I took an involuntary week off after Iceman due to illness. I took the next week off, excluding an easy couple of loops at IRLA to recover from a long season of training. I took a third week off (Thanksgiving week) due to pure laziness. As I usually do while indulging in adult beverages with the guys, I shot my mouth off to a couple of fellow team members last week that I would put my mind to it, figure out a plan for preparing for next year and start Monday (today). I like talking trash. Not only is it fun and a true male bonding experience but, it's probably the best motivation out there. Well, Monday am came and the alarm went off at 5:00am (Spin Class). It was quickly silenced with a slap of the snooze bar and reset for the standard 6:30am wake up for work. Luckily, I was able to escape work at a decent hour, throw on the running shoes and head out to put in 45 minutes before it was time to take the lil'man to swim class. 44 minute and 2 seconds. That's what it took to finish my normal 6.5 mile loop. I made it about 1 minute and 30 seconds before my lungs started to burn, about 5 min before my right achilles started aching, another 15 min before my left knee/IT band started to hurt and limped home the last 12 min with my right knee/IT band pretty much locked up. Given my math is not the best but, that's about 42 minutes and 30 seconds of pure pain. Running is sure tough after taking the better part of a month off. I don't have words to explain the value of stretching once you pass the 30 year mark.
So the plan is pretty simple. Target 45-60 minutes, 5-7 days a week of cardio. Rotating between running, spin class, fluid trainer and rollers. Minimum of 3 hard days a week (running or spin class) and easy/medium days for the rest (fluid trainer or rollers). Why no marathon rides outdoors or on the trainer? Cause that's just plain nuts and the season don't start till April. Not to mention, I am a simply a wimp when the temp drops below 40 degrees. After a steady month, I'll throw in some sprint drills (lunges, bounds, skips) and possibly some strength training (push ups, sit ups, weights, etc.). You say lunges are for sissies? Stop by my house and we'll do 50 my way. You'll barely walk the next day. I'll bet you a case of beer on that.
That's the plan. It's nothing special or scientific. I've trained with Olympians and have seen what it takes, it doesn't need to be. It's about building/maintaining a solid base in the off season. Aerobic fitness & strength conditioning is key. I'll start considering some longer rides/runs and more anaerobic training as the season nears. Probably about a month out. Before the weather breaks and the Michigan outdoor riding season begins.
Why am I writing this? Cause it's part trash talking, I hope part informational and with hope, it's a little inspirational. The bottom line is that I didn't meet my goals this year and this is what it's going to take to meet them for next year. No reason to wait. "Training for next season started yesterday." Mine started today. ;)