A few weeks ago, Darryl over at Lovingthebike.com and Kelli of Apex Nutriton, unveiled a new training program called Cycling for Optimal Weight. Darryl and Kelli released a mini-ebook that covers both the cycling and nutrition sides of getting fit and healthy with the sport of cycling. The ebook (which is totally free by the way) is filled with some great tips and I love the section at the end where they include sample eating plans tailored to when you are riding – morning, mid-day or in the evneing.

I decided to take them up on their offer to track my progress and have already filled out my assessment, taken my starting measurements (rope and choke), and snapped a couple of profile photos. The measurements and photos were an eye opening experience but I kinda had an idea of how bad they would be.

As I work with Darryl and Kelli to get this weight off, I’ll keep you informed of my progress here on Biking To Live. I’ll do my best to relay to you what I’m going through, the riding I’m doing, and what I’m eating. I believe I’m going to learn a lot and it’ll be the perfect opportunity to pass that info along to you, my readers, as you work to improve your health with cycling.

Why did I decide to try their plan?

Well, there are a few reasons:

  • Darryl is a great person. I’ve come to know him personally over the last six to eight months and the encouragement he’s shown me has been awesome. I couldn’t imagine working with another person to accomplish this.
  • Kelli is a nutrition expert. First off, she’s a Registered Dietician. She also has experience as a clinical dietitian and specialized in cardiac disease, neurology, and diabetes.
  • I needed a plan. I talked about this in my New Years, New Goals post. Last year my riding, weight, and health suffered because I didn’t follow a plan. By nature (or after many years in the military), I’m a very structured person and want a plan to follow. It helps me to know when I need to ride, for how long, and at what intensity. Same goes for eating. If I know what to eat and when to eat it, I can do it.
  • It will help my goals. I set some pretty lofty goals in my 2011 goals post. Following a plan is going to help me achieve them.

I’m really excited about this and can’t wait to share my experience with you.

Getting Started

Today marked my first ride under their direction. Darryl and I discussed my current riding habits and the amount of time I can devote each day to cycling. Currently, I can only devote an hour a day. As most of you know, I perform my riding in the early morning so I can concentrate on other stuff throughout the day and evening. My normal Monday through Friday routine is:

  • 5:00 AM – alarm goes off
  • 5:20 AM (ish) – roll out of the garage
  • 6:20 AM (ish) – return from ride
  • 7:00 AM – out the door to take my daughter to school
  • 7:30 AM – get to work

The hard stop for me right now is the 7:00 AM departure to get my daughter to school. Sure, I could make her ride the bus but after being away from the kids for so long due to military life I like doing stuff like this. It gets me extra one-on-one time with them. When school is out I’ll be able to devote more time to riding (and maybe sleep in a little too!).

Up until today’s ride, my morning rides were never an hour long. They were typically in the 40-45 minute range due to the route I was riding. All I needed to do was use one of my longer pre-planned routes, tack on a little extra, and I could easily extend the ride to an hour.

Because we were just getting started, Darryl asked that I concentrate on getting 5.5 hours of riding time in this week. 5.5 hours should have been easy but I started off in the hole right off the bat. The weather here in Jacksonville was not good yesterday so I didn’t ride (the decision to not ride was made before I knew Darryl wanted me to get in 5.5 hours this week). It rained all day with the temps hovering in the 40s to 50s. Not the ideal weather conditions to ride in so I didn’t. I should still be able to get in 5.5 hours of riding time this week by riding about 1.5 hours on Saturday.

This Mornings 1 Hour Ride

As detailed in the schedule above, the alarm went off at 5 AM and I hit the 5 minute snooze. What can I say? I rolled out of bed shortly after that and dressed warm. I didn’t check the temp when I left but perhaps I should have as I began to feel real warm near the end of the ride. I rolled out of the garage around 5:20’ish and headed out on one of my longer pre-planned routes that takes me by my youngest daughter’s school.

After raining all day yesterday the roads were wet and it was still overcast. Not much wind though and that was nice. Because I would be riding for an hour, and hadn’t done that for a while, I intentionally took it slow today but did pick up the pace the last ten minutes or so.

I don’t normally see other riders out there this time of morning so I was very surprised to see three other cyclists in a group at about 5:30. They were going the opposite direction and I exchanged a ‘good morning’ with the lead rider. It turns out these three must have been doing intervals around a loop on my route as I saw them again on my way back home. As I said on my post on Dailymile, when I saw them the second time I thought the first rider was a scooter or moped at first. All three riders had a pretty bright headlight but when I saw them the second time the lead rider was by himself and moving. Fast. I told myself there was no way that was one of those riders. Sure enough it was. He looked to be on a TT bike and he was flying. The second guy, also on a TT bike, went by about 45 seconds later. The third guy, on a normal road bike, came into view a minute or so later.

In order extend my route and make it an hour in length, I turned right about a half-mile from home and road over towards the University of North Florida campus. I turned around before I got there but I can envision a good morning ride in the future that would include a loop or two around the campus in addition to the route I had just ridden. Cool stuff.

My numbers today aren’t impressive but it’s a start in the right dirction. I rode for 1h:02m:00s for 13 miles with an average speed of, you guessed it, 13 mph.

Cycling Tip Tuesdays

Starting today, I’m going to start a new series for my newsletter subscribers. As you can tell by the name it’ll be sent out on Tuesdays and will be a Cycling Tip of some kind. As always, I’m leary of being considered a spammer so if you feel that way just tell me and I’ll look at the frequency I send them out.