Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Surviving the Holidays

In case you don't know, the average person gains about 5 lbs. between Thanksgiving and New Years.  It's NOT hard to me, been there done that.  However, for me, I actually lose weight between Thanksgiving and New Years.  That's because I'm more conscious of what I put in my mouth during this time period.  And, I exercise more.

For me, the Holidays are actually a period where I increase the frequency and volume of my workouts.  Where I used to work out only 2x per week (October) on the bike, I'm increasing that to 4x per week on the bike (November/December) and the workouts are longer.  I make sure I get at least one long ride (> 2 hrs.) in on the weekend too.  These longer rides are money in the bank.  I like to ride my Mtn Bike in November thru January.  I do that for several reasons: a) it's colder outside and I like the slower speeds to stay warmer b) the roads get all gunked up with salt, cinders, etc. which will rust your road bike out in a heartbeat (unless you're anal with cleaning) and c) I like the change from the road bike to the Mtn's just more fun to ride..especially when it snows.  

I'm also spending more time in the gym with resistance training.  It's imperative that cyclists work on their core strength as well as their leg strength.  No, this strength is not necessarily transferable to the bike..but it will make you healthier/stronger and get you ready for those tough hi-force, hi-intensity intervals that are coming in February.

Most of my training on the bike (about 80%) this time of year is done in the L3 Tempo Zone.  If I do any higher intensity interval's usually in the L3/L4 Sweetspot Zone.  There is no need to be doing hi-intensity intervals more than once per week in November/December. 

Having said all that, the Holidays are NOT the time to say, "No, I'm sorry I can't eat that or can't drink that because I'm in training".  At least I don't think so.  Enjoy the Holidays!  Eat that big-ass Turkey Leg like I'm going to do tomorrow.  Have a glass of wine and a couple beers.  Have that piece of pie!  What you should be doing is training the morning of Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner and/or New Years Eve Dinner.  And, don't forget to workout the following day.  If you workout the morning of that heavy dinner, and workout the following day, you probably won't gain a pound...provided you're burning the same calories that you're consuming.


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