“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Experiments in Cross Training

I am not a cyclist, but I do own a bike.  Granted, it's a hybrid, just for fun type of bike.  Nothing fancy, but it is purple, so that makes it awesome.  (If that doesn't make it awesome, I don't want to know.)
Not as awesome as these shades Mommy.
Pre-kiddo, I enjoyed riding my bike recreationally with my husband.  We'd tour the neighborhoods and comment on all the things we did and didn't like about the different houses.  (oh come on now, we all do that!)   Post-kiddo, I wanted to add something to my bike to let her ride with us.  We bought her a cute purple bike helmet and debated our options for bike add-ons.  Then, somehow, we never settled on an option before the weather turned to be less bike friendly.
I can't believe we never went biking!  I'm ruined for life.
With my attempt to reverse-taper post-Goofy, I was really wishing I could take my bike for a spin around the block, but the extreme cold temperatures we're experiencing at the moment makes that a "hell no" kind of concept.  Several of my friends own trainers for their bikes, and I've always been a little jealous.   For those that don't know, a trainer is what allows you to ride your bike in your living room without the normal crashing into things that kind of statement might imply.
But crashing into things is what makes it fun, right Kitty?
Your back wheel is elevated with a trainer onto a roller, so that it spins without going anywhere when you pedal.  Depending on how fancy your trainer is, this roller/trainer thingee will also add resistance.  You then have the option whether or not to prop your front wheel on a block so that the whole set-up is level.

I'm cheap when it comes to non-running workout stuff, so I started doing some research on costs.  I found one with a ton of good reviews on amazon that cost about $100.  (as opposed to the $300-400 some of them cost).  I inquired of my Facebook friends about their trainers as well.  Ultimately though, I wound up buying the one I saw on amazon.  It was cheaper, and prime eligible.  So, free two-day shipping.   I also got the front wheel block for $11 and a bike computer that was rear-wheel compatible.  (Be warned - many bike computers are set up to attach to your front wheel.  When your bike is in a trainer, the front wheel never turns, hence, no readings if your sensors are on the front wheel.)
My fancy set-up.
The extension chord actually goes to some other equipment and is not needed for the bike.
I could have skipped the $30 bike computer, but this is me we are talking about here.  Do an exercise without having data about how far and how long?  Pfft.  Like that'll happen.
Funniest thing I've heard all week!
Last night, with the single digit temperatures and a lingering cough from the head cold that my husband and daughter shared with me, I opted out of my outdoor group run and stayed home to set-up the newly arrived bike trainer instead.  The trainer part was EASY, just as all the reviews had said.  The bike computer took a bit longer to get the sensors right.  Then, of course, I had to test the whole thing and make Mark take pictures.
He had to keep telling me to look up, because I kept messing with the computer.
At the end of the evening?  I biked 8.77 miles in 40 minutes in my basement while watching Criminal Minds. Not a bad cross-training option.  Not at all.
While you were messing around in the basement, I did this puzzle 5,342 times.   Beat that Mommy!

Do you cross-train???  What is your preferred cross-training activity?


  1. Go swim and you'll be doing a tri with me before you know it! - L

  2. I'm a bit scared of a bike unless on a very controlled surface but this could be a way I'd like to bike! Yay for exercising while enjoying some entertainment!

  3. The bike is also my usual source of cross training mojo but I use a crummy old stationery bike. I want a fancy trainer too so that I can use Sprocket for my cross training!! I get out outside on the bike sometimes, not as much as I'd like. I also do Barrecode and strength/cardio DVD's on non-running days.

  4. Yay for the trainer! Ive always been big on XT because I only run 3x/week. Biking, weights and yoga are my usual go tos.

  5. I'm not going to mention the recumbent bike....when I cross-train for real, I like a good hot sweaty spin class. I don't own a bike that's functional--I wish I did, but there's no money for that right now.

  6. I also have a trainer and love it for winter! Being summer down here right now, though, I prefer swimming laps or biking outside for the time being. Also love pilates and interval training classes - they make me strong for running :) (I hope...)!

  7. I would love an indoor bike trainer- what a great option for a cold night, especially while recovering from the marathon weekend. Fun!!

  8. Steve and I keep arguing about whether I need a trainer back tire for my bike and for the record, I do. I can see total wear on mine right now. I am enjoying using mine this winter - I'll admit I didn't use it much last winter. I have the fancy kind and I haven't figured out how to play with the resistance yet at all! Its a perfect option for catching up on reading a boring book or a TV show!

  9. Yay! Glad you found one. It's a great alternative and I can definitely tell a difference in my muscles.


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