Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fresh Meat

Under my pseudonym, I'm going to author a somewhat-regular series of entries mostly related to my preparation for domination of the 2011 SM4 cyclocross season. As a new author and admittedly boring married guy with kids, I welcome feedback on my writing and will do my best not to bore you to tears...

How did I get here
At the conclusion of this past cross season (2010), I did some reflection on how things played out. I was a mid-pack rider that could have a decent placing if things went well (no flats, mechanicals… …etc) but I wanted more than that. Despite consistently ending up on my ass, I’ve felt like I have average to above average bike handling skills and aside from a few instances, this wasn’t the main reason for my average results. Now my “motor” is another story. My aerobic capacity has definitely taken a hit over the past few years juggling work, school and family (the typical story of most age group racers).

My “plan” over the Winter/Spring was to focus on the aerobic side of things and in my eyes this meant time trials. I went about procuring the cheapest PowerTap (oddly enough from someone on Joe Papp’s list) and building up a TT ride. That would prove to be the easy part.

Foxtrot Wheel & Edge Performance Lab has two CompuTrainers so with the help of Ox & JD, we came up with an estimate of my FTP (238w or 95% of 250w) from a 20min course ridden in my not yet set time trial position. My “A” race for the first half of the 2011 season was the Colorado State Time Trial Championship with hopes of breaking an hour. I had a goal but no plan and ended up spending the next several months riding my TT bike on the trainer at or around my FTP spending little time above. The result was that I became pretty good at going moderately fast (24-25mph) but not fast enough to win.

Another indicatior of my lack of a plan was that I ended up peaking about a month before the State Championships and have been going backwards since. A couple weeks ago I ended up getting bested by my Tri-dork friend on the climb up Mt Falcon – embarrassing/unacceptable/wtf. I was about 10 minutes slower than my normal times. I didn’t really feel “overtrained” but certainly demonstrated the symptoms so I thought that with a vacation coming up, a vacation from training certainly wouldn’t hurt

Three weeks later, I am back. But this time with a plan.

What I’m doing
I kick myself for not doing this earlier but about 4 years ago I built a spreadsheet off of Joe Friel’s Cycling Training Bible but that was on another computer that had long since crashed and the recovered data was kinda forgotten about. Well I found it, revised it and will do my best to live up to it. My goal for the second half of the race is to be competitive in the Colorado Cross Cup standings, hopefully earning an upgrade by the end of the season.

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