Preseason is upon me - getting the old bod ready for racing

It's the preseason, so to speak, and I'm trying to get over the holiday consumption blues.  I'm looking ahead to my upcoming races, planning my base-building mileage, and getting in as much running, cycling (on a trainer, mostly) and swimming as I can.  Every year I tell myself that I'm going to be cautious during the Thanksgiving to New Years time period and not overdo the eating and drinking so, when the preseason does come along, I'm not fighting a battle of trying shed the holiday consumption pounds.

And every year it never really works out like I planned.

I always, always, have some extra weight on me come January.  I've talked before about how OCD some athletes can be about their training and racing weight.  But this is just more of a common sense thing.....I was stupid over the holidays and ate a lot of crap (well, not crap, really.  Just a lot of delicious stuff).  Anyway, It's not that I'm suddenly overweight and am now grossly out of shape.  But I just feel sluggish.

Enter the cleanse.  My wife introduced this to me last year.  My wife is a vegan (I'm not - yes it's interesting in our kitchen) and was dealing with some niggling health maladies.  Her yoga instructor, Jill, is also a holistic nutrition counselor.  Long story short, the cleanse was introduced to my house.  To summarize (from a guest post from Jill on my wife's blog) "We cleanse to put our bodies back in balance".  You can read more here and you can check out Jill's web site, but in general it's two weeks of eating whole foods, eliminating caffeine and alcohol, and purging your body of toxins.

For me, the cleanse does two things: First, it reminds me what eating healthy and proper portion sizes are all about.  Second, and this is important, it makes me feel better - inside and out - and is really invigorating.   This isn't a weight loss method.  Yes, some pounds do come off, but without proper eating and diet guidelines those pounds will come right back on.

For me, this gets me back on track for the triathlon / running season and gives me the kick in the pants needed to refocus.   Now, one could argue that if you just ate right year round, with smart choices and healthy foods, you wouldn't need to do this crazy things.  Well, maybe.  To Jill's point we're always ingesting things into our body that we perhaps shouldn't be - whether by proxy or by choice.  And my wife, JL, brought up a good point last year when we did this for the first time: "After a year of racing, looking back on all the gels, powders, energy bars, and Sunday night pizza and beer binges after races, your body could use a little clean-up."

Anyway, I'm not evangelizing anything here, and I'm not trying to do any advertising for anyone.  It works for me, I like it (although it is a tough two weeks) and it's how JL and I start out our year.  It's not for everyone, and I suggest that anyone who's interested should reach out to a certified nutrition counselor.

Now, as this cleanse starts tomorrow, (Sunday) today is my last day of indulgence.  So, pizza and beer for dinner?