Four things to try in 2013Posted: January 9, 2013
I subscribe to Chris Charmichael’s online newsletter (probably an accidental enrollment, but I haven’t unsubscribed, so he’s doing something right). His Happy 2013 message was “Weekend Reading: 13 Ways to Boost Fitness, Lose Weight, and Get Faster in 2013!” Who doesn’t want to do all of those things in 2013? Or, rather… today?
Points that I’m going to try to take to heart:
2. Get used to being hungry: Almost without exception, we can all afford to lose some weight. To do it, you’re doing to have to suck it up and go hungry. Stop gorging after long rides and workouts, eat smaller portions, skip desserts, etc. If you’re consistent, your body and brain will adapt to eating less.
*This sucks. But I’m working on it. Four days in bed with the flu and minimal exercise due to holiday travel and events means my stomach is already partially adapted to eating less. Need to keep this up as I re-introduce training (as the body allows with my flu recovery).
3. Commit to consistency: Training 4 times a week (ie. twice during the workweek and twice on weekends) is good. Five training days a week is great. Six may actually be too much for some athletes, and 7 is generally not a good idea.
*Getting in five to seven days of activity in a week is not normally a problem for me, but I’m out of practice. This is a good note that it’s okay for me to ramp it back up to five or six days – and that four is actually acceptable in the beginning!
9. Drop caffeine: Caffeine enhances athletic performance, but to get the biggest race-day impact from caffeine you don’t want a huge tolerance for the stuff. When you consume less caffeine on a daily basis, less caffeine is required to achieve an ergogenic benefit, so the relatively small amounts in gels and chewables will help you more.
* I knew it!!! I’ve been cutting caffiene from my daily routine in advance of big races for the past five or more years – and in 2011 switched to decaf for most of the year. I’m back on that plan and will try to have caffiene only when truly needed.
10. Fall in love with this workout: 3×10 SteadyState Intervals (3×20 for advanced riders), with recovery between intervals 5 and 10minutes, respectively. It’s not sexy or complicated, but sustained time-at-intensity increases sustainable power at lactate threshold. This the performance marker that leads to higher climbing speed, less taxing rides in the pack, and faster bike splits in triathlons. Intensity: 90-95% of CTS Field Test power, 92-94% of CTS Field Test Heart Rate, or an 8 on a 1-10 exertion scale.
* I will have to give this a shot. It will likely suck to do this on my own, but I’ll try to hide out in the back of class during spin and just knock it out. Guessing this should be done three times a month or so? I’ll start with once and see how it goes – after I’ve gotten myself back to a solid routine.