How Many Hours and Miles Does it Take to Get Really Fit?
by Robert Warren Hess
The answer, as you might guess, is “it depends.” Today was my fourth session at the velodrome since I started training in February. I can already see that I’m improving.
This series of posts is about my forthcoming trip to the Master’s World Track Cycling Championship in Manchester, England in October. Cycling has been a key part of my anti-cancer battle plan for the past 12 years. I love goals, so competing at Manchester is great motivation to keep me riding. But, more about that later.
If you are following these posts, I hope you’re getting excited about getting back on your bicycle – or perhaps getting one for the first time.
Last night’s stats …
– 39.5 miles
– maximum speed 33.88 mph
– maximum cadence was just about 120 rpm
– the workout intensity was high, but I felt great afterwards
Robert’s Track Bike
A number of people have asked me about my equipment, so below is a picture of my current track bike. It’s a Fuji Track Pro (vintage 2006) with Zipp 808’s front and rear. I currently have Shimano Dura Ace 170mm cranks installed, but I’m changing those to a SRAM Omnium setup with shorter 165mm cranks, which are easier to accelerate. I’ve been training with an over-geared 103 gear inch set up. For last night, though, I dropped down and rode a 90.64 gear inch combination which is much easier to accelerate. I’ll be riding the 90.64 on Sunday for my first competition of the year. Sunday will give me a baseline of my fitness and time for the 500 meter time trial, which is the event I will be racing in Manchester in October.
Why I Ride
As you know, this is a prostate cancer blog and almost everything we post is about prostate cancer prevention or preventing its recurrence.
I’m a 12-year prostate cancer survivor and I’m in the zone where the cancer returns if its going to. As you can imagine, I do everything I can to minimize the risk of recurrence. That’s one of the big reasons I ride.
If you’ve read previous posts, you know that research is more and more showing that exercise is an important factor in preventing any kind of cancer. Combine exercise with proper nutrition and you have a powerful anti-cancer punch.
Following my treatment in 2003, I got back on my bike and started to ride. Since then, I’ve ridden more than 25,000 miles. Those miles have kept me fit, changed my eating habits, and given me much needed peace of mind.
The result is that I am in much better health. I can ride a Century 100 mile bike ride with ease. I lost 15 pounds and I’m now just 3 pounds above my ideal body weight. And, those hours on the bicycle have taken my mind off of the cancer monkey on my back. It’s still there, but I know that I am doing everything I personally can to make my body as inhospitable as possible to cancer’s return.
Consistency is Always Important -in Everything!
I try and be as consistent as possible with my exercise program and my food choices. But, I’m only human, so I follow Tim Ferris’s “bad food day” concept. For six days of the week I eat pretty much the same boring meals, keeping a close eye on the amount of carbs I take in and the total number of calories. [I’m using MyFitnessPal for tracking my eating habits and I love this app. i’ll be doing a future post on my experience with it.]
I also try and exercise on at least four days of the week. I ride my bike three days a week, hit the gym for weights for one day, and walk with my wife on at least three days. And, ideally, I get in one hour of yoga each week.
The key point I’m trying to make is that beating cancer takes a good plan and consistent execution. For me, cycling makes it so much easier.
PSA Test Day – Still at 0.02
Yesterday was my semi-annual PSA blood test and my PSA is once again just 0.02. Right where it was 6 months ago. I’m convinced that my exercise program and improved eating habits are keeping my prostate cancer at bay. I track my PSA at my ProstateTracker account – http://ProstateTracker.org.
Join our Around the world Cycling Club
I believe that cycling is such a great anti-cancer tool that I created a special Around the World Cycling jersey for people who ride the distance around the world – 24,901.6 miles. Just click the following link for details – Tell me about the PCAP Around the World Cycling Program.
And, you don’t need to do it all at once. I did it over 10 years, but you can do it much more quickly. Here’s all you need to do …
- Click on the link for details –PCAP Around the World Cycling Program
- Throw your leg over your bike and start riding
- Email us when you’ve covered your miles [you keep track yourself. It’s an honor system.]
- Earn your jersey and all of the health and happiness that goes with those miles.
Create Your Free ProstateTracker Account
If you haven’t already, activate your free prostate cancer early detection tool at http://ProstateTracker.org.