Cross Training During Peak Season

By Peg Labiuk | 05/17/11


We’ve teamed up with Marilyn Trout, certified USA Cycling Elite Coach to answer Voler Newsletter List members’ training questions. You can view her coach profile at Send your cycling inquiries to Marilyn, and for a limited time, if yours is selected to be answered in our Training column, Voler will send you a $20 gift certificate that can be used towards any purchase from the Voler Store at To submit your inquiry, e-mail her at, and type “Voler Training Question” in the subject line of the e-mail.

Voler E-mail list member Bill Kaufman is our 74th winner of a $20 Voler gift certificate! His training question that follows was answered by Peg Labiuk (nee Peggy Maass), a colleague of Marilyn Trout, and a certified NCCP level 3 coach with a career in international road and track racing. She is a World Championship medalist, World Record holder, U.S. Olympic Team member, former British national team coach and Kreb's Cycle co-founder (British Columbia, Canada).

Yoga or Strength Training?

Hi Coach,

I just bought swim goggles and intend to do twice weekly lap swimming. But then I thought: Is this helpful or harmful for a road biker who intends to do one metric century a month until November and one 7 day tour in August? Would I be better served with continuing yoga and strength training? Your thoughts?

Bill Kaufner, 66
Road Biker in Oakland, Ca

Dear Bill,

Back in January, you said you were taking "water aerobics, spinning, and body sculpture (weights, stretching, balance) classes". Because of the impending loss of strength with age, I encouraged using the water aerobics for strength training. I still think strength maintenance is more important than adding another aerobic activity now, especially one like swimming which uses different muscles than cycling.

I suggested then that swimming is best used in the "off-season" to balance use of non-cycling muscles. I'd be more interested in seeing you cycle, strength training, do yoga, and rest, in preparation for your upcoming century rides. While I don't think that swimming would hinder your cycling per se, I wouldn't sacrifice the time spent in strength training or cycling to fit in swimming. If you were to work on your swim stroke technique as a recovery activity, that would be a good distraction. Just be mindful of your energy levels. Your goal is still doing the cycling centuries, so keep the focus on performing your best on the road.

Coach Peg

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