Cross Training: Improving on the Stationary Bike

Every Sunday my run coach includes a light cross training day for me.

Aside from weightlifting I hadn’t really been doing any cross training before I started working with her, so it was a challenge to decide what I should do. I’ve done a little swimming, which I really enjoy; HOWEVER, none of my bathing suits really have the proper ahem upper body support for doing intense laps and I’ve had a couple of oh sh!t moments where my upper body just pops right out!

I need to buy a more appropriate sports bathing suit. It’s been on my to-do list but since I haven’t gotten around to it yet, I’ve been sticking with land activities for the last couple of weeks.

In fact, for the past three weeks I’ve been hitting the stationary bike for the majority of my cross training session.

The first time I hopped on the stationary bike I put it at a level 3 and peddled 5K in about 16 minutes (in addition to some other activities). This past Sunday I did most of my workout at a level 8-10 and completed 7 miles in just over 30 minutes.

stationary bike workout

The first time I did the stationary bike my boyfriend looked at me and asked, “does that thing really even give you a workout at all?” I said “yes,” but honestly I knew that I didn’t really have a great workout.

After today’s session if he would have asked me the same question I would have given him an emphatic YES and absolutely meant it!

Me after doing the stationary bike for 30 mins

Cross training is fun and I’m excited to have other fitness activities (besides running) that I can challenge myself with.

Actually, I’ve been thinking that I really need to starting taking my real bike out on cross training days. Maybe a sprint duathlon (2 mile run/10 mile bike/2 mile run) could be somewhere in my future?

For now I’m focused on the 10-miler but a sprint du is in the back of my mind!

What activities do you do for cross training? Give me some new ideas 🙂


  1. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running
    July 8, 2013 / 9:58 pm

    I did some fun cross training today too! I’m not a huge fan of the stationary bike, but I know it can be great for runners. I literally laughed out loud when you wrote your “upper body” pops out of your suit!

    • Kristina
      July 9, 2013 / 8:05 pm

      I laughed out loud when the popping out occurred. Luckily I was in the pool early enough that no one else was there because it happened multiple times! A one piece with sturdy straps has got to be the only way to go when it comes to swimming laps,

  2. Jennifer,
    July 9, 2013 / 4:04 pm

    I’ve found that the bike is really an ideal cross-training activity for me! Keeps my legs strong, but still not nearly as rough on my body as running! I’ve always had trouble on the stationary bike, too, as far as getting in a good workout…it’s all about forcing yourself to push really hard. I definitely prefer to cycle outdoors — would highly recommend! It does “feel” a lot easier than running, but my heart rate is still way up there! 🙂

    • Kristina
      July 9, 2013 / 8:03 pm

      I like riding outdoors too, but I get so nervous riding on the street even in wide bike lanes. I guess that’s just a fear I need to get over as there are really no biking trails in the downtown area where I live :/