As training athletes, it's easy to train too hard, for too many days per week, or even months in a row. The result? Overtraining.
We sometimes fail to realize that with unnecessary or junk workouts, overtraining can compete with valuable stages of mental and physical recovery. It's important to remember that our body and central nervous system needs to “heal” before it can grow, otherwise we'll see little to no gains in speed or strength, leading to injury and despair.
Having realized the benefits of proper recovery, much of our success now comes from balancing months of intense workouts with guidance and support from our local holistic health specialists.
Some of the most common complaints of cyclists is back pain, neck strain and joint aches, which can be readily addressed by the practice of yoga. With yoga, one enhances overall performance by working under-used muscle groups, increasing inner and outer focus, and cultivating a sense of calmness and overall balance. You, too, can revive your yoga glow and increase flow to your mind, body and soul with Shaelah Morris at Studio Tahoe.
We successfully maintain cycling fitness throughout winter by skate-skiing. The combination of simultaneous upper and lower body activity places a greater workload on the heart-lung system than any other sport. Skiing also requires bursts of energy for climbing and accelerating, which produces even more oxygen transport capacity. Check out the expansive Nordic trails at Tahoe Donner, and sign up with JoJo Toeppner or Katerina Nash for pointers in technique and efficiency.
By exploring relaxation massage and exercises, one experiences quicker muscle recovery, lower heart rate and decreased tension, making immediate changes to the way you feel and perform. With relaxation and sports massage, Annemarie Sheridan at Namaste balances the athlete in all of us.
As cyclists, it's easy to find ourselves with imbalances such as tight hamstrings, knee and back pain, and an underdeveloped core, making us prone to strain and injury. Scott Williams at Synergy Healing Arts coaches us to rebuild and maintain our race-worthy strength with cycling-specific exercises and drills that improve our flexibility and core strength. Scott might also suggest changes to your bike fit to decrease knee stress and increase pedaling efficiencies.
So, you owe it to yourself, develop and find your balance. With a focused fitness plan that eliminates junk workouts and follows a balanced framework of cross training and relaxation exercises, there's opportunity for everyone to find improvements in their fitness and overall strength. If you want gain, don't overtrain.
— Team rider Forrest Huisman is the author of this week's Marc Pro-Strava Racing column. For more information, results and upcoming events from the Truckee-based cycling team, visit http://marcpro-strava.com.