Here We Are, Christmas Week

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Hey Gang,

Last week’s training went very well, settling into a nice routine here… Many Elite Endurance athletes are in some off-season “training” now, transitioning from cyclo-cross back to either road or MTB… I cannot stress enough how important it is to have some “down” time, to let things go a bit… I mention this because many athletes gloss over this part of the year… which can viciously come back and haunt them at some point later in the season — the operative word here being “viciously…”

Remember, form in cycling is like a pendulum — in order for it to swing correctly and to its max potential, you need to let it swing both ways, fully, and this is something most athletes really either A) have a hard time wrapping their minds around or B) doing at all.

I like to prescribe athletes, depending on their season, their age experience goals physiology etc, about 2-4 weeks of fun “off” season work… The key is to let the athlete kinda do what he/she wants, step away from structure, to ease up a bit, have fun, decompress the mind, and still stay physically active… For me, this means more mountain biking and a fair amount of running… Big activities I’ve seen athletes do during this time is to trail run, Stairmaster or Elliptical at the gym, the rowing machine, rollerblading, swimming, basketball, rock climbing, NordicTrack, soccer, yoga… I find this to be a very important time of year — allows the athlete to truly hit the RESET button, something all elite athletes do, not just some of most — ALL.

I am taking it slow in December, doing more MTBing, 2-3 aerobic PowerCrank rides each week, and running when I feel like it, sometimes making it a second workout if I have the time or energy… In my youth, I was a running enthusiast and fairly quick, once really peaked and ran a 5k in 14:40 (after having a PR at around 16:00 — shows what aiming to peak for one race can do)… This year, I’ve been going out at night and running this quiet country road right next to my house — the road snakes along a creek, and the sound of my breath, the sound of the creek, the sound of my pitter-pattering running shoes fleeting along the pavement is all very soothing… I’ve always really loved the simplicity and freedom associated with running and enjoying these brisk runs into the night…

This weekend, I blasted some e-mails out to the Elite Endurance squad (there are a bunch of agile and enthusiastic MTBers among us!), and we ended up getting together and doing a very, very rad ride down at Allaire this Sunday… I had planned on doing more of a brisk Murder Ride on Saturday, then a more social ride on Sunday (for riders of all levels), but I was writhing in bed all Friday night, suffering from THE worst stomach ache ever, had to unfortunately bail on Saturday… I was able to recuperate for Sunday, and we had a great turnout and a true blast — just what I needed!

Allaire Forest is our MTB mecca in central Jersey, located in the Pine Barrens, home of the Jersey Devil!!! The trails are twisty, rolling, not very rocky or technical –the entire trail network is very fast, very very flowy and fun… In the summer, the terrain can be a bit sandy, but in the winter, the ground is borderline perfect for MTB traction, and it’s an excellent place for riders of all skill levels to ride as it’s not so technical but still wicked twisty and flowy enough to keep a pro MTBer interested…

For me training-wise, this week will be more of the same, a few aerobic PowerCrank rides, a few brisk 40+min Tempo runs, and hopefully MTBing on Saturday and Sunday… Saturday at 9 is the Murder Ride, and Sunday at 9 I’ll be putting together another social ride — the fast palookas can dart off the front, everyone else can cruise together in the middle group, and the riders who are dropped can regroup at the end of the trail… On the Sunday ride, we always wait at the next trailhead and allow everyone to recuperate for the next section — no one is dropped. The dynamic works very well — on Sunday, it was so very rad seeing everyone on this ride having a blast… I will tell you: there is nothing in cycling quite like bombing through the woods in a group, a rollercoaster of MTBers flowing smoothly through a beautifully-cut length of singletrack. It tingles a part of your soul…

Next month, I will be looking to turn it up a bit, get the diet 100% nailed down, start add longer true Tempo rides on the road bike, upper-Tempo work on the PowerCrank bike, longer Tempo work on the TT bike — you can see the theme of my month here…

For anyone interested in either of the Allaire MTB rides, they are Wheels Down at 9 from the Hospital Road lot in Farmingdale, NJ… If any of you have questions, feel free to e-mail me at Coach@EliteEndurance.com or message me on Facebook…

I hope everyone has a great holiday season!!!

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 | | |