I see and hear lots of people talking about their training plans. Usually something about peaking or an "A" race. Meh.
Katie has been hearing me complain a lot the last month or so about not feeling very fit. Not nearly as good as last year at this time. Ive been to some big races and been a little frustrated that I havent felt very good at them. Its easy to forget why this is. Ive got this natural, Kansas weather induced, peak that always hits the end of May to beginning of June. In January, when the ProXct schedule came out and there were no races even close to the period we decided to move that peak back a month. This basically meant moving the serious training back a month. Then Monday morning I got a phone call reminding me that Monday was the start of the real training block for the season. I thought things had been a little easy.
I raced one year as an expert and one as a semi-pro. During those two years I did one of those training plans where you go through and pick something like 3 "A" races, a few "B" races, and a few more "C" races. This didnt work for me at all. You are constantly messing up a build for an "A" race by doing some sort of mini build and taper for a "B" or "C" race. Its dumb to train for a race that you want to do sort of well at. All that does is waste a few weeks of training for an "A" race. This type of plan will help you be consistent, but never really fast.
Then I got some new, much better training advice and switched to my current plan. Be fast as possible for a few big races, and train right through all the rest. This can mean training right through some big races, and races you would like to win, which is hard. You basically ignore the fact you are racing on a Saturday and just use it as another day of interval work. Think hard rides all week, race saturday, go ride for 4 hours on sunday to get the endurance miles in you skipped by only racing for 1.5hrs on saturday. When you are really in the training groove you dont even want to race on a Saturday because it means too short of a ride. Sunday races are even harder because they come right after a long day with a load of intervals.
After seeing the plan for the week ahead and thinking it seemed hard, I looked back at the training log from last year....
This very week last year I was whining about my legs hurting and being close to exhausted. I did the St. Joes race and was completely flat. Then I had one last hard week that finished me off and ended in a mud fest in Columbia. So, its true, im a month behind last years plan. Right when I was ending the big block last year, Im just starting this year. Hoping this means I wont have lost motivation and be tired by July like usual.