For Matt Galloway, host of Metro Morning on CBC Radio One in Toronto, cycling connects him with the city where he lives and works. Now, the 40-year-old is embracing a new challenge – running. He is curious about what makes runners tick. However, he needs to get fit to run, despite his good cardiovascular fitness from cycling.
“To stay healthy, and I’m interested in running something like the GoodLife Half-Marathon.”
“I don’t go to a gym as such. What I mainly do is ride a bike, but in a couple of different ways. I have a Kona single-speed Paddy Wagon [that]I ride all around the city as part of my job. I ride to and from work nine months of the year, round-trip is 16-and-a-half kilometres. On weekends I ride a Specialized road bike for 40 or 50 kilometres.
“I’m interested in running, not to gain weight or lose weight, but I’m fascinated with what happens to people when they run marathons. There’s something they experience that, for most people, is difficult to understand. It's painful, exhausting and torturous, and yet people come out of it having some sort of experience, and I’m fascinated as to what that feels like to go through.”
“I get to work at 4:30 in the morning. I prep for an hour before our show goes on air – we have a live, three-hour current-affairs radio show. We do on average 10 interviews per show, so that’s news, politics, arts, films, sports, business and anything people are talking about. After that I’m at work until 12, doing prep and research.
“Next, I come home for lunch or meet people for lunch. Then I explore the city. I ride out to Scarborough or Etobicoke along the waterfront. It's a way for me to see what’s going on. Finally, I stop working and hang out with my family.
“We eat meat, but not every day. I love cooking and I cook every day. I don’t eat processed food. I garden extensively, so I eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“I have a banana around five o'clock in the morning. I snack on little things during the show, and have a coffee. After the show, I have some yogurt with fruit and granola. I drink a lot of water because I talk all day, and maybe another cup of coffee. Lunch is maybe a sandwich and salad, maybe some pasta, and then I’ll snack again in the afternoon. Dinner is Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, some region in China or something grilled on the barbecue.
“I spend time reading cookbooks in the middle of the afternoon, so we cook and we eat as widely as possible, and for me that’s a passport into other people’s cultures.”
“Cycling lets you get to places quickly, but it also gives you access to places in a different way. I can be all over on a bike – down alleyways, through parks, a ravine – and I feel a freedom that I wouldn’t have in another mode of transportation.”
“I don’t listen to music when I'm cycling, but Tribulations by LCD Soundsystem is a motivating, uplifting piece of music.”
“To use time in my weird hours as best as possible. It would be easy for me to nap, but I don’t think that’s a good use of time. I know I’m missing things in a workout, but that’s fine.”
Brad Spokes of Zone Sports Physiotherapy and consultant for the Brainsport running club in Saskatoon, on challenges of a cyclist taking up running.
Swap rides for runs: “Mr. Galloway has developed his heart and lungs through a non-impact sport, but because running is weight-bearing, his muscles and tendons will need time to adapt to his running,” Mr. Spokes says. “Any biomechanical flaw will be exposed as force will reach four to seven times body weight – that is a tonne of load and an opportunity for injury [because]his cardiovascular fitness surpasses load tolerance.”
Follow a walk/run program: Mr. Spokes, a former triathlete, recommends Mr. Galloway follow an eight-week program that begins by alternating one minute walking with one minute running, three times a week, and gradually progresses to continuous steady-state running by the seventh week: “A slow progressive build-up in time and volume will allow Matt’s muscle, tendon, ligaments and bones to adapt to the mechanical loads of running while minimizing the risk of injury. Once eight weeks is done, then he can start a training program, building his endurance to meet his goal of running a half-marathon in June of 2012.”