Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Don’t Hate On The Run Homie: Three Running Rules For Cyclists

I used to be a hater of the run, quite frankly because the echoes of my Full Metal Jacket wannabe 7th grade gym teacher screaming “pull hard, finish strong” still tortures me to this day.  Running a mile and militant Phy-Ed teachers rank right up there with your parent’s choice in music on the suck-o-meter when you’re 12.  Now, a couple of decades later, I’ve realized running can live in harmony with my bike, maybe Mister Keller wasn’t a complete tool and maybe the 70’s band Bread wasn’t totally lame.  As a cyclist, running can be great training and just as great an escape, if you choose your routes carefully.  You could only snap the photo above of the Dorado, Puerto Rico coastline on foot.  In that way, running makes me appreciate my rides more.

Rule number one: I only run where I can’t ride a bike.  That can be the first challenge.  Goat path trails and/or stairs mark every running route I do.  Last week on vacation in Puerto Rico coral cliffs, deepish sand and the steep cuts of stream inlets marked my ocean front run.  At home in Cincinnati, I always choose a route that incorporates a couple flights of the cities famous public steps or a detour through the downed branch strewn hiking trails in a local park.  Choosing a route I couldn’t tackle on two wheels helps me explain the running to the evil cyclist in my head.  Being slower, running can reveal details of scenery a bike can’t deliver, like those in these photos of my runs in Dorado, Puerto Rico last week. 

Rule number two: while I usually run 2-3 times a week, I only run when I can’t ride.  Lunch hour is a perfect time to eek in a 40-45 minute run and still have time for a sink shower and wolf down a sandwich in the same time your coworkers drive to McDonalds and make a stop at the mall.  Plus, you can double up on the day with bike ride after work.  At home I run at night, or when weekend trips to Target, fixing this old house, or weather get in the way of a respectable length ride. 

Rule number three: while I usually run anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, I never usually run the entire time.  It makes running more exciting.  I break up my runs with 3-4 sets of crunches, pushups and other core/plyometric exercises.  On my work run, I split the run up at the tops of three big lookout hills.  I did the same in Puerto Rico, stopping at incredible vistas.  At each stop, I hit the dirt and give my 7th grade drill sergeant 25 crunches, 15 pushups, 25 jumping jacks and 15 star jumps.  As I continue on toward the next hill, I hear “pull hard, finish strong” in my head. 


Anonymous said...


seriously, though, as a runophobic cyclist who needs to get over it, i might just be able to use these to trick myself into the occasional run.

and who knew there were so many public steps?


Joe Biker said...

There's a website out there that features a google map of all the steps and whether they're open or closed, just couldn't find it when I wrote the post. I have it printed out at home, do a search and see if you can find it.