Rebuilding fitness: Sam is planning the winter ahead

As Amy recently commented here on the blog, for many of us, September feels like the start of the new year. It’s definitely the end of summer. It’s time for a return to a more scheduled way of living, and maybe, just maybe, time for some new routines.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fitness plans and ambitions and how to fit all of that into my big job and very busy family life.

This weekend, I’ve been thinking about it while visiting my son, who works at a resort in Whitney, Ontario, on the edge of Algonquin Park. The fall colours are further along here and it’s more easy to believe winter is around the corner.

I’ve also been admiring family fitness while we’re together. My youngest son, 25, is in impossibly better shape than me. But my mother, 80, also looks pretty good. We went hiking both weekend days. We did a very steep rocky hike Sunday, and I was impressed with my mum’s stamina. I was also impressed with my new knees. Going down was tough, but I made it. This is all very exciting for me. Just 13 months ago, I couldn’t walk enough to get groceries on my own.

Here’s some hiking photos:

Saturday’s hike to the rock on the bear trail

Hike on the bear trail

Sunday’s hike on the Lookout Trail

Lookout Trail

So what’s my winter plan?

Here’s what I’m doing now:

❄️ I’m doing lots of everyday riding, commuting to work, and biking to physio. I’ve got my charging station set up for lights now that some of the riding will be in the dark.

❄️ Physio twice a week in the evenings, still working on flexion and extension, mobility, and balance. One practical thing we’re working on now is getting up off the floor, not using my hands.

❄️ Dog walking is back on the menu this fall with my new knees. Cheddar loves that we can walk further these days.

❄️ I see a personal trainer once a week for strength training. There’s a lot of kettle bells, squatting, mobility exercises focused on my knee, and sled pushing and pulling.

❄️ Finally, there’s some random everyday exercising. We have a TRX at home, which I use a few times a week. There’s a rowing machine. I’ve got a yoga mat at home and at my office for physio, with some resistance bands to make things more challenging.

So that’s all well and good, but what’s missing? What do I want to add to this?

❄️ I ended the summer with 40 km as my longest ride. I want to get back to long rides, and to Zwift racing. To do that, I need to work on my cardio fitness, which has taken a hit during this year of surgery and recovery.

The plan is to add two to three Zwift sessions a week, not just riding but using the Zwift build me up training plans. I’ll make one of the rides a long ride to increase endurance.

❄️ Once a week personal training is great, but I’d like a more regular, consistent approach to strength training over the winter.

My plan is to fit in a couple of more sessions at the gym on my own, focusing on movements that complement the work I’m doing with the trainer.

❄️ I’m still trying to sort out what I’m doing at the fancy new gym, and I’m not there yet.

A fall goal is to try out a range of their classes and make some part of my regular schedule. Maybe restorative yoga. Maybe anti-gravity yoga. The main purpose here is winter fun and avoiding boredom.

Here’s a rough weekly schedule, which doesn’t include the everyday stuff like bike commutes or dog walks.

Monday evening physio

Tuesday morning weights at gym + evening Zwift training plan

Wednesday evening physio

Thursday morning personal training + evening Zwift training plan

Friday off or something fun

Saturday long ride on Zwift

Sunday weights at gym

Here’s a Canadian version of a meme that’s making the rounds.

If August went by pretty quick, September is doing 100 km/hr in a 40 km/hr zone.

Wish me luck! It feels good to have a plan heading into the winter.

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