Friday, November 2, 2012

Biking Instead of Running

I've been biking instead of running for the last two days. I'm not giving up on running I'm cross training. In three hours of biking in two days time I learned a few important things about myself. I'm pretty fidgety with my cardio (biking or running) until I get past that 30 minute phase, I need lots of water, I have some knitting techniques to perfect, and I'm quite crafty when I'm in the thick of my cardio workout.

Those first 30 minutes are critical. When I'm running I find that comfort zone between mile 2 and 3 that is 20-30 minutes on a good run. When I'm biking I finally settle down and get into the groove at about that same time. For both of my morning rides it was dog interruptions and water needs that provided the interruptions. The dogs are adorable, cuddly, and entertaining. They are also quite busy in neighborhood politics and don't feel any of the other dogs should go past their house ever. They are not big dogs with loud barks that would scare away anyone. They are Yorkie mixes with determination. Their determination keeps me from my focus early into the ride.

Meeting my water needs are interesting on the bike. When I run outdoors I carry water in my Camel Bak. I don't want to wear that when I'm riding on the stationary bike. I have a few lovely stainless steel water bottles but they seem to be hanging out at the gym when I'm hanging out at home. My fix? A glass filled with water put on top of the book case. I have to slow down but I can still drink water. There is another down side to the water glass solution, I have to keep getting off the bike to refill it. I am going through four glasses of water in a two hour bike ride!

How is it that biking has me needing to learn new knitting techniques? Well, I'm using my warmups, easy flat run sequences, and cool downs for cardio-knitting. When I cardio-knit I try to knit small projects that will not get caught in my legs. I can even start a sweater on the bike and knit on it until it is fairly long. I found that I cannot hang my knitting bag with my ball of yarn off the handle bars. The yarn hangs so low that it got caught in the toe of my shoe and then wound into my peddle before I could hit the stop button. Fortunately I was only 3 rounds into the sock toes. I did have to break the yarn and start over. Evidently the peddles of a spin bike have grease on them to keep them moving smoothly. Yarn and grease don't mix. I'm now keeping my yarn higher up on the handle bars so it doesn't loop down past my leg. This is what the socks looked like after my first 2 hour ride:

My creative mind feels limitless when I'm in a long cardio session. I think of different writing projects I'd like to do and even start them in my mind. I also think about knitting and spinning projects. Amazingly when I'm running I can imagine myself knitting up big sweaters, large shawls, intricate socks, and even complicated fair isle projects. I usually only remember one or two of these ideas once I've cleaned up and found something to write with. I might need to change that. I might need to find a little notebook and keep it with my running gear so I can jot down notes when my run is complete. I could end up with an unending list of creative ideas.

With these longer cardio sessions I'm finding I need quick fuel and extra snacks. I am fairly strict with my 3 big meals and at least one snack a day. Adding in that extra snack is giving me so much more energy for my day. What have I added in? I'm making myself protein shakes. There are a large variety of protein shakes on the market. The TLS program that I coach uses this shake. I have many of my clients using this shake with excellent results. It is a great product that helps them feel satisfied both in their basic hunger needs and in that stubborn sweet tooth area. Unfortunately I cannot use it. I have a sensitivity to the whey based shakes. I'm using a rice protein powder to make my shake. I thought I'd share that today since there are many people who have dairy and soy sensitivities and may need a solution.It has been so long since I've eaten cinnamon rolls this combination tastes just like a cinnamon roll to me.

Basic Protein Shake

1 serving of vanilla protein powder of choice
8 oz unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp peanut butter

Blend all ingredients using a blender or an immersion hand blender.


  1. Thank you for sharing this simple shake. I use egg protein and almond milk and of course the cinnamon too; iam going to try adding the pb. People have no idea how good they would feel having two shakes like this a day, especially if they enjoyed one right after exercise.

  2. Omgeeee!!!! Ive been thinking about knitting while doing cardio... ive seen fellas reading books and magazines in the gym and i figured i could knit too, right? Lol. Thanks for the idea!!