Getting active - running, walking cycling? - A place for advice and encouragement

Dear all,
Lockdown has been a very mixed blessing - pretty difficult, but with small consolations - the birds are being heard better with no din of traffic, and I’ve noticed that more people are walking around the neighbourhood. I wonder if it’s a mix of being on a schedule that now allows a walk, but also people also realising they need a bit of outdoor time now it’s limited.

One thing I am thinking of is that this could be a time to change things - for those who are not used to exercise, to get into it in one’s alloted portion of every day. If you’re careful and social distance it could maybe help with this strange time in our history. Exercise has proven benefits, not only for physical health, but for mental health.

So - I’d like to start a positive thread, for those who might use this time to change their lives a little, maybe getting more active - from whatever level they’re at. So getting walking, getting running, getting cycling. I’m sure there is some depth of expertise from Wine Soc members. I can offer my experience of 20 years running on and off, cycling and other things.

You really don’t need to be doing that though!! Maybe you just want to walk more, or maybe try running and go from there.

Sometimes it’s nice to share the journey, wherever it starts.


@Grimpeur A nice idea!

One of the advantages(?) of this whole COVID thing has been that I’ve spent much less per month on eating out, socialising, or in fact anything other than tinned goods and loo roll. So much so that I’ve finally taken the plunge and bought myself the mountain bike I’ve been coveting for a while. Wine purchases will be lower for a while, but I’m finding getting out on the bike in the forest is a great boon for my general well-being - physically and mentally.

When I’m finally allowed back in the office they won’t recognise me! :rofl:


My exercise regime has switched from being gym class and martial arts based, to riding my road bike most days, and it’s been a really good thing. While I did some hard cycle training over 15 years ago, I cut back as the children were young and it took up just too much time at weekends. Then, for the last few years, Mrs Robertd has acquired a bike too, and we’ve ridden at weekends, but it’s not really been a mainstay of fitness activity.

Under social distancing restrictions, we’ve been taking full advantage of quiet roads to ride around an hour most days, separately or together. Our speeds are going up, and weight is coming down. I never expected to get lighter as a result of my gym closing! I will definitely be re-evaluating what I do when things start to return to normal. :biking_man: :biking_woman:


Hi Matt,
Fantastic! I’m very impressed that you’ve bought a mountain bike - what kind? Downhill or XC or what? I have an old Orange P7 Pro which is lovely. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but there’s a wonderful magazine called Singletrack, which is well-written, very much a thoughtful mountain bike magazine.

Getting out in the forests is definitely the way to go. I try to do all my running off-road if possible, but its sometimes difficult. I love the Japanese idea of ‘forest bathing’. :slight_smile:


Hey Robert,
Chapeau! The one thing that’s been an upside in this whole horror is that the roads are quieter. It’s great you’re getting out more. I don’t know if you’re a fan of Strava, but you can have it on your phone and track your times. It can be fun - but there is always the danger of obsession - people get a bit crazy with it… :grimacing:

You know - I can see both plusses and minuses about gyms. They should be good things, what with exercising with other poeple, getting company, and I’ve been to a few OK gyms, but so many are really almost like being a chicken in a factory farm, all those people with earphones, mechanically going through their workhouts, the most tragic thing being people on the running machines. Though I did get addicted to spin for a while. But now I run and maybe I’ll get the bike out.

When this is over and the roads are busier, you might still find that Saturday and Sunday mornings are good to cycle - and you’ll be amazed by the number of cyclists giving you a friendly nod or wave as they pass by at 6 or 7 in the morning… :slight_smile: :grin: Suddenly you’re in the tribe of people going early to bed at weekends and doing their glass/bottle of wine during the week. :grinning:


I love the gym but only when I don’t have to speak to anyone … I know anti social, but I listen to podcasts continuously while training so I feel it’s also educational. I also have a turbo trainer which I’m now using religiously at the moment and I’ve banned the kids from disturbing me .
I used to do a lot of off road mountain biking, I have a specialized Stumpjumper but that’s gathering dust right now unfortunately… I’ve done a couple of half marathons but that’s about as far as I’ll run, a full marathon is just not for me or my knees !


Here’s the webste for Singletrack -


I’ve banned our kids from doing a lot of things, but it just seems to encourage them!


I have a turbo but haven’t used it. I must admit I realised I am pretty rubbish at mountain biking and don’t really like gnarly technical stuff (I had a bad accident on the bike when younger and I think it had an effect on my more ‘gonzo’ antics). I got a cyclocross bike a while ago and love the way it can cope with the technical level I want to do and also gravel, roads, potholes, whatever.

