’ll have to see what wins out — the desire to do multisport or the desire to spend tons of time on the bike.

    As for swimming, I’m holding off on that partly for time reasons, partly for reasons of focus (I don’t feel like picking up two relatively new sports at once), and partly because I don’t want to pay for membership at the local YMCA until I’m good and ready. I’ll add swimming into the mix next summer at the latest. The Y offers classes that I’d like to take. Swimming will be complicated, though, because I’ll have to drive to the pool, which will take extra time. My teaching schedule this spring won’t allow for much of that.

    And by “rest week,” I mean cutting back on hours, rather than resting completely. I’ll exercise 6 hours instead of 10 or so, and those 6 hours will be easy ones.

    I’m curious what you mean by yoga helping me with the transition to swimming — how so?

    I have a weather issue only if I don’t want to run or ride when it’s in the 30s (and occasionally 20s) — but I’ve developed a tolerance for cold-weather exercise, so that’s fine.

    Enjoy your workouts!

  3. zhiv on

    Your warm response is appreciated–I never quite know where I am when I start rambling. But I’m very happy to be supportive.

    The “help” from yoga would start with upper body strength. All of those vinyasas eventually have a substantial payoff (and what about those handstands!). I don’t know much about what a lot of cycling does to you, but I know that running works some fairly specific muscles, while others don’t get so much attention. The opening and stretching that takes place is significant and you can really feel it when you get in the pool and swim. Running and biking seem pretty close to each other (lots of leg strength), while swimming gets you all over, and yoga should be a good setup for that.

    But who knows. I did a fair amount of swimming in high school (after basketball season) and learned to train (never did the big two-a-days/dawn thing and got burnt out), and have done it on and mostly off for–ahem–30 years. I started doing weekend yoga 5 years ago, and I can really feel the benefit when I manage to get in the pool now. But it will probably be completely different for you, since you don’t have the swimming background.

    It’s kind of funny–for me the hard part is getting on the bike. I guess I’ll say that I’m not sure that the “picking up two new sports” argument is completely valid, since the running and biking are close and similar, and the hard part for you is going to be swimming. I think the running is going to come along very quickly, and it sounds like it will mostly be a matter of taking time away from the bike to run. At any rate, your winter-to-spring program seems ideal.

    A few minor questions: is the Y pool indoors? Is that the only logical pool choice? Can you ride your bike there? Are there other classes there that might help the cause (yoga, pilates)? You know, stuff like that, no pool because it’s freezing, etc.


  4. Dorothy W. on

    Okay, what you say about yoga and swimming makes sense, and I like the idea that swimming will work my whole body. I need the upper body and core strength! I was also wondering if all the attention to detail in yoga would help with swimming — the body awareness it develops, since I know swimming is so technical.

    I get your other point about swimming too, and I agree I should start it as soon as possible. My reluctance has more to do with mind rather than body, I suppose; swimming seems so new to me, and I’m not sure I can handle that much newness right now — particularly since I’m about to start a difficult semester, with a new class and a new schedule. And running hasn’t felt much like riding — yes, they both work leg muscles, but different ones. I was amazed at how many leg muscles hurt when I first started running. And I’ve had some foot pain the last couple weeks, which has had me worried. It’s getting better slowly, which is good, but the last thing I want is an injury! But again, it has to do with how I’m processing things mentally as well as physically.

    Yeah, the Y pool is indoors, so I could start that whenever. It’s the closest, nicest pool, and where the other local triathletes I know train. I believe they are beginning swim lessons in March, so if things are going well, I might begin then, and if not, I can begin when the next round of classes starts in the summer. I wouldn’t want to ride there, as it would be through some ugly urban areas, but I could look into the other types of classes that would make it worth while.

    And it is funny the way people respond to the sports differently; I have a hard time understanding why it’s so hard to get on a bike 🙂

    I’m glad to hear yoga has been so beneficial; it’ll help motivate me to keep it up.

  5. Dark Orpheus on

    I really enjoy this thread on yoga and swimming is great. Makes me want to go swimming too. Thanks, zhiv.

    Now, if only it would stop raining.:)

    I happen to recall an article in the Yoga Journal on yoga and swimming. Posting this link if you are interested:

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