I’ll always be a runner but…

I’m thinking of getting a road bike. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a runner. Running is at top of my list and, for the foreseeable future, will continue to be.

However, I know I can’t just run. And the probability of getting injured again is quite high (8/10 runners every year get injured…how depressing that??). So I need a back-up plan to stop myself from falling down a well of despair when this happens – because let’s be honest, it’s not if it’s when.

What started this thought process was that I quit my gym membership this month (how very liberating!). I haven’t been for ages. Spin wasn’t doing me any favours as my IT band always felt terrible afterwards and I actually hated every single of the 45 minutes I’m there. I also hate using cardio machines. When I’m injured the last thing I want to do is get on a machine to further my depression. Also, we have a ‘mini’ gym at work which is perfect for all my strength workouts. So really I’m not missing out on much. Except for some cross-training…which is how the road bike scenario has occurred.

Quite a few people at my running club are into their cycling and going on ‘Big Rides’ so my interest was peaked. They’ve given me so much good advice (as have some other non-runners I’ve been asking too – it’s amazing how many cyclists I actually know). Though I do feel a little overwhelmed with information. Running is so much more simple – believe me!

This weekend I’m hopefully going to be borrowing a road bike off one of them and joining a group from the club for a 30 mile ride on Monday morning. Gargh! Though I’m terrified because I actually don’t know how good a cyclist I am, I’m very excited. I do love a good personal challenge and it’ll be great if the weather’s nice. Though I’ll be using clip-on shoes…I’ll keep you informed of how many times I fall off the bike.

The plan is that I’m hoping to get myself a relatively inexpensive road bike soonish (not a rubbish one but not one I need remortgage the house for). Then I’m thinking maybe once a week, or every two weeks, to get a good ride in. All supplementary to my running of course 😉

Now that the weather is getting better(ish) and the mornings and evenings lighter it seems like a good time to start. Ben is keen too (and secretly I think he hopes he can out-cycle me as I can currently out-run him 😉 so it’s all looking good. Just need to get kitted out with those oh-so-attractive padded shorts, get road bikes and zoom zoom zoom. Or, more likely, amble along slowly, fall off, continue to amble along slowly.

This is not a precursor for me becoming a triathlete though. I am fine with just running events at the moment. This is just about trying some different and hopefully distract my body from getting injured 😉

If any cyclist out there have any advice, I’m all ears!

Do you enjoy cycling?

What cross-training do you do?

Have you ever taken up a sport your not familiar with?

21 Replies to “I’ll always be a runner but…”

  1. 8/10 runners get injured?! Those stats are depressing!
    Our club is very big on biking as well, and our tri-section has tripled in size this year. They organise outdoor swimming sessions each week and a couple of long bike rides. Although I would love to challenge myself to a tri one day I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much as running and would not be able to put in the quality time required for the event.
    I did bike when I was injured last Summer…on a very old and very rubbish bike. Although I enjoyed the change I still prefer running and I’m not sure I’d enjoy the pressure of biking with a large group of others regularly.
    Fingers crossed the biking results in less injuries!
    Mary recently posted…Preparing for the 12 hour Conti raceMy Profile

    1. That’s amazing about your club. Our club is very small so it’s only a small fringe of people who are biking alongside the running, and literally a handful doing triathlons!

  2. Eeeeps! You have no idea how much this post made me smile – but only ‘cos I love cycling so much lol. I think your idea of borrowing a bike in the first instance is a good one, but just bear in mind that if you haven’t cycled in yonks then it will feel odd, and you will probably be quite sore (especially your bum!). When I first got clip shoes I fell off – I did a comedy fall where I stopped and then realised I needed to unclip instead of just putting my foot on the floor….I fell over sideways! As long as you try and look ahead to anticipate where you may need to stop then you should be fine. Hope you have fun 🙂

    1. It’s funny because I thought this post might appeal to you hehe.
      I will likely be very sore, fall off lots and make lots of rookie errors. But at least you guys can have a good laugh at my expense hehe.

