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By KIT guest blogger, Dave Andersen

Most of us have a limit to which we can prioritize our lives around training and racing. A pro athlete, or a single person with a cushy job, probably has the best opportunity for low stress and maximum training.   For the rest of us, the athletic lifestyle is one in which you do what you can within your “life” constraints to achieve your fitness/training goals.  And thus, the philosophy of “Keep it Tight” (KIT) must be adopted.

Ideally, you constantly monitor your training; rest-sleep-relaxation; nutrition; and equipment. All this works best when you plan ahead, stay organized, be honest with yourself, and live a tranquil life.  It’s important that you make the rest of your life as stress-free as possible. Stress from work, family, and other responsibilities is a part of life, but it is what you do to minimize these daily stresses that can make the difference between whether you recover properly and perform to your maximum ability.

Beyond living a tranquil life, consistency of training may be the single most important thing you can do to reach your potential and reach your fitness and/or competitive goals. Therein lies the challenge for many folks. How can you fit your training into your daily life so that it becomes a part of your day without sacrificing too much on the family and work front? Cycling, walking or running to work is one strategy. Training on your lunch hour or after work every day is another. Getting up early is common for many folks with busy lives. Talk with your partner about a routine that works best for you and your family and commit to it!

Another strategy you could employ is to make your workouts as efficient as possible.  Read up on how to incorporate speed walking, progressive running, interval training, etc. so that every moment devoted to exercising/training is generating the maximal benefit.  No “junk” miles!  If you adopt this approach, you can be just as fit AND spend more quality time on other areas of your life, including rest.  Don’t forget that you must give your body time to recuperate if you want to reach the next level.

Think like an athlete and live like one. And above all else, enjoy the process.

Keep It Tight,


*Dave Andersen lives in Boston and works in the educational publishing business. He shares his passion for cycling and sport with a wide range of friends and competitors.



By guest KIT blogger, Dave Andersen

The off season for us roadies is in full swing. For me that means my weekly exercise consists of 6-7 hours (100 miles) of cycling, 3-4 strength training sessions, and 25-30 miles of walking…yes, walking. I walk year-round (my commute to work) although I do more weekend hikes and beach walks with my girlfriend this time of year. If we get some snow, these weekend walks will turn into cross country skiing. I’m a working man so I’m lucky if I can get outdoors on the road to cycle and when I can, it’s typically during the weekends. otherwise, the “cycling” is on the trainer…indoors. The strength work is a combination of weight lifting, core exercises, and stretching. It’s fun to see and feel the effects. As I get older, I consider it insurance for my body.

I know that some of my friends and competitors do less training, some much more. I think no matter how much you do, CONSISTENCY is the most important thing. Even though its the off-season for many of you, it’s important to find time in your day to incorporate fitness. Don’t let the short winter days get the better of your waist line because before you knowit, the warm weather will be back and you’ll be itching to PTHD with friends. Personally, I enjoy the spring and summer weeks when I can knock out 15 hours of cycling in the sunshine (who doesn’t?), but alas I live in New England and this sort of activity is not sustainable mentally, physically, or logistically. Thats why I think a periodized approach is the smartest for mind and body. The race season takes up half the year so it’s nice to have a BALANCED LIFESTYLE the other half. Go out and do activities you don’t normally do — hike, ski, skate, run, swim, dance, yoga, etc.

Finally, this is a good time of year to reflect and plan. What went right last season? How can I improve next season? Sometime in November or December, I like to put my upcoming plans and GOALS down on paper (or the computer now-a-days). I don’t obsess over weight but I do keep an eye on the scale to make sure the weight and body fat percentage stays manageable. The 2013 race season is on the horizon, it’s not too early to lay the foundation for it.

KIT and Happy Thanksgiving!


*Dave Andersen lives in Boston and works in the educational publishing business. He shares his passion for cycling and sport with a wide range of friends and competitors.


By guest KIT blogger, Dave Andersen

Motivation. Where the hell does it come from and how come some folks have so much? I’ve been in the endurance and racing game since 1977. I can vividly recall many times throughout my athletic career where I was so motivated to achieve my best shape and results. At times my motivation to athletically succeed had consumed me, for better or worse. During my high school cross country and track years I was thoroughly driven and wound up with 72 races under my belt. My childhood American heroes, Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter, were on top of the running world and a beacon to my younger self. After high school and some wayward years I was back running. In a 2 year span I raced 35 times and set most of my fastest running times from 5K to the marathon. I trained with other young like-minded athletes and recall we all derived motivation from each other and the group dynamic. Alas, an injury and the desire to do other things squelched my motivation. A few years later it was back. And it was back with a vengeance!

From 1990-1995 I raced 153 times, everything from 5K to the marathon, biathlons, and triathlons. I was fit and in my early 30’s. At times I felt like Superman. As can be the case, an injury knocked me down and took a bite out of my motivation. For the next 5 years I did some short races but my body was not 100% cooperative so I kept it all in check. Fast forward to the year 2000 and the body was ready and then the motivation kicked in…AGAIN. How fast could I run at age 40? I trained harder than ever before and after a few years I found out the answer was pretty fast — almost as fast as when I was in my early 20’s. Sweet! Alas, when you push yourself to the limit things often break, or get so overused they become injured. So, it was time for the serious racing to go on the back-burner again. I stayed fit and did some running races and added more cycling.

By the time I reached 50 years old I decided to try straight-up bike racing…road cycling to be specific. I got a USA Cycling license. Before I even raced I crashed and spent a few days in the hospital. I didn’t let this stop me; I was motivated to see what I could do. Fast forward 3 years and 89 races later and the answer is: fast. In my second year I moved up to a category 3 racer and now on the right (hilly) course in a masters race I have been able to get a handful of top 15’s. Winning, although nice, is not what motivates me. The desire to be as fit, fast and smart as I can be burns within me.

The motivation to be MY best is what drives me. There will always be fitter, faster, and smarter racers but it’s nice to see what you can get out of yourself and to reach your potential. None of it comes easy and the successes are few. Sometimes I think it’s the lifestyle that motivates me. To be a competitive athlete is fun, fulfilling, and hardcore. The older I get the more I appreciate it. And when I see guys that are 60 or 70 and are still super fit, I find that motivating too.

See you on the road soon!

*Dave Andersen lives in Boston and works in the educational publishing business. He shares his passion for cycling and sport with a wide range of friends and competitors.