Balancing Act: Running vs. Cycling
It’s winter in the Northeast and despite some pretty warm temps, I haven’t really been out on the bike. I have been running a lot, and going longer and faster. Running has never been a true love like cycling, but I have grown accustomed to it and appreciate the efficiency of the workout. While I have no plans to replace cycling with running, I am trying to strike a balance between the two sports.
- Running is easier to fit into my schedule and requires less prep time and less equipment.
- I can run from my office and have immediate access to the bike trail or long country roads along the cornfields and tobacco barns.
- Being able to run allows me more choices in participating in events.
I have been spinning on the trainer some–and after all these years I am actually taking some pleasure in doing so. I find I can spin longer with all the running miles in my legs. I’m excited to get out on the road or trail to prove the running a great supplement to my overall fitness.
I have developed a few nagging injuries from the higher impact of running. My left shin is tender and sore. My right foot occasionally will singe with a bright spidering pain radiating from the ball of my foot if I step just the wrong way. My right knee is snapping and wobbly, and I occasionally have pain in the back of my knee. All of these injuries are minor yet troublesome, and I can only think the bike may provide some relief to the high impact of running and bring my workouts back into balance.
I think at one point over the last couple of years, I simply burned out on the bike–specifically the road bike. I primarily rode the mountain bike last year and really enjoyed getting back to riding in the woods again. I had 4 LIVESTRONG events in 5 years and I used these events as a way to focus my rides for a greater purpose. At some point this stopped being a motivator and started being a chore. That’s not what cycling should be.
That’s why I’ve been running more, and mountain biking almost exclusively the last 18 months or so.
Now I feel more ready to return to road cycling again, and I’m looking forward to longer rides of 40, 50, or 60 miles. I want to continue mountain biking, and get out on the cross bike some more–especially to explore those fire roads in Franklin County. All and all I finally feel I have a job that will allow me to more fully enjoy both sports on a more regular basis, and I plan to take full advantage (I already am!).