Lindsay and I spent the weekend in Jasper, doing some of this……
…while hanging out in a place like this…
(this is a combination of post-hill climb exhaustion at altitude and pure sex appeal)
…but not as pimp as this…http://www.youtube.com/v/vVXhftsMFgs?fs=1&hl=en_US
We managed to get some pretty good weather, even though there were reports of thunder storms and probably below freezing temperatures. The trails were dry and fast, with some great technical components, and Lindsay managed to keep up (for the most part).
Mountain biking gives us both a great way of switching up our training, as it pushes us both out of our aerobic comfort zone. Some studies have shown that the requirements for steep hill climbs can be as much as 90% max heart rate, power output exceeding 500W, and will require high levels of sustained anaerobic endurance with balance, agility, dynamic stabilization, and a rush of getting slapped in the face with a tree branch while barreling down a horse-pooped strewn trail. Bears are just waiting for some dumb ass to go over their handle bars before they strap on the feedbag and have at ‘er. Plus, there are usually fewer drivers coming ever-so-close to you on the side of the highway, less wind to fight, and the view is better than anything you can find on a stationary bike. Plus, aside from the odd smell of animal droppings, it usually smells better (sometimes there are those people in the gym who don’t even measure up to the pleasant smell of droppings).
The Future (her new nickname until the wedding) and I always like to do something fitness-oriented when we go away for a weekend, and tend to go for things we don’t get a chance to do in Edmonton, like mountain biking on actual mountains. This gives us a chance to try new things, push our fitness in new directions (sort of an environmental cross training) and gives us some excitement for the novelty of trying something new or tackling a new trail system.
So here’s the point to my demented ramblings: if you want to create change in what your world is like, then make change. If you want to try something you have never tried before, then do it. Give yourself a change of scenery so that you don’t drive yourself crazy and start trying to bite your own ear from the repetition of the routines we all live in. Having a switch-up gives you a chance to experience something new, break out of old patterns that might lead to over training, and may improve your fitness, helping you hit your goals in a new way.