Fatness Goals

Words Andrew Major
Date Feb 5, 2017

Remember I’m pullin’ for ya–we’re all in this together.” – Red Green

Snowmageddon

It’s snowing again. Snowmageddon 2.0 on the wet-coast this winter for those keeping track. Traffic is snarled. Car insurance rates will definitely be going up next year. With bald-tired-BMWs drifting everywhere in North Vancouver, I’ve been running fewer errands by bike. All in all it is wreaking havoc on my preseason fatness goals.


Understand the POWER of 20 minutes of movement – especially if you spend your day at a desk. If you have access to a gym, cardio equipment, stairs, a Yoga mat, the great outdoors etc just a little simple activity – cardio and/or strength – will add to the quality of your ride.” – BONDtraining

Those of us who rely on year round mountain biking for our physical and mental fitness are back trying to get our fix riding in the snow on regular bikes. It can be exhausting but I’m proof positive it doesn’t make up for the usual winter of regular single track.

NSMB_2017_gearreview_intense_primer-1865.jpg?w=4528

Fatness goals. In all fairness I’m wearing like four layers because it’s cold. Plus the camera adds, what, 10kg!? And my jacket’s bunched up… Dave Smith provides me with some fitness motivation | Photo: Dave Smith

If this weather occurred regularly I’d own a Fatbike. I could get a lobotomy and ride an indoor trainer through the most inclement weather, but I don’t. I really have no excuses. And here I am going into spring 2017 in the worst riding shape I can remember. Time is limited as is my motivation to get ‘riding fit’ by means other than riding.

Suffering with a Smile


I ain’t as good as I once was, But I’m as good once, as I ever was.” – Toby Keith

Head down, heart rate up. Lungs and legs on fire. Breathing hard. I’m taunted by the thunderous sound of the 4.8″/4″ rubber on the WOZO as Trevor cruises bow-legged behind me up Old Buck. We’d been pedaling a while but the lack of juice in my legs was still surprising and for the first time over the day I was seriously regretting my choice of bike.

Fatness Goals

Way, way, back in August 2016 when I was in decent riding shape | Photo: Andrew Major

I drift over to the side of the trail, un-clip, and take a long draw from my water bottle. Smile, Andrew. I love mountain biking. The forest, the trails, the tech, the people. I’m suffering. But I’m not too far off the back. Chalk that up to the magic of muscle memory.


Sometimes it’s as easy as getting more out of the exercise you are already doing, when going for a ride, work that little bit harder on the pedal up, work out how long it usually takes you to get to trail X, then try and decrease the amount of time it takes you.” – Ozmosis Training

Maybe it was an early Saturday ride after whiskey night. Maybe it was for a mechanical that took way longer than it should have. Maybe they were suffering a similar bout of inactivity. The point is there isn’t a rider on the mountain who hasn’t waited for their buddies at some point.

Smile. Keep it positive. They’ll wait until I catch up. Oh. But that doesn’t mean I’ll have a chance to catch my breath.

Smile! I shouldn’t need to remind myself that I love mountain biking but occasionally – deep, deep, in the no-fitness pain cave – I have to give myself a pep talk | Photo: Dave Smith

Sure, a positive attitude isn’t everything. It is a big part of my plan to get back in fighting shape.

Beer & Eats vs Saddle Time


"Pack a snack not lbs. Post ride you’re hungry and it’s easy to overestimate the amount of calories you’ve burned. You’ll want to eat fast (within an hour so your body can assimilate carbs/protein into the muscle quickly) and having a post ride healthy snack ready is the best way to fuel your body and set yourself up for success on the next ride.” – BONDtraining

I know what you’re thinking. No. No, I’m not going to suggest cutting back on the craft beer. I’m drinking Yellow Dog “Chew Toy” Porters while writing this piece. I’m not moving to celery either. Or tracking rides: No Garmin, No Rules.

Where does that leave me? The readily apparent answer is I need to ride bikes more. How’s that for a cure-all? I’m avoiding the obvious Eddie Merckx and Greg Lemond quotes here but it certainly isn’t an original idea.

Fatness Goals

As much as I love to night ride, the secret to logging way more miles is going to be parking the car as much as possible | Photo: Andrew Major

I really like night riding and my motivation for late nights and early mornings will definitely return once the snow melts. That said, the long miles in the saddle I need aren’t going to come from short punchy dad-loops so parking the car as much as possible is going to be the key.

Fatness Goals

Obviously, snow shovel-fit hasn’t given me anything and I’m not surrendering beer. Where does that leave me in terms of my pre-season riding fitness? Fatness goals! As soon as the snow melts I have a lot of catching up to do. I asked two local trainers – generally used to dealing with riders more motivated and flexible than myself – for any ‘little things’ I can change in exchange for HUGE results. Ha.


