I’ve decided to combine October and November for the purposes of my food and fitness goals. This is because I have a new fitness plan that will take 8 weeks to finish, so four weeks in October and four weeks in November.
What is this new fitness plan, you ask?
It’s a biking training plan.
That’s right, folks – the exercise room with the stationary bike is open, and my Dad finally coughed up his road bike!
Woohoo!I am pretty excited.
I am still doing the FBG challenge for October, but I think what I’m going to do from now on here is just post the details of my favorite or most challenging days of the week, rather than going through every single day. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to still go through every day – but its now the middle of the semester and I have a TON of other writing, reading, and learning to do. And I kept finding myself putting off writing my fitness update posts because they took too long. So rather than continuing to put them off, I’m going to lighten up on myself and make them a little shorter. Here we go!
Fall Fitness Goals
- complete the FBG challenges for October and November
- complete the biking training plan I got from this awesome book:
For this week, I am supposed to ride five days, averaging from one hour to one hour and forty-five minutes. She also tells you what “zone” to ride in. The zones are:
Zone 1, Easy: Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) 1-2. Easy breathing, light to no effort.
Zone 2, Cruising: RPE 3-4. Breathe deep, steady, and relaxed. Could maintain for entire ride.
Zone 3, Steady: RPE 5-6, slightly shorter, quicker breathing. Still under control
Zone 4, Brisk: RPE 7-8, short, quick, rhythmic breathing. Unable to carry on a conversation.
Zone 5, Max: RPE 9-10, fastest, strongest pace possible. Breathing is heavy, short, rapid.
This week I’m generally supposed to ride at the cruising level (zone 2), with intervals some days of steady or brisk.
I also learned that – and this makes sense – riding a stationary bike is harder than riding outside, because there’s no coasting or standing up on the pedals to rest your legs and your bum. So in general, if I’m going to ride indoors because of weather or time of day, I should cut the workout time by approximately 20%.
So that’s the plan! After a whole month of anticipating, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal (or the wheel to the road, as it were).
- There are also now free weights in my awesomely renovated exercise room! As much as I’ve enjoyed the body-weight workout thing, I really missed being able to use the weights at my old gym. I am SO EXCITED to have access to them again. I worked with a personal trainer on and off for about three years, so while I’m by no means an expert, I do kind of know what I’m doing with some free weight exercises. I also have some apps I’ve downloaded to help me come up with workout plans. I’d like the strength train – upper body and abs – two to three times per week, depending on time.
Now that school is back in full swing and I’m starting a new job, I’ve noticed myself slipping back into my truly awful cereal-for-every-meal habits. This is not okay. For crying out loud, I’m a nutrition student. If I can’t help myself, how can I help anyone else?
My all-time favorite guide for menu planning is the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (aka high blood pressure). While I do not have hypertension, it does run in my family, so cutting my salt intake can only help.
However, the reason I love DASH is that it isn’t really a diet, despite the name. It’s a way to group foods so that you’re eating a solid balance of whole grains, veggies, fruits, proteins, and dairy (DASH is super big on dairy-based protein, which considering my deep and abiding love of all things milk, is right in my wheelhouse). The best part is that the meals are HUGE. You aren’t ever deprived because the goal of the diet isn’t to make you skinny – it’s to make you healthy.
Here’s my favorite DASH breakfast:
1 oz whole grain cereal (like GF Cheerios)
4 oz fresh fruit (like blueberries in my cereal)
8 oz milk (enough for my cereal and some to drink on the side
1 slice whole grain toast with
1 teaspoon butter and
1 teaspoon jam
4 oz juice (my favorite is orange)
Seriously, that is a lot of food. I’m full for hours after I eat a DASH breakfast.
I have this book on my Kindle, and so far I’ve been doing a really good job planning out breakfasts and lunches for a week in advance (Monday through Sunday), and going grocery shopping for what I need for the week on Sundays. I’ve been feeling really good for the last two weeks since I started this back up (I did it for the first time about a year ago). So the plan is to keep it going!
What food and fitness goals are you working on? Have you tried the DASH diet? Let me know what you think in the comments!