Sunday, December 2, 2012

Get your a$$ out there ...

So as many of you know, I am trying to transform myself from professional soccer referee, into amateur bicycle racer.

In the former life I was training 4 or 5 days a week during the season, and 5 or 6 days a week in the off season, working with a professional trainer.

This generally included cardio, flexibility, and strength training days, with a rest day or two in there as well.

In my "transformation" I have taken up a similar pattern by utilizing a professional trainer (specific to cycling), and find myself training 5 or 6 days a week for anywhere between 1 to 3 hours a day. I would love to do more, but real life is getting in the way ... and has the priority which was not always the case when I was a professional referee.

This training can get particularly lonely, especially as pictured above, you are out in the cold for 3 hours at a time, and no one else is crazy enough to go with you. This would happen as a referee too, wind, rain, snow, cold ... but it was critical to train outside.


Well, in both sports you don't always get the luxury to compete in 70 degree, sunny weather. It can rain during a match, or a race. Just the other week while spectacular weather for the NEOTHSL finals, there was a snap in the air as there should be in November here in the Northeast.

To train seriously and really be ready for the season, you can't hide indoors all off-season.

Take a look at "Personal Best - Winter Training - Faster and Safer Indoors?" from the NYT.

The fact that training indoors can be up to 10% easier than outside is intuitive to someone who has trained in both places. Consider this however ... for those of us who live in the Northeast of the US, it can be hard to train year round outside, yet it is reasonable to be "called on" at any time to referee around the world as a FIFA referee. Even for those National referees, there are off season training camps with mandatory fitness tests.

Refereeing (or racing) requires year round fitness.

I'll say this too ... while refereeing is not (as) competitive as racing, there is certainly competition ... usually friendly in nature. I was just reminded of the fact that BIG gains can be made by training hard in the off season. When so many have their bike (or running shoes) away, an athlete can make big strides during this time when others will struggle in the spring.

This is somewhat my mantra as I mount my bike in the early morning cold and snow. "You want to be a big time bike racer, you have to train in the winter."

Referees need to take a similar tact to be ready for the big time.

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