Every now and again I get asked about my training.  What do I do in order to ride longer? Do I do any cross training?  I must do something out of the ordinary, a secret regime maybe?  Nope, I have no secrets as the only one I live by is to ride more.  Anything more makes it seem like training to me and that isn't fun.  I just want to ride my bike.

Now one thing I have done over the last couple of years is I've tried to really learn more about MY body and how I need to take care of it so it will take care of all my crazy thoughts, hopes and dreams.  In doing so, I have started wearing a heart rate monitor on all my rides, learned about proper nutrition and started recording all my workouts in a journal of sorts.

A heart rate monitor will do a lot of good things for you no matter how in depth you wish to train with it.  I tend to only care about the basics.  I just want to know my current, overall average, average zone and the number of calories burned.  With that knowledge you can do more intricate workouts which require doing intervals in different zones.  If you are dehydrated and/or tired you will have trouble controlling your HR which could be a sign you should take it easy for a ride or you need a day to recover.  For a good read pick up a copy of Heart Zones Cycling by Sally Edwards.  I would loan you my copy by Sage ate it shortly after I was done reading it.

Knowing how many calories I burn on the bike is an eye opening experience.  On a few hour ride it is conceivable I will burn more than half of the calories I intake in a day.  I am a believer and supporter of Powerbar not just because they are a believer in me but because they really try and do their best to support all levels of athletes.  They have a number of great articles published on their website along with a page full of health calculators. I do not know how much I would trust the calculators as gospel but they do a nice job of getting you in the ballpark.  Once in the ballpark you just need to find your seat. I recommend reading through the articles when you have a chance.

The only other thing I do is record my workouts.  In the past I never took the time to do it. I also never really learned or better yet retained what I learned on any given ride until I made the same mistake again.  I was introduced to the Dailymile about this same time last year by a friend and it proved to be a great tool.  It has been appropriately called the "Facebook of workouts".  It provides you an easy way to record everything about all your workouts.  There are basic reports which summarize your work but for me the two most important aspects of it are I can go back and reflect on how I handled certain conditions and it also provides some inspiration and motivation by surrounding myself in the cyber world of athletic friends.

With any of the above, you can get as nerdy with the information as you want.  From the sound of it I suppose I am in denial of just how nerdy I am about the health side of sport and life.  I'm having fun with it which makes it a nice place to be.  Now back to my regularly scheduled day of no training just having fun while staying active.