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Question
Posted by: sideways | 2009-02-03

2009 programme

Hi Ross

Hope you are well and enjoying the new year.

Ross, as you will recall I was runnign with greta success last year and gaining fitness, strength and losing weight until I broke my ankle. I have since been unable to excercise properly and even now I can' t run. I need an alternative. What would you suggest I do? I have lost fitness, put on weight and am most disappointed and frustrated. Cycling doesn' t really do it for me although I understand this could be my only option. Should I try high intensity interval training on a bicycle? If so any programme you can recommend or guidlines you can offer?

Thanks

Don

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Our expert says:
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HI Don

Thanks, hope you're having a good year too.

Sorry about the ankle. THat's a frustrating situation to be in. I'm not sure how long you're off for? Obviously, it is important to sort that ankle out and take care of rehab so that you are able to run again as soon as possible.

In terms of substitute activities, cycling is a good one, though I appreciate that it's not quite the same as running. I'm not sure whether you're cycling in a gym or on the road? If it's in the gym, then you also have access to other equipment and you might benefit from combining them into a little programme - rowing is pretty good, and the gym will have eliptical trainers and stairmachines that at least come closer to simulating running. They might even be good for your rehab.

If you're on the road, then you can do maybe three or four rides a week, two at a steady pace and two with intervals. You don't want to do intervals every day, it becomes too demanding. The intervals could take the form of hills (a 4 minute uphill section hard), with an easy 4 minute section following, repeated say 5 times. That would give you 40 minutes in total, of quite tough riding. It's difficult to say, because I don't want to give you a 3 hour long ride on the weekends when you don't really enjoy riding. So a compact session, with 40 minutes of hard riding, is probably more feasible.

Hope that helps a little.

Good luck

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