The Bad Day Arriveth


Well, I knew it was coming. I had an outstanding block of training for that last 40 or so days, virtually no problems, no getting sick, no bad days, no falling apart… and I was waiting for that One. Bad. Day.

After the super-hard PNC race on April 12th, where I was really starting to crack near the end and was just happy to finish in the peloton, I took a mellow recovery week, then really ramped back into it. The legs came around and the numbers continued to improve, and I really felt strong on the bike.

I took a scheduled recovery week last week after the Somerset TT, perfect timing. I could feel I was running a little hot. I’m the type of rider who rides better with heavy miles, heavy TSS, lotsa intensity in the legs, but then you must back off. Right now I have two hard, full-on weeks culminating with the State TT, then full taper for the State Road Race…

Sometimes I’ll have better days and numbers near the end of a heavy Build than during a full-on taper, so it’s important to track this and then tweak future peaks. As a coach, I have notes on all the athletes with whom I work, as their tapers are all different. For example, I know that I don’t perform super when I have a huge taper for a TT. I just don’t. So I’ll be swinging heavy TSS and no taper for the the State TT, which fits into the ATP as the bigger goals are the final two weeks of June.

I raced hard on Sunday, legs electric. You know how it feels after a Recovery Week. It can be hit and miss. You can be supercharged, or you can be flat. So I hit it hard, the power numbers excellent for me, and then I recovered Monday and Tuesday, easy rides.

On Wednesday I went out to hit long, steady LT work on the TT bike, and right away I knew the legs weren’t there. I had 4 intervals on the schedule, plus longer SubThreshold work, but the power was down, the HR down. I felt empty. Even my head started to hurt… Deja Vu — I got massively sick this exact week last year… I tried messing around with cadences, higher lower, but I knew the truth: I was just on a bad day, and obliterating myself would only make it worse.

So I cut the workout short, something I never would’ve done years ago. I knew I wasn’t fully recovered from the race and that perhaps I was coming down this something — I just felt so empty, my head achy, the throat raw. It was kind of demoralizing, as the power was down 15-20w, but it is what it is — you can’t complain, you have to find a solution. I shut the workout down, cutting out the second half.

I guzzled some Airbornes, trying to hydrate well and fill up on veggies and whole foods… Sitting here now, I feel much better, but the schedule is changed: I will make sure I am feeling 100% before I go out there again. A hard hilly ride on the Madone is scheduled for tomorrow, but I’ll most likely hit some Tempo on the TT bike to ensure the legs are there, and if I feel fine, then on Saturday I’ll resume with the harder workout.

Hopefully I can get over this hiccup. From working with guys and from my own experience on the bike, I know that when you feel great the tides can turn very fast, and that sometimes when you have some real bad training rides, you end up performing great in the event a few days later. We shall see how the body responds…

Thanks for reading.


Coach's Diary | Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 | | |