Dog Days of Summer?

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Hey Gang,

The training has been going well… Unlike previous years, this year I have set aside training (and focus) to prepare for cyclo-cross… In typical seasons, we train and peak 2-3 times during the traditional road/MTB season, say Apr June Aug, or something similar…

But for the CX athletes, and especially for the CX athletes I coach, we reverse this split — we make the summer really our winter, and then we have long, safe, strong build or CX, ensuring steady and improving fitness and form as the CX season continues… I’ve noticed that there is a tide that turns around mid-Oct — early in the season, the roadies and MTBers come FLYING into CX season in Sept with top-end and sharp form… but 45 days later, the CX maniacs begin to take over…

I wilt in the heat, do NOT like training through the hot months… So this summer, it’s been nice to be doing different training, more aerobic work, more skills work, the heat not affecting me as much…

I’ve acutely added some MTB races to my program as I’ve progressed… I’ve come into these races feeling borderline fresh, as the training stress is not zonking me or leaving me fatigued, and surprisingly I’ve been feeling REALLY GOOD in competition… I was competing for the win at Stewart when I flatted. I was 5th at the Summer Sizzler in Gloucester (pretty much a hyper-twisty 2+h CX race in the woods!), 5th at Belleayre (a ski resort race, actually felt stronger on the hard climbs as the weight steadily comes down)…

I was rabid to race last weekend, at Fair Hill MD, but I went to a wedding. Doh! Life has a funny way of getting in the way =)

But, “rabid” is a key word… Most athletes, at this point in the year, are borderline shot, want to go fishing, go out and have fun on the weekend, have had their racing fill… But for CX athletes, who really are aiming for their best form and racing legs in the fall months, they are salivating to race…

This is a new feeling to me. Previously, I’ve been in the former boat, have done so many TTs and road races I’m dreaming of some off-season rest… But here, now, August 22nd, 2013, having done some excellent foundation work, now building for top-end cyclo-cross form, I am overly excited to throw down.

Cyclo-cross. Fight Club on wheels. Oh boy.

The Wednesday Worlds sessions have been going VERY well… Just mid-late August now… and we’re already getting nearly 30 people showing up — by October, Wednesday Worlds will be Wednesday Madness =)

I programmed the July sessions to be nearly all skills drills and light Tempo work… We’ve been progressing now… Just yesterday, we did 5-lap and 3-lap full-on race heats. I wilted in the heat in early August when we first started these, but last night I reacted better, was able to be a factor… Pro and Cat-1 MTBers showed up: Dave Kahl, Mike Montalbano (new EE athlete, first time prepping for CX and showed it last night!), Ryan Heerschap, Al Blanchard (CX maestro!), and Sean Pasieka…

In the first race heat, we all took turns throwing down attacks and separating ourselves from the main pack… I was the diesel of the group, suffering to catch on but also strong when the pace was steady… In the end, I was attacked on final climb and fought hard for 2nd… In the 2nd heat, I drilled it the entire time, wanting to make everyone suffer and looking for a steady effort with no stops or recovery, and on final hill all of those 5 fast palookas blew by me like I was standing still.

Getting dropped never felt so good.

This week, short volume, easy rides, racing the MTBNJ Short Track race on Sat at Allamuchy, then going up north on Sunday to race the Hurley Burly MTB World Championships on Sunday, a new course, very twisty… Both of these races are very ‘cross-like, why I chose them and planned for them, am “rabid” to go race on Sunday and see where the legs are at…

Going through EE roster, so many athletes not racing, gearing up 100% for ‘cross — release the hounds!!! But results pouring in: Liam Panero WINS Maryland Junior State TT!!! Melissa Tallent WINS Maryland State TT, then WINS Dawg Days Crit!!!!! Stacey Barbossa WINS Fair Hill MTB, WINS Mountain Creek MTB! Kenneth Rowe and Bryan Jones PR big-time at MD State TT! Jerry Gala 3rd at North Carolina State Road Race Champs!!!! Jennifer DeFalco WINS NJ Cat-4 Cup!!!! Laura Slavin WINS Mountain Creek Cat-3! Lauren Dagostino 2nd at NJ State Criterium Champs! Ed Crossman PRs huge at both Steelhead 70.3 and Waco TX Olympic! Richard Wolf takes 2nd in NJ TT Cup!!!! Mark Curran 2nd at Caffeinated Cyclist TT!!! Jesse O’Donnell WINS Tour of Millersburg TT!!! And, ummm, Erica Tricarico and Erin Mascelli are in Italy — hello, ladies!

That’s all I got for now… We have Elite Endurance Cyclo-cross team this year, forming nicely, getting tent prepped, will have generator, TV (with Sporza feed!), espresso machine, chairs, changing area — hope to see many of you at the Verge and MAC races this season! WARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR CYCLO-CROSS!!!!!!

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 | | |