Gas prices are so high that I decided to pick my kids up with the bike today. Let me start by saying, that as a runner, I am NOT a fan of bike riding. The reason I don’t do biathalons or triathalons is because I don’t really like to bike, nor do I want to get involved in a sport with so much equipment.
The best part about cross training, however, is that in a sport like running where there is so much impact to the joints and muscles, biking offers a nice alternative to the constant pounding of running. In biking, you raise your heart rate while using other muscles you don’t use when you run. This can actually make you stonger.
I do have a heavy hybrid road bike I use to ride around in, but I don’t use it much. Today, I took it out, attached the bike trailer and rode uphill a mile to my elder son’s daycare. I packed him in and went to get the next child, who was thankfully a 1/2 mile back toward home and in a downhill direction. Once I collected my younger son, they sat giggling in the trailer as I sped downhill toward home.
Of course, there was a little uphill portion of the trip as we neared my driveway, so I could actually feel the 80 lbs I was hauling. However, I was actually surprised at how evenly the trailer displaced my kids’ weight.
After I pulled in the driveway, I got off the bike and was thankful my bike ride was only 2 miles. The distance was enough to loosen my muscles after my hard tempo run yesterday and pulling the kids gave my thighs an extra workout. This whole exercise was a great way to save gas while improving my fitness. I see this as a win – win – win for me, the environment, and my kids.
Cross training for runners: http://scienceofsport.blogspot.com/2007/05/cross-training-for-runners.html