Yes, I know. I am a little late to the party. January 1, 2013 was three days ago. Well, you have to start sometime. I started yesterday. Sort of…
It isn’t that I haven’t been doing anything. My plan over the last month has been to let my body recuperate and to work some on my upper body strength. I’m happy to say I’ve made progress on both accounts.
I finished last year with several nagging aches.
- My right rotator cuff was giving me problems – I had injured it in college playing tennis and aggravated it coming down hard on my shoulder in wrecks of the years.
- My IT Band was constantly hurting – This is another nagging injury from going down hard one to many times.
- My left wrist was sprained or may have even had a stress fracture – I had fallen on it in August and even in early December, I could not do a pushup due to the pain.
- My knees had been flaring up off and on during the season – this was a left over from my “cross training” in the winter of 2011-12. It never really went away.
I knew that one thing my body needed was rest. It needed a break from the repetitive motions of the bicycle. The time off the bike basically wiped out the knee pain. The shoulder and hip issues I will probably always have in some amount. The wrist is not back to 100%, but I have been able to accomplish some modified pushups with out pain and pain while resting is gone.
One thing I know I have not done well with in the past is my upper body. I have never been very faithful with the exercises that Jim gave me to do. This year, I decided to put more focus on getting my core and upper body ready to join my legs on the bike.
I have done this with resistance training. Just you basic old pushups, situps and resistance band exercises. I’m already noticing a difference — not only in how I feel, but in how I look. Mainly, I believe this has played a big role in the improved sensations in my rotator cuff. Strengthening the muscles around the socket have helped.
One target area I’ve got to zero in on is the abdomen. I weighed in this morning at 177.7 pounds. That isn’t my highest off-season weight, but it is well above my fighting weight of the mid to high 160s. Most of that weight is right there around my waist.
I don’t think I will get much below 170 this year. I have put on a little muscle up top and I think that will continue. However, I should be able to take care of some of the weight by being a bit more moderate with my diet and letting the crunches start doing their work.
In the end, I think I’ll be fine with a little more weight. Even climbing I believe it will help me. Climbing can be a full-body exercise and I remember times last year when my arms would ache from an effort climbing. Taking care of my upper body now will allow me to focus on my legs when the time comes.
Speaking of legs… I am starting my training for the year. Frankly, I have not really set any goals as far as events are concerned. What I have determined is that I am going to try to do at least 8 hours of riding a week and take a “ride hard and rest” approach.
Of course, I’ll have you follow along with me starting with my first FTP test tomorrow.