Colder temps are closing in fast, my weight is out of control following the 2 week government shutdown induced depressive beer bender I went on, and I would like to be on a new bike and racing more in 2014. So, I made the commitment to go back to my gym (
Morey Maury Ballstein’s Fitness Center) to mix things up, burn some calories, muscle up some flab, stay out of the wind and cold a few days a week and actually interact with people outside my home every so often.
I am not a muscle head or a gym rat by any means whatsoever, but I have had some of my fittest, most race packed years on the heels of a winter “training” in the gym– doing some weights and mixing in some off the bike cardio. Take a look at this unimportant, probably not all that interesting to anyone who is not me history:
- 2010/11: along with riding 2 or 3 times a week on the trainer or outside when possible, I went to the gym all late fall and winter and had my 2nd strongest (fitness wise) race season ever. Enjoying mostly mid-packish or better finishes at 13 different gravel, Expert Vet XC and endurance races.
- 2011/12: I decided I didn’t need the gym and was man enough to ride through almost anything, and did, until I crashed going about 4 mph on ice and jacked up my shoulder for a good four months.
- 2012/13: Still bitter, I refused to ride outside if there was even the slightest chance that I would encounter ice. I was also “in a mood” about my weight gain, so I ditched the gym and did almost all my winter riding on the trainer. As a result I got burned out fast, ended up gaining more weight and wallowed in a funk all winter. Spring came and I was in shit shape with no desire to race. By the time I had started shedding the funk, finding my legs and the desire to race, I developed my 3rd DVT and pretty much pulled the plug on the year race wise. Meh.
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.
So, along with some trainer rides and getting outside when the weather is tolerable, I am back to the gym for the fall and winter of 2013 & 14. I will once again be embracing my Patches O’Houlihan “if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball,” approach to training … meaning that if you can’t ride outside or don’t have any hills to improve your climbing, you can do a bunch of other shit to strengthen your core, upper body and legs, as well as improve your cardio and maybe even re-kick start some weight loss before spring and bigger miles.
Is this the right thing for everyone? Nope. Some people love the snow and enjoy being out in it, whether it’s on a fat bike or on skis. I tolerated the cold and snow every now and then, but for now I prefer to save my funds for spring/summer/fall racing, riding and bike parts.
Today was my first day back and it went pretty OK… well, except when I thought making the move from 200 pounds on the leg press to 400 was a good idea for my second set. It wasn’t, I finished my set, but not before letting out some ill-sounding grunts and nearly shooting a turd across the room. My third set proved that that 290 was a way better starting point and has been duly noted.
I won’t be boring any potential readers with tales of my lackluster “training.” Other than the occasional anecdote, I will just let you know in 2014 if it worked again or not… Love handles crossed that it does.