Saturday, February 6, 2016

Earning Liquid Carbs

At least we all rode down for these beers!

I live in Wisconsin. The land of great beer and cheese. Mix these two with brutally long winters and what do you get? Winter "insulation", day after regrets, and sluggish legs. I'm not the only one slapped with this reality. Several of my cycling friends have been looking at the calendar, doing the math, and swearing quietly under their breath, knowing what hauling ten extra pounds does to you while climbing hills on two wheels.

Honestly, I've never really cared about becoming deconditioned in the winter. It's been my yearly ritual to add a nice layer of warmth around my body come late October/early November and keep it there until I start getting serious about riding in early March. Then, within a month or two, I'm finely tuned once again from frequent 2+ hour rides. I'm the type who feels there's no way in hell I can keep the intensity up I do in the summer—without either turning into a crazed, obsessed athlete or getting sick. Nope, give me Jan Ulrich's training plan any day over Lance Armstrong's. I'm not calculated in what I eat (except for getting enough fresh produce in), I allow myself one too many glasses of liquid bread and I sometimes opt for a nap or book vs. going for a run or ride. Essentially, I allow myself to rest.

The only problem I have with this wonderful training theory is the spring events keep getting earlier and earlier (road racing season begins April 10th this year and there are several gravel events also in April) and I haven't really talked myself into ending my "rest" period any earlier. So this is how I see it. I have two options. I can a) say screw "training" and just play and do the best I can with what I've got or b) give myself a good kick in the ass and get moving (mind you I am active all winter...just not nearly as much as summer).

A good friend of mine in Colorado, and former junior racer at the time I raced, gave me such a brilliant training plan that I just had to share it. 25 miles on two wheels=1 beer. Yep, it's as simple as that. To enjoy a glass of liquid bread, I have to earn it. I like this idea so much I might even apply it to my runs as well. 5 miles of running=1 beer. I doubt I'll stick to this plan 100% but it sure is an easy guide to follow and when it's 25 degrees out, and all I want to do is turn my steed around, I'll know there is more than one consequence. By following this I still have no interest in racing or riding seriously...but it just might make March and April a bit easier on the legs and lungs.

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