Cross-Training - CycleBlaze

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Cross-Training

Gregory Garceau

I brag about my daily bike riding as often as I can, but is that enough to keep me in shape?  I like hiking too.  Walking seems to strengthen other leg muscles and give me a new perspective.  An occasional swim makes my arms and lungs feel good too.

My brother texted me yesterday to see if I wanted to play a game of tennis.  What the hell?  We hadn't played tennis against each other, or against anybody else, for at least 20 years.  I haven't done anything that involved such hard core running, shifting directions on a dime, and other stress on knees and joints in a very long time.

I was amazed that I could even find my old tennis racket.  He couldn't find his, so he ended up buying a new one this morning.

Each of us revived our old competitive spirit.  We battled like Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors.  The only difference is that we were about 35 years older than those guys were.

The highlight was the ninth game.  We began tied at 4-4 and it extended into multiple ad-in, ad-out situations.  There was even a crazy back and forth volley, after which we were both flabbergasted at the amazing shots we made.  During that game, I rushed the net, my brother saw that and lobbed a shot over my head.  I raced back, got seriously twisted around, tripped over my own feet and could not regain my balance.  I fell hard and banged my head on the pavement.  I immediately felt a lump on my head.  Thank goodness, I was not concussed and I was able to finish the game.  

Though I lost the game, I felt pretty good about the cross-training.  The cardiovascular stuff seemed more challenging than bike riding alone.  I look forward to playing more tennis with my brother.  Perhaps we will also revive our intense basketball rivalry.

Anybody else do such cross-training?

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1 week ago
Graham SmithTo Gregory Garceau

Greg I felt breathless and slightly cramped just reading your post. The thought of playing tennis sent several of my joints into hiding.

My normal activity routine does include a ‘sort of’ cross training routine. I swim about 10km per week, cycle 50-100 km and walk Jester the dog about 30-50km. So my cardio fitness is ok.

However, back to the tennis, my flexibility and strength are fairly poor and getting worse with age, so recently I started attending  classes which involve an hour per week of guided ‘Strength & Flex’ activity.

As a daily follow up, I try to do at least 3-4 of the exercises I’ve learned at the classes. Overall I’m feeling the benefit, but I’m still very cautious about any intense exercise needing rapid movements or changes of direction.   The risk of rips, tears and snaps of my tendons, ligaments and cartilage are too high.

The classes I attend are run by a student of Kit Lachlan who wrote a high selling, research based book on remediating back and neck pain with exercise.  

More information here: 

https://stretchtherapy.net/

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1 week ago
Mike AylingTo Gregory Garceau

I reckon that Graham must be as fit as a Mallee bull with his exercise regime.

Mary and I have passed our Biblical use by date and attend a weekly Strength and Balance class. Lots of standing on one foot (or attempting to do so) with arms in various positions. Walking toe to heel forward and backwards. Lunges, squats and upper body exercises using light weights and thera bands. Balance is very important as we age.

I also walk behind our rescue Greyhound for about an hour a day. 

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1 week ago
Keith KleinTo Gregory Garceau

Hi,

My wife says I’m cross enough, and shouldn’t be training for that. But seriously, when I was younger I ran, then my back couldn’t stand the pounding, then I walked until ditto, I swam until the chlorine became too much and then the lake froze over,  and canoed until we moved to a river- and lake-free neighborhood. The trouble is I can’t be bothered to find substitute activities. My gym and weight room days ended with grad school, which was a long time ago. Should I exercise more? Probably, but it’s doubtful I will. Biking now is my most frequent exercise, and will probably stay that way.

Cheers,

Keith

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1 week ago
Gregory GarceauTo Graham Smith

Graham, I knew you were a swimmer, but I didn't know about the rest of your exercise regimen.  You could get out there and do a triathlon.  I'm impressed.   

As for me, perhaps I was feeling an adrenaline high yesterday when I started this forum topic.  You could even say I was a little cocky about my tennis exploits.  Well, today, I have soreness and stiffness in almost every muscle and joint in my body.  I'm sure I won't be playing tennis again for at least a couple weeks.

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1 week ago
Gregory GarceauTo Mike Ayling

Hi Mike, and thanks for sharing your experience with the strength and balance classes.  I used to be a wrestler in high school and college, and I still do some of the same warm-up stretches I did back then before a match.  But I think I need to emulate you and Mary and get a little more disciplined in that regard. 

And yes, our dogs do help keep us active, don't they?

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1 week ago
Gregory GarceauTo Keith Klein

Keith, even though you don't run, swim or canoe anymore, I'm sure those activities have given you a pretty solid foundation that will last a lifetime.

I won't do the gym and weight room stuff anymore either.  Too boring.  I always felt the same about running too--unless the running was done to chase down a tennis shot, or steal second base, or catch a pass, etc.

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1 week ago
Bob DistelbergTo Gregory Garceau

For most of my adult life, I considered myself a dedicated runner. Back about ten years ago I had an unfortunate disagreement with an icy patch on the road that caused an injury sidelining me from running. That’s when I really started focusing on cycling and abandoned running altogether. Just in the last couple years, I decided I sort of missed thinking of myself as a runner and also worried that I really wasn’t doing much weight-bearing exercise. So, I’ve eased myself back into running (slowly) three times a week in addition to cycling just about every day. It really does seem to use different muscles, as evidenced by how hard it was to start back up after a five year layoff despite all the cycling.

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1 week ago
Gregory GarceauTo Bob Distelberg

Bob, Kudos for getting back into the running routine.  Just watch out for that damn ice.

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1 week ago
Bill StoneTo Gregory Garceau

Most of my cross training occurs when I'm forced to dismount and push the stupid bicycle up steep hills.

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1 week ago