"Have a short list of trails/trailheads of various lengths that you can hit. If you only have a half hour to ride, then doing 2 hot laps of an easily accessible trail (for me it’s Bobsled) will be way more rewarding than getting half way up Old Buck and deciding to turn around because you promised you would be back home in 30.” – BONDTraining

"If you are headed up a fire road rather than a trail, do intervals. Drop down a couple of gears and go at a consistently hard pace for say 2-4 minutes, recover, then do it again until you make it to the trail head.” – Ozmosis Training


Fatness Goals

“A little less talk; a little more action. Keep rest segments short and sweet to maximize your ride time and fitness (two minutes is optimum)” – Jason | Photo: Dave Smith

Jason @ BONDTraining and Jaclyn @ Ozmosis both had some simple advice I’ll be incorporating. With limited time these days, I find I drive to the trail head a lot more than I used to. But when I’m running ahead of schedule I plan to park farther away and incorporate as much pre-ride road spin as possible.

I’m halfway to having my gear ready to go all the time but with a bit more planning I can be ready to go at a moment’s notice and sneak in more rides. At least my commuter bike and trailer are prepped for immediate departure. I’m motivated to ride myself fit(ter). Now if the damn snow will just melt.


How do you get in shape for ‘the season’?

Comments

tuskalooa
+1 Merwinn
tuskalooa  - Feb. 15, 2017, 7:47 a.m.

Some real nuggets in there.

Reply

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Feb. 7, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

Just feel lucky that you're not an obsessive rock climber. I have a friend that clocks in at 150, and starts dieting if he sees the scales hit 153. In comparison, mountain biking is super kind to us portly protagonists.

Actually, you could consider the climbing gym as a relatively fun way to get some fitness work in when the weather outside is horrendous, or your time is extremely limited. And, you'll never experience hand pump again.

Reply

cooper
0
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 6, 2017, 1:28 p.m.

Basically me on a bike right now:

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 7, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

I didn't think you looked that lean.

Reply

morgan-taylor
0
Morgan Taylor  - Feb. 6, 2017, 12:08 p.m.

This reminds me Andrew, I've got a No Garmin No Rules sticker for you at the next #coffeeoutsideyvr 🙂

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 7, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

Where do you put that sticker when you're running your Garmin?

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 7, 2017, 4:58 p.m.

The real question is where does he hide the Garmin when riding a bike with that sticker?

Bike Packing explained: less chance of your friends finding out about your secret Strava obsession if your bike is littered with pockets.

Reply

0
Ted Roome  - Feb. 6, 2017, 11:03 a.m.

Agree that Gyms suck.
Thanks for the post Drew. Easy to forget that I'm not on only one.

Reply

awesterner
0
awesterner  - Feb. 6, 2017, 10:55 a.m.

Great piece Andrew. Jason hit the nail on the head; "pack a snack, not pounds". Which probably should include avoid post ride pub every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night in the summer 😎

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 10:58 a.m.

Flask Friday is definitely easier on the middle than Steak + Stout Sunday.

Reply

cooper
0
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 6, 2017, 1:29 p.m.

Flask Friday FTW.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:17 p.m.

Post ride beers (minimum) or pub is mandatory. I'd skip a few doughnuts to compensate any day.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 7, 2017, 8:31 a.m.

The problem is if you ride 3, 4, 5 times a week, you're drinking as much as a red-cheeked lager lad.

Reply

zigak
0
ZigaK  - Feb. 9, 2017, 1:43 a.m.

But in all fairness, if you ride that much, you probably ride 4.5 times of that alone. And nobody should drink beer in bicycle attire in a bar alone.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 9, 2017, 9:14 a.m.

DON'T JUDGE ME!!!!!!

sniff

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:19 a.m.

It's amazing how quickly your base comes back. I blew my ACL,MCL in 99 and I still remember my first ride back to work. Pulse hit 199 going over Lions Gate, on a road bike, in lowest gear 39X23. I had to buy a new cassette that went to 28 to get home. Within a week I put the 23 back on. It's the last bit of speed or power that takes a while. That last 10% takes 100% more effort in training.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 1:32 p.m.

I'm not worried… but it sure gets harder the older I get! (Hahahahaha)

Reply

wncmotard
0
WNCmotard  - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:10 a.m.

I can completely understand where you're coming from. I had an early season injury last season that pretty much took me out of action for our prime riding time of the year. Sitting around playing video games and drinking craft beer had me putting on pounds fast. I pretty much stopped keeping beer at home, only having one when I was out with friends until I could at least ride a little bit. I walked quite a bit, and ate the same foods, but less of it. I dropped 10-15lbs, almost back down to normal weight, and by summer I will be there. I'm back to riding fairly regularly now, and ride my single speed pretty much every ride to help whip my legs and lungs back into shape. Good luck on your own fatness goals!

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 9:18 a.m.

"We're all in this together"

Thanks!

Reply

0
t.odd  - Feb. 6, 2017, 7:33 a.m.

I'm really glad I love winter not biking activities

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 7:49 a.m.

And chose where you live accordingly! I live in one of the few places in Canada you generally don't have to like snow…

I went Fatbiking on 'real' DH trails yesterday… didn't hate it.

Reply

0
t.odd  - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:01 a.m.

it's true, but it's still Canada and once every 10 years you get snow to sea level for most of the winter! 🙂

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:27 a.m.

