Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bicycle burnout & Cross Training

I got an e-mail a little while ago from someone I use to frequently ride with - we've gone our separate ways in regards to type or riding/racing/riding buddies. Nonetheless, I still consider him a buddy.

He has been exploring training specifically with power this past year or so. He rides on the trainer and on the road using a Power Tap and is very strict about how he trains, his zones, etc. I was asked him something about VO2 testing and he responded with much more detail about training than I was asking for - trying to explain to me how to train properly over the winter, specifically - using power, that VO2 didn't matter and training based on your heart rate is basically "not the in thing to do" anymore. To each his own.

Much to what he was saying was, get used to sitting on your trainer all winter, that xc skiing and snowshoeing might be fun, but it's really not going to help you all that much with you cycling (if that was all you're doing and not doing any cycling training . . . . but what serious cyclist isn't doing some sort of spinning over the winter?!) He raised some things to think about, but I'd say that I have to disagree with him.

I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want (my only form of exercise and training) to be sitting on a trainer in my basement for three to four months. Living in a snowy, cold part of the country it's necessary to take advantage of the conditions and enjoy it! The riding season, for me, is all about the enjoyment of the ride, pushing my limits and having fun - much like the reason for forming this team! If I'm not having fun, I'm not doing it.

In saying that, there are some days that hill repeats at 99% of your max HR doesn't feel a whole lot like fun . . . . it is a necessary thing to do to help you enjoy your rides more. Power is necessary, of course, but not the only way to improve as a rider. I'm fairly certain that I can make more gains in my riding by dropping some weight off my body, but that is another rant/post . . . .

This rather long intro was meant to be a segway into my snowshoe report from yesterday . . . but ended in a rant. Rant off.

Rick and I got out yesterday afternoon for a 2hr snowshoe - did the Wolf loop in the park. Brrrr . . . . very cold.

Rick is planning an epic snowshoe in the next week or so. Keep an ear to the ground about that - should be a dozy of a backcountry slog . . . . a real training session indeed!
Wait . . . . can snowshoeing be considered training? Hmmmmm . . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are definitely more cycling specific ways to train over the winter, but the two biggest issues are that you're indoors and pretty much guaranteed a burn-out over the long haul.

The most difficult aspect of training is long term motivation - regardless of your geographical location. Doing one sport for 365 days a year is awefully longgggg.

I've been in sunny Florida since Dec 27th. The brutal irony is that I've been doing my workouts indoors on treadmills because I simply can't find a safe and convienient place to run otherwise (I did manage to jog 9 holes of a golf course this AM). Either way, it's boring the say the least. I honestly can't wait to play in the snow once again.

Sweet pics Craig.