Doing it all the hard way...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Training update: July… Cyclocross in sight

Using my head..

Yes I realize August is a strange time for a July update.

At the end of June I crashed during a race while riding my beloved Cyclocross bike. It turns out that not only did I dent my Bike frame; I cracked some of my ribs which took the rest of June and all of July to heal. When the initial cuts and bruises healed I found that certain movements REALLY hurt. I contacted my most excellent doctor who confirmed my suspicions of cracked ribs. What was weird was certain movements were just fine. I could shovel rocks just fine, but raking killed me. I could ride seated, (provided I didn’t breathe too deep) and I was okay. Standing on the pedals was painful. No weight training for July.

The first of August I was riding along the Oregon coast as part of our team’s mandatory training camp. I felt strong once again; I just needed to increase my intensity. After a few days of post trip recovery, I went on the Sunday morning team ride along with fellow training camp veterans Sam and Marc. When it came time to pick up the pace my legs were dead. Sam also chose the better part of valor that day. Hard to imagine that 340 miles in four days with climbing and sprints (all with panniers on the bike) would take such a toll… Maybe it is not too hard to imagine after all. Did I mention I’m fifty freakin’ years old?

A few more days of easy riding was in order.

So I returned to the weights after seven weeks away. I seemed to forget I had missed a day and I foolishly jumped in and killed myself again. My shoulders and back were burning when I left the gym. By dinnertime I was listing to the side and rummaging in drawers for drugs. A few more days of easy rides seemed smart. The weekend in Pullman was well timed.

I am now finally back on the training program which includes weights and intervals. I noted that my year to date mileage is more than my total annual mileage for every year except 2008 and 2009. My increased annual mileages seem to correlate with decreased performance, so I am trying to be very careful this year and follow a training plan that emphasizes quality over quantity.

My plan had me starting my intervals in July, so I am behind, but I do think I have a decent base to build from. Drawing upon my decades of running experience, intervals get me in shape quickly. Flexibility remains my holy grail. My big four are, in order, flexibility, recovery, weights, and intervals. If I really want to get serious I will cut out cookies. I will wait and make sure that cutting out cookies is really necessary before taking such a drastic step.

Cyclocross is just around the corner. Sam sent out an email lamenting the “Nasty sun,” and reminding the team that the mud will be here soon. My repaired frame should arrive any day now and I am trying out a set of deep section carbon wheels this season. They are way too good for me, but through an amazing chain of events I get to ride on them. I have some tubulars on order to glue to the carbon wheels and I should be set for the season.

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