My riding has improved season after season, but during the short Nordic summer you can only get so far. It is pretty apparent that hard work is required also off-season in order to accomplish results. In the end it is no use training hard for three months then slack off for six just to have to start building from scratch. I would like to take my cycling to another level, but I’m lacking both in physical endurance and power. Some steps need to be taken and this is my plan for the long dark winter.
Previous years in the winter I have just played floorball one hour a week. It would be a great intensive interval training workout for cardio, but this year I don’t have a team. I have also done rock climbing, but especially my favourite type, bouldering, is anaerobic exercise and thus not all that helpful. Previous years I have done short 20-30 minute rides on rollers and riding them fixed helped improve my pedaling technique significantly. The problem has been that I tend to ride too fast, get too hot and sessions stay short.
Physical exercise is just one part of staying fit. Cycling is one of those sports were excess weight is detrimental to success. Last winter I had good results with eating vegetarian lunches. I also tried to avoid fasting during the day and feasting late at the night. My cholesterol levels did improve little bit, but overall the lifestyle probably wasn’t really all that healthy. I gave myself permission to indulge in candy, ice-cream and beer. So this winter some moderation in all of the above would help.
I’m in the process of switching jobs and we have a major plumbing renovation coming up so stress is a factor in overall well being that can not be underestimated. Employer change requires quite bit of energy, but might also pep me up and create more options for sport (eg. floorball). The harder bit is the renovation. I’m responsible for planning and managing the construction work. I must find efficient ways to manage my time. Otherwise I will be ruining the whole winter of basic training.
The question is what are the most efficient ways to train considering these constraints. It would be good to have three 30 minute sessions a week varying the type of exercise. Aerobic training could consist of cyclo-cross and mountain biking before snow and running or cycling on a trainer. Swimming is also another sport worth trying. Weight training would be beneficial and there would be a perfectly good gym at the office. In the end it is a question of commitment and actively solving obstacles.
Using the gym at the office would be convenient, but I need to take the kid to and from kinder garden pretty much every day. Exercising in the morning would be good, but I’d rather have some time of my own in the evening and sleep late. I really need to find something faster and running is a pretty good compromise. I already went for a jog half a dozen times and it seems to be pretty optimal. I might start to skip the shower in the morning and jog the couple of k to work.
I had hoped I would have a chance of going abroad to have a little training camp, but it seems with the job change I will have to forget about Gran Canaria for now. Instead I will add some roller training to the mix closer to spring. Until then I will try to find time for activities three days a week. To actually make the change happen and keep at it I will try to keep a list of aerobic and non-aerobic workouts.