staying in shape over the winter

Cripes it’s cold in New York right now. You Minnesotans probably consider us wimps.  But I’m not listening.

I’m still out and riding every day but I must confess: it’s not on a recumbent. I’m riding my “fast beater bike,” a Surly Cross Check with 40mm Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tires (got ’em for sale if you want ’em). I find it easier to balance the Cross Check on the slushy stuff and I just can’t stand making a mess of my Rans Rocket so, for now, I’m unbented.  Unfortunately, this means my recumbent muscles are at risk of getting weak.

So, how do I stay in shape over the winter?

In my daily “commuter” cycling — I’m usually in a rush.  Combine that with studded tires and you’re talking a workout.  I also get in some walking and hiking to keep those muscles awake.

Above all else, though, I swim.  Winter and spring are the racing seasons for U.S. Masters Swimming and I swim every weekday and enter roughly one meet per month.  That keeps the cardio strong.  And since my event is the individual medley, the various kicks work a wide range of leg muscles.

Of particular note, though, is that I like jumping rope, whether while running or in place.  It’s amazing cardio exercise, but also great for the legs.  I particularly like that I can test the strength of my individual legs by jumping just on one leg, then the other, and then work harder on the weaker leg.

I know people who like lunges.  And burpees are great (and hard) too, though I tend to lose interest after a short time (probably because they’re so hard).  And lunges sometimes hurt my knees.

And if, after all that, you’re feeling cabin fever but don’t want to mess up your bent with all that salty slush, well, then just go out for a cold weather jog.  You’ll feel wonderful when you get back home.  And you’ll feel even better once those warm April days hit.

Best,
Robert
————
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2011 Robert Matson