|Spin bike accomplished|
Now, it's been a long time since I've done much swimming, but I had NEVER been on a spin bike. I haven't even been on a regular bike since grad school some eight years ago. I had to ask the attendant how to turn it on. (Hint: You have to pedal first, then press "Quick Start". Also, you could read the place on the dashboard where it says "Pedal first, then press Quick Start.")
My PT had recommended I stick to ~25 minutes at a time, keeping a cadence that roughly matched my stride rate (so ~90/minute), and that I should make like a triathlete & do as much of the pedaling by pulling backwards with my hamstrings as possible in order to avoid activating my quads & protect my hip flexors. (Or....maybe this is just the way you're supposed to ride a bike.)
This all seemed simple enough until I realized that there are different resistance settings, which he'd said nothing about. The settings on this particular bike went from one to twenty, so I figured 10 was the most statistically sound choice. I quickly realized that there was no way I could keep up 90 RPM at that level, so I kept dropping it down until I got to 7, which made the cadence still challenging but do-able. (Weirdly, it seemed to get easier as I went--at first, I was having a hard time keeping it over 85, but then towards the end it kept sneaking up to ~95ish with what felt like about the same level of effort.)
I am VERY happy to report that the bike really didn't bother my hip at all, and had the added benefit of giving me a really good hamstrings workout (which, let's be honest, I need). On the other hand, my sitz bones are crazy sore.
As with swimming, I'm sort of curious if there's any kind of mileage equivalence with running. I don't really need to know; mostly it would just be nice to have vague idea of how much cardiovascular work I'm doing, and running mileage is the yard stick that makes the most sense to me. I've heard people say 3:1 is reasonably accurate, but then I've also heard people say that 100 miles is comparable to running a marathon. And, my theoretical 5.5ish miles on the spin bike (which, btw: real miles, true/false?) supposedly took ~130 calories, which makes it seem like that's roughly equivalent to 1.3 miles of running. I know there are formulas out there for "converting" between bike & run miles for training purposes, but I also think those tend to take into account the wind resistance involved in actual cycling, so I'm guessing those aren't really applicable to spin bikes.
What I'm saying is that I'm utterly clueless.
I've also started trying to go back to yoga. The main thing I've learned is that there are certain poses that work fine, others I have to very carefully work my way into, and others I just plain cannot do. For example, anything that involves a lunge just does not work on the right side. I did once find a way to get into right-foot-forward crescent pose that let me use my glutes & hamstrings rather than my hip flexor muscles, but by the time I got into it, it was pretty much time to move on to another pose. I couldn't quite get it the next time, so my right crescent was basically a right lunge with me supporting my weight on my hands.
For the most part, I know what kinds of things I'm likely to be able to do and what is going to cause me pain, but every now & then something surprises me & I'll grimace to myself, "Huh, who knew hip flexors were involved in that?" Since this was my first yoga class since before the marathon, I was very concerned that one of those things would sneak up on me. I moved pretty slowly & carefully overall, which, it turns out, makes yoga a LOT harder. (I definitely sweated more at this class than I ever have in yoga before.)
So, I guess the good news this week is that I'm Doing Stuff again -- real stuff, beyond planks & bridges & free weights. As always, part of me is incredibly impatient & really wants to start swimming & cycling miles & miles like NOW and go back to doing normal yoga like YESTERDAY, but the difference between 22 year old me & 32 year old me is that I have some measure of self-control on that front. I now actually believe all the talk about how pushing too hard too soon only makes the recovery take that much longer. (I will spare you the numerous stories which constitute what I believe they in the business would call my "learning the hard way.")
So believe me, although it probably sounds like I'm doing a lot right now between swimming and spinning and karate and yoga and strength training, none of it is very intense, and I am keeping a very close eye (nerve?) on how my hip responds. That's part of the reason why I haven't taken a single dose of painkiller of any kind since that first really excruciating night--because I trust the pain I'm still having as a measure of how good / bad whatever I'm doing is for the injury, and damping it down is only likely to cause me to make bad decisions.
More actual serious questions I need answers to:
- Any advice about how to convert spinning mileage to running mileage? (Yes, I get that running miles are running miles and spinning miles are spinning miles and there's no real comparison; I'm just looking for a vaguely accurate way to roughly gauge the amount of cardiovascular work I'm doing. Please don't tell me I have to wear a heart rate monitor.)
- What do you know about spin bike gears / settings?
- Any other tips?