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Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.(13 posts)

Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.SilentBob
Jan 16, 2002 7:43 AM
Ok, here it is... I'm out of shape. I hate it. So I sold my mountain bike. Bought a road bike. Scoped some gyms and started running. My question is how do I accomplish this training "correctly"? I know "correctly" is a fuzzy word so I'll try to explain. When I was in college (2 years ago), I was going to the gym and running. I noticed that when I missed a day at the gym, my run was that much easier, and vice-versa. Basically, I'm wondering how I go about training and not allowing the fatigue from one excercise to hinder the workout of another. I don't want my rides to suck b/c I'm running, and I don't want to be wiped out after the first 10 minutes in the gym b/c of riding, etc. I want to balance this all out. Any and all help is appreciated, whether it's advice or it's a web-site or book.

re: Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.husker
Jan 16, 2002 8:18 AM
This will be by no means a scientific explanation, just from my own experiences (that is my disclaimer). There is no way getting around the fact that if you are cross training for fitness that you will be sore for a while, but you will get over it. Consistancy is the key, plus plenty of stretching and WATER! For fitness reasons there are two numbers to keep in mind, 20 Minutes: The point where the cardio-vascular stuff kicks in and 40 minutes, that when the fat-burning stuff happens (especially when running). Of course lots of people will probably tell you otherwise. So let the flamming begin.

By the way Silent Bob, how is Jay?
Jay? Token up as usual... that drug dealing bastard! (nm)SilentBob
Jan 17, 2002 5:49 AM
Specialized activity and goals...tempete
Jan 16, 2002 8:37 AM
Cross training is what I do in the winter. I don't get "biked out" or run down by excess of any of the chosen means. The purist will say I don't bike enough. To each his/her one way... I get to spring with all the miles I need, believe me.

I go to a gym. It offers me a stable environment, rain or shine, snow or wind. I also run, ski, and of course ride a roller in the basement of my house... Then I also play hockey in a league and outside when I feel like it. (Hockey don't count in my training, it on my rest day)

My trick is to select an activity for a specific goal. Keep in mind that I prepared myself until I was ready for high intensity...

For example; I use a cross-trainer machine at the gym for high intensity cardio work out (90-100% max).

The next day I go to the gym again, but I do lots of back and abdominal work, plus leg presses, stretching. It's cardio rest, but muscle work. A little of stationnary bike for warm-up and cool-down... Helps transition between muscle growth and leg speed.

The next day, I'll go for a medium (80% max) intensity X-C ski ride on the mountain (You can ski in the city, at night in Montreal! Great!) But it could be swimming, thread mill running. (With spring coming, some roller time comes in on top of that) And always some abdominal work-out and stretch.

Next day should be rest day... I usually play hockey on this day! Just for fun... Stretching only.

Coming back after the rest day is low intensity distance running. (Simply because I cannot ride outside, so I run for one hour. Otherwise I would ride for two hours 60% of max capacity) Ride the roller if I feel like it, but the goal is to do something else...

During the weekend; I'll see what weather brings; it can be a rest day with spinning on the roller for up to one hour (cut in in 20 min with streching to start?) and one day a long slow distance of either running (2 hours) or ski, or a very long walk with the wife and dogs! (Hiking).

Spring coming, everything is focused on the bike. The gym is used for light musculation and streching.

In short: one activity for intensity, one activity for distance, one activity for mid range effort. Lots of trunk musculation (back/gut), one activity for technical pedaling.

Take a rest day when you feel like it. You will hit the road with the will and power... Transition to full bike form takes one month.
re: Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.JimP
Jan 16, 2002 8:47 AM
If you read the articles in some of the triathlon mags, you will read lots of conflicting theories. Some of the pros work all sports every day, some one sport per day, etc. I raced triathlons for a number of years and rode 7 days a week in the morning, swam 5 days a week at lunch and ran 3 - 4 evenings a week. I was very successful with that regime but you have to "listen to your body" and not confuse tired muscle pain with near injury pain. I also did veg for a couple of days every 2-3 weeks. Good luck and remember to have a good time.
Joe Friel, Training Bible books and TrainingBible.comjs5280
Jan 16, 2002 10:31 AM
Friel does a good job on explaining a complete training programs for Road and Mountain Cycling and Triathlon/Multisport. That's includes building a base (where you're probably at but probably not training correctly for) and how to improve various aspects of performance. He does have programs for triathlons which might work well for you since you run and bike already. You can set up your own program and logging using his book, or is the on-line form of his program. I like the on-line option because a lot of the planning/logging work is done for you but I recommend buying the book so you can understand more about his methodologies, why your doing what your doing which really is the most important thing. For $60 you can buy one of his books and sign up for 3 months online. A fairly small investment. I'm primarily a cyclist, but I like the diversity of training for run, bike, swim, plus swimming is good for the upper body which the other two don't impact as much. Plus I can do some Tri's this spring and summer which will be fun.

