Off Season: End of Phase 1
The first 8-weeks of my off-season training is over just like that. Overall, I feel stronger, more stable, and have a greater appreciation of putting in the strength training work specifically for cycling. I've got a good base started and will be continuing on for another 4-weeks of strength focused training followed up by a 4-week training program that will be on-bike focused.
Over the past 3-4 years, I've been trying to ride more and more through the winter months so the spring isn't so difficult getting started, and I've tried to keep mental note of how my body feels and the pace I keep in the early rides of the season. Because the weather has been incredible the past week in Indiana with unseasonably warm temps, it makes riding outdoors a must and has given me the opportunity to log some decent miles. Being able to get outdoors for rides more than an hour have helped me assess whether I feel differently because of the gym training. Saturday's 45 mile ride following a 35 mile ride on Friday proved that I'm starting the year off feeling better than years past. My power and pace were better, and my body felt better after the ride. In years past, my core, shoulders, and back would be more tired than my legs by the end of 3 hour ride or back to back days of riding. After 4 straight days of riding, I didn't notice the body fatigue nearly as much. I count that as success and progress.
I've decided to keep this program going as I'm focusing more on personal development this year than anything else. Dillon Painter of AWP and I sat down to talk about the next two months, and I've decided that another month of gym prioritized workouts with riding second followed by a month of cycling first and strength second is worth pursuing. The weather is still unpredictable and I've got a long way to go to get this body of mine in shape, which makes committing to one more month in the gym the right decision. Four days in the gym and 2-4 rides a week on the trainer or outdoors is the plan. Then in April, I'll shift to a plan that focuses on the bike training with core and body-weight workouts 2-3 days a week that I can do at home at night. Finding the right balance of what I can do before or after work and after the kids go to bed is key for this to fit in the work/life/family balance that is more important than being a great athlete.
If you're reading these posts and have interest in connecting with Dillon, please do. He's been great to work with, knows his stuff, and the handful of us that have been doing the sessions like it. Plus, I'm looking forward to seeing what he puts together for on the bike.
The only downside in the past 8-weeks is the fact that I've not lost any weight and actually put a few pounds on. I get the whole muscle/fat conversation and trust in the process, but a guy that feels like he's got some weight to lose can be frustrated, right? In all fairness, after 5 straight weeks of being hard core on the nutrition plan that didn't really show much in terms of results, I've not been as focused the past 3 weeks. In this next 8-weeks, I'll be doing some more meetings with the nutritionist and likely seek out some more in-depth research into my body dynamics to get some specific help in improving this aspect of my overall plan for 2017. I'm interested and eager to learn more.
Expect some additional posts to come your way as the Off Season continues and begins to transition to some In Season. I'm still pondering my big event for the year that I like to do, but I'm leaning towards taking on the Lumberjack 100 again in 2017 with the goal of beating my time by an hour since we have some TNL members doing it. The In Season strategy will be to get me in prime shape to do that well.