Getting back up again

Last night I joined a gym for the first time in years. This foot injury seems like a good opportunity for me to work on my strength and flexibility; things I’ve not paid much attention to since I started this whole ‘get fit again’ thing last year.

It felt familiar to walk into the gym this morning to do my first session. I have a book The Outdoor Athlete in which are listed a range of strength programs specifically suited to outdoor athletes, like mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners and mountaineers. The programs are separated into phases from ‘return after absence from gym work’ through to ‘strength and endurance’.

I am starting out with the easiest two routines for the next 2-3 weeks. It will allow me to assess where my muscular strength is at and build on it safely. My goal is not to bulk up but to strengthen my body to help reduce the risk of further injury after the ones I have are healed.

I started my session with 10 minutes on the stationery bike. The gym has some nice triathlon bike inspired machines complete with tri bars and fully adjustable saddles. While it was boring, I was able to settle into a nice 105RPM cadence for the full 10 minutes and didn’t once have to worry about a traffic light or idiot in a car trying to kill me. So there were some benefits.

After my aerobic warm up I hit the weights. I started out light today because my body’s not used to doing repeated strength movements and I don’t know what my limits are. I did 2 sets of 12 reps for each exercise with a 60 second rest between each set.

Exercise

Weight

Barbell back squat

20kg

Dumbell overhead press

7kg

Push-up

Body

Dumbell shrug

7kg

One-arm dumbbell row

7kg

Ball leg curl

Body

Lat pull down

30kg

Leg extension

30kg / 20kg

The barbell back squat put a bit too much pressure on my injured foot so I need to find an alternative exercise; I’ll do some online research today.

After pumping iron I returned to the aerobic machines. I started out trying the eliptical machine but it hurt my foot too much so I swapped to the reclining stationery bicycle. I cycled for 10 minutes at 115RPM. I wanted to keep my legs spinning, rather than pushing heavy loads because I’m currently not allowed to cycle uphill due to the strain I put on my calf at the weekend when I aggravated my shin splints. I think the high RPM cycling is probably really good for me though because I got a good sweat up and it will help me increase my cadence both when cycling on the road and when I get back to running.

Total: Weights + 20 minutes stationery bike.

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10 responses to “Getting back up again

  1. Solid gym workout! I find that I need to do some weight training, even during race season. It really does help prevent injury I believe, even doing light training.

    • Thanks Amyteru. It felt nice and solid too πŸ™‚ Perhaps that’s what I need to do too – consistent weight training even when I’m training for racing. How do you fit it in though? I only like to train 30-90 minutes 4 times a week plus one 1.5-3 hour session on the weekend. I find that gym takes a lot of time and I prefer to be outdoors. Any tips are very much welcome πŸ™‚

      • Weight training doesn’t have to take a long time- spend about 30 minutes a couple times a week. I like to do a 15-20 minute warm-up prior to the weight training on the bike or treadmill, but that could easily be outdoors.

  2. Hi Andrew . . . I’m not ignoring your blog, just very busy at the moment and am catching up gradually reading your posts on my phone, which is why I haven’t been commenting. I haven’t caught up yet; going to sit down at the weekend sometime and have a good read. I’ll be back to you soon with my comments πŸ™‚

    Hope your foot heals soon for you. Good workout by the way πŸ™‚

    • That’s okay Sally πŸ™‚ I often read blogs on my phone too, which makes it difficult to comment. I hope you’ve been busy on cycling adventures.

      Perhaps I need to do some bikepacking this summer while I’m unable to run or hike. Maybe towards the end of my recovery period when the foot is getting stronger again. Hmmm … I have two weeks off work over Christmas so maybe I can go on a short tour for a few days. I have a gear rack somewhere for my MTB. It’d have to be a short trip because Christmas is bloody hot here …

  3. Way to keep your workouts going, despite the injuries! I love your positive attitude.

    • It was a good workout. Somehow, gym work in summer always feels solid. It’s the heat and sweat in the unairconditioned gym that does it πŸ˜‰

      I have decided to stay positive. See, up until about 16 months ago, I suffered from generalised anxiety disorder, which also used to make me depressed. I did a lot of work to recover from those conditions and am determined to stay emotionally healthy. A big part of my success in overcoming the GAD is my physical fitness. And this is a good opportunity for me to remember that (and to prove to myself that I have recovered from the GAD).

      At least with a foot injury I can still train, laugh and have a good time. πŸ˜€

  4. Hi, how about getting back to more swimming too? That should be pretty easy on your foot, especially if you do pull. And if you can find somewhere to go outside regularly then it would be even more fun! Or kayaking? Aquajogging?

    In any case, I imagine you’ll be back to go back to full biking pretty soon as it is such low impact and learning to spin is never a bad thing. πŸ™‚

    If you like heat and sweat in a gym you should go to spinning classes! I nearly melted the first time I tried one πŸ˜€

    Injuries are never welcome, but have fun and stay positive.

    • It’s funny you should mention swimming πŸ™‚ I have just come back from a 2.2km session this morning. I really enjoyed it.

      I am looking forward to a summer of cycling. At the moment it still hurts a bit to put pressure on my foot when pedaling but I’m sure that will go away in a few weeks once the initial injury settles down and starts healing. Once the initial tenderness settles I might just give spin classes a go …

      I’m just seeing the injury as an opportunity to reconnect with the other activities I enjoy …

    • G’day Rosemary,

      I am getting into some cycling. I think I’m going to give Audax cycling a go. There seems to be a very active Audax community here in Australia. It looks like a fantastic way to find some nice roads to ride and to meet other cyclists who are cycling for pleasure, not speed. I have emailed an event organiser to see about doing a 50km as my first and have printed the entire year’s Audax Australia calendar for Queensland (the state I live in) off the internet. It seems like a good time to get into the sport too because the season starts on 1 November … Means my goal oriented self can set a goal for some realistic awards πŸ™‚

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