I’m a planner. When I was a teenager in the pre-computer era I used paper and pencils to create my training plans. First I had to make the calendar boxes then I worked backward from the end date and laid out my plans. In those days I was a runner and my calendar had distance, fartlek and intervals. I was doing “periodization” before that was even a word.
Creating the plan is only part of the equation. To be successful you have to execute the plan.
Fast forward to 2016. My training calendar still has a mix of distance and intervals. There is debate that sayd the traditional cycling periodization model of building base then adding intensity should be inverted and one should start with shorter, harder rides and then add distance. Like most things I tend to believe the data that supports my existing views and dismiss data that contradicts it. This debate provides me another excuse to justify maintaining my preconceived notion of training.
In this case the thought of doing hard efforts in December and January was so unappealing that I just put more food in my pockets and went longer instead. El Chefe and I encouraged each other through some horribly soggy rides.
Now with March looming on the horizon those cold and dark days in the saddle are beginning to pay dividends. I still have tons of kilometers to ride but I am seeing faster times and those cursed few pounds of winter weight are finally gone.
In just the last couple weeks when I have wanted to ramp it up I have felt like I was turning up a dial as opposed to gritting my teeth in anticipation of a mighty hurt. I’ve been throwing in some intervals and have felt stronger. Almost to my surprise I have found myself really enjoying the faster, harder rides.
It may be the accumulation of base miles or it may just be that my mind is fresh from taking a mental break from intensity. Either way I am enjoying riding a bit faster. I’ve dipped into Zone Five now and then and haven’t felt like I was about to explode. That is a good sign on so many fronts!
There are thousands of kilometers between here and The Dolomites and many of those miles will be wet and cold. I am encouraged that at least so far, the plan is working.