Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 4°C Thursday 26 November 2020

Here are 4 'Mad March' fitness ideas you should try for the coming month

Spring is in the air so it’s time to shake off the last of the winter cobwebs.

WINTER IS SLOWLY receding from memory.

There’s a slight increase in motivation for early morning training while the bank balance is also showing marginal improvement.

It’s time to get your ass in gear and set yourself some fitness targets for the new month ahead.

Here are a few ideas for you…

Ride 500 miles on a bike (Not continuously!)

You’ll be glad to know there are five Sundays in March and we’re laying down a monumental challenge; ride 500 miles this month. We say miles because it sounds better than 800 kilometres, or does it?

It’s not going to be easy. That’s a given. But before you bin the suggestion, break it down. 100 miles a week. 50 miles back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday? Suddenly it’s not so bad.

General view of the lead riders as they pass over the Hill of Allen Challenge yourself to cover 500 miles on the bike next month. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Or if you can get out midweek, why not do 25 miles every Wednesday, 25 miles every Saturday and 50 miles every Sunday? Go on, you can do it!

Oh, and why would you do it? For the sheer hell of it. You’ll also feel better, you might see a part of the country you’ve never seen before, you might meet new people, who knows? Therein lies some kind of attraction, no?

Spend an outrageous amount of money on a fitness gadget

There are gadgets on the market now for just about anything. Gadgets that track your speed, pace, heart-rate, calories burned, distance covered, elevation gained, the temperature, and on and on and on…

But if you’ve got a little bit of a craving for some sleek and expensive wearable tech, go no further than the Suunto-Ambit2.

What does it do? Just about everything. It’s a multi-sport watch which can be used in all types of weather for all types of exercise, be it running, triathlon, hiking, navigation (GPS controlled) and pretty much anything outdoorsy.

Will you be making up the price of it to your other half? Definitely (currently retailing at around €450).

Climb the highest peak in each province

Munster: Take Friday off work and get down to Killarney good and early for the hardest climb of the four — Carrauntoohil.

Ireland’s highest mountain reaches 1,038 metres and will be difficult at this time of the year on account of the weather. But you’ll manage it with the right attitude and the right gear.

You’ll also want to be down from the mountain in time to head north for Galway, where the next challenge awaits.

Connacht: Staying in Galway on Friday night, you’ll be rising early on Saturday and hauling yourself up to Mayo to commence the climb of mighty Mweelrea.

This beast stands at 814 metres and offers stunning views of the surrounding area, and out to the Atlantic Ocean. You’re halfway there.

Ulster: Stay in Mayo on Saturday night but resist a night on the tiles as it’s an early start on Sunday morning, with the climb of Slieve Donard in County Down.

You should aim to be climbing at first light if you can. The climb follows part of the majestic Mourne Wall to a height of 852 metres and you should be up and down by mid-morning. And it’s straight into the car after.

Eye Ubiquitous Stock The summit of Slieve Donard in Down. Source: Hugh Rooney

Leinster: Head for Wicklow for the final part of the challenge — the climb of Lugnaquilla. Grab a quick bite of lunch on the go before you hike and try to be on your way by 1pm or 1.30pm.

This is the easiest climb, although great care should be taken in mist or fog due to its infamous ‘prisons’ — sheer cliffs edging the large summit plateau.

Go off carbs for a FULL week

Seven days. Test yourself. Notice the difference in how you look and feel a week later. It is extremely difficult to eradicate all carbs from your diet, but if you want a clue as to what is a carb; most are the things we love, sadly.

We’re talking sugar in all its forms: soft drinks, fruit juice, ice cream, wheat, bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, crackers — anything that looks like it was made in a factory — honey, beer, dried fruit — anything that contains fructose — chocolate, desserts after dinner, pizza.

3 great quinoa recipes – the superfood you should have more of

Looking for meaty, bulky shoulders? Try this session

About the author:

Brian Canty

Read next: