Jackie Wright: On your mark, get set and go!
The Fitness TRail
It is the time of year to begin thinking seriously about outdoor workouts. For us, up in the Rocky Mountains, we are still experiencing snow, although it is no longer sticking around for as long and before we know it, the roads will be dry, the skis and snowboards will be stored for the summer and the cycling and hiking trails will begin to take shape.
It is also the time of year when many endurance-type events (i.e. 5-10K runs such as the Bolder Boulder, triathlons, marathons and rides such as the Ride of the Rockies and Triple By-Pass, etc.) are held.
Therefore, this week take your mark, get set and go by checking out the following tips regarding preparing and registering for a physical event and how to begin preparing to enjoy the plethora of outdoor recreational activities available. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
1: Continue performing your regimented exercise program. Although tapering is often an integral part of the training modality for endurance-type events, until that time is here, you want to continue performing your exercise program regularly.
2: Do your due diligence when considering which endurance event to enter. If you are new to these types of events, choose short duration events, such as a 5K walk/run, perhaps a charity fun walk/run (i.e. Habitat Hobble) where many of the participants are there just enjoying the outdoors and getting some exercise. There are dozens of websites dedicated to these events as well as hiking/backpacking trips such as http://www.runnersworld.com , http://www.competitor.com, http://www.velonews.competition.com and http://www.backpacker.com.
3: Verify that the event is sponsored by an entity experienced at coordinating these events. This will ensure a fun, well-organized event that you will enjoy.
4: Train for the event safely and effectively. Provide yourself with enough time to prepare adequately. For example, a 5K run may take 4-8 weeks to prepare for while a 10K may take 8-12 weeks. Marathons and full triathlons can take up to 18 weeks-plus to train for and it is advisable to hire an experienced trainer/coach to design a program addressing the specific physical needs required for you to safely/effectively participate in these events.
5: If events do not float your boat, then consider plotting out a summer full of cycling and hiking trips. You will want to plan according to your physical capability, so again, do your due diligence by researching the roads/trails to ensure you are up to the challenge.
6: And, just like training for events, you will need to train for your outdoor activities. There are specific training modalities for cycling and hiking. Examples include wearing a light backpack as you perform your training walks and stair stepping to prepare for hiking with load. Begin with a five-pound pack and work your way up to the weight increment you intend to bear during your hikes.
The same applies to cycling. We just completed our Winter Training Program for cyclists in preparation of the cycling season. We spent eight weeks training on the indoor group cycles including foundational, endurance, strength, power, time trials and interval training. This is time well spent as each rider is now ready to hit the road and have a great cycling season.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness LLC in Granby. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com, her email at firstname.lastname@example.org and her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.
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