by Susan Westemeyer
It's important that the women from the T-Mobile team stay in shape in the off-season - as long as they don't ride their bikes. Other forms of endurance training are needed now, according to team coach Petra Rossner, such as jogging, inline skating, cross country skiing or swimming. "The athletes also make a gradual start to strength training in the gym. Winter is a good time to work on the build the foundations for the season ahead and work on the vital conditioning needed. Then during the season the focus is on keeping the strength stable."
"It is dangerous and counterproductive when they don’t get any real pause from racing and training," Rossner said on the team's website. Sometimes she even has to hold them back. "Especially those who are down in Australia, where they of course enjoy fabulous weather. They have to remind themselves on a daily basis not to do too much. You have got to hold them back, but is really a great pleasure to work with such a highly-motivated team, we telephone almost every day to discuss preparations."
It's even all right if the riders put on a little weight over the off-season. "It is a good thing when the riders add two or three kilos in winter. They can later draw on this for energy", Rossner noted . "But none of them have weight problems. Highly-tuned endurance athletes won’t be long burning that off."