The bike has been handy this year. Every so often, I push a run a little (okay, a lot) too hard and get some pretty severe tightness in my right calf. It’s something I can usually run on if I need to, but I figure some rest is probably best. Not wanting to sacrifice a full workout on these days, I usually hit the stationary bike.
As a general rule, I do 3 miles on the stationary bike for every 1 mile I would have run. I only replace “easy” runs with these bike workouts. I try to keep my heart rate around 150 for the bulk of the workout. As it turns out, this ends up being a pretty intense workout. I always leave big puddles of sweat below the bike. Near the end, I constantly think about getting off the bike and finishing things up on the treadmill, but I have to keep reminding myself that that would defeat the purpose of getting on the bike in the first place.
One day off from running is typically all I need and the calf feels better until I push another workout too hard. Usually the lingering pain in my ass is a good reminder to keep my next run to its intended pace. I certainly don’t feel I’ve lost any fitness and afterward it actually feels pretty good to have worked some different muscles for a change.