Proper Preparation


The Hills of Somerset is one of my favorite races, pretty much the closest thing to a stage of the Tour! I mean, it’s an 85-mile Tour of Somerset County, ripping from one town to the next, just full kablamo for 3+ hours. The race is ridiculously fast, 30-35+ mph at all times as we’re lead by 100 police cars, a full rolling enclosure. It is a fun, fun race. I’ve done well there / not so well there and this year, although I am primed to race, I am not doing it.


Because, at this point, I want to control my training. If I do Somerset, one or two things will happen. I’ll jump in an early break or I’ll have teammates up the road and I’ll be in Death Mode covering everything… I will be shattered, needing who knows how much recovery, violating the laws of progression pretty severely, not something I want to do 6 days before the State Time Trial Championships. The lead-up to the TT could be destroyed, the numbers flat, the head stressing, the legs still sore, all things you certainly don’t need before such a hard event! I’ve already spoken with the team and they know I want to do well at the State TT and they’re perfectly fine with that. I will be loyal teammate post-Somerset, and for all of us it’s worth it.

This season has been very tame for me. In February and March, when I’m sure a load of riders were getting cabin fever and unloading on the watts, I kept doing high-end aerobic work, lotsa PowerCranking, lotsa force, and although I tried very hard in the early TTs I just didn’t have the form. But the training wasn’t for nothing: I got into a long breakaway at the Pine Cone Road Race and took 7th. Then I finished mid-pack at the harder-than-expected PNC Arts Center race.

After PNC, the training really intensified and the numbers improved… Without the longer foundation, the body doesn’t respond well to the harder workloads… I have not done a road race since, training in a closet if you will, absolutely controlling the training and recovery, getting in tune with my body, and the legs feel better and better. I won the Kingwood 36k, then took 6th at High Point, then won the Somerset TT…

If you see a pattern here, my training has been mostly sub and LT work, and my body is responding really well to it. Virtually no V02 max or anaerobic threshold stuff… I know I’m going to be at the Hills of Somerset, doing 450+w up these 5+m climbs, and that’s not what I need right now. I’ve prepared well thus far, and I need to keep my goals in mind: obliterating my PR at the State TT and hoping to close the gap on Ideal Tile’s Jason Walters to get that orange leader’s jersey for the Maxxis Garden State Cup…

I can’t believe it. Only three races thus far! This means I will be very fresh and very hungry for the summer… I hear guys are already getting toasty. Well, it’s hard to hold back, but I’m glad I did. As the racing really picks up, my head is there and I am eager to mix it up…

The State TT, although of major importance, won’t be a peak. This weekend I’m starting to carefully sprinkle in the anaerobic work, the harsher stuff, as High Bridge (a VERY tough race, part of the Garden State Cup, too) is the Sunday after the TT… I am a road racer at heart and for the rest of June, I hope to be at my strongest ever: the Giro de Jersey, and then the State Road Race Championships…

I really want that orange jersey. If I can’t get it at the TT, I’ll try at High Bridge. If I can’t get it at High Bridge, I’ll make sure to show up 100% prepared at the State Road Race to go to war.

If you arrive at a race, no matter how big or little, with your best-ever form and with steady confidence, anything can happen.


Coach's Diary | Thursday, May 15th, 2008 | | |