April Feature

CYCLING – HOW TO!

Find your passion - shiny black

Last month’s feature introduced the idea of power lifting.  This month, we will continue to talk about activities that people, especially women, seem to avoid.

Believe meI never thought in a million years that I would be riding my bike up to the top of really big mountains.  But now it is one of my biggest passions, and I find myself seeking out the monsters that once terrified me.  Cycling is a fantastic way to get in great shape, immerse yourself in nature, and connect with some amazing people!!

Whether it is a flat ride, a climbing ride, an aggressive ride, a leisurely ride, a solo ride, or a group ride…cycling is an amazing activity that has opened up new worlds to me.

Give it a thought.  Don’t be afraid.  Keep reading for tips on what to start doing now to prepare yourself for when the good weather comes (unless you live in the summer all year round!).

NUTRITION TIPS:

I want to feel good, but I also love eating and I want it to be fun!! Here are some super healthy versions of a couple of my favourite foodscookies and pizza. ENJOY!

Cookies & Cream Protein Cookies

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highly encourage you to try out this super fast, easy, and totally delicious recipe!!

Compliments of soul sister Jenna Faye Handle.  Check out her great content (including MORE yummy recipes) here!

Pizza Time (Gluten Free)!!!

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love pizza. My body doesn’t like gluten! I finally made cauliflower crust, and was amazed at how well it worked out.  RECIPES HERE

BOOST YOUR FITNESS – Spinning Indoors

Thinking about cycling?  Stop thinking and do it!!!  Don’t worry about that nasty winter that won’t leave.  You can start preparing your mind and body now!  There are a number of ways to get going.

Bike Setup

Spin class provides a fun, motivating atmosphere, and can get you going regardless of your fitness or level of experience.  For better results out on the road, find a studio that provides good spin bikes with resistance.  Also check out the background and experience of the instructors.

Moving to your own indoor setup will take you even further by fully prepping your body to be on your bike.  If you have a bike, or are planning to get a bike, adding on a simple trainer will not blow your budget.  I had the same simple $100 trainer for over 10 years.

Training Plans

As for training plans, these can get really complex, really fast!  So, I’ve pared down and simplified things here to keep it easy and focused.

Ideally, you want to start with some base cycling fitness, then ramp it up with some more intense, performance based sessions.  The purpose of base is to build up your general fitness, cardio level and start working on your endurance.  Ramping it up into performance sessions gets you ready for those hills and preps you for keeping pace.

Keeping things really simple, take a look at how to get started with heart-rate, and using music to get the hang of building endurance and performance:

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To up your game a little further while still keeping it simple, take a look at a sample base programand a sample performance program.  A good month of base followed by another month of ramping things up is a good idea to get you well prepared.

Cycling Base Program

The base program provides 3 sample weeks.  The idea is to get used to being on the bike several days a week, to be able to do consecutive days, and to work up to longer sessions. The spin sessions should be spent in the fat burn and endurance HR zones. Spend increasingly longer times in your endurance zone, using the fat burn zone for warm up, cool down, and recovery between endurance stretches. The stretch and strength components are very important to prevent injury and keep your body feeling good

Check out Training Toolkit for details.

Break up into pieces, and move around to suit your needs & schedule. Examples:

  • Start with three days a week on the bike.  You have the option to repeat the first week, move to 4 spins the 2nd week, or move to 5 spins the second week.
  • Switch the days around.  Maybe M/W/Sat works better for you than M/W/F
  • Maybe you do your strength at lunch, and your spin after work.

BASE PLAN

Cycling Performance Program 

The performance program provides 2 sample weeks to get your feet wet!  Continue to approach the fat burn / endurance zone sessions in the same manner as the base program.  The interval sessions are intended to spent short, intense bursts in the performance zone.  For example:

  • Warm up
  • REPEAT 4 times: 4 min in performance zone, 1 min in fat burn zone)
  • Cool down
  • Spend the remainder of the hour in fat burn zone

If 4 minutes is too long in the performance zone initially, then work your way up!!  Start with 1 minute and add 30 seconds at at time.

PERF PLAN

This is a guideline only.  You don’t have to spend all winter on the bike.  Sometimes it’s good to shake things up with variety.  However, if you are motivated and enjoying it, don’t hesitate to add on more time.  If the weather turns for the better, don’t hesitate to simply get outside!

KEEP WATCHING for more ‘how to’s’ on:

  • Seated climbs
  • Standing climbs
  • Clipping in and out
  • Using those clips to push and pull
  • More on interval training

If you have QUESTIONS or want to REQUEST a TOPIC, contact me or leave a comment.

MENTAL CLARITY: Having fun with Meditation

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Meditation is very personal with unique meanings to each of us.  Meditation has found a very regular and important place in my life.  It helps me to find balance and to work on metal focus and clarity.  It has also contributed to my ability to visualize the results I want in my life.

Tools to Help Deepen Meditation

Mantra refers to a word or sound that when repeated aids concentration in meditation.

Mala is a string of 108 beads, used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation.  The idea is to touch each of the 108 beads, and to repeat a chosen mantra each time.

Visualization and Manifestation

Visualizing clearly what it looks like for you to achieve what you are striving for is a powerful mental tool that, when couple with putting in the work, can really launch you forward.  If you missed last’s months Visualization Exercise, check it out here!!!

You can take this even further to manifestationwhere your visualizations become very detailed and strong, propelling you towards creating what you deeply desire and dream of.

I recently took a Mala making class, coupled with an evening of meditation and visualization, hosted by Apryl Dawn. I highly recommend you check out her beautiful collection, and look for any of her upcoming events.

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