The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Fitness

A Bike Computer that Knows Your Goals


Velocomp, creator of the iBike Dash CC Cycling Computer, has just announced the first “smart” cycling computeriBike POWERHOUSE.

iBike POWERHOUSE works with your iPhone or iPod touch to help you reach specific fitness goals in the least amount of time possible. The computer comes with one exercise goal/program, iSlim. Other programs—Weekend Warrior, Zero to 50 Miles in 3 Weeks, Kid Fit, Healthy Heart, and Brazilian Butt—can be purchased separately for $9.99.

Let's just say for fun you bought Brazilian Butt, here's how the company says the computer will help you firm your posterior. 

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Getting in Everest Shape

DSC_2382With the heavy eating of Christmas behind us and New Year’s resolutions in the making, I thought it might be a good time to talk about training for mountain climbing! With only about 90 days until teams start leaving for Everest 2012, it is too late to start training but for the rest of us it is never too late!

When I was training for Everest, I was told “Alan, you better be in the best shape of your life!” Well they almost got it right, actually I needed to not only be in the best shape of MY life, I needed to be in Everest Shape. With the clear disclaimer that I am not a doctor and everyone should visit their own Doc before entering any kind of Everest training program, let’s me provide some thoughts from my experiences.

My personal experiences with Everest have been difficult. I experienced a lung infection that stopped one climb, my body simply refused to acclimatize above 23,000’ on another, and I gave up mentally on my third. The vast majority of Everest climbers have full time jobs, full time families and cannot spend many hours everyday for a year to get in professional shape; so it becomes critical to make every workout count without hurting yourself. For my forth attempt and successful summit on Everest, my training mantra became: When you think you have given it your all, you have just started if you want to summit Everest.

If you ask 100 Everest climbers you might get 101 different answers on the best way to train and I don’t think there is one ‘perfect’ approach. Some climbers will say cycling for 5 to 8 hours in the middle of the night is best, others will prefer swimming and then some say weight training will get you there. And age does play a role.

But the common thread to all training is pushing yourself without injury and building mental discipline. There is no doubt that an Everest climb requires mental and physical endurance like few other sports. I consistently observe that competitive marathoners, tri-athletes and cyclists do well. However, all agree that training the mind is equally important as training the body.

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Eight Minutes with Ultra Runner Darcy Africa

Darcy_a-photo-2[photo: Owater]

Some days, just getting out the door for a run or a mountain bike ride seems like as much of a grind as going to the office. Throw a kid into the mix and it can feel like a feat of Herculean proportions. As parent-athletes, we know exercise is good for us—we know we need it—but how to squeeze it all in? Sure, you could buy a treadmill and tick off your workouts while watching “Mad Men” (yawn). Or you could take a page from elite ultra runner and full-time mom Darcy Africa, 36, who somehow squeezes in enough trail time each week to prep for 100-mile races—with a three-year-old in the house. If anyone can teach us a thing or two about time management, it’s Boulder-based Africa, who finished second at Colorado’s infamously brutal Hard Rock 100 the past two years and blasted the women’s record in running rim-to-rim-to-rim at the Grand Canyon last April (time: 8:25:26). Below, her secrets for crushing the competition—suffering, strollers, and lots and lots of hand-offs—in eight minutes or less. Because, hey, she’s a busy person. 

How on earth do you find time to train for ultra marathons with a toddler underfoot?
It’s hard. My husband does these thing as well, maybe not as many races, but he does train quite a bit. So it’s tough because we have to do a lot of tag-teaming. That’s really all it is. You go in the morning on Saturday. I’ll go in the afternoon. And you can go in the morning on Sunday. 

How many miles do you run in a week? 
I don’t keep track of anything. Generally. I just get in an hour to two hours a day. I tend to do it by hours. In the heat of training, I’ll do my long runs on weekends, pretty typical to most runners, six or seven hours. I try to do races as training b/c I don’t go out and run 50 miles on my own, so throughout the season I’ll start with a 50K and then build up to two or three 50-milers before a 100 mile race. It’s hard because I sort of I know what type of weekly mileage my competition is doing, and I can’t even come close. They’re getting in 100 mile weeks, and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten in 100 mile week. My training is almost similar to someone who’s training for a marathon—only my weekend runs are longer. I’m not able to put in 15 miles on a weekday. I don’t train at that intensity, ever. There’s always that thing in my head where I wonder if I slept less and trained more, maybe I could do better, but I’m not willing to sacrifice certain things—sleep. [Laughter.] It’s all about priorities, and right now my daughter is totally my priority, and I’m totally OK with that. 

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Undress, End up Famous


Love the idea of modeling, but don't have time for the agents, the makeup trailers, the long days on set in Hollywood?

Send in a photo of yourself stripped down to your favorite Smartwool layer and a one sentence write up of what inspired you to do so, and you could end up a in Smartwool's next ad campaign.

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A High Performance Folding Bike?


With their 20-inch wheels, there's not denying that folding bikes look a little funny. There's also no denying, however, how practical they are, be it for urban dwellers with little storage space or world travelers who like to roll through their final destinations without paying exorbitant baggage fees for normal size bikes (often around $300 round-trip these days).

The only catch? Even the best folding bikes compromised on performance, ease of repair, or sex appeal—or, in many cases, all three. Which is why we were so pleasantly surprised when we started test riding Tern's new Verge X10 (above). The bike initially caught our eye at Outdoor Retailer this past summer, but we finally got an opportunity to actually put one through the paces. The verdict: Bravo. It rides like a real bike. 

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