Sunday, October 6, 2013

Racing without training

After destroying my knee last fall, I decided to get serious about training this spring.  I bought the CTS Time Crunched Cyclist book, and pretty much did the whole plan on a trainer since we had the worst winter ever. As soon as things thawed and I started getting to some early season races, I was shocked at what I was capable of.  I could close gaps at will. nobody got away. and I could pretty much hang with anybody for about 90 minutes.

Photocred: Todd Bauer
On the Tuesday night races at Whitetail Ridge I consistently won by putting all the other fast guys on the rivet, then punching it to create a 5 second gap. Its a mental battle in mountain biking.  If you get a 5 second gap, you might as well have a 30 second gap, because once you get out of sight of your chaser, psychologically, you have won.
I trained my dad on a proper hand-up.
However CC is pretty adamant that you cannot maintain this high intensity level of training indefinitely. You just become too fatiuged.  So I used a training block that went through June, and then just rode whenever I felt like it.  That level of fitness tapered off noticeably in 2 weeks. I was still mid pack in the elite races in MN, but I struggled so much more trying to recover from efforts. 

Grumpy Stumpy. Photocred:Todd Bauer
The last few weeks have really been frustrating as I struggle to deal with the increased pressure from work, impacting my time and ability to get out and ride.

My parents were back from China over the 4th of July so my dad finally got to see me do a MTB race. He was shocked at how fast the WORS guys were.

It really is amazing how much different you feel when you have that high level of fitness that allows you to do whatever you want in a race.  I totally get why training blocks work, now if I can just get the time to train.
Deer Fly Chase: unable to get into the lead group, and then fell off the back of the chase to finish 10th.
Deer Fly Chase Photocred; Noah Michelson

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