I'm fortunate to have a descent free weight room near my house and the time to use it. My chronic back has returned, and if I'm going to be jumping on and off the bike during cross season I'm going to have to improve my core strength.
This Brian MacKenzie guy is getting a lot of attention lately. He's applied the crossfit approach of short high intensity efforts to endurance sports. I tried this approach when training for the 2009 Cour d Alene Ironman. I went this way because of my propensity for stress fractures and I wanted to minimize the mileage yet show up at the starting line fit and ready for a PR. Inevitably the stress fractures came and I didn’t race, but I don’t think I was as fit as I could have been. Yes I would have finished the race but I don’t think I was capable of a personal best.
In 2010 I combined short high intensity workouts with longer, what I call “deliberate” workouts. A deliberate workout means that you are making a focused effort, maintaining proper body position and working at a high turnover. Once again I didn’t race Cour d Alene due to a stress fracture, but I do believe that I was as fit as I’d ever been.
In 2011 I switched to bicycle racing and now have twelve race starts under my belt. I have yet to do a Masters start and consequently have been lining up with guys half my age. I think youth gives you a lot of leeway, especially when it comes to core strength and flexibility. I believe that my poor flexibility and deteriorating core strength are limiting me to mid pack finishes, and so it’s back to the gym.
Many experts say that you don’t want to push weights during the season, we’ll see if they are right.