Cycling as well?

After my famed accident, and recovering and fairly happy about rate of recuperation, but I reckon I'll need to be more scientific than I was. With this in mind I'm considering introducing swimming and cycling into my training.

However, I know little about cycling, I do own a rather heavy mountain bike, tho. Does anyone have suggestions about what kind of distance, terrain I should be starting out with? Will I need to change bike? Will I need specific cycling shorts/ any other kit?
I'm not intending to go into duathlon/ triathlon, but it seems to make sense to broaden my fitness regime.

Any advice gratefully received.


  • No doubt you'll get lots of good advice from the boys on the forum. In the meantime, definitely start by heading to your nearest bike shop and spend half your retirement fund on gear. That's what all real men do regardless of fitness, training goals etc.

    After that you'll feel shamed into at least making an appearance on your bike, never mind that it probably weighs 10 times as much as most road bikes (Know the feeling, mine is original Muddy Fox with huge tyres). Then you could suggest family outing, kitting everyone else out in their bog standard shorts & Tshirts as you've spent all the money on your own kit. Get your wife to make up a nice picnic, bribe kids with promise of ice cream at the finish and pick gentle route of a few miles avoiding traffic, hills and packs of serious cyclists doing time trials which will make your own amateurish efforts seem pathetic by comparison.
    Seriously, I'm glad your recuperation is going well. Cycling is brilliant cross training and gets you further afield. Depending on how well you've maintained your fitness during your injuries I'd start with a gentle 10-15 or so miles weekly. Routes, terrain etc will depend on what's available around where you live; personally I avoid busy A roads and actual mountains since you just end up pushing/carrying your bike up and even down the steepest bits. Good luck!
  • Barkles,

    I was in your position exactly a year ago, when I was coming back from a knee injury.
    Is the cycling idea simply a means to an end (i.e. developing cardiovascular fitness further while minimising risk of injury through running)? If so, I wouldn't look beyond buying a helmet for safety. A heavier bike just means you've got to work harder on it, nothing more.
    Have you got a decent soft surface to run on within, say, 5 miles or so of home? If so, try what I used to do last year. Cycle easily to the course, do 20 minutes (30 minutes or whatever) running, then get back onto the bike as fast as possible and thrash it back home. It worked for me.

    Just a thought.
  • To get started your current bike will do you for now – you can reassess if you really get into it, if you want to update –road, MTB Hybrid etc

    The heavier bike will provide a harder workout ;o)

    As far as needed extras go – invest in a good helmet (NEVER GO OUT WITHOUT A HELMET ON) cycle specific shorts although not a must will feel like a must the first time you go out not wearing them

    If you are going to do any riding on the road – wear loud cloths that get you noticed – better to look silly and be seen than be knocked off your bike.

    As far as distance go – you will be fit from running but will not be cycleing fit so start conservatively at about the 5-10 miles mark and build up gradually – like you would if you were returning to running

    Have FUN :o)

  • I use a very light racing bike but twice a week when I ride to work I put two bottles, one filled with sand, in the cages and carry a large rucksack filled withwork wear and if any room left, I fill it with heavy stuff.
    Make sure after you ride that you properly stretch your calfs because cycling shortens them. And your quads too.
  • I was once told by a cycling fanatic that 4 miles of cycling equals 1 mile of running. I'm not sure on the science behind this but it helps if you're wishing to substitute one of your short runs.
  • So......What's the difference between running lycra shorts and cycling shorts?
  • Lycra shorts don't have Chamois/padded inserts that you get on cycling shorts. From a running point of view,I use my cycling lycra for most of my running with there being no difference from the running lycra shorts except that I own a wardrobe full of colourful cycling gear.
  • Is there any mileage in these suits for cycling/swimming? and if so, whichones are good? What's the difference between the various types?
  • I've recently bought a cycle (Road type but not top of the range) so that I can do some low impact workouts due to back injury. I can quite comfortably do 10 miles but it kills my bum, well I won't say where! I'm female, can you buy padded shorts for ladies.
  • Hi Team

    I took up triathlon from a marathon running background and recently completed an Ironman. These tips may be interesting:

    * Work rate on the bike is comparatively lower than on the run. For me, med paced running = c.160bpm heart rate, med paced biking = c.130bpm. Obviously different for everyone, but you get the idea. "Drafting" or following another bike very closely, drops my heart rate another 10bpm or so.

    * Hill climbing on bike offers massive potential for hard work out, but places knees under considerable strain

    * Recommend you stick with mountain bike - I still love riding mine, which is half the battle because you want to ride it. I trained a lot on the mountain bike - it's heavy so requires more work to propel. It also pulls good wheelies!

    * Tri-suits are flashy, but not necessary - they also have minimal padding where you need it most. Spend the cash on a crash helmet and cut down gloves

    * Cycle at a cadance rate of about 90 revs per minute for max efficiency. Use the gears to control effort and speed

    * Take a drink on the bike and a spare tube / levers / pump. It's no fun pushing the bike home 5 miles in the rain!

    * Yes, get the World's brightest jacket - I recommend the yellow and black ONCE team jacket which you can get for about £40. Reduced near misses from about 3 per trip to almost none for me.

    Enjoy that bike - it's a great way to stay fit and build strength.

    As for the swim, it's great for CV fitness and overall strength, but a bit boring in my view. Consider swimming intervals, just as you would when running - 400m warm up, interval session, 400m warm down. Alternatively go for, say, a 1500m to 2000m medium paced effort in place of a 5m run as a rough guide

    Hope this helps

  • Thanks Gavinand everyone else. That's helpful.
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