8th Jan 2013Posted in: Blog, Training Comments Off on Off Days
Off Days

Mid January Training Tip – Written by JB from having been coached by the man, the myth – E TOUGH.
Chris Eatough
Six time 24 Hour Solo Mountain Biking World Champion
Five time 24 Hour Solo Mountain Biking National Champion
Lead role in the award winning documentary movie, “24 Solo” by Gripped Films
Find more info about Chris Eatough’s Coaching Plans Here

By now you’re full swing into your 2013 training plan. Chances are you’re switching from long, slow base rides to faster, harder rides. Now is also the time to be cross training (running, swimming) and weight lifting. All this beating up on the body requires close attention to “Off Days” for repair. This helps keep us from getting sick, strained or feeling overly sore all the time.

Off Days are not an excuse to slack off. Wrap your head around what the day is really for – recovery. Be sure to keep moving, take time to stretch  (at least 30 minutes, slowly), drink tons of water and if you’re on a weight training plan these are the days to blast other muscles besides your legs (especially the core). Keep track of your workouts, stick to a schedule and treat each one with the respect it deserves. And off days are no exception.

Sleep is critical to balancing hard workouts. The body will not just recover during sleep but it releases lots of growth and repair hormones only when you are asleep. The early sleep period, during which growth hormone and cortisol levels are maximally disassociated in favor of growth hormone, is a time of uniquely significant anabolic activity. With advancing age, the nighttime sleep-induced growth hormone surge falls and the cortisol low point rises, consonant with the age-related reduction in the anabolic/catabolic ratio. Therefore, you are dramatically affecting your results if you eat a huge carb dinner within 2 hours of sleeping. Get the carbs earlier in the day and go for salad at night. It is good to eat carbs before and during workouts but the notion of eating loads of carbs at dinner isn’t a good idea unless you eat dinner at 4pm and workout at 7pm (we will touch on nutrition in a different post as well as review a bunch of PowerBar products). The main point is to sleep like you train – with purpose. For this reason many pros will work out in the morning, take a 30-45 min nap at noon then work out again in the afternoon. This is like getting twice as many workouts and recovery days in the same 24 hour period. This is also a great way to ‘make up’ for one of those days when work or life gets out of hand and you simply have to skip your workout.

This all requires a ton of self discipline so it helps to have others (team mates, friends, a world champion coach) who are also keeping you honest. If you work on the schedule of 3 weeks on, 1 week off you’ll really have earned that off week. Stick to the plan and come Spring, you will win races (or at least come close).


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