If you’ve been a motorcyclist for any amount of time, you understand the simple fact that riding, in many varieties, is a workout. Sometimes, depending on the situation, it is an extreme one.
For myself, track riding and now racing was becoming a proverbial ‘slap in the face’ that my on-again off-again, hit and miss workout “routine” of the last few years (that involved too many 12 ounce lifts and not enough time off my butt) was clearly not helping my riding at all.
At the end of the 2014 AFM season, I sat down and went over my goals for the upcoming year, and I knew that in order to have a chance of accomplishing them, it would require getting my fitness back. Racing may have finally given me the motivation to get off my chair.
I’m not new to fitness – I grew up with it, and have been in fairly intense training programs, worked with personal trainers and studied it rather extensively over the years. I also know myself and my workout shortcomings and mental weaknesses. I set out to not only put together a plan that would get me where I needed to go, but one I could also stick with. Quitting 3 weeks into it wouldn’t accomplish anything, so I needed to account for my own shortcomings as well.
With some time behind a screen, I laid out a plan for the next 6 months, with a goal of being at a maintenance level by the start of month 6. I would slowly build up in a reasonably aggressive plan of increased intensity. Of course, diet is also an important part of any routine, so that was included as well, again, with a ramp up as eating is one of life’s simple pleasures in my opinion, and one I need to slowly adjust.
I determined that for my goals, a heavy focus on dynamic workouts (those which include elements of both cardio and strength training) interspersed with regular straight cardio and strength, would produce the best results and provide the best preparation for my target activity. I’m starting out slowly, gradually increasing the frequency of workouts and intensity – then introducing diet along the way.
A simple tracker with clearly spelled out directions for each month is how I’m keeping myself accountable. The focus here is fitness – while I’m sure some weight loss and better fitting pants will come with the territory, it is neither the goal nor a part of my plan. By the end of the first 5 months I will be back to a solid fitness level that can be maintained.
The plan was successfully kicked off a couple weeks ago. Having my roommate join me is helping provide a little extra motivation as it’s great to have someone else there “suffering” alongside!
Though it is easy to ignore fitness as a part of riding, it is able to make anyone’s ride far more enjoyable. Even if it’s as simple as having better intrinsic muscle support for your knees on a long ride, better mobility over rough terrain, or just general endurance, riding and fitness should not be as separated as we are sometimes prone to doing so. I’ve been hugely guilty of this myself, having seen firsthand how it affects my riding and enjoyment of my rides, both of which affect how I view the sport.
So I challenge you to join me on this journey! What’s the most you could lose?