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The perfect plan

We all know that due to the Covid19 situtation in the World the rhythm of the life has changed. One of the biggest questions is now - How to make plans for the future? Making plans is a hard task at the moment for many of us as there is so much of uncertainty.

The current Covid19 situation has made change cyclists training and racing plans too.

"We had in the Ampler Development Team a perfect training plan in place, at least it looked like that, it had made it's proof already during the previous years.

We were more concerned over finding the ideal racing calendar. It was a hard task already before Covid19 hit the world as the racing calendar depends a lot of the available budget and of the race organisators. They always prefer the local teams to foreign ones and most of the high level races are in the old cycling countries (Italy, France, Belgium & Netherland) and everybody want to go there. Luckily we have a big Poland close by and the support of its UCI calendar races.

So, to get an invitation has never been a simple task, but it comes out that it isn't our main concern at the moment. There aren't many races left in the calendar for the beginning of the season anyway and nobody knows which races will go on later and which won't. We just have to take what comes and live with it anyway.

We are more concerned on how to train in this new situation. We can't go on the track anymore and there is no point at the moment to spend our racing budget on trainings on the mediterranean roads if your racing season starts maybe only in May or June. Since 2018 we have put in place a system which has proven to work well - track sessions, general fitness exercises, many kilometers on the bike in mild climate, but now we need a new way for preparing the cycling season," explained Ampler Development Team's manager Rene Mandri.

"I remember from my cycling career that I had always a better spring on the bike after a good winter on the skis,"he continued.

Ampler Development Team's coach Toms Flaksis confirms that cross country skiing for winter preparation is the way to go at the moment.

"It is no secret that cross-country skiers have the best performance values among athletes. The maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) in the laboratory studies has always been very high for skiers. Yes, the same VO2max, which determines the athlete's potential, his level of fitness. It is taken into account by the professional cycling teams when selecting riders to wear their outfit.

Cross-country skiing has been a part of winter preparation for ages in Nordic and Baltic countries, just forgotten in some countries thanks to the bad winters we have had recently.

Everybody start skiing someday for the first time. The sooner, the better. Coaches involved in the youth cycling should integrate skiing in their training programs from the first possible moment on. No one is an instant skier. So, you have to be patient and start gradually. If you can ride a bike for three hours, it does not mean that you can ski for the same amount of time straight away.

Look for an experienced skier or skiing coach to give you few tips about the skiing techniqe at first. Simple tips will help you a lot and you will have soon the capacity for doing longer trainings on skis too.

The best is to start without sticks from a flat downhill transferring all the weight from one leg to the other, get the feeling of sliding. However, if there is no progress in speed and smoothness after a few trainings, be sure to look for a ski instructor again. It will take a very long time to learn the technique by yourself, the winter is too short for it.

Like with the bicycle equipment, it is very difficult to navigate between the different skis, shoes, clothing and so on. I would definitely recommend to use the recommendations of a specialist, don't try to find the most suitable option yourself, if you are a beginner.

The classic skiing style is closer to the foot pedal action, but it is rarely used by the cyclist. It is a lot easier to prepare your skis for a session in the free style and it is easier to moove fast using only the legs the moment your arms need a bit of rest during the training.

Skiing is an ideal activity to improve your physical fitness! If I had the opportunity to ski every day, I would create a schedule with one day off between each skiing session. Give your body a chance to regenerate. During the years I was a dedicated cyclist myself, I created a system in which I successfully replaced aerobic work on a bicycle with skiing and performed bicycle-specific work on rollers between the skiing sessions. There is no point to spend hours on the bike with the cold winter temperatures. The winter I skied the most, I had the best winter preparation. Laboratory tests confirmed it!

So, everyone can go cross-country skiing, because it's never too late to start and you will benefit out of it, guaranteed! Just make sure to not get cold and don't go too hard! Wear enough clothes, check your heart rate while skiing and change your undershirt straight after the session."


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