Thursday, January 07, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Wow, new year, a new decade, and most importantly a new season. I took the last few weeks off the bike after Cross Nationals. Holidays were great with my son, Luke. Christmas is so much better through the eyes of a 7 year old. I also took some time to reflect on 2009 and do some planning for 2010. I met with coach Cree at UEF to make sure I wasn't off my rocker and here's a taste of what I came up with.

2009 Review -

I believe I made some good progress on the bike in 2009. It was the first year I was really organized training and stuck to a "training plan". I pretty much self coached myself and met with coach Cree every few months to make sure I wasn't doing anything stupid. I attended all kinds of clinics, read books, read lots of forums on the web, and listened to my team-mates. Of course, I learned some things and I'll make adjustments in 2010.

Changes to make.....

1) Start road racing later in the year. Damn, it was a long year when I started racing at Cherry Pie in February and ended at Cross Nationals in mid-December. Can't do that again. I've decided to skip the early spring races and start in April. I'm bummed I'm going to miss the Bananna Belt, but I need a break since cross is still my primary focus.

2) More focus on 3-5 minute power. I had a tough time at the end of road races with cramping and missing the big surge at the end of a race. I finally realized when I started cross season the benefit of 3-5 minute intervals. Last year I focused more on short 30s-1minute stuff in order to improved my biggest weakest (a sprint). I started the 5 minute intervals for cross season and saw a dramatic increase in strength and power. Well, I have now realized I'm not going to win a sprint so I really shouldn't focus on the real short stuff. However, getting cramps at the end of a road race due to that 3- 5 minute big effort is not acceptable. A change I will make in 2010.

Good results.....

1) Cross.... I was satisfied with my results in cross this year. I upgraded to the Master Bs and I felt like I was in the right group. I can race with these guys. I never was able to combine a good start position with a non-problem day at the Crusade. However, I did an excellent job passing folks when I started in the back. Next year, I'll be shooting for some top 10 finishes.

2) Power numbers.... It's great to have a method to measure progress. A power meter definitely gives you that ability for cycling fitness. I'll be focusing to increase 5 minute to 400W and 20 minute to 345W. I'm weighing in 168-170 consistently now, so my power-to-weight ratio is pretty decent for 20 minutes. I'll never be a sprinter, so I'll just let my 5s anc 1min fall where it does.

A comparison of 2008 versus 2009 best average power outputs.....
5second: 896 - 1031
1minute: 512 - 569
5minute: 360 - 378
20minute: 294 - 322

2010 Racing Plans -

Well, I'll be holding off until April to hit the racing circuit as I mentioned above. I upgraded to category 3, so that I can hang with the rest of my PV team-mates and push myself alittle harder. This will most likely be the category I stay at. You have to "earn" your upgrade to a 2 and that means alot more work and dedication. I'll also be able to race in the Masters Open category. This is the 40+ group that includes category 1,2,3 racers. I raced with these guys a couple times last year. Much safer group and learned alot about tatics since they are much more experienced. However, these guys are fast.

I'm going to race some time trial events this year. This will give me more experience in this discipline for the stage races. As for stage races, I'll plan on Cherry Blossom and Mt Hood Classic. I'm not sure about the Cascade Classic in late July. I might want to have a bigger break before cross this year.

I'm also committing myself to an AquaBike event this year. I've always wanted to do triathlons, but my knee problems prevent me from running. A aquabike event is swim and bike. I swam in highschool and enjoy it, so it will give me some cross training during the road season. The 2.4 miles of swimming is intimidating, but my training partner is willing to coach me on the swim training.

Cyclocross will again be my focus since it is my true passion. I love cyclocross - the racing, the training, and especially the atmosphere. My goal will be a top 10 finish in the Master B group. I'll also participate in Cross Nationals in Bend Oregon again. That was an unforgettable weekend.

Well, they say that sharing your goals with others is a good way to motivate yourself. So, there they are. Let 2010 start rolling!