Training, Racing & LCHF Fueling For Skating And Endurance Sports
Kick off your shoes, stick your feet up and light up those cigars all you hard-charging Type-As – you’ve made it to off-season! Hooray!! Paradoxically, as with many things in life, backing off the gas pedal and allowing the body – and the mind – a prolonged period to rest an recover is one of the most critical phases to continual long term development and improvement for any athlete.
It’s can be difficult to accept… coming off the back of a great season highlighted by a 24hr solo and a double marathon, I’m the fittest and fastest that I have ever been, and the natural mentality is “use it or lose it” which means that you want to carry on racing and training hard while you have this fitness level.
But it’s right to recognise that it has been a long season and this is the end for this particular Macro cycle.
So for the whole of October:
– exercise volume will be cut drastically across all activities
– The training log will not be updated
– Only 1 structured training session a week*; all other exercise will be purely for stress relief and enjoyment
The single structured training session that I *will* make a point of committing to and doing well is Indoor Training each Saturday morning. We’re lucky enough this year to have found a great venue that is close by, so there is really no excuse not to attend. We’ve already had a couple of these sessions and I have found them enjoyable. I also recognise that they’re probably exactly what I need to take my skating to the next level. Working on our weaknesses is the best way to improve, and as a natural leftie, being forced to do endless cornering on my weak-side is going to be extremely beneficial for me.
Yes, I will be relaxing my diet this month and jacking up the carb content. That may sound like heresy for a bona-fide LCHF true-believer, but this does NOT mean I will be gouging on pasta and bread all day while trying to bring my T3 levels up. Processed sugars and grains are still definitely NOT on the menu. Instead, I will be eating a lot more FRUIT this month. While I think that fruit is hugely over-rated by the general public and gets a free pass on the back of leafy and non-starchy VEGETABLES – which are far superior – I agree with the Paleo theory that Ancestral Man probably evolved by eating high fruit diet at certain periods of the year when such food became plentiful.
One last, and significant thing to mention is that I’m planning use this winter to transition from a heavily cushioned running shoe to a much more minimalist shoe. When I started running 10 months ago I was a complete novice and completely ignorant on things such as shoes, footstrike and running gait. Now, while I am far from being an expert, I do at least know a suffcient amount to have had my curiosity piqued such that I want to give this minimalist thing a go – it makes a lot of sense to me. so the next few weeks – and months, no doubt – I will be doing shorter runs working on making the transition to my new zero-drop Mizuno Levitas’ trainers. I’m sure that much more will be written about my progress in this aspect!
Fitness will be lost, but that’s OK. I trust my body and my training principles enough now to be confident that this will benefit me in the long run and prepare my body to be able to better adapt to become even stronger and faster when the next phase of heavy training is upon us, whenever I decide to begin picking it up again. Being comfortable with this in your own mind is important – knowing that you will not be at your peak fitness over the winter. Improvement towards excellence is a long term process, but the way we work towards higher levels is in cycles and not in a straight line. This is now the downswing on this particular cycle. As always, keep productive with whatever extra time is available to you. Happy off-season!