I have not always been big on new year's resolutions and have usually forgotten the few I have made by the end of January. But, last year, instead of giving up soda, a resolution I managed to keep for only three months, I decided to set a cycling mileage goal for the year.
According to my bike computer I had logged in the neighborhood of 3500 miles a year in past years but had not kept very good records. So, I figured 5000 miles for the year was an achievable goal, especially broken down into bite-sized pieces. I only had to average 416 miles per month or 13.6 miles per day, roughly my round-trip commute to work.
The key to sticking to my goal was to record my daily mileage on a calendar, focusing on staying ahead of weekly and monthly targets. I also found that picking a few long distance events and registering early was a good way to maintain focus.
I ended up hitting the 5000-mile mark in mid September while riding the Civil War Century. I have slacked off a bit since then but will have about 6300 miles for the year - by far, my biggest year ever.
So what's next?
I figure that an even better way to hold myself to a resolution is to throw it out there for everyone to see.
Since I have been goaded by my fellow bloggers into signing up for a triathlon and in a moment of temporary insanity, signed up for the Baltimore Marathon, my goal for the year will be 7500 self-propelled miles.
Since I have not really started running or swimming yet, I expect biking will still be my primary focus. I have several events on my calendar to train for and rack up the miles.
In May, I plan on biking from Pittsburgh to Washington with my son on the Allegheny Highlands and C&O Canal trails. As soon as registration opens up, I will sign up for the Wilderness 101 and Shenandoah 100 mountain bike races. I expect to ride the Civil War and Seagull Centuries again next year and still hope to find the time and stamina to do a down and back double century on Skyline Drive, an unachieved goal from this year.
Okay, so now that I have put it all out there, it is your turn. Let's hear your fitness resolution for 2011.
Reuters photo by Michaela Rehle