Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Theme

Happy New Year!  It's 2014 now and I am challenging everyone to make it a great year.  Find a way to make it your best one ever.  I have listed my goals below, but I would also like people to read a post I wrote last year that I hope some people will find helpful when trying to determine and reach their new year's resolutions/goals. 

Remember to know WHY you have the goal.  Don't just list a goal, you have to know WHY you are doing it.  Also make sure you have a plan/schedule to ensure you will find a way for it to happen this year. 

Feel free to leave a comment if you want others to know what your goals/resolutions are.

If you really think about it, fear is what holds you back from going somewhere.  You are afraid of failing.  You are scared of the unknown.  That is the resistance that you need to fight through to get to where you want.  Do not let that stop you from being great.

My theme this year is to turn down the noise, and turn up the music.  We all have way too much noise going around us that we forget what is truly happening in our life or what is really important to focus on.  I am going to find ways to minimize some distractions in life.  

I am done hearing and listening to negative and complaining people, just not worth my time and my focus.  I will read posts about people doing things, setting and reaching goals and read books about people who did positive things in life.  Positivity is what will help me reach my goals this year.

My 2014 Fitness Goals
  • Train and finish my 40 mile bike ride (on trainer) and 40 mile run on my birthday weekend in March.
  • Train and finish a 50 mile running race in October.
  • Lose 15-20 lbs by end of the year.
  • Run 1200-1500 miles in 2014.
  • Bike Ride 2000 miles in 2014.
  • Sleep more.  I would love to average 6 hours per night.
Maffetone (MAF) Training Update
As stated previously, I am currently using the Maffetone Training Method (MAF) while training for my ultra 40/40 ultra event (bike ride 40 miles, then run 40 miles) in March on my 40th birthday weekend.  Overall, the aerobic zone training has gotten better because I am having a better attitude and accepting the slower pace. 

I am going on about week 11 and just now the pace numbers are getting better while staying in my heart rate zone (131-141 bpm).  A lot of my runs are now in the 11 minute pace where previously I was above 13 for a while and definitely a lot of them in the 12s.

If you want to see where I started please see my last update.  By seeing this improvement I know the method is improving my fitness.  Yes, I am no longer running 8-9 minute paces like I did in early 2013 but I am now okay with that and I probably will not see that for a while.  I am going to ride this out as long as possible to avoid over training and more importantly to improve my fitness and teach my body to burn fat.

During this winter, I have had some long training days (over 3 hours) on the treadmill due to cold, snow, high winds or black ice preventing me to head outside.  Other days I have gone outside to run in the cold when I made sure there was no black ice.  

Bike training sessions have gone fantastic.  I have been using bike videos (more details on this in the near future) to get through workouts and I just signed up for +TrainerRoad subscription that I hope will bring my cycling to a new level.

Below are some of the pictures from the few outdoor run sessions I have been able to do over the last month or so.  I hope to provide more updates in the future.  The miles are beginning to add up so I am attempting to get as much rest as possible but all this shoveling is preventing me from doing that.  

Below the pictures I talk about some of the gifts/toys I received for Christmas to help with my ultra running and cycling.

Christmas Gifts
So this year when someone in the family asked me for gift ideas, I simply told them I would like Amazon gift cards.  I was asking for this because I knew this is where I wanted to buy some items for running or cycling.  Here is what I purchased in case you are interested to hear about some of the new toys. :)

- A brand new strong headlamp made by Black Diamond.  The model I went with is called Icon.  This one has 200 lumens and will be plenty for my mid week nighttime runs and early morning runs on the weekend.  This is the headlamp got great reviews, last a long time and is the one that most ultra runners recommend so I decided to get this one to make sure I have one to rely on for years to come.

- I also bought a brand new bike seat (saddle).  The one I went with is made by Selle and it is called, "Selle SMP TRK Man Saddle".  I have only used it a few times, but wow this one is comfortable.  I chose this saddle based on a recommendation by +John Kaufmann and because of the nice low price.

- Before this month, I had done all my bike riding sessions with my road bike hooked up to a cycle trainer in regular shoes.  However, I had planned for months that I would eventually get new pedals and shoes once I was ready and I had the money. Below are the ones I went with:

  • Pedals = Shimano PD-M520 MTB SPD Bike Pedal.  I chose this one based on a recommendation by +Scott Ashmead and him talking about the ease of MTB pedals and shoes.  I decided for the price I would give these a try especially since this would be my first time in bike cleats.
  • Shoes = Pearl iZumi Men's X-Alp Impact Cycling Shoes.  Again, I had never worn cycling shoes so for me I had to pick ones that went with my pedals and I wanted to be sure I purchased ones that were comfortable and at a reasonable price.  When I went to Amazon one day they were on sale and they were offering a $15 off coupon on all shoes so I went with these.  I had also gone to a cycling shop to try out a similar pair and I really liked them.  So far so good, they doe feel very comfortable, but I am just beginning to break them in.
After getting all these items, I went to Performance Cycle in Schaumburg, IL for a professional bike fitting.  This was long overdue but I wanted to wait until after I got the pedals, shoes and saddle.  The new setup feels great and I am hoping the time and miles on the bike will become a bit easier.  Overall I am pretty happy how the cycling is going so far, I can't wait to see how my event goes in March.


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By: Fred Lechuga


  1. Your blog is full of entertainment and helpful information that can allure to anyone anytime. Continue posting!advice

  2. I like to get up early to go out and breathe fresh air. I feel that it is good for health and a good habit