Friday, December 9, 2011

Trimming Calories to Increase Climbing Effectiveness

As soon as I had gotten both of my daughters off to school this morning, I brought my hot chai latte into our home office, and I settled into my black leather chair for a moment of reflection. This is a time when I'm not fully awake, but it's my first opportunity to organize my thoughts as I move forward with a productive day.

Just then, David came into the office with the newest issue of Bicycling Magazine in his hands. Apparently he's been inspired, and he wants to share the joy. There is an article in there by Selene Yeager entitled Stay Lean - And Fast. David reads to me a line in the article stating that five extra pounds will make you 30 seconds slower on a 5K climb.

I know. I need the inspiration. But I hadn't even had my morning shower yet.

We've been dreaming of someday somehow getting ourselves a lighter tandem bicycle. Ours is a steel Burley Duet, and while it's a solid ride, it's 48 pounds heavy even before we add on our four filled water bottles. However, the reality is that it's worth serious consideration of how our own weight greatly affects our riding.

I lost quite a bit in 2010, but regained much of that last winter. And while we've tallied up almost 3,000 mile in riding time this year, I've lost only about 10 pounds -- even over the hottest summer days. David, on the other hand, has done incredibly well! He has lost about 30 pounds this year, and so far, he has kept it off. He looks fantastic too!

I consulted my doctor about why my increased physical activity has not made much of a dent towards my weight loss goals, and his explanation is simply that I am getting older. I'm 48 years old. It's frustrating.

We need to put out more effort to ward off the extra pounds piling on, especially as wintertime is approaching, and we need to make this a daily effort.

We plan to ride outdoors as long as the weather and conditions allow. And when it's not possible, we have a elliptical machine downstairs, and rollers and a trainer for spin training on our bicycles. I can always take a walk in the middle of the day too.

More than that, we know one of the biggest challenges is watching our food intake. Selene's books and articles are inspiring. And, of course, my husband is most influential over my day-today challenges. He's wonderfully supportive. I will make the commitment.

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