Work Hard, Work SmartChris Sproule
As competitive athletes, we are constantly striving to be stronger, faster, and better. We train 5-6 days a week and are often pushing our bodies harder and harder to achieve the results we want. When I first got into handcycling, I thought that the more miles I put on the bike, the faster I would be. I was doing 40-60 miles a day, every day. What I learned, with the help of my coach, was that this was not the optimal way to achieve the results I wanted. While cycling is an endurance sport, I was not trying to be a triathlete or do century races on my bike. My races were shorter, from 10-mile time trails to 30-mile road races, so I needed to be training in a way that would set me up for success in the types of races I was competing in. My coach told me that it is all about duration and intensity…how long we ride and how hard we push ourselves. He recommended doing shorter, higher intensity rides and making sure that I had recovery days scheduled. Recovery is so important, especially as we get older, because it allows the body to strengthen itself and improve after a vigorous effort. High intensity workouts followed by the appropriate amount of rest and recovery seems to be the recipe for success for me.