Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong may have set aside his spandex-clad cycling career, but the record-holding athlete remains as active as ever. We couldn't resist touching base with him - between his running marathons and opening multiple 24 Hour Fitness clubs - to see how he likes "retirement" and to snag several frequent-flier-friendly biking and workout tips.By Scott Steinberg
Do you have any fitness tips for all the road warriors out there?
Yes. Do yourself a favor and get into a steady routine, even if that means taking the odd day off. Not everyone has to be in the gym every day. Just get on a steady program. Cycling isn't the only thing you should do to stay fit, either, and it certainly isn't the only thing I do to work out, myself. Try activities like swimming, running, and kayaking, which burn calories quickly and help build cardio ability over time. And if you ever feel like slacking, just check the scale, which is the one thing we pretty much all have in our bathrooms. It never lies.
What are things people should watch out for when in the gym?
I can't say it enough: Concentrate on your form and technique when you're exercising. It's crucial. You don't have to work with a trainer to maximize workouts, but if you don't have proper form, if it's incorrect, you won't just wind up not getting an optimal workout; you may be courting potential injury, which is even worse. So if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask them. It may seem embarrassing at first, but it's better than the alternative.
Tell the truth: Is biking really that good of a way to take off the pounds?
Oh yeah. And stationary bikes are available at virtually any hotel too. An hour of sustained effort on one is enough for most folks. ... [Take] a Spinning class if one's offered. Instructors generally do a great job of helping you sweat off the calories.
How about some - ahem - food for thought: What's the best way to balance your diet when you're on the road all the time?
That's definitely a big problem, as I know. I've spent a lot of time in Europe, though, and based on that, I've come to the conclusion that they eat best, meaning I highly recommend eating the way that Europeans traditionally do. They have a lot of things like butter and oil and wine in their diet, but it's okay to enjoy those as long as you do so in moderation. Limiting portion size is imperative, as well; they're much better about that overseas than we are here. The next time you're at a restaurant, try reminding yourself that you don't have to go overboard, even when you're dining with an associate. There's really no need to overdo it on your food intake.
"Still the best bike company in the world - we could see another Tour de France champion riding one this summer."
2007 Prediction: America Rides On
“It’s doubtful there’ll be much of a dip in domestic cycling — we’ve still got what it takes to train champions.”
Top Cycling Spots: Santa Cruz, California, and Vail, Colorado
“Both are absolutely great places for mountain-bike riding — frankly, for my money, you just can’t go wrong with either.”
Place to Be This Spring: Tour de Flanders; Flanders, Belgium
“I’m spending time with the Discovery Channel cycling team during Europe’s one-day classics to support George Hincapie and the boys.”