Posted by: Ian | December 29, 2009

Fitness in 2010

Although there is something pathetically Hallmarky about the routine of formalising resolutions for the coming year in late December, I do it anyway. For the past few years this has amounted simply to measuring my daily exercise and alcohol consumption levels. When I first began this I measured each as a bool (did I exercise or not? did I drink or not?). More recently, measurement has advanced to the recording of calories burned in exercise and units of alcohol consumed.

This year I’m taking a different, more holistic approach to my New Year’s plan.

I’m setting myself two goals. The first is to complete the Tour of Wessex at the end of May. The second is to complete one of the big winter sportives, probably the Best of Exmoor, which ended unluckily in 2009. Along the way, I’ve entered a number of other sportives, as described previously; but I’m regarding these as “training”, and insofar as I become accomplished enough to arrange for my form to “peak”, it will be for my two main events.

I will continue to measure my exercise calories burned, though not my alcohol consumed, and also to keep up my level of cycling. Emily has declared that she will be organising weekly training rides in London and I’ll be turning up to as many of these as I can. I’ll also be making an effort to do some longer rides – probably up to 80 miles – at lower intensity from time to time at the weekend to build my base, as my cycling book says.

In addition, I’ll be looking forward to a 2010 revival of team Friday Tridays – cycling to work, having a moderate run and then breakfast at Carluccios. And I’ll be putting my sessions with my personal trainer on hold and using the hour reclaimed to do some swimming. In my last training session I left my heart rate monitor on from my ride in to work and found that I burned only 81 cals with an average heart rate of just over 60.  This is significantly lower than my heart rate was yesterday when I was doing nothing more than resting on the heated passenger seat of the Audi, so an hour’s swimming will be an aerobic upgrade. I half intend to do some core training at home – sit-ups, press ups that sort of thing – but my track record at keeping that up is poor. Maybe I’ll take it more seriously if I buy a mat.

I’m also thinking about investing in some power measurement technology: probably a CycleOps powertap built into a Mavic Elite wheel (courtesy of Emily from her crashed bike) with a Garmin 705 on the stem of my Felt.

Finally, I have some thoughts about nutrition. Again, this is equipment based: first I intend to buy a slow cooker; then I might buy a steamer for vegetables; and, completing my new pan hat-trick, I might get an omelette  pan, since omlette’s are quick to make and I’ve just read that eggs are the only complete protein source.

While I’m not interested in trying to record my alcohol units any more, I will be aiming to keep consumption relatively low, with a month completely off alcohol between the return from our family trip to Maui in April and the Tour of Wessex.

So that’s it.  I’m calling it a plan.



  1. […] to track Heart Rate zones, which segs in with the Base Building book I’ve been reading. My 2010 resolutions have not flown off to an impressive start yet (swims 1, runs 0, core exercises 0, new pans 0) so […]

  2. […] Over the Christmas break, I’ve been working my way through Base Building for Cyclists, which looks set to be the first book about exercise that I will ever have read. I like it, and although I won’t be following it too earnestly, I’m using it to put a regime together along the lines I outlined a couple of entries ago. […]

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