It's the dog days. That period between your season's end and keeping your mind in tact that another season will come and lots other than cycling needs to be focused on. I can guarantee so many of you know that mental thrashing that I am talking about. So what am I doing?
- Eating "healthy". OK, that's an embellishment because my wife is a nutritionist and we eat unbelievably. My change is in focusing in on WAY more greens and fruit (although the latter comes at the cost of more sugars) and what I am essentially basing my diet around these days to keep my system 'moving'. Protein-heavy stuff will come when the super deep training comes. My body over the last few months feels like I can not cycle-out stuff inside me...so I am focusing on the greens, tons of hydration (I know you all 'forget' to drink those 8 glasses of water a day!) all to make the stuff floooooooooooow.
- Strength. I'm getting some gray hairs...so I need to ensure this frame can continue doing what I love....forever. So now I am an early AM gym person, ~3-4 times a week, strengthening my legs, back and core. It's hard. Last year I did NOTHING, and suffered for it. Again, I came into last season with no opportunity for real training given the shit that went down so I had to just get fit by racing (which....was fun but left me dangling...reaching for that .0001% of something!) Frankly, to 'get by' last year I ended up drinking more than riding. It is what it is but it's what my mind needed to deal. Yes, a crutch. So come September, of course I never felt as if my core was strong enough to support the type of breathing I needed...and like my old coaches used to say: All power comes from the center. So, I've got me some fat to burn and some muscles to re-build.
- Stay out of the red: I'm riding these days, because I can;t live without it. It's my soul. Some cross, some MTB, some road....long rides, short rides, medium rides. But nothing too deep. I did not use a my PowerTap or my Polar last year. Not at all. Not once in fact for the WHOLE year. I used my Polar simply for the watch! But now, I am using it again to ensure I don't get too crazy. Nothing deep. I know now after all these years that I need to reserve my matches as it takes me WAY longer to recover. Sincerely, massive efforts early at nearly 40 years old takes a lot out of you (or me anyways). I'm fit, and need to remember that and require polish versus whole-sale rebuilding. 2007 was a physical restructuring under Za Plan. That changed me positively forever thanks to Taro. Now I am building upon that subtly and with smaller bricks versus those massive ones re-laid in the summer of 2007.
- Stretching. I'm not even going to say much here because I am a FOOL for not stretching more.
- Relaxing: I'm not Sven Nys. I don't play him on TV. I am a daddy and husband and worker. Oh, and bike racer. I'm a nearing-40 year old with a UCI Elite license (huh?...yup, just got it in the mail)....but I n-e-e-d t-o r-e-l-a-x o-n t-h-e w-h-o-l-e s-c-e-n-e! Ha! At least the scene I envision my head. Seeing the forest for the trees is the watch-phrase I need to focus on. Remember racing is a part of the collective joy. Not the joy.