The Do's and Don'ts For 2005
The dawn of a new year gives everyone a fresh start.
The dawn of a new year gives everyone a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean and move forward with renewed focus and vigor. Working through round-table discussions with the coaches in the Carmichael Training Systems offices, we arrived at a short list of Do?s and Don?ts to help you make the most of your training time in 2005. <?xml:namespace prefix = o /?>
Organize Your Nutrition
In the Foreword of my recent book, ? Food for Fitness ?, Lance Armstrong wrote, ?Paying attention to nutrition can make your dreams come true, ignoring it can be your undoing.? Any amount of hard work you pour into your workouts can be negated by a lack of fuel, and more importantly, a lack of the right fuel.
As an athlete, your nutrition program has to begin with the level and type of activity you plan on undertaking. Once you understand what you?re asking your body to do, you are better equipped to design a nutrition program that will provide the fuel necessary to accomplish your goals. As you progress from winter training, when weekly hours and intensity tend to be low, to spring training and summer competitions, your caloric intake and the percentage of your calories coming from carbohydrates should increase. Your more intense spring and summer workouts burn through more carbohydrate more quickly, meaning your consumption of this high-energy fuel has to rise to meet the increased demand.
Organizing your nutrition program to follow the periodization plan of your training program also helps eliminate periods when your caloric intake and expenditure are significantly mismatched. This often manifests itself as a reduction in winter weight gain (caused by a caloric intake that far exceeds expenditure), which consequently eliminates the need to restrict calories and/or add training load in the spring in order to drop back to race weight. Since most of us have very limited time available to train, I?d rather see you devote the time you have to gaining power rather than eliminating love handles.
Invest in a Power Meter
Cyclists are more fortunate than athletes in most other sports because we have a tool that can accurately determine how much force we exert and how much work we doing, as we ride. Runners can?t do that when they?re on the trail, nor can swimmers when they?re in the water. As an amateur cyclist, a power meter gives you access to data that elite athletes in other sports would kill to have.
Properly integrating power into your training program will lead to greater gains in one year than you?ve made in the past three without it. Pass on the lighter bike or the new carbon race wheels this year; invest your money in the tools that help you develop a bigger and stronger engine instead.
Open Up To New Ideas
Too many cyclists are tightly bound to traditions, trusting in the old adage, ?If it?s not broken, don?t fix it.? The trouble is, how do you know that the traditional way is actually the most effective? Maybe trying something