Off season training

January 30, 2013

The Beard

At Christmas, Ken showed up at my place with a truly horrendous beard. Naturally, I thought it was awesome, and figured I should grow an even worse one.

4 weeks later, I sent Ken a text message to find out the state of his beard, and discovered that he didn’t enjoy looking like a lunatic who’d wondered off from the nearby hospital, so he’d buckled and trimmed it. This however confirmed to me, that with some willpower, I stood chance at beating him. When I let him know my plan, he scoffed – called me a ‘copy-cat’, among other things and demanded an immediate photo. So, fueled by his displeasure, obviously I forged on. At first I was just going to take the photo right away, but being aware of the photo of him sporting his ridiculous beard and that even more ridiculous fur hat, which he posted on Facebook, I knew I needed to ponder my photo carefully – it needed to be epic.

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January 2, 2013

Hello 2013!

Hello 2013! And, goodbye to 2012. Looking back, as we all like to do this time of year, I thought it would be interesting to check some stats – specifically to do a comparison between 2012, and 2011. On the whole I felt like 2012 was an off year, for cycling… Life was busy. I was working longer hours at the office. At home, I was enjoying more time with the family, and what felt like less time on the bike. At least, I really thought so.

I made the decision very early in 2012 that I needed to be more pragmatic about my training. It needed to be more concerted, more purposeful. So I adapted shorter and more intense training sessions. Most of the time, I’d limit all my training rides to 1 hour. In fact, I’d even go as short as 30 minutes if I was doing really hard intervals. The thinking was that by training this way, regardless of my busier schedule, by pushing harder for less time, I could still manage to build a reasonable amount of fitness, hopefully at least similar to that achieved in 2011. Generally speaking though, I was resolved to 2012 being a ‘blah’ year on the bike.

So, looking back at 2012 now, the stats are a bit shocking!

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December 21, 2011

Training With Power!

Motivation – in the off-season we’re all looking for it. Without it, we’d never get off the couch. If you’re talking about just ‘riding’, finding motivation can be pretty easy – riding is a blast, and all about fun! Personally, I’m up for going for a ride pretty much anytime. But, if we’re talking about getting on the bike for training purposes, that’s a different story… Training is mostly about hard work, and if you’re training hard, there usually isn’t much ‘fun’ to be had. So, we need another motivator, or at least I do – something that is going to get us into the gym, on that stationary bike, or out on that winter ride. For me, it’s results. I’ve found that I respond to results really well, and I know I’m not unique in that, but I admit, I am a bit surprised just how pumped I can get about training, when I can actually measure and see the results of that effort. And it’s training with POWER that gives me those metrics, that keep me coming back for more.

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April 26, 2011

How Zen

This time the last two years, I felt very different. In the spring of 2009, I’d been on the indoor trainer and in the gym for months, working hard in prep for my bid for the full Transrockies. In 2010, coming off a solid race season, I enhanced my ‘off-season’ training with 2 outdoor rides per week putting in at least 10%+15% more training time overall. I’d emerged from winter with the base I needed to be a faster racer – I felt confident, strong, and fit going into that season.

This year, 2011, not so much. With the introduction of fatherhood, reduced sleep and increased hours at work, I haven’t had the energy or the drive to train. Back a few months ago, I knew things were going off the rails, so I made a pledge, publically, that I was going to pick it up and bear down, dropping from my peak winter-weight of 174lbs down to 160lbs, and increasing my watts/kg up to 4.0. Sadly, I haven’t made any significant headway. Though I’m down to under 165lbs, this is mostly due to watching my diet, not training. My watts/kilo were actually lower last month than the previous… Ouch… – Read More –

December 2, 2010

Off Season Work Out Motivation

No surprise to me but here it is, the so-called ‘off-season’ again, and I’m just not feelin’ it. Without the added motivation of upcoming races (and fear of embarrassment), I’m really not excited to keep workin’. I’ve even been passing up invites for group rides… You might call it a little bit of burn out, but I’m not too concerned, as the race season didn’t finish that long ago, and breaks are not only a good thing, but also necessary if you want to keep getting stronger and faster – not to mention if you want to stay interested in your sport. That said, I don’t want to sit on my arse for too long either, especially when I’m seeing so many comments on facebook go back and forth between fellow riders – Josh has been running and swimming, Peter’s out cross-country skiing, and Gord is still out riding as usual. With that in mind, here is a blog post by my friend Tyler, on finding ways to help keep up with that work out schedule, even when you’d rather just skip it. – Read More –