I’m a huge fan of extreme exercise days. Meaning prolonged and continued exercise for several to many hours. My favorite activities to do currently are hiking and biking. Both require a good level of fitness to do, and of course, a long period of time in which to complete the activity. As I am currently employed and work about 45 hours a week, that means weekends.
In Spring I try to “get back into” hiking, going to trails that aren’t snowed in (ie, lowland elevations). I go up a mountain, or along a creek, always uphill. I try to do hikes that are 5-8 miles and 1000’+ elevation gain to start. After my “break in” period, meaning I don’t die of exhaustion the next day and can drive home without being horribly unwell, I’m ready for the next phase. This usually coincides with some melting in the snowpack. I start having more variety of hikes available, but they are usually more strenuous – longer, steeper, further away. I start doing those. My limit based on many years ago, is about 14-15 miles, but I haven’t gotten back to that level for a long while (I bet being 225 lbs doesn’t help!). I don’t really like anything that’s much more than 3000′ elevation gain in a hike, either, but i do them if the payout (ie the destination) is worth it.
So I’ve returned to the weightloss fold almost 2 weeks ago. Luckily, prior to that, while my eating was significant and not good, I was still playing weekend warrior. I’ve put in a bunch of hikes and can already tell they are having an impact. I did pretty good on my hike last week. And today I took the day off work and decided to get a long day of biking in. Prior to today, I did a big ride 2 weeks ago, 30 miles in 3.5 hours. Unfortunately, I have done a few rides of that length, and have gotten serious sores on my butt for my effort. The open sores line up perfectly with the stitching on the padded part of my biking shorts. In a word, the shorts made me miserable. So I went to the bike store and they told me to buy the most expensive biking shorts I could afford. Well I did. I just got a $110 pair and boy oh boy the difference!
Today I did a 41 mile ride, and I can totally feel the difference the hiking has made. After getting back I totally know I could have gone much further. I have a goal to circumnavigate Lake Washington – that’s about 60 miles – by fall. I think I’m well on my way and close to achieving that. No butt soreness. No welts and chafing. Unfortunately, I do have a bad souvenier of my ride today, but it’s not fitness related:
So go kill it and get over more than 2000 calories burned in a day by doing something prolonged for a half day or longer. Go hiking for 6 hours, go biking for more than 4, or maybe do something else you enjoy – running, kayaking, whatever floats your boat. Just kill the calories, not you. Remember to wear a helmet or appropriate safety equipment – trust me, they will one day totally pay off!
Oh, and with 2 days left this weekend, if the big leg bruise that came as a set with my bike spill today isn’t too bad, I will try and do some more hiking either tomorrow or Sunday. What could be better than a day of serious calorie burning? Two days! Happy weekend all!