Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Big Girl Hard

I haven't been on my bike since last November. In fact, I haven't even seen my bike since last November. I'm assuming it's still hanging in the basement but for all I know it just up and left in disgust.

Last winter a few die hard members of our cycling group got together every Sunday morning at 8am. Through the wind and ice and snow we lugged our bikes, our shoes, our trainers and our padded bum shorts to the running store. We would set everything up, Doug would pop a cycling video into his Macbook and off we would go for an hour or so.

This winter, we didn't. We didn't have a winter spinning class. We didn't set up our bikes at home. We didn't get out on sunny days. We just didn't.

I'm ok with that because, thanks to swimming, I'm exercising 6 out of seven days a week already. Really folks, when the hell am I supposed to cycle??

Or so I thought when the snow was flying and my winter tires were still on my car. Now that the ice has melted and the crocuses are in full bloom, the urge to pedal is back. Members of our cycling club are popping up everywhere asking when we're getting back on the road. It's only a matter of days (weeks at most) before we're flying down the Niagara roads again.

So now what?

There are a few basic exercise facts that I believe to be true (correct me if I'm wrong)

  1.  Cross training is important - particularly if you run because it helps you recover. I run, swim and cycle so I have that covered.
  2. If you stick mostly to one sport (ex running) it's really important to have rest days during the week. So don't run more than five days a week. 

My question is: if you don't do any one sport more than three times a week, how important is it to have a rest day?

Right now I swim Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I run Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Sundays are off.

Soon we'll be cycling on Sundays and I may even want to toss in an extra bike ride during the week (perhaps on an evening when I swam in the morning?).

Is that ok? Am I crazy?

I asked Doug what he thought. He gave me a sheepish little grin and said "well, considering the pace and distance we ride - I really don't think it's a problem".

"Are you saying that, even though I'm panting and dying during rides, what we're doing really isn't that hard?" I asked.

"Pretty much" he replied.

"So our bike rides are 'baby hard' not 'big girl hard'?" I asked just to clarify.

"Yup" was his answer.

A man of few words he is.

Good news is that I won't have to cut down my swims so I can cycle.

Bad news is that I'm really not a very good cyclist...


  1. If it helps at all I could not cycle even half of what you do and definitely not at the speeds you go. I would die!!!

  2. Don't listen to Doug! (sorry Doug but it's true) But don't forget all the cycling you did was recovery from the run the day before. TOTALLY different.
    I can't WAIT for Sunday rides, I'll be making the trek down there every time I can!