It’s easy for me to focus on the scale and use that as the metric for how I’m progressing — or failing to progress. The thing is, though, losing weight is only part of the equation. I also need to train better.
I’ve known for a long time that the best way for me to accomplish both these things is for me to hire a trainer. Someone who will give me a regimented diet. Someone who will plan out my training — how far to ride on which days, what kind of rides to go on, what kind of effort to expend, and so forth.
I know all this, and yet I never hire a trainer.
Wait, I should restate that: I know all this, and that’s why I never hire a trainer.
I Embrace My Inner-Randomness
The truth is, I love the haphazard nature of my training. When I go out riding, I like to go out on the ride that sounds like the most fun at the moment. Some days that’s a flat ride, some days it’s full of hills. Some days I go at my "all-day" pace, some days I go as hard as I can until I completely blow up.
Some days I ride on a road bike, some days I’m on a mountain bike. Whatever I feel like. I have never burned out on biking in more than ten years, because I’m always doing what I want to do.
It’s haphazard, but cumulatively, it at least sorta-kinda works. I get in a lot of miles. I push myself. I get better at cycling, and I burn a lot of calories.
I love the loose nature of my diet, too. The "avoid bad habits" diet (copyright Fat Cyclist Enterprises, all rights reserved) diet lets me go to restaurants, it lets me eat carbs, it lets me eat whatever I want. I just don’t eat stupid amounts of it, I don’t eat late at night, and I make sure I eat a lot of raw fruit (mostly apples) during the day.
Are What I Want and What I Like Mutually Exclusive?
While I like the "Do Whatever Sounds Good" approach to training, I also really want to get under the nine-hour mark at the Leadville 100 next year. It will be my tenth try and I’ve never finished under nine hours before, so I’ve got to admit to myself that when I train my way, I come up short.
I expect a trainer would change everything about my training. I’d need to ride certain amounts, at a certain level. I’d need to do intervals. I’d need to do "rest day rides," where I wouldn’t be allowed to chase after the guy up the road. And I’d probably have a completely different diet.
I’d probably really improve with a trainer. Maybe I’d even hit my race goals. I think, though, that in the middle of all this routine I’d stop having fun.
So this year, I’ll try to be smarter about my training. I’ll do more hills, I’ll keep doing the long flat rides, I’ll let my muscles recover. I’ll be light. But I plan on doing it haphazardly.
Maybe there are trainers out there who specialize in flibbertigibbets like me. Trainers who can show me how to keep doing the rides I want to do, but just do them better. In which case, Ms. I-like-to-train-completely-random-people, by all means contact me.
But I’m not willing to give up the fun. I’m just not.
Today’s Weight: 165.0 lbs.