Running + Cycling are a Great Pair

This past summer I started biking with a group in Mountain View called Integrate Performance Fitness at the recommendation of a friend. The group is fantastic, and the coaches create workouts to take riders' fitness to a whole new level. I'm not so great at doing interval training on my own, and having a coach there to push me makes a huge difference.

The best part is that pushing myself on the bike actually made running feel easier overall. I realized this when I was able to drop my half marathon PR by 7 minutes in Salinas Valley - all I'd done was add this biking class as cross-training. Somewhere during the sprints, intervals and hill climbs I added fitness I wasn't getting from my normal run training. I've never felt better for a race than that day, but I hope I do again in the future.

I took a break from biking shortly after that due to tendonitis, and I'm so glad I finally went back. The winter version of the class is indoors using our bikes with a trainer (too dark in the evening,) and the instructor goes through a number of sprints and hard intervals with recovery time in between. It's the perfect way to come back from an injury; I can back off the intensity if I have any trouble without falling behind as I would in an outdoor ride.

I can already feel how the workouts are helping. My run yesterday felt amazing and I was able to pick up the pace a little too. I had no idea when I started biking, but running and biking really are a great training pair. I even signed up for my first duathlon for March 2012. Of course, the ultimate plan is for a triathlon and I'm feeling pretty confident that'll work out next summer too.

Last, I want to share my outfit from that amazing run yesterday. I bought a fun shirt at the Nike Women's Half Marathon and wore it for the first time. It says 'I run to be sexy' and brought a few smiles as I ran by others on the Bay Trail. What a great way to brighten a day and to well, feel sexy.

Thanks to my fashionable friends - Meghan and Rebecca - for taking these photos!


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