Editor’s Note: “Over a Beer” is a regular opinion column written by Greg Heil. While Greg is the Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com, the opinions expressed in this commentary are his alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Singletracks.com.
Last week I shared with you my vision for a #move366 challenge. Basically, I’ve dedicated myself to getting out and moving every single day, no matter what.
But the key to this challenge is that I’m doing so much more than just riding my bike. Actually, the main goal is to not ride my bike every day.
That may seem odd, but hear me out.
I’ve done biking challenges in the past that consisted of riding 30 days in a row—aka the 30 Days of Biking challenge. In fact, I’ve done it twice.
The problem is, both times I’ve done the challenge, while I enjoyed the actual process, by the end of the challenge I didn’t end up healthier or more invigorated. Instead, both times I ended up with overuse injuries that, in the most extreme case, caused me to have to take way more than 30 days off of the bike.
In the most recent instance, the 30 Days of Biking challenge initiated an overuse injury that only worsened, and was eventually diagnosed as nerve damage from riding. This injury plagued me for over a year and a half, and in fact I still feel the effects of that injury from time to time.
So yeah, I’m over riding every single day in a row. I’d love to, but I’ve learned that my body just can’t handle it. So I’ve decided to focus on adding in more sports to my repertoire. I was focusing more on my skiing over the winter (until I tore my ACL doing said sport—more on that another time), running, hiking, walking, and basically, just doing anything and everything to be active.
Recently, Rebecca Rusch was hosting a Q&A on Niner’s Instagram account, so I decided to ask her opinion on injuries and rehab. I asked her:
Hey @rebeccarusch, serious question for you. I just recently finished your autobiography–great read! I’ve been wondering, though: how do you deal with physical injury and stay motivated in recovery/rehab? Or do you just not get injured? 🙂 aside from illness during adventuring racing and some related lung issues, this doesn’t seem like it was a topic you discussed in your book.
Injury: mtbgreg, you are right that I’ve been pretty successful avoiding major injuries in my career. Part of it is luck and a big part of it, I attribute to cross training and participating in lots of different sports. All over body strength is important in keeping us free from overuse injuries. Traumatic injuries: that’s another story. I’ve been lucky there.
So, there you have it, from one of the best mountain bike athletes of all time: diversity is key to avoiding overuse injuries! As for the traumatic ones, fingers crossed that my luck improves!
What about you? What do you do to keep things fresh and stave off overuse injuries?
I’m prone to IT band problems, probably from sitting at a desk all day. I have to really keep things in moderation as far as distance and effort. The enemy there is feeling good – when you have one of those days where you feel like you can crush every climb all day long. I’m spending a lot of time doing extra exercises to keep the hips and glutes flexible and strong.
I too have to work hard on the hips and gluten, especially the stretching to keep that area lose.
I picked up mountain biking late in life (should have started much earlier), and I already had some other exercise in place. So for me, IN MY MIND, mountain biking is much less about fitness and much more about fun. But that is really just in mind (my perspective or approach to mtb). In reality mountain biking has elucidated some distinct weaknesses in my core, and climbing 1000′ to 3000′ up mountains on a bike is a great form of exercise at which I am still weak. Even hike-a-bike up steep sections of trail is great exercise. I don’t consider hiking itself much exercise for me, but pushing an all-mountain bike up a steep trail is more than enough exercise … and then you get to blast back down the mountain at stupid fun speeds. =) And you get to do all this in the great outdoors in beautiful places.
I’m dancing listening to the responses @ 64 years old. I’m trying to do the opposite, ride the bike twice a week at the minimum. I spend 6 mon in Florida and 6 in NJ. I’ve been mountain biking 4 years. I visited Fruita, CO, last year. I’m returning there and Moab in September for 10 days. I ride Alafia River state park in Florida and Allaire state park in NJ.
I am a sailing instructor and captain on a power vessel. I did a 30 min stretch u tube video today and played golf. I hike and snow shoe, but have given up skiing for the most part. Life is too good. I’ve had neck, back (2), and each shoulder operated on. Strength training, not excessive is important. I can tell you this, MOVING EVERYDAY IS THE KEY. REST AND REHABILITATION IS VITAL. The challenge is to keep these in a delicate balance so when we ride we’re strong!
Good idea, Greg! I’m skiing in winter and riding fatbike. Rock climbing is a great way to be active and it could be paired with biking on the same day (ride your bike to/from climbing spot). Trail running is fun as well.
hehe at the moment its only riding on road for me
no jogging or xc
but hey wont be long till i can start again