I am curious as to how other people stay fit and healthy on the forums.
My fitness levels are not great at the moment so I am thinking about what I can do to get back into a routine. My energy levels are very low so need to build something up gradually, but would like to get back into cycling again as I do miss it.
What about you? What is your approach to health and fitness?
From my early 20s onwards, when I started distance running, I was obsessed with fitness. I'd run every day. I'd also never touch alcohol, drugs or 'unhealthy' food. Later still, in my 30s, I took up cycling and became similarly obsessive about it, sometimes cycling to work and back every day (a 16 mile round trip). Swimming, too, is something I enjoy - though only in the summer, and only in the sea (fortunately, I live close to the beach). I can't stand swimming pools, with the chemicals and all the people!
I'm not so obsessive about these things now. I stopped running - apart from the occasional jog - last year. I still cycle a lot, though - and, as I said, swim a lot in the summer. I'm 58 now, and I think all of those years of exercise have a) entitled me to a bit of relaxation, and b) left me with an overall fitness level that is higher than most for my age. I can still run up 4 flights of stairs without getting winded, and my metabolism means that I don't put on weight. I drink more now, though, and I'm not so worried about food. I walk a lot. I belonged to a gym for a couple of years, but was going every day and putting myself through it with a triathlon training regime... but I decided that it wasn't really healthy. When you look at it, too - top class athletes don't necessarily live any longer than the rest of us.
My main incentive with it (apart from improving my PBs in races when I was running) has always been stamina. I'm not interested in gaining physical strength, or weight issues.
I used to love running and cycling and like you would commute to work and cycle 60+ miles at the weekend.
I was obsessive about training and used to compete in sportives, but found I was over training at times so backed off from competition stuff. Exercise is meant to be enjoyable as well as challenging ourselves, so you were probably right to back off from the triathlete training. From what I have seen of other people putting themselves through it, it's a full-time job that is hard to juggle if you have other life commitments and injuries are common.
Do you mostly focus on road cycling or do you dabble in mountain biking/cross-country as well?
It's all road cycling. Running was my passion for years. At 53, I was still coming first in my age-range (50-60) in my local Parkrun 5k race every week. I doubt I could run 5k now - not that I really want to. I got to the stage where I simply wasn't enjoying it any more. Getting home from work after a tiring day, and it's cold and wet and dark out, and thinking 'I need to go for a run'. Once that fun goes, and it becomes a chore, I think it becomes counter-productive.
I may get an off-road bike sometime. There are lots of routes and trails around here, and my racer isn't best equipped for them!
I recommend trying off-roading as it complements what you are doing on the road bike by working different muscles as well as challenging your muscles in a different way to what they have grown accustom to.
At present I have a bit of an obsession with eliptigos! http://www.elliptigo.co.uk/
They are super expensive, but I desperately want to own one and have decided to start saving with the hope of buying one in 12-18 months if all goes to plan.
Hm. They look interesting. Not sure it would be for me, though. My road bike cost getting on for £1k when I bought it 15 years ago. It's a Specialized. Only let me down with punctures - even with puncture-resistant tyres! Part of my problem is my height, and it was the only bike I could find at the time that was a perfect fit for my very tall frame.