The holidays are here and so are all of the holiday challenges. I’m partaking in a few challenges myself. I am part of a weight loss challenge at work, participating in the CycleOps Virtual Training Holiday Challenge, and am going to start the STRAVA Festive 500 as soon as I have a chance to get back out and ride.

The work weight loss challenge was a no brainier. $25 entry fee and it will motivate me to eat healthier and drop weight until the end of February. I had been doing really bad with my eating and my weight had been climbing, so spending $25 to improve my power to weight ratio might be the best $25 I have ever spent. I don’t think I stand a chance at winning the challenge, but that is OK. The point of the challenge is to get myself ready for 2 big races in April; the Whiskey Off-Road and the Vision Quest. Not only will losing weight help my power to weight ration, but it is encouraging me to eat healthier, which will give my body better fuel to run off of, which should also help my performance increase.

The next challenge that I started was the Holiday Challenge being put on by CycleOps Virtual Training. It is a set of 5 virtual routes to ride between December 22, 2014 and January 18, 2015. Sometimes being a dad means that you don’t have the time to go out for a big ride. So, hoping a on the trainer is a great way to get in a workout without a big time requirement. Because of that, I thought the CVT challenge would be great to try out. The routes range in distance from 9 to 22 miles, which should take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, great for some high intensity workouts. Not only will the challenge help motivate me to get out there and ride, but it will also give me a great opportunity to get in some short, very intense workouts. After looking at my times compared to others in the challenge, I want to go back and re-ride some routes to try to place a little higher up and beat some more of the people in the challenge.

The third challenge is the STRAVA Festive 500 challenge. This challenge is to ride 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. That is 312.5 miles in 8 days and the trainer rides for the CVT challenge do not count towards the Festive 500 challenge. This will be a fun challenge, too, to get me out riding with friends instead of suffering indoors trying to get the fastest times. The hardest part about the Festive 500 challenge will be finding the time to get out and ride. I won’t have time for the first 2 days of the challenge, leaving me only 6 days to ride 312.5 miles. Throw in the fact that I will do a few mountain bike rides and it will be a very hard challenge to complete. Oh, and I just remembered, I have to go back to work on the 29th.

With these 3 challenges occurring concurrently, my motivation is not in short supply. They are all difficult challenges and will be very hard to complete, but that is what makes them a challenge. Completing them will end the year off on a good note giving me a good base to start building up for my two big races in April. I hope I make it though!