After a crazy busy summer (mentioned in previous post), things are finally coming back together for Fall. Kathy and I both had an amazing experience over the last few months being a part of the NICA sanctioned Colorado High School Mountain Bike League and coaching the Green Mountain Composite High School Mountain Bike Team. It was so fun and so rewarding to see these kids get excited to race their bikes. Not to mention see our own kids who both really surprised us with not only how good they were right off the bat but also how much they loved it!
On the business front, I really had a productive couple of months preparing for the 2018 training season. Writing new training plans for our remote athletes, marketing our in-house Off-Season Training Program for our local athletes, and getting Personal Coaching clients dialed in for the new year ahead.
With all this solid work behind us and things back on track, I’ve finally turned the corner on gaining enthusiasm for my own training and racing goals for 2018.
After many weeks of chewing on things and talking through things with Kathy, I think I’ve narrowed down the bulk of my 2018 racing schedule. Assuming budgets are similar to years past, I’m still working through some final sponsorship details for 2018, here is what I have in mind for 2018:
Tentative 2018 Race Schedule:
- C – March 9-11: Cactus Cup Stage Race
- C – April: 14-16: Moab Rocks Stage Race
- B – April 29: Whiskey 50
- A – May 6: USA Cycling Marathon National Champs (40+)
- C – June: USA Cycling XC MTB State Champs (40+)
- C – June: Bailey Hundito
- C – June 24: Crested Butte 40
- B – July 4: Firecracker 50 (co-ed duo)
- B – July 7: Silver Rush 50
- B – July 26-28: Leadville Stage Race
- A – August 11th: Leadville 100
- B – August 12-17: Breck Epic (co-ed duo)
Now with some race plans written down, it’s time to get to work on rebuilding some fitness!
So I have to be completely honest here… I don’t think I’ve ever been this “out of shape.” Seriously.
I started racing mountain bikes when I was 16 years old, and I haven’t stopped training or racing for anything longer than maybe 2 weeks at a stretch once a year. The funny thing is I haven’t really stopped riding over the last 3 months, but for the most part the riding I’ve done has been super short, super low-key, and there has been no intensity, much less racing… FOR 3 MONTHS!!
I may look the same, weigh basically the same, maybe be a little less tan; but I can really say that I feel slow, and any significant riding feels hard, and some of the last rides I did with the high school team really took a lot out of me.
Well we have to start somewhere, and getting started is often the hardest part! To officially kick the start of my training off, I jumped on the trainer for a Power Test to see exactly where I’m at and to reset my training zones. WOW that hurt! and the numbers were a little depressing.
But the good news is I can only go up from here and I plan to share with you over the next several months exactly how I go about improving these baseline numbers.
The testing I like to do is a bit different than the standard. You can read all the details in my recent two blog posts here: Testing Protocol, p.1 and Testing Protocol p.2. I’ve followed this protocol for the last 5 years so I have a good grip on what “good” is for me and these numbers are far from it. Here are the current details compared to my 2015 numbers leading up to my 15th place at Leadville 100:
- 20:00 Aerobic Threshold Power @ 148 bpm
- Fall 2017: 238w
- Summer 2015: 274w
- 1:00 Max Power
- Fall 2017: 499w
- Summer 2015: 529w
- 2:00 Max Power
- Fall 2017: 380w
- Summer 2015: 454w
- 4:00 Max Power
- Fall 2017: 324w
- Summer 2015: 382w
- Fatigue Rate
- Fall 2017: 8.7%
- Summer 2015: 6.9%
- This calculates an FTP of
- Fall 2017: 247w (3.70 w/kg)
- Summer 2015: 308w (4.71 w/kg)
What does all this mean?
Simply put, I’m out of shape compared to a previous best power numbers in my 30s. These numbers compared to two years ago provide me with some goals to shoot for in my training. I have nine months to get back to these numbers, or slightly higher which is my goal. In 2015 I was actually coming off of serious back injury that limited my early winter training volume, and I was thinking I was going to race triathlon in that year, so my cycling base was pretty minimal in 2015. This leads me to believe that starting from a healthy starting point this year, and a full focus on the bike, I can exceed my 2015 numbers and perhaps even surpass my numbers from back in my 20s.
Where to start?
From here, with baseline numbers in hand, I’m ready to get into focused training for November. I have two goals for the month:
- Get back to Strength Training
- Begin to rebuild my Aerobic Base
First move is getting back into regular strength work in the gym to begin to rebuild some strength. This is KEY for masters athletes (of which I am now!). Over the last several seasons I have found that progressively building strength in the back squat and deadlift exercises helps to improve the top end power numbers and resistance to injury. Combined with other dynamic strength movement to improve push-pull strength and core stability helps keep the body strong, healthy and more fatigue resistant. You can check out my Off-Season Strength Program to try for yourself on Training Peaks HERE.
On the bike, my focus will be on the opposite end… on aerobic training. I will slowly ramp up the volume with consistent regular riding, targeting my Aerobic Threshold by accumulating time in my AeT HR zone (138-147 bpm) and improving my pedaling efficiency through some specific cadence work and single-leg drills on the trainer. Both of these measures will help to improve my fatigue resistance and gradually lower my Fatigue Rate. You can check out my Off-Season Cycling Base Builder Program to try for yourself on Training Peaks HERE.
Ready, set, go…
To really help me clear my mind and get back into training mode, I planned a “Training Camp Lite” in Arizona for the first week of November. Even though I don’t actually have the fitness to do tons of riding at the moment, getting away and into a new environment can be a super motivating and fun way to spark the motivation. I plan to ride everyday for 2-3 hours to get the ball of success rolling for 2018.
By following along with me this year, hopefully you can find a thing or two to implement to your own training and help your 2018 being a successful one as well!
Thanks for reading and I hope you decide to follow along for the 2018 season!