Trying Something New

For the past few years I've been focused on working with other people to meet their fitness goals. That's been enriching, but I sometimes forget to take care of myself. Yoga has been great for strengthening my body and mind, but I've been considering my own fitness and how to balance my own goals. A couple weeks ago, I decided to try adding something different and decided to share that in case you can benefit from my experience.

Certain types of Yoga can get your heart pumping, but it can be difficult to get that longer, sustained higher heart rate that you can get from activities like running and cycling - especially when you've been instructing all day.

My husband runs. He loves it. Maybe you do, too. I hate running. I probably didn't give it a fair try, but it makes me feel miserable from beginning to end. I didn't want to force myself to do something I hate (spoiler alert: as we explored in this blog, you won't stay with something you hate doing). Then, he and I had an idea. I could bike while he runs at the park on his harder workout days. Since I have a cheap, heavy hybrid bike it takes a solid effort to hold 10-15 mph, especially when going uphill - at least for me! He controls the pace while running, and I just go along for the ride trying to stay beside him. This takes all the pressure off me trying to figure out if I'm working hard or not, which I need because I would just pedal easy all the time.

Sample workout:

20 minutes easy (~7 mph on the bike, which is pretty easy even for me)

6x 1km (~9.5-10 mph) with 200m easy (~6-7 mph)

2-3 minutes easy (~7 mph)

6x 30 second uphill (~11 mph)

2-3 minutes easy (~7 mph)

6x 10 second sprint (as fast as either of us can go and stay under control)

Easy (~7 mph) until 1h 15 min

Total mileage: ~10 mi +/-


-Having a workout partner ask me if I am joining him at the park keeps me accountable.

-Even though some of the ride is slower, I'm moving more than I was before.

-The faster sections still tax me because I have so little biking experience.

-The heart-pumping exercise really makes me feel better. Even in the cold and wind, I'm always glad I went.

-Because he leads the pace, I can just relax and clear my mind without worrying about the workout.

-Doing this 2-3 times per week is plenty for me to get a significant portion of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise.

-I'm enjoying it!

Maybe I'll try to take up mountain biking next so I can bike with him through the trails on his easy days. On second thought, maybe I should just take one new thing at a time.

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