We flew out to our place in Fuerteventura again on Saturday 1st October and after the weekend I started back with the real-world cycling on the Monday, having decided to up the ante a tad with my distances and to make sure I was following my consultant’s orders to do at least 30 minutes a day.
I’m still pleased with the result: 331.33km this month (including walking).
In other news, we’ve gone a bit keto with our diets and the results are promising: I weighed 93.3kg on the Garmin Index S2 scales we have here at the start of the month and today I weigh 91kg (up 0.5kg from yesterday morning, which was a new low since the crash and muscle-wasting in July 2019).
With the Schwinn’s arrival came physiotherapy, pain consultations and then experiments with Apple Fitness+, the first year’s free subscription to Bowflex’s JRNY app, and a trial of FulGaz. The latter two are different from Fitness+ in that Apple are offering different duration classes only whereas the other two offer virtual rides using video of the actual routes.
In FulGaz’s case, they are adaptive workouts: speeding up or slowing down the videos to suit your pace/power which the app reads from the Schwinn. They’re also linked to my Garmin fēnix 7S for my heart rate.
The other benefit of using FulGaz is that after each ride, it emails you a FIT file which you can import into Garmin Connect giving you the full details of the ride. JRNY does not do this, sadly.
So hitting the Schwinn every has been beneficial for me, but also for my weight which has been coming down slowly, thereby improving the load on my knee.
Here’s my stats for the 399km – mainly virtual/indoor – in September 2022:
We were still out in Corralejo for the first half of August 2022.
Back in London, it was a case of hammering the cheapo indoor bike, thinking we’d buy a Peloton bike when we move to Surrey and have a bigger garage and separate gym. The Amazon special was OK, but I couldn’t stand up on it despite the Apple Fitness+ trainers suggesting I could.
And then a couple of things happened: a news article about Peloton’s losses being “an existential threat” made us think about whether a Peloton would be a good idea after all. They’re very expensive and rely on a paid subscription to Peloton if you want to do the guided rides (which I had really enjoyed in Big Sur). If they went bust, the screen would effectively be useless and the purpose of the really expensive bike would go with them.
I looked at what Apple recommended/were using for their Fitness+ workouts and they were Schwinn bikes. In the UK they’re supplied by – amongst others, I’m sure – Fitness Superstore and they had an offer on the Schwinn 800IC (formerly the IC8): already listed at half list price, they had an additional 10% off for the Bank Holiday weekend, so I pressed the button on one for delivery in early September.
Back in June 2022, I was walking for fitness but was having a lot of pain in my bad knee, the one that I’d seen a consultant about back in 2012 who said I should stop running … before I ran the Berlin Marathon and a couple of half-marathons.
I had been recommended cycling, so was trying to introduce more of this into my training and then went to the USA in early June to do the Pacific Coast Highway. While we were there, I tried a Peloton fitness bike in a really expensive hotel we stayed at in Big Sur and started looking into buying one, just before seeing my consultant again.
He again recommended some weight loss and half an hour every day on a bicycle, with a recommendation for a cheap static bike. That got me into finally using Apple Fitness+ and 30 minute rides.
This morning I went for my first attempt at running since last October.
My Garmin fēnix 7S records or interpolates from the stride data/cadence when you’re running and when you’re walking which is useful.
In other blog news, I’ve long been sharing my Garmin Connect activities with Strava, so in the absence of ‘proper’ integration with Garmin Connect, I’ve added Strava’s activities list over there in the margin and a separate page up there at the top.
I’ve been using a Garmin fēnix 3 Sapphire for quite a while now; it’s a big, chunky lump of a fitness watch but then it is feature-packed and suitable for many forms of exercise. I also have an Apple Watch Series 4 which works really well, but doesn’t measure blood oxygen levels like my wife’s latest one does.
I pair it with a heart rate monitor that clips to a strap you wear around your chest and then shower and dry it after exercising. We bought my wife a Garmin Forerunner 735XT a few years back and that has heart rate measuring built in (like the Apple Watch).
So for my 60th birthday, Alison has bought me the new Garmin fēnix 7S, choosing the smaller S model so it’s not as chunky and large, especially as it encourages you to wear it 24/7 to monitor heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep tracking, etc. It’s early days yet but the results are fascinating. I expect over the next few weeks it should get to know me properly and calibrate all its reports around me.
Since that other blog post with most of the details, I’ve had the rest of my little finger amputated (in December 2020) and I’m left with constant pain and a sufficient degree of disability to have qualified for a “blue badge” here in the UK. Part of the pain management has been for us to move for part of the year out to Corralejo on Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco with its low rainfall and warm temperatures all year round, which definitely helps reduce the pain in my hand and pelvis.
It also means that I am more able to go for walks and cycle rides to try to loosen up my joints, lose weight (to lessen the duty on my pelvis/hips) and to work on my ‘wellness’ generally.
The aim is still to try to run but I try to avoid painkillers and running piles that pain on! So it’s a slow and steady race to reduce weight for less strain on my joints – my consultant years ago told me to avoid running because of my knee gradually wearing out – by exercising and eating healthily, especially as I hit 60 years old this year.