Friday, May 13, 2011

Ride Less to Ride Better

Ill say it. I think that a key to getting into better shape - better overall fitness - is to ride your bike LESS. Yes, ride less often and for fewer miles. My regimen lately has led me to believe that piling on huge miles os not going to do you any good fitness wise.

That said, high miles over continual multiple days is good training - for boredom and preparing your rear end for a full on ass-hatchet assault. But since we are talking recumbents here we can ignore the need to develop full-on taint calluses to ward off upright bike seat issues. A recumbent that you are dialed in on is like sitting in your favorite easy chair. You don't need to train for the pain, you just sit and smile.

Now when I say ride less, this is not a pass to just ditch the wheels and watch game shows. Ride less and change up your workout. This is particularly important if you feel that you have hit an exercise plateau and are not making progress like you want. If you are topped out on the bike, simply adding more and more miles will not get you over the hump. You need to get off the bike.

When you do get off the bike do something different. Interval train. CrossFit. Do some air squats. Push ups. Run 400 meter sprints. Pull ups. Leg lifts. Etc etc. Muscle confusion is what you need to get over the ridge. When you do get back on the bike train at a harder intensity for LESS time. Don't destroy yourself over huge mileage and call it training. It is likely that the shorter more intense workouts will improve your cycling (even distance cycling) and your family will be the better off since you won't be gone for hours and hours on end every darned weekend.

The other pillar to this change is diet. Shut off the processed food faucet. Just shut it off. I will go as far to say dump the carbs and dump the ridiculous idea of "carb loading." The carbs are wreaking havoc on your insulin levels and that is never a good thing. If you want the definitive source that carbs are the real killer, take a read of Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. For me, I have been largely carb free and have never felt better. CrossFit and training my body at activities OTHER than just riding the recumbent has helped my weight loss and my riding/climbing abilities have improved drastically.

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