Jan Ullrich, of the greatest cyclists of the last 15 years (despite any PEDs he may have partaken). Even Lance Armstrong feared his rival and stated several times that, "Jan was the most talented rider in the peleton." Jan always had an interesting off season. He'd gain a bunch of weight! So much that it would take him all spring to lose that weight. This cycle of gain then lose weight happened every year.
Commentator Phil Liggett said during one Tour De France, "If Jan would keep his weight low during the winter his body could spend it's energy getting stronger in the spring time, rather than shedding kilos."
Jan would come into each Tour De France looking slim, chiseled and ready to battle. Impressive feat to lose all of that weight.
Off season weight gain is one of the toughest problems to deal with as we launch into the spring training season. However, weight loss one of the most important things we can do.
Why is weight loss important?
Unnecessary weight is inefficient for the body. It forces your body to put energy towards that excessive weight rather than towards increasing muscle strength and endurance. That can be a ton of energy! You'll naturally be slower because of the extra resources allocated to those extra pounds.
The lighter you are (Cavet: There's always a threshold of too skinny. You'll find yourself getting sick easily, among other potential issues) the better climber you'll become.
Here are a few tips to shed a few pounds
1. Eat until you are satisfied, not until you are full or stuffed.
2. Stay a little hungry (except on longer rides, you need the calories during your rides)
3. Get back to eating real foods. If it's packaged from a factory, it's probably not as healthy
4. Eat different types of real foods, AKA a well rounded diet
What's your goal weight this year? Will you be changing anything in your diet?
As with any weight loss there may be other factors involved. Seeking medical professionals opinion is always advised.
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