These last few months have been very busy for me. With the kids going back to school, camps all over the U.S. and a major undertaking still on my horizon, it seems like I have had no downtime at all this year.
One thing that I look forward to every week is date night with my wife. I feel that, oftentimes, relationships with the people we care about most also seem to suffer the most when we get busy with either training or work. I am making it a personal goal to shift this paradigm in my head. I’m doing this by scheduling the most important time first. For me, that is time with my wife first, kids second and work third. Sometimes I take Lori’s time for granted and put it off because we “understand” each other. I’m working on that, because my time with her becomes personal time when I can relax, let go and speak about things most dear to my heart. I am rambling a bit about this subject, but I want to emphasize the importance of restoring yourself by restoring your relationships with those that mean the most to you–it is critical for long-term happiness!
Bridging on that, I don’t know about you, but my happiness is directly related to how well my relationship is going with my wife. Now, for some it might be more closely related to how fit they are, but that can be scary. That’s where I was when I was a professional and it is a slippery slope, especially if you get injured since you have no control over how fit you can be. The reason I bring this up now is because, as you all know, routines are the secret to success in all aspects of life. Putting time to work on or grow your relationship with the person you love, whatever that might mean to you, has to be part of your life training plan. This is easy to do for short periods, but like anything that really works, the hard part is staying consistent for a long period of time.
Back to training…I hope many of you take part in our cyclocross program we have here at VQ. The weekly rides are a ball and the weekend intensity and long rides create a great fall cycling balance. Skill development, diversity, fun, camaraderie and intensity are all reasons why getting on the cross bike this fall/winter will keep you fit and sane during the off-season. If you’ve been training alone, I’m encouraging you to join our group and learn from some great coaches. Whether strength training, riding, swimming or running, learning from expert VQ coaches, as well as fellow athletes, is mission critical for growth in sport. I am a firm believer that you often need to train on your own during the very specific periods of your racing preparation. But now that most of the racing is over, huge gains can be made at the VQ group workouts by diversifying your training, developing better technique and stronger energy systems and becoming more functionally fit. A strong focus on these areas will make up VQ training for the next six months.
Take a few weeks to sit back and focus on next season’s goals. Get an idea of what your time commitment looks like and create a roadmap to your success. Start with a benchmark of some sort (I prefer the 20- or 40-minute test), understand what the requirements of your goals are and enjoy the process this fall. Just keep one thing in mind when you’re setting up your plan with your coach…Date Night!!!