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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

I can't run but I can ride

I thought the title to this post sounded a bit like a strap-line to a famous film, i.e. "you can run but you can't hide". But after less than a minute of research (isn't Google/wikipedia great!) it turns out that it was actually a quote (slightly misquoted) from the boxer Joe Louis!

Anyway, back to the plot!

It baffles me how I can't run or even walk properly at the moment without some degree of pain, but put me on a bike and I can pedal away as fast as I like completely pain free. I suppose the range of motion of the calf muscles is greatly reduced and more controlled when cycling. I suppose its good news that I am still able to do something to maintain fitness whilst I am unable to run.

It does raise the question though, if it is not hurting then other than helping maintain fitness, is it actually doing my calf any good? My current plan is to use my static cycling machine to both maintain fitness, but also to promote flexibility in the calf and gradually build strength in the problem areas. But if those problem areas aren't causing pain when cycling it probably means they aren't being used and therefore won't be getting any more flexible or any stronger.

Anyway, shouldn't this blog be called InjuryFan rather than parkrunfan? Its all it tends to be about these days. I'll have to talk about something else soon. Its annoying me, let alone anyone else reading this!

So lets focus on my parkrun comeback. My plan to get back running at parkrun is based around taking my time, using the static cycling machine as much as possible and eventually getting out on my mountain bike. I might even use the parkrun route some time for a freedom "parkcycle" instead. At least I'll get the nice feelings I associate with the Coventry parkrun route.

I wonder if anyone will ever start up "parkcycle" as a cycling equivalent to parkrun? There are probably a lot more council related issues with 250 bikes rattling round the park than runners and joggers. All things considered it is probably a bad idea, so hopefully that won't happen.

I even managed to get up half an hour early this morning for 30 minutes on the static bike before my normal morning routine. Half an hour isn't much, but it is an easy amount to fit in and getting up half hour early is no great problem. I may try and do that again as it was very enjoyable and its a nice feeling to have some exercise under your belt so early in the day. I think I'll try to do the same again tomorrow. Its so nice to exercise without getting injured.

This coming weekend's parkrun is still playing heavily on my mind, I know I shouldn't but I also know I probably will. If I do I must run very slowly or risk almost certain re-injury and I really don't want to restart my recovery yet another time!


  1. when it comes to get your mind on something you are almost criminally insane! I feel for you as its something you obviously love but you know what you need to do! And for someone who doesn't read; you write very well!


  2. You know me too well Ping! I am gradually starting to accept that its going to have to be long term treatment or this calf is never going to be right.

    I'm certain that I won't be trying to run fast again until sometime next year. But whether I can manage to control my urges and run a gentle jog round instead remains to be seen.

    But, as you say, I know what I need to do!

    Cheers Ping

  3. I was just thinking about a cycling equivalent of parkruns, e.g. a 15km road route or 10km MTB route (or 5km depending on the trail!).

    I don't know about most bike clubs, but I don't think my nearest club does anything less than 30km group rides. 15km (about 10miles) would be a great distance for beginners and casual riders as well as riders who are experienced but don't have time for big rides and need to keep their pedals cranking. I think a relaxed 15km rideout would be a great way for beginners to learn and for local clubs and businesses to advertise. I know I learned loads a couple of times when I was out on my own and a small group on a club ride (took pity on me and) let me ride with them. Sportives are great and all, but most are over intimidating distances and local ones only come up once or twice a year.

    Just my thoughts. Hope you're back to running!

  4. Hi John, I'd forgotten that I'd written a post briefly discussing a "park cycle" concept. I thinks a good idea, more so now that I am just ( in the last 3 weeks) starting to scale back on my running and build up on the cycling.

    It does sound a good idea, but would the start small and grow organically model that has worked for parkrun work again? It would need some very dedicated people.

    Thanks for your comment,


I would love to hear what you think.