With the Christmas holiday in the rearview mirror Athletes everywhere are turning their attention to 2019 and dreaming of what can be accomplished.
It’s an exciting time of year that sees most of us setting goals and making the commitment to improve ourselves in various ways.
With endless New Years resolutions to consider, we thought it best to share three specific intentions that will help every Athlete have a season to remember.
The Pigeon pose has numerous variations, and each one is very beneficial for cyclists trying to release built-up tension in the hips. Photo Credit: Rick Cummings/Yoga Journal
#1: Develop A Maintenance Yoga Practice Or Stretching Routine
Tightly bound muscles are the enemy of Endurance Athletes and too often are the culprit of over-use injuries or nagging-pains that never seem to go away.
We have seen to many Athletes endure setbacks or have to revise their goals due to preventable injuries caused by tight hips, legs, and back muscles…
That is why we suggest that all our Athletes develop a 15-20min. yoga stretching routine that can be done multiple times a week.
Yoga is hugely beneficial for Endurance Athletes for two reasons:
#1- Yoga promotes length and relaxation in the muscles that are used over and over again to propel us forward on our bicycles.
#2- Restorative yoga practice has a meditative component that rejuvenates the mind while releasing tension within the body.
These two facts alone make regular yoga practice an ideal tool to compliment any training program.
If you are new to yoga, there are many great poses to consider and get comfortable with, but we think three of the best for cyclists are Crescent Lunge, Pigeon Pose, and Bound-Angle Pose.
To get started developing your own home practice yoga routine we suggest watching YouTube videos to find what sequence works best for you to release the tension built-up through constant training.
Coach Brian has been adding gravel events to his calendar for the past few years as to keep things 'fresh' after 15-years of competitive cycling.Photo Credit: Danny Munson, DMunsonPhoto.com
#2: Get Outside Your Comfort Zone & Try Something New
Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or just getting into the world of Endurance Sport, keeping things ‘fresh’ is a great way to keep improving.
That can be something as simple as adding in a core-routine or gym work to your offseason, or as wild as adding a gravel event to your season goals.
The notion of doing something different, even just slightly so, will challenge you mind and body to create new pathways and adapt to new stimulus.
Although one of the hardest things in Endurance Sport is putting-in the training time to achieve big goals, we cannot stress enough that being open to doing things differently can keep you continually improving.
Note: This does not mean you should throw-out tried and true training methods, instead the goal is to add a new dimension to your training that enhances your abilities and helps you achieve your very best!
Athlete and Coach Chris Hauth summed up the Athlete Mindset well on the Rich Roll Podcast. Photo Credit: The Rich Roll Podcast
#3: Develop An Athlete’s Mindset To Both Train Hard & Rest Properly!
In our years of Coaching we have noticed one universal truth that nearly every Athlete exhibits…
They associate hard-work and suffering with success and therefore minimize recovery in their training program.
Although resting properly can be a difficult notion for any Athlete with a demanding job and family commitments, proper rest should not be an after-thought.
The best Athletes in the world find ways to balance hard training and proper rest in order achieve their highest potential.
But even if you are not a world-class Athlete you can still reap the benefits of the Athletes’ Mindset.
This New Years, make the resolution to balance hard training with proper rest, be it extra sleep, a coffee ride, or possibly foam-rolling and recovery yoga.
The extra emphasis you put on recovery will help you continually adapt to hard training, but also keep your mind sharp, meaning that you can push yourself harder and deeper, when necessary in training or at an event.
We hope that you have enjoyed this weeks training article and that these resolution suggestions can make their way onto your list of aims for 2019!
And if your New Years holiday sees you spending any time in SoCal please come ride with us at the 4-Days To Fitness Training Camp in Santa Clarita and join our training presentation at CBS Cycling on Saturday December 29th at 3:00PM!
From all of us at Big Wheel Coaching, we wish you a happy, prosperous, and wildly successful 2019!
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!
-Brian and Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching
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