This week's blog is by newly married ALP Coach Jennifer Triplett- now Jennifer Sharp.
For the majority of the country, we are still months away from the road season. As a coach, racing season is actually the easiest to schedule: race, recovery, one harder workout earlier in the week, recovery, race, repeat. In the off season however, there aren't as many "check points" to keep the motivation high. Variety is key and mixing up the intervals and training stimulus is important. For the athlete, the weather is often cold, wet, or icy and snowy, the days are shorter and you're constantly being pulled to holiday functions and family obligations.
So how do you stay motivated and keep your fitness up over winter?
It's all about PERSPECTIVE. It's important to look at your workouts like putting money into your savings account. Time spent sweating during intervals, getting the full prescribed time in on the bike, even if it's on the trainer, is making a deposit you'll withdraw later during race season. Make sure you complete those last few minutes on the trainer instead of shutting it down early. A few minutes here or there will add up quickly. Make sure each time you put your leg over the saddle that you have an intention of putting some money in the bank.
MIX IT UP. Incorporate something different. Have a mountain or cross bike? Are the roads sloppy with ice and snow? Now is a perfect time to break out those fat tires and explore your local trails and neighborhoods. Bundle up and get outside - it's a great way to break up trainer rides.
LIFE HAPPENS. And if life happens and gets in the way, remember you are the master of your destiny. Looking at your training in advance, planning for the week and rearranging your workouts is a good way to make it all fit. Just make sure to communicate with your coach what you need to do in order to get your workouts in.
And lastly, TRAINING DOESN'T TICKLE. There are days when it just feels better to not go hard, to back it off just a little. Remember though, training doesn't tickle. It isn't meant to be easy. Visualize going toe to toe with a competitor if you need a little extra motivation to keep pushing through the pain cave. Your efforts will be rewarded.
Keep training and enjoy the last few weeks of 2014!