Monday, January 20, 2014

Birthday ElliptiGO Miles

Well, I hit another age landmark and for the first time, I feel old: 55 years old that is. I decided to try a new tradition: ride my age in miles sometime during my birthday week. Because I live in New Hampshire, that is not easy to do outdoors this time of year, so I did it on my indoor trainer Friday night two days after my birthday. You know what? It wasn't that bad using my ElliptiGO.

Here is what I have learned about training indoors on the ElliptiGO. First, you need a trainer. I have the CycleOps Fluid 2 Indoor Bicycle Trainer with the CycleOps 20 and 24-Inch Wheel Adapterto adjust the trainer to its 20 inch rear wheel. I also have CycleOps Stackable Climbing Blockto hold the front wheel and keep it level. When I got this a couple months ago, I was set for indoor ElliptiGO cycling. Well I did have to remove a ceiling tile over my head so I wouldn't bump into it. This was a better way to exercise without taking the ElliptiGO out in the dark and cold of a New England winter, but I was somewhat bored and never lasted more than an hour on the trainer.

Over Christmas, I got a Garmin Edge 800 GPS-Enabled Cycling Computer to monitor my training on the roads. I got a refurbished (good as new) model from Amazon that included a heart-rate monitor, a cadence/speed monitor, and a set of maps. This unit is awesome as it tracks my progress on the roads, including elevation and temperature and then I can download it all to my computer. I joined up with Strava and now I can get inspired by belonging to two clubs: an ElliptiGO club and to the Acidotic racing team. It is fun to
Spoke magnet, sensor, and cadence sensor set up
follow other athletes and the motivation from the Garmin and Strava helped me get beyond hour long rides to a longest ride of 50K (31 miles). However, I will still just listening to music on the rides and it was hard to just stare at the wall. I also had to adjust my Garmin to match my training pace and speed. For the wheel circumference I finally set my wheel at 1300mm. I am told the circumference was really 1548mm for my wheel, but when it was automatically measured while on the road by GPS is came out to 1516mm. If I set the computer at those settings, I was going too fast, so I moved it lower because there is no wind resistance to battle indoors and now the speed matches my efforts.

The final thing I did for my long ride was to bring a small television downstairs and attach a Roku 2 Streaming Player to it. I intended to watch some old Ironman Triathlon Youtube videos, but they were stalling a bit, so I switched over to Netflix and got to watch almost two movies. It was fun to push myself for almost 4 hours to hit a silly mileage mark, but I liked going for it and next year I will be back for more.

And yes, these shoes glow in the dark!
I can also use the Garmin Edge for running if I want. I did carry it for my longest run in over 6 months two weeks ago. I did a four mile snowshoe run to see if I could get back into snowshoe racing despite not running much at all due to my hip. I felt great while running, but the next day, my hip was sore and I was limping a bit. I also got this GARMIN 010-10615-00 Quick-Release Mounting Kit to mount my Garmin on a watch strap. I think it will be kind of clunky, but it enables you to use the Garmin for running or other activities.


Harold said...

Jim congrats on joining the exclusive 55 plus club. It is a good thing and inspite of the challenges much better than the alternative.

I am going to look closer at the elliptigo as an supplement to running over the next year, primarily because of how you write about it here and seeings how NH is very similar to Maine in geography.


Jim Hansen said...

Thanks Harold,
The ElliptiGO has been a life-saver for me and I enjoy it a lot. Wish I was running more, but I think that will come and then a combination of both would be ideal!