The big game is in the books, Christmas is a memory, and Thanksgiving is long past – at least for North America, all of the big weight gain days are out of the way. If you live in the north, it’s cold and nasty. Running is possible, if messy and cold and cycling is only left for choice days and for those with the means to own cold weather cycling gear and a fat-bike (no silly, not a bike for fat people, a fat-bike with 4 or 5 inch wide tires). Up here in Michigan, the first two weeks of February are typically among the coldest of the year and this one sure started off with a bang (12-14 inches of snow and temps in the single digits Fahrenheit [-13 for the rest of the world]. It’s very easy to get lazy right about now. Going outside not only sucks, it hurts when it’s that cold and road conditions are less than desirable. If that weren’t bad enough, and it is, our bodies are still storing up to beat the winter and food hasn’t lost its flavor just because we made a resolution or two.
I haven’t made a resolution this year but that doesn’t mean I don’t have big plans – I do. I’ve got two days of the Horsey Hundred coming up over the Memorial Day weekend (139-158 miles depending), a plateful of centuries to prepare for in between that and Labor Day, then I’ll be capping it off (hopefully) with the DALMAC four day ride from Lansing to the Mackinac Bridge – 405 to 411 miles in four days with an average pace in excess of 20 mph (from what I understand, Day 1 is fast, Day 2 is a bit more subdued, around 20 mph, Day 3 is a bit faster and Day 4 is typically just shy of a race). If I want to get all of this done, I’ll have to be in the best shape of my life. I’ll have to be a lean, mean f*ckin’ MACHINE.
All to often, our Resolutions start to lose meaning in February. Naturally, this is when the real work starts. We’ve had the time to build workouts and exercise into our daily routine but we’ve slacked and now we’re starting to think about picking it up again once Spring rolls around… After all, it’s so cold and nasty out right now! Surely it will be easier to take the next step once the weather starts to clear up, no?
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s the bullshit part of your brain talking. Change the tape and knuckle down.
Today is the day to keep your resolution going strong so that you can have the happiest, fittest, most active summer of your life. This is the day to get on that godforsaken trainer or treadmill and keep it rolling (if you must use a treadmill – I’d rather suck it up and run outside, even in the cold and snow, but that’s just me). Now is the time to knock the fat off of your gut so you can hit the ground running come springtime rather than spend the first two months of the season playing catch-up. I tried the catch-up game last year and while I did catch up, I wasted the first two months of the season working too hard to do it…
Always better to keep the train rolling than trying to get it started again.