It’s a long-running joke amongst a few of us that train together that a cyclist is just a failed runner. Obviously we’re all sports people and train for different disciplines – it’s just a wee bit of fun.
Some years back my zest for running was waning and I started to look at options for general fitness. I found myself gravitating to the “failed runner” shops and eyeing up racing bicycles. It wasn’t long before I convinced myself to pursue the boyhood dream of a shiny new racing bike. Of course the clothes to turn me into a MAMIL in training were obligatory.
No sooner had I purchased my new machine, completed my first duathlon and gently introduced myself to long miles in the saddle, when I broke my wrist. A football-inflicted injury that meant I couldn’t hold the handlebars as I needed to. It was months afterwards before the strength returned. Then, almost 12 months to the day, I broke the same wrist again playing football. Cycling just wasn’t meant to be. I was a failed runner and now I was a failed cyclist – the couch was looking good!
runner by choice, cyclist by necessity
Since my twice-broken wrist healed I haven’t really been on a bicycle too many times. I cycle a little to work now and then but only a short commute and certainly not ‘exercise’ as I would gain from running. Furthermore, my passion for running returned with a vengeance since that injury. There just isn’t enough hours in the week to cycle and run. I’d much rather be on my feet if I’m being honest.
That position changed abruptly in the last week of fighting with my injured leg. My gym sessions have ended with a short period on the exercise bike. This week, I dusted off my racing bike and connected it to the turbo trainer once more. Ye olde log cabin in the garden has now become the top secret recovery shed – the neighbours may suspect I have purchased a helicopter.
It’s great to have a fallback all the same. I have lots of miles behind me for the year but cardio fitness disappears quickly if not trained. Cyclists would laugh at me for the time I spend on the trainer (60 mins max). Cue calls of ‘failed cyclist’ – deservedly so. Also, my heart rate never gets to the same level that a good steady run would achieve. However, it is elevated and I work up a bit of a sweat. It must be doing some good, right?