It’s beginning to look a lot like Boston

The cover of the May 2013 issue of Boston Magazine. They turned it into a poster to benefit the One Fund. It's been hanging in my home ever since.
The cover of the May 2013 issue of Boston Magazine. They turned it into a poster to benefit the One Fund. It’s been hanging in my home ever since.

For the next couple of weeks, there’s going to be a whole lotta Boston Marathon talk at Every48. And that’s because the 118th Boston Marathon takes place less than two weeks from today, on Monday, April 21, 2014. It’s a cornerstone of my exercise year, it keeps me honest, and it is the single best one-day sporting event in the world, bar none. (Super Bowl 48 comes close. But that only happened once. This one happens every year.)

So, there will be some serious Boston Talk happening here for the next week and a half or so. There are some really, really good reasons to make an annual event part of your workout plans for, say, the rest of your life. These posts will lay out some of my thoughts on why picking a key event that you can go back to year after year can help keep you healthy, sharp, and motivated. And, let’s face it, the Boston Marathon is just awesome. So it will be great to bring to you some of what makes it so awesome – especially if you’re just tuning in this year.

Why is the Boston Marathon held on a Monday?

Because the third Monday in April is a state holiday in Massachusetts – Patriots’ Day. It commemorates two of the key battles in 1775 leading to the Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States: the battles of Lexington and Concord, which occurred near Boston. Paul Revere was the messenger who brought news to Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were coming to arrest them.

Patriots’ Day is also a state holiday in Maine. Maybe that’s why so many Mainers are New England Patriots fans. Dunno about that one.  Anyway, I digress.

Why do the same event every year?

I use the Boston Marathon to take the temperature of my training and fitness for the first four months of my year. Helps the rest of the year go better. (Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
I use the Boston Marathon to take the temperature of my training and fitness for the first four months of my year. Helps the rest of the year go better. (Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Because it’s a barometer and a benchmark. Because it will create a routine and a set of expectations for a major chunk of your fitness year. And because – if it’s Boston – you have to get your you-know-what together the Monday after Christmas, after all of those holiday meals and family visits and sitting around and watching whatever you watch with your family during the holidays have happened. You will feel like a sloth. You will have a pound or two of holiday pie stored around your midsection. Perfect time to get off your duff and start planning for a big-ass goal in 16 weeks’ time.

So, pick an event to shoot for. Then, train accordingly.

Is there an event out there in your town – or in a place you’ve always wanted to visit – that would get you inspired to set up a 16-week (give or take) workout program to get you to the starting line in great shape? There are sooooooo many events out there to choose from: running, walking, cycling, triathlon, color runs, mud runs, biathlons (winter and summer), yeesh…just so much. My number-one rule about these things is very simple: Pick something that sounds like fun. Fun, I tell you! I’ll riff on the importance of fun in a later post. For now, get out that event calendar and pick your event.

Yesterday’s #every48 workout: BIKE – 50 minutes. 5 minutes of easy warmup, 40 minutes of moderate effort at about 90-95 RPMs, 5 minutes of cooldown. My workout plan for Boston said I could do a five-mile run too, but I prefer not to run on consecutive days, so I did a bike ride at the gym instead.

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