I've been working out regularly for a couple weeks now and by regularly, I mean at least four times a week. Last year I did a whole lot of mountain biking, but very little else and, as a result, lost no weight and never really felt in shape. My skills as a mountain biker advanced tremendously, but my endurance and speed did not. The only way for me to get back into some semblance of the shape I was in in 2002 is to really get back into running and to also get myself a road bike. Swimming is out: as much fun as triathlons were, I refuse to endure swim training again. And mountain biking, for as fun as it is and as grueling as a lengthy hike-a-bike climb can be, is just not nearly enough of a workout to suit my needs. I'll still hit the trails on my Giant NRS at least twice a week, but it can't be the only thing I do anymore. Not if I'm to welcome back the old me.
Basically, I want to lose about 10 pounds and gain a lot of speed. So, I've started running again, started lifting again, and for the first time ever in my life am even jumping rope. And the variety is a really nice change of pace. Once I get a solid enough base, I'll even return to the track for interval workouts. To be honest, I can't wait to start doing 400m repeats again. But that's a long ways off.
For now, I want to start with a monthly fitness check. On the first of each month, give or take a day or two depending on scheduling, I'm going to do 3 things in quick succession:
1) Run a 5k -- I have a perfect 50%road/50%trail 5k loop with about 170ft of climbing that starts and ends at my front door.
2) Pushups -- Within 5 minutes of getting back from the run, I'm going to drop and do as many pushups as I can in one set and deduct 1 second off my 5k time for each pushup. Nice and slow pushups with hands only shoulder-width apart.
3) Jumprope -- Within 5 minutes of finishing the pushups, I'll set a 2 minute timer and see how many jumps I can do in 2 minutes. Will be using a weighted training rope (not a speed rope) and will deduct 1 second from my 5k time for ever 5 jumps I make.
Final Score = 5k time converted to seconds - (1 x pushups total) - (1 x jumprope/5)
So that's what I'm going to do and I'll lay down my base score on March 2nd, this coming Thursday (I'll be in the city all day Wednesday). Feel free to do the same thing and post your results to the comments field below. After all, training is more fun if you make a game out of it and have a little bit of competition.
And speaking of competition, my first race in 4 years is just 4 short weeks away. I have a 40 mile mountain bike ride coming up this weekend, and will start getting my weekly long run up in the 8 to 10 mile range before long. Starting to get nervous.
I love that feeling.