True. Last time I met a bunch of nice ~ locals down riding in Bellingham.

The killer is that there was suddenly a lot of dirt last week and poof

Half of Whistler and Squamish was down here riding Seymour last weekend…

Reply

morgan-taylor
0
Morgan Taylor  - Feb. 6, 2017, 1:05 p.m.

Given where you live, you'd better.

Reply

david-mills
0
David Mills  - Feb. 6, 2017, 7:01 a.m.

I'm blessed/cursed with the ability to toil away in the basement on the trainer. It's not fun. Not even type 2 fun. I started riding on Dec. 27, after realizing that I was still packing weight from x-mas 2015. The same day, I started using The Great Satan, also known as the My Fitness Pal app. Those measures, plus a couple of fatbike rides each week, have been effective. I wish I could just ride more and not track what I'm eating, but down that path lies delicious ruin, smothered in aged cheddar with a side of onion rings.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 7:50 a.m.

Mmmmm… cheese.

Reply

david-mills
0
David Mills  - Feb. 6, 2017, 2:07 p.m.

I miss cheese.

(sob)

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 9, 2017, 9:35 a.m.

Speaking of cheese… It's international Pizza Appreciation Day!

Q) What's the difference between a pizza and a bike mechanic?

A) A pizza can easily feed a family of four.

Ba Dum Tsssss

Reply

morgan-taylor
0
Morgan Taylor  - Feb. 6, 2017, 1:04 p.m.

I dropped 10 kg with My Fitness Pal and regular exercise this time last year. It was really useful to be able to see where things like seconds at dinner and bread/baked goods instead of veggies for snacks was helping me keep that weight on. Prior to that I'd done pretty well self-regulating with higher than average exercise levels, but it eventually hit me that I'd need to confront it head on and the app was quite helpful.

Reply

0
49%  - Feb. 6, 2017, 3:14 p.m.

"The Great Satan" 😆

Fitness is relative to who you're riding with. Last time I rode on the Shore I came upon a group of six women in team kit who invited me along. I eyed their car-priced bikes and single digit fat percentages suspiciously. On the first hill the group made the jump to lightspeed, and I was left dry heaving on the ground.
Those folks that are physically gifted and train hard? Yeah, fuck them. Find some fatter slower friends.

Reply

j-legbacon
0
J Legbacon  - Feb. 6, 2017, 6:25 a.m.

I would rather pull out my toenails than hop back on a trainer or treadmill. The solution is simple, just go running. Lots of exercise in a short time, no need to go anywhere special, and bike clothing is great for running. Get good shoes and wait for spring.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 7:50 a.m.

I can get behind trail running… but same issue there. Snow shoes maybe?

Reply

j-legbacon
0
J Legbacon  - Feb. 6, 2017, 7:58 a.m.

Snowshoeing is great exercise as well. In the Army we had a couple snowshoe races, quite funny.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:29 a.m.

Snowshoeing seems mostly like a great excuse to drink bourbon?

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:59 a.m.

That's my kind of snowshoeing!

Reply

morgan-taylor
0
Morgan Taylor  - Feb. 6, 2017, 12:07 p.m.

We have Yaktrax for our running shoes, definitely helps, though haven't even used them much even with the conditions this year. And getting out for a short run is definitely more valuable fitness-wise than riding, when you consider the logistics of preparing to ride and getting to the trails. If you have an hour in the middle of a work day you basically get to run for 50 minutes of it, but there's no way you'll get that much trail riding in. Not even the "half hour" needed for two laps of Bobsled.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 12:16 p.m.

Riding the commuter is generally the best for me as it's easy to take my +1 along and it just becomes fitness that is part of our daily gettin' around… but the roads (by which I mean drivers) are scary with snow piled on either side.

May try to borrow an XC-Ski kit for the Chariot and try towing it behind the WOZO…

Reply

morgan-taylor
0
Morgan Taylor  - Feb. 6, 2017, 1:06 p.m.

I honestly do wonder how far you might get with that. Sounds like you're looking for a very wide, groomed trail. Nothing with that heavy wet snow covering almost everything right now.

Reply

litespeed74
0
litespeed74  - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:52 a.m.

LOL..I"m the same way. I cannot get on a trainer anymore. I'll find something to do, run, swim, shovel snow…ANYTHING.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Feb. 6, 2017, 9:16 a.m.

Shovel-Fit!

Reply

Cheez1ts
0
Garrett Thibault  - Feb. 5, 2017, 11:34 p.m.

I know you just want to ride your bike, but the snow doesn't last very long. Just sign up for some trial memberships at local gyms so you can fill your regular ride time with something active while you wait for the snow to melt. It may sound lame to go to a bunch of different gyms to "try them out", but there's the possibility you might actually like one and keep going.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 6, 2017, 9 a.m.

The thing is, the snow has lasted a LONG time this year, G-bault. Although the riding on snow has been terrific.

And gyms really suck (in my opinion) and I'm guessing Andrew hates 'em even more than I do.

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.

Trending on NSMB