Leo Koenig: Days off aren’t a given when you’re a sportsman
I’m back in the Czech Republic after the Tour of Austria. I was really glad to be able to participate with minimal health problems, but of course I think my results were hindered somewhat by the lack of intensive training I was able to do before the race. Having been off the bike for much of this season I can’t wait for the next tour, and am even excited for every day of training.
The day after the Tour of Austria finale, I had the opportunity to commentate on the Tour de France live on TV in the Czech Republic – what a great experience! After that, finally back home, I knew I had to recharge my batteries, and so I slept a lot and began my daily training. A rider’s job isn’t just on the racetrack of course, so we have to take our training very seriously. That means long days in the saddle. Part of my motivation to train comes from the lack of time I’ve spent on the bike this season, but my determination to be better, faster and stronger is all I really need to get me on the road each day!
Depending on the profile I train on, I either ride alone or with friends. There are only a few pro-riders nearby, so I tackle the harder days of training by myself. There are a couple of problems you encounter when riding alone: for example it can be difficult to change the rhythm, especially on the flat stretches. The daily regeneration process is also really important for a sportsman, so I spend about an hour or two working out, stretching, and doing other activities to make sure my body is getting the repair it needs.
Days off aren’t a given when you’re a sportsman, we’ve got to think of what is better for our body - normally that means continually working our muscles. But when I do take a day off I go out to dinner or to the cinema with my girlfriend, or visit my entire family. Otherwise, my hobbies are just the usual: listening to music, reading a good book, and sleeping (I guess that counts!) I’ve been watching the Tour de France when I can, particularly the mountain stages, because it’s really interesting to see the battle tactics from the other side.
The next race I’ve got lined up is the Tour of Utah, which has many mountain stages requiring special preparation. So just before the Tour I’ll head to a training camp in the mountains. I always prepare myself for the upcoming races so I can bring in the best results. I am looking forward to us being part of the Tour of Utah, although it will be a big challenge – but that suits me best.
See you there!