Cross-training: words that strikes fear and boredom into my heart. My cycling library is contaminated with training books I’ve collected over the years. Each one is purchased knowing, yes, this is the one. Each one has a chapter on off-the-bike training. I recently bought Tom Danielson’s cross-training book, read some of it, have not done any of it. I’ve looked on Craig’s List for weights to set up a squatting station, none have met my strict requirements for some reason. I don’t run, period. I mostly hate walking and hiking. That’s why I ride a bike, FFS. Zumba, line-dancing, tai-chi…shoot me in the face, I’d rather develop a proper drug habit.
When I lived in a university town, despite their half-assed football program, they had a big stadium. Running those stadium steps was as close to enjoying cross-training as I will ever get. A full on boogie up to the top of the stadium, lope back down to the bottom, repeat until nauseous, repeat more. The top third of the steps were steeper, just to make it fun. It mimicked the mindless suffering and exhaustion us cyclists savor. It was intense enough that each session was over in under an hour. One would leave the stadium totally blown out and relaxed, again, like one would feel after a proper ride.
I used to go in the gym during the cold, unridable winter and do some horrid step treadmill and lift weights. Oh right, that was called youth and an over abundance of hormones. Now, that is just not going to happen. Shouldn’t living in Hawaii mean you never have to enter a gym again? Yes it does. I like to think my ineptitude in water-sports and the resultant near-drownings should provide some cross-training: elevated heart rate, thrashing of arms, seeing the all-embracing light at the end of the tunnel.
I could actually join CrossFit™. No, that would be unwise. Running seems to be an integral part of the regime, tattoos might be required and all that tractor tire wrestling would either ruin my back or bulk me up.
Aren’t we slighty proud of our chicken-chested scrawny upper bodies? Too much CrossFit could ruin a lifetime of chicken-chest development. And if we get good at running and swimming we might get crazy ideas.
Obviously, these are the complaints of a lazy cyclist who likes to ride his bike, end of discussion. There are no Rules to be quoted for off season cross-training except Rule #5. It is a universal Rule. There is no off season for Rule #5, but now it’s March, Milano-Sanremo looms. The off-season is off. I can safely put away my Tommy D book for another year.