Sunday, January 8, 2012


New year, new season, new you!  Hope the Christmas break was good for everyone, that along with family obligations, good food, and parties, that you were able to catch up on some sleep, rest up, and regenerate.  It's been stated before that rest is the most important part of training, it's the time when your body will re-build itself and make itself stronger for the demands that you expect of it.  That said, we're moving in to tougher training sessions at the Cycling Centre and the question is, how hard should you push yourself?

We tend to enjoy working on our strengths, pushing ourselves to work harder during an effort that targets our strengths, but asked to dig deep during something we don't like to do, that targets a weakness, and it's a little tougher.  But it is during these times that we need to push ourselves to accomplish more, to try a harder gear, or a higher cadence, or increase the watts, or hold a high heart rate longer then you have before.  It is by pushing ourselves that our body understands that it needs to bulk up and get stronger, that the expectations we have for it have increased, we have more demands and our bodies need to prepare themselves.

Hard training sends the message to our muscles that we want more from it, rest gives our muscles the chance to rebuild and come back stronger.  So to answer the question, you should push yourself hard, expect more from yourself, then take the time to properly recover and you will come back stronger and faster.

So the next time you do an interval or an effort, have the guts to go beyond what you think your limits are, ignore your numbers and see if you can do a little more.  You just might surprise yourself.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


It takes 21 consecutive days to create a new habit, or rather for a new goal, activity, lifestyle change to become part of our normal lives, where we no longer have to think about it, it just happens.  Want to stop eating sugar, eat fewer calories, workout in the morning before work, the key is to do it for 21 days straight, and then it feels normal, becomes a part of life.

There is a challenge at the Cycling Centre right now to eat packaged food items that contain 5 ingredients or less.  The goal of the challenge is to get people to read the ingredients on items they plan to consume, to make them more aware of what they are eating, and some things may be surprising.  Something that appears to be healthy, like no-fat yogurt, can actually be less healthy then the option with a percentage of fat in it.  Often, food companies will add in extra sugar for added flavour that is taken out when they remove the fat.  The other key to remember is that fat isn't necessarily a bad thing, it depends on where you're getting it from.  

So here are some questions that have arisen since the challenge began at the beginning of the week: potato chips or whole wheat crackers, which one is the healthier choice?  The answer, in this writers opinion is neither.  The potato chip has 3 ingredients, the cracker has over 12, most of which are things we would never eat on their own.  So what are the options when you're craving something salty and crunchy?  How about popcorn where you have control over the amount of salt and fat that you add.  Pickels can be an option too, they are crunchy, salty, and full of flavour, often satisfying the craving.  Have other healthy snack options, then send them our way.  Veggies and hummus, fruit, nuts ... Let us know what satisfies you and might help us add some excitement to our diet.

Please join us on our January Challenge.   A Facebook group has been started at