Friday, December 14, 2007

Time to start training for next year?

As autumn turns into winter, every cyclist eventually starts to think "I better get off my butt and start training for next year."

Or more likely, "OK, I can't stay on the couch any longer. Must... Get... Up..."

Cardio training can take two principle forms, on-bike or off-bike. On bike means riding outside, riding an indoor trainer, and that new thing, spinning classes. Off bike can mean winter weight training, or some of the very fun outdoor winter-cardio-ports like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing (or, ugh, running). It can also mean going to a gym and using cardio machines.

I personally vouch for the effectiveness of the regular plain-jane Stairmaster (on maximum). During all of my best years I maintained extremely high fitness levels using the Stairmaster on maximum. Stairmaster, and my custom workout tape!

For the outdoor training thing, I have been recently snowshoeing in the excellent and deep fresh snow of late December 2007. Snowshoeing is great exercise, and it's almost fun. Ok, it is fun. I like the "go-anywhere" capability we have on snowshoes.

But while cross-training is fun and efective at maintaining the cardio base, there's a certain amount of in-the-saddle time that needs to be logged during the winter to keep our bodies tuned to the real thing: riding a bike.

So I put all the wires on to my computrainer and plugged it in last night. Everything worked so I am set to go. Sweating it up on an indoor trainer will make the process of riding outside and getting back on the road in spring much better.

A indoor training tip: Put the fan in front of you, if you are doing indoor trainer riding properly, you'll sweat like a pig! Since the fan produces quite a bit of wind, it isn't totally stupid to wear your bike shades when the fan is blowing in your face and eyes.

So, I have to decide, indoor bike riding or go for a presupper snowshoe up the mountain?

"Ugh. Must... Get... Up..."

...3 hours later...

Well I exercised. I did it old school... carrying 20 pounds of library books back to the Grande Bibliotheque - and doing it over the trails of Parc Mont Royal, and then carrying 30 pounds of new book back home.


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