Oh, though one thing you might like with the turbo - there are some full videos of things like the Paris Roubaix race on youtube that you could have on a laptop while turbo-ing - you might find that quite fun.

Ah knees! Was that perhaps from biking? I have had knee injuries from biking myself - I’m now religious about saddle hight and making sure the gear isn’t too high!


Ah yes, there is a programme called Rouvy which allows you to cycle pretty much anywhere, so I can cycle to Howth head in Dublin or an Alpine pass, only issue is its quite slow so doesn’t seem to pick up the speed you are in fact going.

Doubt it, I played gaelic football, soccer , camogie, cross country ran among other pursuits when I was younger and was still playing football competitively up until 10ish years ago with a Dutch team when I lived in Den Hague. The football has more to do with my dodgy knees I think than anything else.

Sounds fantastic - I’m not using the turbo just now, but I’ll check that out.

The football has more to do with my dodgy knees I think than anything else.

Ah yes! I know so many people with knee problems from football, also badminton - the whole start/stop thing and twisting motions. My problems were from bad saddle positon and I think using my legs, which were then very strong, very badly - too much using a high gear when I should have been spinning.

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From a bit earlier in the conversation:

Can I ask - how do you motivate yourself to go on? Do you have a set time or schedule? What works for you to get you on your (turbo) bike? My motivation can be something that slips if I’m not careful…

Don’t worry, I’m completely convinced of the goodness of cycling - what I’m really enjoying is doing it MORE :slightly_smiling_face: We’re already Strava-addicted :wink:

You’re quite right about cyclists waving - one of the pleasures is somehow sharing the experience with strangers. Interestingly, I tried running again last year having decided to enter a 12km mountain trail run, and runners just don’t wave in the same way as cyclists. I’d encounter others while I was out training, give them a wave, and only about 1 in 4 seemed to wave back. Not sure why.

I normally train in classes at the gym - spin and circuits - which are more sociable than the gym floor. As you say, that can be a place where people get tied up in their own workout. It’s not inevitable, though, and as long as people are exercising, it’s a good thing for physical and mental health. I do also train in karate, and martial arts is something else I’d recommend. It works you out in speed, fitness, flexibility and thought, all at once!


Oh it can be soo difficult some days … I find the earlier in the day I do it the better for motivation on other day’s . I didn’t train yesterday as I just kept pushing it later and later but I’ve trained today and the 5 days preceding yesterday . I follow with some HITT, abs/ weights and just mix it up.
I feel better when I’m fit, I’m happier when I’m fit so that’s a pretty good motivator and tbh right now if gives me a break from the incessant sound of “Mummy, Mummy” :see_no_evil::see_no_evil:.
Oh and also the bike is set up so I don’t have to do any of that it’s just there and I put on my shoes, clip in, turn the app on and TV and I’m off. :wink::+1:.


You know, it’s the weirdest thing - I’ve been running for a while but the trails I go I don’t really see many runners but before that I ran in Glasgow and both myself and my partner always got waves when we were out. But in parts of Edinburgh there are no waves, unless up Arthur’s Seat - then you get waves. It’s very patchy. But it confrms that Edinburgh people are weird. Which as a Glaswegian, fits. :grin:


Like @Leah my knees are shot, in my case through too much climbing up and, more significantly for the knees, down mountains although they’ve never been good. And for this reason I have long since given up on running; it’s just too painful now (I used to do a little fell running which is even more fatal for the knees than the walking). Strangely skiing is okay as, so longer as you’re not too extreme, as it’s non-impact unlike walking downhill. So in the house I have a cross-trainer which is excellent, for being non-impact.

I am terrible at motivating myself to train on it though and the only way I can do it is immediately after I get up. Once I’m downstairs and doing stuff it’s just not going to happen.

Interestingly after I bust my ankle a few years back and had a bunch of metalwork inserted. The physios said I could start on the cross-trainer as soon as I came out of plaster because of it being non-impact. Just to stop if there was any pain (there wasn’t).


Hi Alan,
I went with a Scott full-suspension trail bike…

The area I’m in is pretty rugged and the “in-flight” adjustable suspension system on this bike is fantastic. I took a look at Singletrack and was encouraged to see they’ve visited and reviewed the trails on my door-step…

7 of the top 10 in Sweden are on my door step! A loop of Djelsön is my “between meetings” lunchtime blast if I get the chance :grinning: A snap from last week…


Get yourself a landrover defender … wave central even in France … I’m sure @Freddy will confirm that too :blush:!

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Or a motorhome (caravans too I’d guess) also even in France!

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Oh, you lucky so-and-so!.. :heart_eyes: :sweden:

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