Racing Riding Training

Thinking About: Fitness, Nutrition and Training

green smoothieI’ve already mentioned some general goals for 2009, two of them being losing more weight and racing cross when the season comes back around. The losing weight thing I know how to do – to a certain extent. In 2007 I dropped 50 lbs and can do the caloric crunch again to drop some additional weight. Mix that with drinking enough water, not eating after dinner and exercising regularly, and I know I *can* pick it back up and lose the rest of my goal weight for the year. Just gotta do it.

There are a lot of reasons for wanting to drop weight. Despite hitting my 50 lb goal, I’m still officially obese….egads. Dropping the next 20-30 will get me into a healthier place not just for the upcoming cross season, but riding in general and overall lifestyle. The difference before the 50 lbs to where I’m at now is unbelievable already, and the past two years on the bike, for me, have been phenomenal. And yet, there’s more to do….

And of course, there are self concious reasons for wanting to lose additional weight. Cycling jerseys are not made for folk-of-my-size, they just aren’t. Honestly, I’m kind of thankful for the colder weather while I work at these goals because I don’t have to ride by windows and see my JG (jersey gut) hitting the top tube. Ok, it’s not quite that bad, but everytime I’m climbing, I can’t help but think that pushing 30 less pounds up the hill would make a huge difference. All I can think about is Oprah hauling out that big wheelbarrow of fat on her show….

At any rate, I’ve been thinking beyond just the weight loss. Losing weight just for the sake of losing it is great, but I’m sure there have got to be some extra steps I could be taking along the way to focus on the nutritional aspect as well. Foods that will help me before, during, and after rides. Intake that will aid in the building of proper muscle. Eating for a purpose.

My wife read a quote this weekend out of some book or magazine talking about food being what sustains us, not what entertains us. I’m not sure if I completely agree, because I can be entertained for a LONG time with food…and therein lies the problem. Too many years of enjoying my eating without limitations. I know better now, and do better now, but I still have to flip over to the mindset that food is not my comforter, and in fact, I’m not wanting to see how I can use food as a tool in aiding my fitness and strength levels.

Speaking of fitness and strength, I need to look into some more purposed exercise as well. I can get out on the bike, put in a couple hours no problem, but I’m definitely in a rut. I don’t do intervals of any kind (well, unless escape sprints from loose country dogs qualify.) I don’t lift weights regularly, although we have a really decent Gold’s Gym machine. And I don’t  do any kind of stretching or movement exercise. I know I need to strengthen my core and have a more complete workout, but honestly, have no idea how to get there…AND how to focus on the kinds of workouts that will ultimately help my riding, and eventual racing.

Without much guidance to go by I’m thinking along the lines of 3 potential things to add into my ‘diet’ of exercise.

  1. The aforementioned intervals. Again, not sure of the best way to tackle this
  2. Some lifting. Not to bulk, but to build leaner muscle.
  3. And….Yoga.

Yeah, I said it, I’m seriously looking at yoga right now. And that’s about all I’ve done with it so far, is look. My wife has been reading some articles, recording some HD yoga shows, and looking at some classes to take. Maybe it’s the turning-40-this-year part of me, but something seems kind of appealing about it. I know it can be “good for the body, good for the soul,” but I also know it can be tough as nails to do. And from what I’ve heard, everyone who’s done it proclaims the benefits of a good yoga experience. We’ll see.

So, that’s lots of talk right there, but if anyone has any good beginner, get me in the right direction kind of information on everyday nutrition for cyclists, basic interval training, core strengthening, or yoga for dummies…I’m all ears. And thanks in advance.

1 reply on “Thinking About: Fitness, Nutrition and Training”

Just remembered I have a book on cycling fitness that was part of a box deal if you want to try it out. Obviously it hasn’t gotten much use from me 🙂 It has stretches, and guides to training and nutrition.

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