Living in Florida we have the luxury of having beautiful weather about 90% of the time which I’m now learning to take advantage of. Cardio is key to fitness and who wants to be strapped to a treadmill when you can be out exploring and enjoying the Florida weather, so that’s what the wife and I have decided to do. Some of you may know but in April she’ll be doing the Iron Girl Half Marathon which involves two bridges. Many people say “Oh no big deal it’s just a bridge” but for those who run can tell you, they are far from it. The wife wanted to mix it up a bit and train for her upcoming half marathon by involving some Florida scenery along the Memorial Causeway. We decided on the Memorial Causeway for many reasons which include location, the fact that it’s one of the bridges she’ll be running next month, length and the incline. Those features mixed in with the gorgeous scenery make for some great times and excellent cardio.
So what I’ve found out is inclines are no joke and an excellent way to help increase your cardio and overall fitness. The wife is using them to help with her half marathon training and I’ve been using them to help improve my cardio for paintball. The rundown of our bridge cardio was very simple, we wanted to go over and back three times in an hour. The total mileage for this after picking our start/end point totaled 3.77 miles. Attempt number one brought us a time of 58:05 which given the fact it was our first time and were trying to gauge how we would handle it. Keeping in mind this is a run/walk activity I feel the number was fair but we always strive to do better.
The second attempt seemed a bit easier, not much, but a bit easier. We found we were able to run a bit more at a slower pace but we were still running. After everything was said and done our time came in at 51:16 so we managed to shave almost seven minutes off of our previous time. We found the incline running to be a bit easier, not much but just a little bit. Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised when we saw this change in our times.
Our most recent attempt seemed harder for me personally, but then again I hadn’t done any cardio in over a week. It’s funny how it takes forever to get into shape but only takes a short time to fall out of shape. With that being said the wife and I were able to finish this time in 49:01, which means we were able to shave off a little over 2 minutes off of our run/walk for the week. Every trip seems to bring us the results we strive for and I’ve had others express interest in joining. Every trip back seems to bring us closer and closer to reaching the cardio fitness we both desire. Although we have different end results in mind, the road to get there is still pretty much the same path.
What have you been doing to increase your cardio? Do you or prefer the gym or exploring the natural sites of where you live?