Quick Release: Water Running: It’s the New Mountain Biking.

Author: Cheri Felix

For me there are two seasons. There’s mountain bike season and there’s waiting for mountain bike season. But what’s a girl to do when she can’t ride her bike?

Water running. Yep, I said water running. What’s that you say? “Cheri, the word bike is not in ‘water running’.” I know. But the teacher told me that it would be a great cross training class and that it’s good for core strength. She had me at core. Cause core strength is not my strength. And to be totally honest here, I just completed my 7th swim lesson. Because while doing an enduro may be my idea of a good time, swimming and water scare the pee out of me. So here I am, not biking enough, learning to swim and taking a water running class. What could go wrong?

First, I would rather ride up to Gold Hill on the pavement. Six times. Rather than wear a sausage suit (bathing suit). I didn’t grow up wearing bathing suits (obviously) and I really disdain them. Really. But back to cross training and core strength both of which mean better mountain biking. I got in the water. And before you ask, I wasn’t the youngest person. Yes, there were older women in the pool but before we get all judgy let me explain. Water running takes big time core strength. Because that’s what helps you stay afloat. And as I looked around at all the other (older) women in the class with their dry hair and their dry shoulders, I was the only one with submerged shoulders and wet hair. At one point I felt like my butt was sticking out of the water.

You use your WHOLE body for this workout. And you are either marching, running or doing my favorite; bicycle legs. I could not get the running thing down. At one point the teacher said, “Umm..Cheri…why don’t you just stick to bicycle legs.” Point taken. For 45 minutes we ran, we marched and we bicycled through the water. We also did this thing where we flutter kicked as fast as we could with our hands up out of the water. We looked like we were being held up. I only almost drowned a few times.

Staying fit in the cooler months can be a challenge for those of us who mountain bike. And if you’re like me, your body could use a break. I’m no spring chicken and I need to stay active through the pumpkin bread eating months if I want to have a good spring on the bike. The Beti Bike Bash and short track out at Valmont come up really fast…
So, look for me. I’m the one in the sausage suit looking mildly awkward. Cracking jokes. Cause that’s what I do when I’m uncomfortable. And when I’m doing something I’m not good at. See you in the pool!

Quick Release is an almost weekly column by Cheri Felix. She writes about anything and almost everything. People ask her why she doesn’t pick one topic. Cheri thinks there’s too much good stuff out there to do that. You can follow her on Twitter @mtnbikechic

News Item: