Friday, April 1, 2011

Sometimes you just have to ride/train when you can NOT when you want!

For me, riding/training/racing on a bike is a good way to stay healthy, keep in-shape, be competitive, enjoy the outdoors, etc.  It's also a good excuse to keep my weight in-check.  If I were single and could afford it, I'd probably move to San Diego where I could be outdoors all year round training/riding/exercising.  Especially after this brutal Winter in the Northeast.

With my busy work schedule (during the week) and extracurricular activities on the weekends, I pretty much ride/train when I can NOT when I want.  Additionally, the older I get (and probably wiser I get) I refrain from riding outdoors on the road when the temps dip below 40F or if it's raining.  Why?  Because I just don't enjoy it..that's why.  I'd rather train indoors during inclement weather.  Besides, if you don't enjoy something in life..why do it?  That just doesn't make sense to me...seeing riders outside in the cold looking absolutely miserable.  Unless, of course, you know that some of your races might take place in temps below 40F and/or raining.  For you, that is good training...and a definite motivational boost on race day.

So, for those of you that have crazy work schedules like mine where you live out of a suitcase during the week and the weekends are either spent: travelling w/ the family, photographing, coaching or officiating, fixing the house, or whatever...RELAX and just fit what training you can in-between.  The point is, why beat yourself up for something you can't control.  Instead, learn to work training into your busy schedule.  I like to take my bike with me when I drive on business travel.  If I can't ride outside on the road after work, or race, I'll setup the bike on the trainer inside the hotel room.  If I fly and can't take the bike..I'll resign to the fact that I have to use a local gyms spin bike..or even worse, use the hotels recumbent bike.  (BTW, most hotels have recumbent bikes for fitness bikes instead of upright trainers).  Just this past week, I had to use a recumbent bike at both Hampton Inns that I stayed at- one in Maryland and one in Virginia.  I'm not crazy about recumbent fitness cycles..but it's better than nothing.  (BTW, that's me in the photo at the Hampton Inn Fitness Center (if you can call it that).  I shot the pic into the mirror with my iPhone.  Notice my laptop propped up on the bike stand w/ my Battenkill DVD playing).

When you line up for your first race of the season..feel good knowing you've done everything in your power to train the way you needed to train to prepare for the race.  And, let the race result be what it is.  If you do well..AWESOME..if you don't, no did what you could..and you can't be disappointed with that.  Now, on the other hand..if you just blew-off your training because you were either too lazy to do the work..or just felt like doing something else with your free time..I don't feel sorry for you.  But, you have no one to blame other than yourself.  That's what's so nice about cycling racing.  Your race result is normally a function of how much work/training you spend in the off-season.

My last piece of advice for those of you that are preparing for one-day events, whether it's the Tour of Battenkill, a Grand Fondo, Cyclosportif, Ironman event, the weeks leading up to the race..RELAX.  This is the time to start tapering-off NOT trying to get that last minute 5 hr. hump-fest of a ride in.  For one, it's only going to lead to some kind of injury, but more importantly, it's also NOT going to do you any good- performance wise.  There are bunch of reports out there (written by the PhD weenies of the world) as well as real-life proof that workouts within two weeks of your event will NOT improve your performance.  In fact, most injuries that I hear about occur within the weeks leading up to big races.  That's because the athletes feel they have to get that last minute hard effort in to ensure a good race day performance. 

So, train when you can..and make the most of it.  Most importantly, have fun with it.  Isn't that why we do it?  That's why I do.  Power ON! Coach Rob

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