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Non-Mileage Fitness Goals: Set ‘Em!

Written on August 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm , by

Most runners LOVE to keep count. We track miles, minutes, and maybe even calories burned. But numbers can drive us crazy, too.

I think it’s important for runners to also set non-mileage goals because – trust me – you can’t always be increasing mileage and speed.  Even if you’re not prone to injuries like me, sometimes life gets in the way. Work ramps up or a new baby arrives. And sometimes, you just get burnt out on running and need time to focus on something besides the numbers.

When it comes to setting non-mileage fitness goals, I think it’s important that the goal is somehow quantifiable (or, in the very least, you decide in advance how you’ll know you’ve achieved it). Here is a list of non-mileage goals, some of which I’m currently working towards myself:

  • Train yourself to do a certain number of push-ups or sit-ups.
  • Do a plank for a certain amount of time.
  • Take a 30-Day Yoga / Zumba / Whatever-Floats-Your-Boat Challenge:  The key with long challenge like this is to build in room for error. Instead of saying you’re going to go to yoga for 30 straight days, say you’ll do 25 yoga workouts over 30 days.
  • Learn how to do indoor rock climbing.
  • Take dance lessons.
  • Learn to do a headstand or crow’s pose.
  • Become more flexible (for example, touch your toes or go into a split).
  • Increase arm strength to the point where you can do a chin-up (or two).
  • Regularly meditate.
  • Learn how to swim.
  • Start cycling for distance.
  • Bench-press a new weight.
  • Go for a walk every night before dinner.
  • Last through an entire hot yoga class without having to take a break.
  • Do all your housework to music and dance to the beat.
  • Stand up every 30 minutes and walk around your office.

I also think it’s a great idea to set non-mileage, non-fitness goals during injury, such as reading a new book each week or learning to sew.

What non-mileage goal are you currently working towards? 

Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.

How to Buy a (Used) Bike

Written on July 25, 2012 at 10:23 am , by

Running is an easy hobby to get into. The ‘entry costs’ are low – all a woman really needs is a decent pair of shoes (well, and a really good sports bra). But when I first became interested in cycling, I had no idea whether I would like it and stick with it. And cycling is not cheap – a new road bike can easily cost $750 – $1,000, and many other great options can cost even more. So instead of buying a new bike, I snagged a used one.

My Giant road bike originally retailed at $1,400… and I got it for $350.

Before you set out to buy a used bike, consider what type you actually want and need. Generally speaking, there are three types of bikes: road bikes (lightest frame and thinnest wheels; designed to travel fast on even surfaces), mountain bikes (heaviest frame and thickest wheels; designed for trail riding), and hybrids (in-between bikes designed for riding around the city on sidewalks).  If you are interested in doing a triathlon, you’ll want a road bike, although you could probably get by in a sprint triathlon with a hybrid.

Next, consider bike fit. Fit is extremely important.  Head to a local bike shop and get on some bikes; talk about fit with the salesman. Don’t feel bad about trying out some new bikes – you’ll be back for a tune-up for your used bike! (Click to keep reading!) Read more