I’m a sucker for fitness goals.
My most recent string began in 2013, when I latched onto Strava. Keeping track of miles became easier more meaningful, for myself, but as well as others, through Strava’s ability to link to our friends’ and families’ runs, bike rides, or swims. Plus, you get a map of each or your outdoor activities. Then there is the data that’s getting added up and enumerated that sometimes ends up in the form of a little gold trophy next to Top Results with something like “Today you broke out a personal record on the first mile up Rummy Ridge!” If you have not discovered Strava, then I urge you to give it a try. You are welcome to follow me, and I would do likewise.
In 2014, Carey Kish published an article about the idea of hiking a thousand miles in Maine in a calendar year. Check! I had a great time that year, getting out and exploring the Maine back country. Better than the miles were the hundreds of hours I spent navigating along the rough surface of our corner of the USA while I was getting myself reacquainted with the land of surprisingly unfettered boundaries.
For 2015, My oldest son Lincoln suggested I take on the goal of hiking, running, or biking an hour a day for a whole year. Sold. I did that. My weight has stayed 10 pounds under the usual for over a year now. I also cancelled my gym membership.
For 2016: hike 1,000 and bike 1,000 miles in a calendar year. That’s the deal now. I have upped my daily average to 75 minutes a day, which is what I think I will need to make this happen.
Mr. Kish is now back from his second thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail with his Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, where he identifies 50 of the best trails along the Atlantic Ocean.
My wife and I heard Carey present on this book in Rockland a few weeks ago, where I bought my second copy ( I can’t remember who I lent my first copy to.) , and now Marcia has this idea to hike all 50. We have already visited two new places nearby, Montville’s Northeastern Headwaters Trail and Belfast’s Little River Community Trail, and both lived up to Kish’s superlatives.
Wait! Now there’s this easy way to measure fatigue and to gauge when to back off and take a low intensity workout or a rest day. Have you heard about heart rate variability training? I first learned about it this winter from Larry Starr, a local psychologist who uses it to reduce anxiety and stress in his clients. Check out this recent article from Outside magazine: Is Your Heart Healthy? Ask Your Phone , it’s subtitled Heart-rate apps bring Olympic-caliber recovery to everyone.
Maybe your final takeaway from reading this post is to set a goal or two for this season’s hiking, biking, or swimming season. It has been working for me, keeps things fresh, and just maybe may result in better health, lower weight, or a finely tuned heart.