I’m addicted to my own training indoors, and I love it! Cyclocross Review
I learned a lot this cross reason I learned that I can race really well on an average of three hours of riding a week. I learned that mental preparation and a clear race day routine including the two days prior are critical in performing at my peak. Hydration and nutrition are paramount in finishing the body’s energy and metabolic preparation to unleash what the training has prepared you to do.
I also told some of you that I’m operating on a bank of fitness that I’ve built over the last 30 years and once you build it it is there is an account for you to make withdrawals on. There is a limit though, if I had to guess it feels that the strength and technique you build up is there at about the level you last trained hard minus 30%. The endurance and the real race fitness has to be rebuilt
each season but once the basic strength, stamina, mental game and skills are there then the fitness and endurance are relatively easy to bring back. But there is still that last 10-20% that needs improvement and that comes with hard work on the bike and updating skills software through technical practice.
I’ve said many times I don’t often achieve my goals. This may seem like kind of a bummer but the reason I have goals is not just about getting across the finish line in 1st place. It is like cheating how well a focused mind will dial in your energy. Goals gives me a clear focus in my day-to-day decisions that add up to overall improvement. If I am not striving for a big goal, I won’t make the changes to my habits like diet, sleep, self care, medical support and technology to improve.
In my previous article I talked about two hours a week training and some of you question me and also looked at my Strava calendar and saw that while the majority of my weeks only had two one-hour indoor rides, a third of my weeks had something on the weekend. Typically my weekend ride was either a commute between the shops or a class where I didn’t really ride very hard. I didn’t do any road races I only did one 100 miler this season as opposed to the 3 to 5 I typically do. With taking on Woodinville Bicycle as a business partner in West Seattle and managing that store I had no time to train. So my mileage was down for the previous year but my race results were up in Cyclocross.
My skills also went up a notch this year because I focused on improving them and I didn’t crash nearly as much and I had fewer mechanicals. (although my final race at Woodland park left me unsatisfied given that my fitness had peaked and I had excellent start but a broken pedal and a flat tire limited my results to 10th.) What I really learned this year are that I need to focus on the variables that held me back which were endurance and race fitness. I plan to remedy that by doing more summer long rides and road races.
The other factor that help me a lot the season was I looked hard at my bikefit and measured my cross bike against my road bike and noticed my Cross bike had the bars too low. Once I made the adjustments all of my low back pain went away and I was able to really just race on my fitness and skills but not to be limited by supporting muscular discomfort and premature fatigue. A few small things in my preparation I improved were tire choice and using more leg rubs and some breathing techniques. All of these helped my starts get back to where they used to be.
This season I have to admit I surprised myself. The power of the mental game and emotional preparation accounts for a large percentage of performance but this year given my lower training volumes I proved it again to myself. Commit 100% and you will see what you’ve got.
If you’d like to find out how some of these techniques can benefit you, I love to do coaching consultations to create your winning season. We can meet for an hour and create your ideal plan to address your weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths to have your best season yet. Fill out our questionnaire
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