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Everything counts

New to cycling, it seemed that finding three or four hours in a day to ride was pretty intimidating. I found myself making excuses for not doing any riding if there wasn’t time to get in a ‘long’ ride. I’m now realizing that everything counts.

Short rides
Not enough time to squeeze in a ninety minute or two hour ride? Consider a ride in the morning and again in the afternoon. Two forty five minute rides, combined, equal ninety minutes of time in the saddle. It all counts towards strengthening and conditioning…and preparing for the longer rides to come.

Long rides
I quickly discovered my tendency to ride the same route over and over. A few treks in the same direction tends to grow old fairly quickly. Consider the same ride, in reverse. It becomes brand new ride! Look for ways to things up to keep interesting, fresh and fun.  Look for a new route, a new bike trail. My fondness for Google helped me discover bike paths and trails up to, and through the Colorado Springs area.

Spinning
A spin class is a group ride, on stationery bicycles, set to music. Imagine a room full of cyclists, side by side, riding at their own, personal ability level. Simply stated, it’s an indoor, climate controlled group workout. Ride time may vary from forty-five minutes to an hour.  Spin instructors offer a variety of music, setting a cadence or tempo to ride. Instructors and classes may vary, as will the music selection. Shop to find a class you enjoy, it makes a huge difference. Talk to friends, chat it up with folks at your gym or community center.

Cross training
What exactly is cross training  Cross training allows improvement in overall physical performance. In other words, we get stronger by doing different physical activities, which offers the potential for core strengthing and better balance. Both work toward injury prevention and increased endurance, not to mention the distraction of doing something removed from the day to day focus of cycle training. Core strength gives us the ability to support torso and spine, throughout our movements day to day. Utilizing access to your gym or community center fitness room for weight training or circuit training.

Swimming
Aside from adding the possible change to a workout, swimming benefits circulation, breathing, and core strengthening. Swimming is a very low impact exercise, gentle on our joints. As I trained to become a triathlete, swimming created the perfect outlet in training, for me. I learned to swim laps, not just for the time and distance, but also to help relax and de-stress.

Switching gears has helped me to shift my focus from “How can I do this perfectly?’ to a more reasonable, “How can work in different things and use them to my advantage?”

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By Meredy Brownstein

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