Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
If you saw me race in the Gainesville crit last weekend you'll know the obvious: I didn't get my ass handed to me, I got it thrown at me. It was very ugly. And the worst part was that my legs were fine and my power was decent. I was just outclassed by my competition in an 8-man masters field with nowhere to hide.
Anyone who's read anything about training is familiar with periodization. You work harder and harder for two or three weeks, then take an week so the body can supercompensate.
Well I guess I've sort of unintentionally done that on a macro scale. We'll call 2001 through 2005 my base period. I was a triathlete then and probably averaged about 75 to 100 miles per week on the bike - mostly at tempo. I got stronger on the bike each year, but never got very fast.
In 2006 I discovered bike racing. I'm not sure how it happened, really - I guess I'll go back and read my blog - that's why I starting writing this stuff, anyway - so I could see trends. I delved into all sorts of training literature and worked pretty hard to get better. And I did get better. I trained with structure for three years, 2006, 2007, and 2008. I could barely hang onto the back of the cat5 pack when I raced in Gainesville in spring 2006. I catted up to cat 4 for 2008, where my biggest achievements were winning the Tour of Atlanta and getting a 2nd in the Elberton road race in a 40-mile break. I think I was on the cusp of getting some real results.
Then in fall 2008 my power meter crapped out and I didn't replace it. Then 2009 started out poorly - I had a bad crash at my very first race in early March that messed me up for a while and caused a bad back that lingered for a couple more months. The end result is that I really have not 'trained' this year at all. I've ridden a decent amount, averaging about 8 hours per week since February. But I've done no intervals and had no training structure. Basically, I've taken the year off from training. So we'll call this my recovery year. Also, my Tarmac SL downtube cracked for no reason that I know of and Calfee is working to repair it (it really has been a tough year). And to make it just a little bit tougher on myself, I catted up to 3 (a move of true genius, I see now).
But through all this year's problems, I've still gotten a little stronger. A friend loaned me a SRM for the past month with a loaner frame when mine cracked. It has confirmed what I felt - that my MMP curve has moved northeastward even with no structured training (I'll post the curve later). I'm slightly stronger in almost all time intervals.
So now I guess it's time for me to start another four-year cycle. Last week I created and initiated a training plan to take me through October (I'll post that later, too). Today I ordered a Power Tap which will be here by mid-week. Since I catted up to 3, I figure I have no choice but to get stronger if I want to continue enjoying racing.
So it's time for me to get stronger.