As the weather cleared up in the last couple of days I have had the chance to add a little bit of cross-training to my daily commute. While I have previously enjoyed running in to work or home from work – indeed, I did a nice 17km run home from the office earlier in the week – it’s not always convenient to run to or from work. To get a good workout means taking at least an hour as well as getting organized in advance of the run to make sure I have what I need to shower at the office, or to get changed before I leave.
During my recent vacation with Jamie, though, I decided that I would investigate a new way to commute to the office and back each day that would give me a little workout but would not require a shower at either end of the trip. The solution? I bought a scooter from Decathlon to match one that I also bought for Jamie. For the last three days I have been using the scooter to make the ride to work and back and now, on a Friday evening, I’m can reflect on how it has gone, whether it is working as cross training, and what it means for my work day.
First thing to note: it’s fun to commute this way. Zipping along the pathways and especially making the speedy descent off the Pont Raymond Barre is great fun. It makes a nice change from the metro, the tram, or the Velov, that’s for sure.
Second thing: it’s a workout, especially for the calves. Right now after three days of commuting I can feel the work that I’ve done on my calves by pushing the scooter along. They hurt a little, but in a good way.
Third thing: it’s about as convenient and speedy as taking the metro. Over the last couple of days the time door to door has varied only a little between 20 and 25 minutes. That’s about the same time it would take me to run the distance but without the sweaty arrival, and it’s also about the time that it would take to arrive by mass transit, even a little faster if I missed a connection or if there was a problem.
I’ve managed to find a nice route from Jacobins to Perrache, then down to Confluence and across the bridge to the Halle Tony Garnier and then on to CoSMo. It’s about five kilometers or so and very little of it involves crossing streets which is a bonus for keeping moving.
Cross training wise and besides the calf workout, it’s a pretty easy way to burn some calories on an otherwise ‘wasted’ part of the day. There’s no real exact guide around as to just how many calories I’m burning but Garmin, My Fitness Pal, and The Telegraph all suggest that my 20 minute commute burns about 150 to 200 of them. On a day like today where I ran for 15km and then fit in a 40 minute walk, too, it doesn’t amount to a lot, but I can see how over the week the extra time pushing myself around in the mornings and evenings could add up to something substantial.
So what’s the downside? Well for one thing, the calves are getting a workout that the rest of my legs aren’t. While it isn’t affecting my running, it’s not the most even of cross training routines. For another, the scooter doesn’t like not-so-smooth pathways so there are limits to the routes that I can take to work. I tried a couple of different routes but didn’t realize exactly how not-so-smooth the pathways I run on each day can be. This limits the commute route but, considering I need to get to work on time and usually want to get back home fast at the end of the day, this is a limited sort of downside.
All in all, this is a nice cross training method and an easy way to burn a few hundred calories each day. I don’t know that I’ll do it every day, but it will break up the regular grind in a fun way and I’m enjoying it so far.