The Latest

Don’t tell my competitors, but I’ve been keeping fit—very fit—lately. It wasn’t even intentional, but I started swimming in January and then got on the trainer shortly thereafter. I’ve managed to keep it up for a few months now, and, consequently, I’m pinching less fat on my lovehandles than I have in a long time.

I’ve been shooting more for frequency on the bike than total volume this year (although I’ll be doing my longest-duration event if I get signed up with the rest of the relay team for LOTOJA). I’ll squeeze in a half-hour or an hour of riding as often as I can, throw in a swim here and there and, of course, do some low-weight, high-rep weightlifting as it fits my schedule. And, so far, it feels like it’s working.

I ran into one little snag last week, however. We had a family get-together in which someone (possibly me) launched a push-up contest. Well, I didn’t think anyone was doing very good form, and I got to thinking that I could do more poor-form push-ups than anyone else there (I was once a push-up nut, you know). So I hit the ground and got going. Sure enough, 85 pathetic poor-form push-ups later, I beat everyone. Trouble is, the next day, my back was sore—a trademark of doing poor-form push-ups—and it’s been sore ever since.

So it was a bit odd that I decided to add yet another session to my training schedule this week. I went for a jog up the side of a pretty steep hill the other day. It was about 15 minutes of uphill running followed by 11 minutes of downhill running on a dirt road. It actually felt like a pretty comfortable workout, to be completely honest (the downhill left my hips flexors and glutes a little sore), and, unlike the last time I went pavement running, my knees came out of it feeling okay.

So yeah, I kinda liked it.

I’ve heard both sides of the argument against hill running for cycling preparation. On one hand you have jimmy-strength-mountainbiker-guy who says it creates an inconsistent muscle firing pattern. On the other hand, you have Ned Overend, who says things like this: "I have always been a big cross-trainer. Instead of just cycling in the off season, I’ve Nordic skied, been a mountain runner and, from the early days, I’ve always done a little bit of swimming. I like the idea of being a very well-rounded athlete — meaning upper body and your hamstrings, not just your quads."

So this year, I’m subscribing to the Ned Overend school of thought on the matter. Besides, I actually agreed to do a 1,500-foot elevation gaining, 5-mile pavement run with my in-laws in June, so I need to get in some kind of hill running shape for that. After June, of course, I’ll drop the running entirely to get ready for a pair of cycling events in August and September, but for now, I’m thinking I need to wear out my running shoes.

Now if I could just get my back to loosen up.

One thought on “The Latest

  1. Jeff

    Hello-I\’m writing from Global Ride Productions ( We make virtual cycling training DVDs for indoor cycling. As a cycling blogger, we thought you may be interested in writing a review of our product. We are willing to send you our entire Hawaii series DVD boxed set, something we sell on our site for $75, in exchange for you writing a review. You don\’t have to send the DVDs back – we see giving them to you as a thank you as you help spread the word about a new company.Our virtual cycling DVDs are different from any others you may have tried. We travel to exotic locations, have multiple coaching tracks on every DVD, licensed music, and bonus yoga, pilates or strength training sessions designed for cyclists. They\’re a great product and we just want to spread the word.If you\’d like to receive the set, just shoot me back a message with a mailing address and we\’ll get them out to you asap.Thanks a lot. Feel free to email with any questions.Jeff SaporitoGlobal Ride

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