Tag Archives: Fitness

A question of fitness

I kinda had an huh moment a few weeks ago. I was out on a ride with friends. My friend H (one of the many Hs I know!) and I were paired up and both of us whinging out how unfit we are.

Which seems kinda weird when we’d just ridden 50kms.

Yup, we’d just knocked over a 50km ride at a not too shabby pace and we were both whinging out how unfit we were. That’s weird. But I’m guessing that there are plenty of people our age would struggle to ride 10kms, let alone 50. Hell, there are plenty of people out there who’d be out of breath after a short stroll.

I guess it’s a case of what “fit” means to the individual. My definition of fitness is probably quite different from the average person’s.

For me being fit means that I can smash out 28 minute boulie laps a couple of times a week. Right now I’m struggle to get under 31 minutes – which means I’ve slowed down a lot. (However, I must say that boulie lap times are hugely influenced by strength as well as fitness. I feel very weak on the bike at the moment.) That says to me that I’m unfit and I need to work a good deal harder if I want to returning to my former ways.

Returning to the gym seemed like such a good idea but I seem to be suffering from perpetually heavy legs. Getting on the bike is really hard work. It feels like it’s taking a huge amount of effort to get going. I’m pretty much okay once I’m rolling but ack… the effort to get there kinda sucks. On the flip side, it is nice to feel some muscle firmness in my shoulders and chest. The rest of me might suck but at least that bit is sorting itself out.

Anyhoo… fitness. How you define it. What it actually means to a person.

Uh… yeah.

Uuummmm, about that plan…

I did manage to get up on Tuesday and go for a ride. I even felt like I’d achieved something as I managed to ride the entire length of Yarra Boulevard for the first time in ages. And best of all, I ran into my brother. Not literally because that would’ve been bad. Apparently he also rides Yarra Boulevard every Tuesday so I may be seeing more of him. He, of course, can totally kick my arse on hills so if he does ride with me he’s going to have to slow down. Or maybe I could attach a rope to him and he can drag me up the hills 😉

I also went to cardio boxing on Wednesday night. Everything was going swimmingly until it came to doing some kicking with the crash pad. I don’t know what I did about about half way through I was hopping around the park, grimacing in pain. Somehow I managed to strain my left calf muscle. At first it felt like a cramp but the pain wouldn’t go away even when I stretched it out. So much for my plan. I optimistically set my alarm for 6am Thursday morning but simply moving my leg while still lying in bed told me I wasn’t going anywhere. Which really sucked because it was a perfect morning for a ride. Oh well, hopefully there will be other perfect mornings that I won’t have to skip.

Funnily enough I woke up this morning at 5:45 and thought about getting up for a ride. But I decided I should rest my calf and not risk damaging it even more because as far as I can tell, Yarra Boulevard isn’t kind to injured bodies. I have the weekend to rest up and my calf does feel better this time today than it did yesterday. Hopefully by Monday it’ll be all good as I have plans to ride to Black Rock. What better way to spend a public holiday? Get up early and jump on the bike!! Sleep in? What’s a sleep in?

So, the plan is…

Weather permitting:

  1. To be on the bike every Tuesday and Thursday by 6:30am to ride Yarra Boulevard before work.
  2. To go for a ride every second Saturday when there’s no group training on.
  3. Continue to ride every Sunday.
  4. Every day do 2×10 jack knife and 2x increasing number of sit ups on the fit-ball to improve my core strength. Once I can do the jack knife sets without struggling, I will add push-ups to each one.
  5. Start going to cardio boxing again on Wednesday evenings.

    Right now I feel fat and lazy, schlepping around the house doing little or no physical exercise. This must change. I have a gorgeous new bike that needs to be ridden. I am ill-disciplined but I have goals I want to achieve. I want to break 100km in a single ride. I want to be able to do the 120km social rides. I want to be able to do hill climbs without feeling like I’m going to die.

    I lost two kilos when I had gastro two weeks ago. However, I ate barely anything for three days so that probably has something to do with my rapid weight lose. Of course, I’m eating again so I’ve put most of the weight back on. Sigh. I’m tired of doing the body test on the Wii and having minimal changes (the last two have been gains). I feel like I’m not achieving anything. I’m tired of seeing this disgusting gut poking out the front of my bike gear. You really can’t hide anything in lycra so all my flaws are out there for the world to see. Any wonder I don’t like looking in mirrors when I’m dressed for a ride.

    Hence the plan.

    I will find the discipline I once had. I will get out there and ride. I will work hard. I will try to eat less of the bad stuff and more of the good. Every day I will try to remind myself that I’ve already accomplished a lot. Going from a 36 inch waist to a 29 one isn’t something to be sneezed at. But most of all, simply enjoy the riding. It’s as close to flying we can get.