In High School, I think my Junior year, I enrolled in a class called body conditioning. It was basic healthy exercise, for the most part in a weight room, learning how the muscles react to what we do. As a High School kid that only played baseball in the summer parks and recreation little-league format, I really had no idea what the body did when we exercise besides build bulk from lifting weight. Abs were not the world then like today. One of the final tests of the class involved some running.
I ran six laps in ten-minutes and fifty-one seconds. That’s a seven and a quarter minute mile for a seventeen year old that had not exercised in any way for two years, and then it was on a bike riding in to town to buy a comic book or role playing game or baseball card. I ran that by pacing the guy in front of me. I let people pass or passed people until I found someone who was in a comfortable pace that matched my stride. I had a mostly dominant leg and I pretty much floated the other leg until I pushed with the dominant one. That’s just how it worked out. I found that runners high but not until the last curve of the last lap, a sixteenth mile before the end.
I got a B. In the end I did not know how to chart progress or set up a plan of exercise in the weight room to benefit anything I was doing. My focus was elsewhere in life, not in the exercise. today things are a bit different. today I ran longer for the first time than I had since then, on purpose. I did squats, lunges, leg lifts, some planks, and seeing the bicycle machine had broken straps and the staircase in the hotel only with three stories of effective use, I decided what the heck. Let’s see how my cardio system handles a run.
Well, I’m surprised. And then I’m not. I’m able to ride with my heart rate way up there for extended periods of time but I’m so anaerobic at this point it’s not funny. I could run a 5k distance if I had to but the legs for running will need some work before I even attempt that. They will need to get used to the impacts in the knees. A ten minute mile at 2% grade says the machine. My shins are not splinting in the end and I understand a benefit exists. This will help the cycling motion and round out the muscles at play. this will also aid in lifting that leg and building the flexor strength as well as the calf and glute muscles. All necessary to climb better, as well as carry a bike up a muddy hill should I need to do that this fall.
Another thing to work on and add to the portfolio of exercise. If I were to do the full on program, I am looking at nearly two hours in the hotel fitness centers each day. I’m lucky to have that time on hand in most of my schedules. Next week I will have it, as well as an overnight at home so I get to have a SECOND ride. Hoorayyy bike!