  3. Definitely a good idea to mix up your training.
    I’ve been saving for a road bike for a while now (I need one as I’ve got a triathlon in August) and someone from my Tri Club offered me his old bike for free yesterday! I collect it on Monday, but I am super nervous about going out on it. Like you say, running is so much more simple compared to cycling!
    Lucy recently posted…New York: ShoppingMy Profile

    1. Wow that’s so handy someone is offering you one for free!! Very jealous.
      Hard part about cycling is it’s not just pedestrians you have to worry about, it’s large moving vehicles!

  4. That is quite a depressing statistic about running, isn’t it. I have a bad knee that stops me from running as much as I would like to, so cycling is a good alternative for me. I live pretty much right in the city though, so I keep my cycling to the stationary bike at the gym.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Healthy Apple Pie OatsMy Profile

  5. I like cycling, but I hate cycling on the roads as the cars, lorries and buses terrify me. Before I learnt to drive I cycled everywhere but I would not do that now- my bike has not been out the garage in a year or two I imagine. I like cycling on holiday when there are cycle paths/ old railway lines etc.
    Clip on shoes sound scary! Good luck!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Coconut browniesMy Profile

    1. Ahh a cycling holiday sounds lovely! I think one day I’ll persuade Ben to do that. I just love the thought of staying somewhere and then cycling to another location and exploring there too.

  6. I can’t actually ride a bike very well and the thought of cycling on the road terrifies me but my sisters husband is a pond distance runner as well as a long distance cyclist and he absolutely loves it! I do all sorts of training, lots of circuits, weights, HIIT, bit of running, walking and yoga…..I like to mix it up as it keeps me interested!
    Tamzin recently posted…April Was Rather Tasty…..My Profile

    1. Wow yeah I definitely want to vary things a little more as I am so stuck on running at the moment.
      Tee hee, I did have a chuckle at the ‘pond’ distance runner – thought it was some crazy Tough Mudder style running to begin with 😉

  7. I think that’s SUCH a smart idea- it’s always good to be heavily invested in several things so your life doesn’t feel like it’s ending if something stops you from doing one!

  8. I am an absolutely useless cyclist, but I did start to enjoy it during 2011 when I was struggling with three stress fractures within as many months and couldn’t do much else apart from swim. I NEVER enjoyed swimming at any point in time. Cycling can be very freeing, particularly if you’re able to achieve decent speeds without much effort (I couldn’t…). I would still do it if the roads weren’t so dangerous – the only time I ever felt safe to go out was at 5:30am on a Sunday morning when everyone else was in bed! You will gain an entirely new level of hatred for inconsiderate motorists as a cyclist….trust me on that one!

    In the end I’m sticking to spinning as I feel it’s a lot safer and I really, genuinely do enjoy it. I love all of the Les Mills classes my gym offers as well, and I am ‘that’ weirdo that could spend ages on an elliptical too…except the machines at my gym aren’t great, so I tend not to use them much. Absolutely nothing compares to running though. I definitely understand the ‘I’ll always be a runner at heart’ mentality.

    Keep us updated on your cycling adventures though – I hope your ride goes well!

    Jess recently posted…False IdolsMy Profile

    1. Yeah I’m with you on the swimming thing. I hate it. I like being outside and, like you said, the feeling of being ‘free’.
      Yes I’m feeling very scared about cycling on the road so I’m glad I’m at least with a group for my ‘first time’. And I’m sure road rage will occur frequently!
      If my (old) gym had TVs on the machines then that might have encouraged me to stay on them longer. I need mental stimulation to stop me getting bored. There’s only so much people watching I can do.

    1. Yeah I have a very old and heavy bike but I wanted a ‘proper’ road bike so I could really get going and enjoy it. I don’t even properly fit on my current bike – it’s too big!

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