My guess is if you're worn out from the day before, you're probably over doing it. Your body needs time to adjust to a regular excerise routine and you need to watch your effort levels. This is what I was referring to above as building a base. If you kill yourself everytime, you'll probably just demotivate yourself and quit. Heart Rate training I find is real effective for regulating your intensity. Friel uses this approach and his program is based on methodic training based on Heart Rate where you don't have to kill yourself going 110% everytime (which is actually counterproductive because you've overtrained) yet be a healthy and/or competitive athlete. In fact, sometimes if feels too easy but in reality, you are improving and harder workouts come periodically to boost those performance aspects. There are many other programs out there so look around. The important thing though is to find a program and stick to it for a while. Sure you'll miss days and here and there, everyone does. But you'll learn what works for you, keeps you motivated, and gets you the results you're looking for. Good luck!
Joe Friel, Training Bible books and TrainingBible.comSilentBob
Jan 17, 2002 5:51 AM
Cool, thanx for the info. I picked up a heart rate monitor two days ago. Should make things a little more fun.
Don't forget to cross dress also!grzy
Jan 16, 2002 11:44 AM
I mean you need to be in the right gear.....;-)

Mix it up, have fun, use a HRM, and avoid injury.
re: Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.jrm
Jan 16, 2002 12:12 PM
i found that i would fine if i ran one day and rode the next, but it didnt work the other way around. or you can, do a upper body workout one day and ride the next day, alternating each day and taking days off.
re: Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.DINOSAUR
Jan 16, 2002 4:38 PM
I think the cross training thing is mostly a winter type activity, when the weather prevents you from getting out on your bike.

I cross train with a Concept2 Rowing machine. It keeps me fit, uses all the major muscle groups and provides a good aerobic workout. If I watch my diet, I can lose weight.

The trouble begins if you turn out to be a rower who cycles.
I haven't been on my bike for two months. It's easy to stay inside where it is nice an warm.

During cycling season it's all I can do just to maintain a cycling program, anything else I try just takes away from it...

If you want to cross train just to keep in shape, fine. But if you want to be a cyclist, you need to put in a lot of miles on your bike...

From reading your post it sounds like you just want to get in shape, there should be someone at your gym that can help you with a program perhaps?
re: Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.SilentBob
Jan 17, 2002 5:58 AM
I not only want to get in shape but I want to get my ass back on a mountain bike in the summer. In order to do that I need to ride now b/c I hate sucking wind on the trail. As for the running part, I've always been a better runner than rider and it's a skill that I don't want to lose. Not only that, it's a different workout. Finally, the gym... overall, I just want to be in better shape and put some muscle mass on. When I use to go to the gym I felt a thousand times better, physically and mentally. Anyway, I'm interested in biking, running, and lifting so I figured why should I just chose one. The idea of competing in a race is also attractive but in order to do that, one needs to train a bit. Thanx for the post.
re: Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.DINOSAUR
Jan 17, 2002 8:20 AM
I stumbled on cycling back in the early 70's as a way to keep fit. Like you, I was a better runner than a cyclist. As the years have gone by I've discovered other ways to keep fit, but cycling for me is just plain fun. There are tons of weight training/bodybuilding programs. When I retired at the end of '98 I was into weightlifting. I purchased a book "The New Encylopedia of Modern Bodybuilding" by Arnold Swchwarzenegger. I also purchased a new road bike. I sat down and went through the book and looked at all the split routine bodybuilding programs. I would have had to join a gym as a few of the exercises required special equipment. So I said screw it and just concentrated on riding my bike.

Another thing is nothing is the same for everyone, you have to experiment. Half the battle is between your ears and staying motivated, which is my big problem. I do cross train, but only in the winter when I can't ride.

When I crossed trained cycling and running it was every other day balancing out the two. But it came down to one sport, and I opted for running until I eventually injured myself and came back to cycling.

I found also thas as I get older diet is more important as your metabolism changes. I learned to eat like a bird, which might be a misnomer as birds actually eat a lot.

My cycling plan has no stucture at all, "just ride lots", weather permitting, and try to increase my long ride distance gradually as the season goes by.

No answers here and a lot of rambling, but I think it comes down to no one program fits all, however a lot of people get rich writing books (and making movies)...
re: Cross Training -- Help, just starting out.SilentBob
Jan 17, 2002 11:15 AM
Ahhh... motivation. When it comes to exercising, my talent of "procrastination" is greater. I got the heart rate monitor so I can see my progress to help with the motivation. I figure I'll drop my training in front of the TV in the morning and watch some sport center or the news. Staring at the TV is better than staring at the wall. Once I'm use to getting up early and exercising... I'll start hitting the gym at the place I work (only 1 mile away from where I live). I figure I'll start hitting the treadmills in there until warmer weather permits me to run and bike outside. Weight lifting is just added in there b/c I want to feel stronger and put on some weight. Yadda yadda yadda... I think motivation is going to be the biggest obsticle. That's why I got the monitor and I'm heading out this weekend to get a book. I'll probably even sign myself up for a race that's in the summer so I'm left with no choice by to do it. When you're out of shape, exercise is work. Once you're in shape, exercise is fun. Thanx again for the post. -TMS-