Saturday, August 16, 2008

working toward trekking again

Having recently joined the Adventure Cycling Association, I've been getting mail (and cycling route maps) to help me think outside the gym.

Although I've started working out and tweaking my diet for general fitness and health, quality of life is bigger than just that. Pretty much everything has been getting easier as I lighten the load (to the tune of 1-1.5 lbs/week) and increase in strength & flexibility.

And that includes cycling! I just returned from a bike route featuring some challenging hills. We call it "the Booger route" in honor of a friendly dog named Booger we used to encounter along the way.

One hill in particular is traditionally a real beast, and more than once I've run out of steam before making it all the way up. But today I made the entire route with a few additions in about 55 minutes without even taking a break.

My workout routine is a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular work, and stretching. I believe each of these is making a meaningful contribution to my ride.

But not every workout should be in the gym. Just as in golf playing a round isn't treated like a trip to the driving/chipping/putting facility, I don't approach the gym the same way I'd approach cycling, swimming, canoeing, or going for a walk.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

hit the Anytime Fitness in Richland today

I am finally able to enter the Richland location, which is much closer to my house.

At first glance, I can see some obvious points of comparison between the two.

First off, the one in Madison is very quiet. People watch TV on personal-sized flat screens with headphones while on the cardio machines, but there's not a lot of background noise.

In Richland, there are TVs, but they're massive things and not dedicated to individual workout stations. Local radio station Y101 is playing loudly through the place, commercials and all. But it was tolerable, if only by a slim margin.

There are more stationary bikes in Richland than in Madison. I tried out a recumbent today, and found it to be more feature rich than the 'bent in Madison, as it's loaded with electronics. The electronics made it a stone cold mystery to figure out at first, though. But it was great to be able to monitor my heart rate on the bike.

The rest of the bikes I saw today appear to be fashioned after time trial bikes, and I will definitely give them a good checking out soon.

I discovered quickly while on the treadmill that some of what makes the magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray a fun read for me makes it terrible reading on the treadmill. The articles and features are fantastic for short attention span reading while waiting in line or killing a minute, but no good for long stretches of time.

I put in 37 minutes on the treadmill, varying the speed and incline for an interval session. Then I put in about 32 more minutes on the 'bent, sticking to around 90 RPM with varying resistance levels (10-15, mostly) for more interval work, recording a distance of 7.68 and 253 calories.