TCI Friday

TCI Friday works best when you join the conversation. Say what you think. Disagree. It’s all good.

I’m worried about you. I thought of a lot of other ways to open this week’s TCIF, but at root, I realized it just comes down to this. I’m worried about your health and your future. This is, of course, a projection of my worry for myself. We are, at our cores, self-centered, no? But hopefully we learn to extrapolate from our own experiences some sense of empathy and care for others.

Take what I’m about to say, and ask, in that way. I care.

So I’m going to talk about running, and the reason is not because I love running (I do), but because bone density. After you exit puberty, you no longer add calcium to your bones. They’re as strong as they’re going to get. You can maintain calcium levels dietarily up to a point, but we all lose calcium and by extension bone density as we get older.

One way to slow that process is to do weight bearing exercise, and that means running, more or less.

When my friend Phil Cavell told me he ran one day a week for this exact reason, I thought, “Well hell, if Phil is running, everyone should be running.” Phil is one of the bikiest people in the world. He’s ridden more, raced more, sold more, fitted more, thought more and wrapped his life more around the bicycle than almost anyone I know. He literally wrote the book for aging cyclists.

Phil runs. And so should you. It doesn’t need to be a lot, a couple or three miles once a week. I suggest trail running. It’s way more entertaining, peaceful and easier on joints that maybe haven’t run in a long time. Get good shoes. Commit. You’ll be glad later.

This week’s TCI Friday asks, do you run? If not, is this something you’d consider? Do you ever worry that just riding bikes (which is so fun) isn’t enough to support your overall health? If you don’t run, but do some other weight bearing thing, what is it? Is this thing even on?

Join the conversation
  1. Barry Johnson says

    I ran a bit in my 20’s (58 now) I enjoyed doing run/walk 25-50 mile epics & 10k fast runs on a regular basis until it started to ruin my knees. Hurt due to my genetics and in turn hurt my cycling. At the time I was quite the mountain goat and that wasn’t going to fly with my new backyard of the Wasatch Mountains. When a mild athletic hobby interrupts your first love, saying screw it is very easy. Haven’t looked back.

  2. hmlh33 says

    I don’t like running. Trail running is better but I still don’t like it. I lift weights on off the bike days; that seems like the definition of “weight bearing exercise”. It helps with the muscle and bone density loss of aging, I think. All sorts of skiing in the winter, too.

  3. eborling says

    Ran in my teens, but felt it hurt my bike riding. Tried running here and there in my 20s, 30s, early 40s, but it hurt my body. Like trail running alot, but would overdo it too early and get hurt. Now 45, and I am trying to run 4-5 times a week for the physical and mental health benefits. Plus, it is very convenient and quick. Recently moved away from lots of convenient mtb singletrack to a place with more water and more moto riding. Out my back door is a nice place to run on flat, soft ground. I suppose I could start road riding again, but honestly I’d rather run with my dog.

    Good shoes, short runs, and stretching with core work can’t be over-emphasized. Find a running store that does gait analysis and buy the shoes they recommend. Don’t be afraid of lots of cushion if needed, that barefoot running fad thing seemed like just that, a fad…probably worked for some people but not bike riders that haven’t run in years if ever.

  4. Jeff vdD says

    I’m no fan of running … I intend to do it a lot more than I actually do. I have a 1.1 mile VERY flat loop in a Fair City just across a river from a bigger but not big city. Especially during CX season, I imagine myself hitting that loop 2x per week. Imagination is a wonderful thing.

    I do play tennis once-ish a week, for whatever that’s worth.

    This column re-ups my intent.

  5. dr sweets says

    I’ve ran for years. It started with playing community league football on thru high school football. I hated it. I was slow, sweaty and miserable. Then after my football daze were behind me I found it to be a good cleansing/cathartic effort from the routine debauchery I was involved in during college. Now I basically do the same as you, running once a week 2-3 miles. Again it’s a nice break from my cycling shenanigans.

  6. albanybenn says

    Ok, I’m 63. I ride 7-10 hours a week, pretty much year round. I also maintain two residential properties. That means I mow the lawn 60 times a year spend 4 days every fall raking and bagging leaves. And then there is shoveling snow. Thank you, not running.

  7. TominAlbany says

    I run in winter. Outside and in.
    I also will enter the weight room about one/wk in summer and twice in winter.
    What can I say? I’m vain.

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