The Jan Ullrich approach to your early season training isn’t for everyone and we are about to enter the most dangerous time of the year for those of us that enjoy, well, Pudding! Here is how to survive the festive week without ruining all your hard work, and minimise those niggling stresses that plague us all when we’re on our second turkey and stuffing sandwich!
The festive period always brings joy and stress to our households. Personally I have always loved this time of year, the family, the food, the pressies, and the time off work.
So the big question is: to indulge or live like a saint?
Well for most of us the festive period is a good time to relax so this attitude can be taken across to our training regime, so enjoy yourself, bank that mental energy that the turbo uses and save it for January and February. Do some MTB rides, find some new roads to wander down, enjoy a festive ride with friends, and just have fun.
If the weather is so bad and venturing outside is a no go then jump on the rollers to work on cadence, your pedalling technique and balance or try some cross training and stretching. Llewellyn, our Triathlon Coach and top personal trainer, explains:
“I recommend challenging yourself to new stimulus from different sports. Get family and friends together and try some indoor climbing, a game of badminton or a yoga class with your mother in law. However, if you can tough it out, off road running on slippery muddy trails will do wonders for your gait, core and foot strike.”
The Christmas main meal itself is generally very healthy with lots of winter veg, meat or a nut roast, it’s just all the extras that go with it – the puddings, the snacks, the indulgence foods.
While it is good to have a bit of extra insulation at this time of year, we can’t all suddenly lose it come June by doing 25+hr weeks, a la Jan Ullrich. That extra insulation in winter helps stave off illnesses and you aren’t at such as high a risk as when at peak fitness and peak leanness, an extra 5% weight gain in the off season is generally ok. Any higher and it may be a struggle in the early season to lose that timber and gain fitness concurrently.
Just remember, eating all those indulgent treats has another effect, it’ll make you feel sluggish, tired and not as motivated to go out riding and having fun. You could save some of that Christmas pudding and have it as a nice hot post ride snack with custard, it’ll help your recovery and would be a nice motivator on the wintery ride to look forward to.
A tactic to try and keep on top of the situation is to use the festive break as a mini training camp, if you plan on doing a training camp in February, e.g. a 25 hr week in the Sun away from distractions, then you could do a pre-training camp doing 15-18 hrs a week over the festive period to help bridge that gap. It also gives you enough time to fit in family time and all the extras that come along with the time of year, while also not over do the training which would put you in a box and could lead to picking up an injury or illness.
This time of year is also a good time to look through the various racing calendars and start planning towards those big goals in 2018. Do some research towards them – the courses, type of terrain, the race specific needs, this leads to how to plan training, race strategies and skills needed to attain those goals, or get in touch with a coach to help plan your 2018 campaign.
So in short – Analyze, recharge, plan and hit 2018 with a bang.
First posted on Fauxpro