That time of the year. Time to go into that cocoon. Time to cut the friend-time a little short. Time to start counting those calories. Time to entirely cut the BEER. Time to go to bed earlier.
Time… to start digging a little deeper — and if the progressive training has gone well, we WILL be able to dig deeper, summoning some “sweet” pain…
We’re like boxers: Training Camp has begun
“Hey, Kenny, you wanna go with us to Tiff’s Saturday night?” “Can’t, I have to race.”
“Kenny, you wanna see Lauryn Hill on Friday?” “Can’t, I have intervals to do early-Saturday.”
Sad but true. But, we make these sacrifices for a short time, in 2-3-month increments, and the results and improvements make everything worthwhile.
Busy, as always. What we started at Sandy Hook we kept going at Cape May — 3 winners, a 3rd, a 4th… Smashing insanity.
And STACEY BARBOSSA of COSMIC WHEEL WON BATTENKILL… I mean… yes… More to come in teh newsletter, but I had to pinch myself on Sunday, just kablamo day across the board…
Well, I’m glad I take the time I do delicately creating everyone’s training program! Not easy… but the results are WELL worth the effort… Rewards that come easily are seldom long-lasting… Hmmmm, wonderful quote by John Wooden.
Over here, starting to put the game face on. The day after Sandy Hook, I did the Kingwood 35k, an event I’m much better suited for, a longer, steadier effort… I told myself to keep it cool, steady out, steady back, but once on the course, I could feel the tailwind, and OFF I WENT, was flying out there, almost averaged 30 mph for the first leg. I’ve been working on cadence a lot this year, spinning a slightly higher cadence…
On the way out, I immediately told myself, with this tailwind, I was going to hold 104-106 rpms — that’s it. That simple. Was always shifting to maintain that number, but I was like a metronome out there. Averaged 105 rpms. Nice.
On the way back, we had the teeth of the headwind. Blick. But I tried to hold 100 rpms, the magic number, and I averaged 99, so I was close. The key for me, on the second leg, and at this distance, was NOT to get overgeared — EVER. Keep that cadence supple… In the end, I won, by over 3 minutes. Happy to get that out of the way!
Last week, HEAVY week for the legs. Starting to ramp it up. Last year, I was almost two years off the bike but came SUPER prepared for the 2010 season: training, diet, rest, I was like a true professional. This year, a little more laid-back, doing more “other things,” but NOW is the time. Last year, I was doing a little more rest before races, tiny micro-tapers, in hopes of placing well at every TT.
This year, we’ll have none of that. True periodization — potent (*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*) if you use it correctly. Last July, I placed all my eggs into the Darkhorse 40, the Long Meadow TT, and the Blueberry TT. And the results show that. After State TT, I took a break, and then started back with a progressive plan, aimed at early-August. And I was getting flogged at pretty much every race I did, placed no better than 3rd in the TTs, suffering in the road races, finishing mid-pack in the MTB races.
But, trust in your training, and it’s like a switch goes off: I took 4th at the epic Darkhorse 40, then felt like an axe murderer at Long Meadow and Blueberry TTs, taking the win and ending my season right then and there. Go out with a bang, not a whimper.
And I’m holding this same mindset this year. I have my eyes set on the first weekend of June: the CRCA TT Championships, and then the NJ State ITT. No micro-tapers, no bull(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored *) — I have my eyes on a goal, and nothing in between will get in the way.
The last three weeks have been HEAVY. The day after Kingwood 36k TT, I did 2+h on the PowerCranks, endurance pace. Later that week, 4 long threshold intervals on the TT bike, followed immediately by almost 45m of hilly Tempo work, then a day later hit the PowerCranks HARD for 2 long SubThreshold intervals — on that PowerCrank bike, I am stronger than ever, and I hope this bodes well for later this year.
Last Saturday, rode my bike to Fast Eddy’s house. If any of you haven’t heard, he had a monstrous wreck in mid-March at Branch Brook. Won’t go into the details of his injuries, but it was/is severe… If any of you want his number/address, please contact me…
On Sunday, I traveled down to Fair Hill, Maryland for a Pro/Open MTB race. It was my first experience racing with the professionals, and it was an interesting experience! The course started on very FAST fireroads — GOOD — but then dipped into tight, twisty singletrack — BAD! I had the legs, but my kryptonite on that bike is cornering, and cornering HARD. I can ride that bike okay, am actually getting comfy on techy terrain — but with the pros, I’m a fish out of water a bit — they are so smooth and fast out of the tightest of turns. Still, I’m committed to getting better.
The race went well. I was actually with the lead group halfway into the first lap, and then I was bumped off my line going up a techy uphill, crashed, couldn’t get the bike going again, had to hoof it up, and then the train was coming — 40 riders blazing by. So the rest of the race was Catch-Up for me.
I was MAULED near the end, shattered. Race was severely difficult, just in the pain cave all race, no true recovery… I ended up 26th in a huge field, well up in the top half, so I was very happy with that.
This week, more training. LONG TT intervals, and then volume on the PowerCrank bike — could feel during my TT ride that I wasn’t 100% recovered from Sunday, so I had to dial it back a bit. As I tell my athletes, on a bad day, don’t just cut out and go home — just dial it back, probe the engine, see what’s there, do what you can, and see what happens. My first interval as piss-poor, but I dialed it back, and my final interval was actually the best. The legs came around. Funny how that happened. But had I just quit, I wouldn’t have experienced that.
Readington Saturday. Then the Pro/Open Fat Tire Classic up in Connecticut on Sunday. Yes, I AM committed to the mountain bike this year! I should note that I’m a little heavier up top — with the Paleo Diet and all this MTBing, wrestling the bike around, I’ve put on some muscle, can see it in my shoulders and chest, am a touch heavier than I usually am. Now when I pump up the tires, there’s no struggle, lol…
Readington will be a wake-up call. Not good at these shorter efforts, but I usually do well here, have taken 2nd overall twice (losing by 2 seconds, then losing by 1 second). But I don’t think I’ll be any faster than I was at Sandy Hook, and there are a lot of fast guys this year, will be tough. But I’m so excited to race, am salivating to get out there and test myself, see where I can push, and this is a huge part of it. Sometimes, without 100% form, you can do things with your body you thought you couldn’t.
Praying for black rain tomorrow morning. Oh yes. Bring it.