The weather has turned a corner for the Midwest faithful. We have entered 80 degrees and muggy as all get out.
You know what that means?
A few tougher workouts, an extra load of sweat, and miserable runs if you don’t try to beat the peak temperatures.
Now you probably think that you know what is coming right? “Hydrate!” I am here to not say that, though it is important for your health and safety with the heat.
I am here to talk about cycling, or in my case, biking.
I say that because those are two very different things. Biking is what average Joe’s like me do, college kids on their way to class, a parent with their children on vacation. Biking is a hobby.
Cycling on the other hand is what the 30 for 30 “Slaying the Badger” (which I love) is about. Cycling is when you put the helmet on, have the fancy outfit, wake up early, and put some serious money into your bicycle and gear.
The humidity and the heat currently has made a big jump. Your body may not be reacting so kindly to the weather changing up.
However, biking produces a natural breeze, allows you to feel like you have exercised for the day, helps you to soak up the sun, and beats on your body less than running does.
On quite warm days, a nice bike ride may be a great move to replace a double, or just to help you work on your tan (I got burnt on a 33 mile ride on Memorial Day).
Personally, I am biking a lot due to a few bothersome muscles. Cross-training is a good way to stay in shape and stay healthy while taking some of the load off of different joints and muscles in the process.
It isn’t the same thing as running, but it is a way to get outside and raise your heart rate at least somewhat. You can still do fartleks, or repeats, tempos are harder based on possible stops and traffic but you could (I wouldn’t though).
Arguably my favorite part about biking that is harder in running, is you can explore more. You don’t have to drive out anywhere typically to get a ride in to see something you wanted to or something you have never seen. Biking back roads, bike paths, around a lake, to a town you’ve never been to are all exciting to me.
Through Madison I love exploring new neighborhoods and biking loops. The Lake Monona loop is a classic 15 miler, the Lake Mendotta loop is a great change up taking you through sweet neighborhoods like Maple Bluff and by Governor Nelson State Park.
The only downside to biking compared to running is that it takes longer. To get a solid workout on a bike you need to bike for longer than a typical run would be. To bike the same mileage in a week as you would run at peak is extremely easy.
However, I think some shorter bikes throughout the week with your training can be great. Maybe bump your mileage down 5 or 10 miles and do 90 minutes of riding or two 50 minute rides or something along those lines.
With all of that being said, in the heat running is much hotter and harder than biking is.
Now as you may know, I am a frequent Strava user. I also have a Garmin Forerunner 235 watch, meaning I am a Garmin Connect user as well.
Now after my Memorial Day ride I received a Garmin Connect notification that I had completed a badge of climbing during a ride. Once I saw this, I saw that there was a badge for climbing more (2000ft) elevation in one ride.
Me being the stubborn fool that I am, decided that I was going to try to achieve that feat soon, oh, how about the next day.
I woke up and got out the door and biked to the country roads near Middleton and Verona. They have some good hills out there. A little break to eat a snack and gulp some water at the 20 and 40 mile mark. I thought there was no way with the hills I had biked and going 50 miles (my longest ride ever) that I would not achieve the badge.
Upload my activity, change out of my sweaty clothes and clean up a touch. Fully expecting to see the badge once I am done with that.
I received a badge for riding 50 miles in one activity, but nothing else. I go to check my Strava upload as well (me the guy that overthinks things from time to time).
You can check my activity on Strava here!
Sure enough, 2678 feet of elevation gain during my ride. I am confident, I am happy, just have to refresh Garmin probably right?
Wrong… Garmin says I climbed 1940 feet. I was crushed. A giant ride, taking over 3 hours. My butt was sweaty, my backpack was sweaty, my clothes were ridiculously gross. I fought the good fight, and the referees said no way buddy.
Broken mentally and physically (just until a nap) I had given what I had. I don’t know how to check elevation during the ride, and it seemed like something I wouldn’t be able to do again.
However, a day later, I have recovered and plan on giving that another shot sometime, hopefully somebody else can ride with me for some of it, but I’ll be ready for the next one.
In other words, I plan on biking 200 miles this week to do something I’ve never done and maybe do a 10 mile bike time trial sometime around the bend.
If there is anytime to try something new, set an odd goal, or just change it up, it is now!
This is just like the podcast that will be released tomorrow, as Owen Howard joins us to discuss his “Myhtic Run around Isabella County”!
For now, grind on, mile by mile, and keep getting better!