If I could run every day, I probably would, but I’m just not that durable. I’ve attempted to increase the number of days I run and found I can do it for a while, but after a couple months the injuries begin creeping in and I eventually have to back off. Three quality running days a week, with at least one full recovery day between runs, seems to be the sweet spot for me, where I’m able to achieve consistency in my running without interruption.
With three days a week set aside for running, that leaves four days to find something aerobic to supplement my running. I like to bike ride, but found it to be too dangerous at 5 am in the morning or even commuting to work. I just don’t trust drivers out there to share the streets, I’ve had too many close calls over the years. I considered swimming, but the pool in my area isn’t open early in the morning and it is usually too cold anyway.
When I was having Achilles tendon troubles earlier this year and had to cut back on my running, I decided to invest in a bike trainer to try and maintain some level of fitness. I can honestly say it has been well worth the money and wish I would have bought one years ago. My wife, who rarely exercised before, uses it on a daily basis. I usually use it four times a week and has been a nice back-up when I’m unable to run due to weather or injury.
The benefits of a bike trainer to supplement your running are numerous. Train indoors when the weather is horrible outside; get your workout in anytime – day or night; save time since there is no need to go to the gym to use the spin bike; has a small footprint and can be set-up almost anyplace in the house; get a good aerobic workout without impact to the joints; no worries about traffic; listen to music or podcasts while you workout; great way to do some high intensity interval training; and no stopping or coasting.
Boredom can creep in, but I’ve found that I can keep myself entertained for about an hour by listening to music or podcasts or even watching a movie on my iPad. Many people set up their bike trainer in front of a television. So if you are looking for something new to supplement your running, consider getting a quality bike trainer. After using one for the past six months, it has now become a major component in my fitness regimen.