With the off-season comes exercise and a variety of activities to burn calories and keep us in shape. For me, I can swim-bike-run any day of the week but for Karel he is working on strength and flexibility, in addition to fixed gear and mounting biking.
In addition to my routine of Swim-bike-run, I have been super diligent in the gym with circuit and strength training. I have noticed huge changes in my body and in my strength and I can't wait until this upcoming triathlon season. If you need a motivational boost to get into the weight room, don't forget that muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Even if you exercise 20 hours a week (cardio exercise) and fit in 6 hour bikes rides to burn a lot of calories, your body will burn more calories at rest (thus allowing you to eat more due to an increase resting metabolic rate) with added muscle mass. Although your exercise routine will encourage a change in muscle mass as you burn fat, your muscles need to be challenged (through strength training) just like your heart and cardio exercise. Ladies-lifting will not cause you to be bulky. Appreciate strength training as a great way to increase lean muscle mass and decrease fat mass.
I find that many athletes live in the moment, especially in the off-season. I can't tell you how many times people tell me "I'll just lose weight when I start my serious training cause it is easier that way". Well, if you ask me, it is a lot easier to cut back on calories, exercise and stick with a healthy eating and workout routine in the off-season when you are not focusing on upcoming races or specific workouts, than when you are focusing 100% on improving performance through every workout. During the season, while it is possible to lose weight with training, you never want to sacrifice performance for weight loss gains. Ultimately, we eat for fuel but in the off-season there is a little cushion room to exercise for the caloric burn as you keep your heart healthy and build endurance.
Alongside decreasing daily calories to support your daily exercise routine and strength training/circuit training 2-3 days per week, I am also considering the other ways I can improve the health of my body in the off-season.
I am not a fan of Yoga..too slow for me. However, it does wonders on the body and so beneficial for athletes. My mom hates to miss her Mon/Wed yoga classes and loves her pilates class on Tues/Thurs. I guess mother knows best cause she is always telling me to do Yoga. Well Mom, you would be proud of Karel and me.
This morning Karel and I did Yoga with an AWESOME DVD: Flexible Warrior Yoga for Triathletes
Taking into consideration that Karel and I are novice when it comes to Yoga, this DVD was super challenging for us but doable. This morning we did the Strength section, followed by Power. Each section is 30 minutes and the last section is 30 minutes focused on flexibility.
Do you have a favorite Yoga DVD that we should buy?
We are really excited to add this component (yoga) to our healthy-living routine and I'd love some suggestions for some other ways that Karel and myself can improve our strength and flexibility.
As for my other health change, I love my new work station. I am writing a lot of training plans right now and my stability ball has done wonders on my back pain. I highly recommend switching your chair (at home and in the office) for a stability ball. I even eat my meals and watch TV on the ball. I have horrible posture and the ball really engages my core..and if you know me, I LOVE working the core!!
As for Yoga with a house of animals...Campy really enjoyed our Yoga session this morning and made it a lot of fun for us to concentrate on our poses and breathing :)