It's no big secret that I love baseball, particularly the New York Mets. I love the game, the spirit, the community, the players, the fans, the beer, the (vegan) hot dogs, the rivalries... the list could go on for pages and pages. I was raised on baseball, played baseball as a kid, and can talk baseball all day long.
This time of year is particularly exciting for me because, after a cold and dreary winter, baseball season is finally beginning. Although the actual meaningful games don't start until the end of March, this week begins the crucial Spring Training, during which time the players come out of hibernation and start whipping themselves back into shape after a long off-season, typically full of golf, weddings & general couch-potatoing. Some of the players have dropped weight, increased muscle mass and spent the whole off-season training, but some have taken it easy and relaxed. Regardless of a player's winter schedule, Spring Training begins a long and tough few weeks of getting serious about baseball in preparation for opening day.
There's nothing more exciting than watching your favorite players hit the ground running and go from dad-bod to pro athlete in just one month. Their hard work is inspiring, and it made me realize:
why isn't there a Spring Training for regular people?
Just like ballplayers, some of us have taken the winter to relax, eat and let our fitness schedule fall by the wayside. With the summer quickly approaching, what better way to prepare for bikini season than with a serious one month push toward getting back to where we want to be?
I'm joining my beloved Mets and participating in my own Spring Training, and here's now I'm doing it.
Nothing helps me drop body fat quite like running, so I'm going to be prioritizing running in my workout schedule. (It also helps that I'm training for a marathon.). Don't like to run? Get your cardio in somehow - it's the best way to torch calories and lose fat! I'm aiming for approximately thirty miles a week.
I will be hitting the gym to weight train every day. Even if I only have 30 minutes to spare, I'm going to do two days of upper body, two days of lower body and two days of full body. Weight training is the perfect compliment to a running schedule, and the core work is so important.
Love it or hate it, but being mindful of how much you're eating is the most important way to keep yourself from overdoing the calories. You can do all the running & weight lifting you want, but if you're eating too many calories, it's all for naught. Even healthy food has calories, so staying within a healthy range is important. This can get tricky, because as athletes, we need to refuel, so know your healthy range & stick to it. I'm going to use MyFitnessPal and my Garmin watch to make sure I'm not going overboard.
It's been proven that those who don't get enough sleep have larger waistlines than those who do, so I'm going to prioritize sleep! What an easy way to stay on track!
I've been known to reach for a cup of tea, Kombucha, or seltzer with cranberry instead of good old fashioned water. These drinks aren't necessarily unhealthy, but they don't give your body the same hydration that water does. I'm going to have one cup of tea in the morning, the occasional Kombucha, and spend the rest of my time drinking plain water.
How often do you screw up all of your progress over the weekend? For me, it happens all too often. I'm going to prioritize my weekends with workouts, healthy eating & plenty of rest. No more cheat meals that turn into cheat weekends!
Any pro ball player will tell you that Spring Training is a time for trial and error, mess ups and learning. I'm not going to beat myself up for making a mistake, missing a workout, enjoying a treat or not performing at my best. This is the final push before summer, but it's meant to be a fun time with exciting things on the horizon.