The Atheist Training Bible for Old Bicycle Racers, Chapter 5: You’re still not ready
January 20, 2014 § 7 Comments
Even though you have dutifully progressed from Chapters 1 – 4, you are not ready for the Intermediate Phase of the Wanky Training Plan ™. How can I possibly know this? Because you are a cyclist, which means you want to skip steps, charge ahead where fools dare to tread, and get the spoils of victory without doing any of the work and enjoy your beer.
First, however, we need to review the fundamentals.
- You are old.
- You are weak.
- You are getting older.
- You are getting weaker.
- Give up now.
Once you feel as if you can recite this list AND what you had for breakfast, we can progress to the second analytical phase of the program, which involves explaining the “why” before telling you the “what.”
The scientific theory behind building fitness and strength
The dominant scientific theory behind strength and cardio fitness improvement is strangely unrelated to beer consumption. Rather, it is that you improve strength and fitness by applying work loads to your muscles, heart, and lungs, and then they rebuild after the training period to become stronger. It sounds simple, but it’s really not, because as you have learned (it’s the reason you’re on the WTP), the more you train after a certain point, the more fatigued you become.
The simple question, then, is “How much should I train?”
The simple answer is, “A shit-ton less than what you’re doing right now.”
Training plans that propose blocks of intervals followed by brief, one-week periods of rest are effective when you are in your teens, twenties, and early thirties. In fact, these training plans were devised in order to maximize performance of elite cyclists at the peak of their game — young mutants who can crank out massive efforts and then, thanks to youth and great nutrition and lots of drugs, recover almost immediately.
You’ve noticed that these plans don’t work for you. Why? Obviously, because you’re neither young nor an elite athlete. Moreover, you lack the motivation to do anything more than a couple of Wanky Beer Intervals ™, and your body simply can’t take the drubbing of repeated, intense training. What you need isn’t a better training plan, but a better resting plan. You’re in your late 40’s or older. Your cuts heal more slowly. Your erectile tissues don’t work as regularly as they once did. You have to read things three or four times before forgetting them.
So make a little sticky that says “More Rest” and tack it all over the house. Done? Okay, we can move on to the part you will like, rest + beer.
Proper rest-to-training ratios
Remember that you are slow, weak, old, and take forever to recover. Hence, your rest-to-training ratio should not resemble, even a tiny little bit, the ratios of real athletes and/or young people. In my very scientific study of human physiology which I did a few minutes ago on Google, the perfect ratio for old weak people is this: One week on, one week off.
“Oh, boy!” I can hear you clapping. “This is my ON week! Let’s hammer!”
Not so fast, wrinkled grasshopper. Your “on” week should have a maximum of three ball-breaking/vagina-searing days, but everything else should be rest. For example:
- Monday: Tweezly spinning
- Tuesday: NPR (go to the front, you wanker!)
- Wednesday: Tweezly spinning
- Thursday: More NPR flailage (and pound your guts out, none of that 26 mph crap, right, G$?)
- Friday: Coffee cruise, rest, and casual lies about your real training plan
- Saturday: Full Donut, no shortcuts, until you puke up a femur
- Sunday: Wheatgrass Ride, so slow that the only person who will ride with you is New Girl. Yeah, THAT slow.
Your “off” week then looks like this:
- Monday: 1 hour tweezly spinning + beer
- Tuesday: 2 hours tweezly spinning + beer
- Wednesday: 2 hours tweezly spinning + beer
- Thursday: 2 hours tweezly spinning + beer
- Friday: 1 hour tweezly spinning + coffee and lies + beer
- Saturday: 2 hours tweezly spinning, maybe the Donut course + beer
- Sunday: 2 hours tweezly spinning + beer
- Monday: 1 hour tweezly spinning + beer
We can talk later about tweezly spinning and how to properly do it, and perhaps we will, but you get the drift. You are so old and weak and susceptible to systemic collapse that the only way to survive those three hard days during your “on” week is to buffer it with more recovery than a halfway house.
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