So often I have every intention of updating this blog more frequently, where does that time seem to go? Maybe the colder dark winter will improve that. I find it so hard not to stay busy. If it’s not riding and training, it’s running the business, and most everything else gets swallowed up in taking care of the family and enjoying the kids.
With the exception of the Iceman, the MTB race season wrapped up a few weeks back and it’s been onto cyclo-cross and that “Transition” period of the season. Generally, Oct thru December fits that bill. Training is important but also has a great deal of flexibility. If one’s body (& mind) ultimately needs recovery time from a particularly hard racing season now is a great time to get that in. Getting a jump start on base training isn’t necessarily that bad of an idea either and with the challenging conditions and temps of Jan & Feb it’s a precautionary training measure I like to take in case conditions this far North don’t work out as planned for those two months.
Cyclo-cross racing I’m finding to be most enjoyable this year, with little self-pressure to have to do well and the most delightfully shorter time period for the races of right around an hour. For the most part you can go all out and bonking generally won’t be an issue. Depending on weather and whatever other events come up, I’m hoping to jump into a couple more races while the season is going on. Plus it sure helps the body not to lose it’s high end fitness that one fights so hard to gain from earlier in the season.
One big aspect I’m taking charge of this year, that I can’t recommend highly enough, is that a person get an effective cross training or “pre-hab” workout program integrated in what they do this time of year. Something I don’t make known to a lot of people -- but I’ve gotten a chronic sore back and spent a good share of time in P.T. office & massage therapists getting worked on. This past year was probably my most difficult. Throughout the season, I struggled along dealing with it the best I could, fortunately I came across two things that have done something to immensely change what I thought would be a chronic lifetime problem. One was a book my P.T. got me onto, the other a program that put a 41 year old within .01 seconds of an Olympic gold medal & world record in Swimming.
The first was the book Core Performance – yes, we’ve all seen some fitness guru preaching there methods of how to build muscles, strength and/or endurance. Don’t discount this one or pass this one off. It’s the real deal and used as a bible of sorts in many P.T. clinics. Any endurance athlete due to the nature of their sport is begging for muscular imbalance. It’s a fact of life. Learn that and find out ways to round out your entire body’s needs and you’ll be doing yourself some huge favors in reducing injuries, doctor’s visits, hours of physical therapy or lost work time. The second is Dara Torres’ Resistance Stretching program – sure, yoga, pilates, give you good stuff, I’m not discounting them one bit. In fact the two things I’m doing share a lot in common with those two disciplines. I just found both Core Performance & Resistance Stretching gave better insight of the how’s and why’s.
Once you get some routines down they don’t take much time and doing something is always better than nothing. I don’t necessarily like to give away “training secrets” but I don’t believe anyone should have to deal with pain and stop doing something they love just because of ignorance or misinformation. I’m not saying these are the only programs out there, or that P.T. work may not beneficial. What I am saying is that I’ve had nothing short of incredible results in getting rid of pain I FELT EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Being 35 and able to tumble around with and chase my kids is totally worth the small investment for the information and 10,15,20 or 50 minutes a day it might take to do some of the routines. If anyone reading takes in this info and gives it a try I’d be interested in hearing back on what results it gives you. (There’s especially a certain Duluthian rider I hope takes up and finds benefit in it!)