As a coach, this year I've seen a growing demographic of new and veteran dads seeking to either build, maintain, or comeback. I thought it would be interesting to share some of my trials and tribulations as a new dad with a soon to be 3 year old son. This isn't going to be a manual and isn't limited to just dad's- mom's apply too. This is merely a snapshot of how to compete at a higher level while navigating what the pro's don't- REALITY!
The End- It's almost September already, the temps are starting to get comfortable and before long it will be my favorite time of year, FALL! It's day's away from the close of my season, which is getting capped off by Shenandoah 100mi (part of the NUE series) with the goal of going sub 9hrs. I'm not going to lie I'm ready to go hard but I'm also looking forward to a little less structure on the bike and hitting the gym. Yes, that's not a typo I said "gym". Last time this year I was frustrated feeling like I couldn't get off a plateau of fitness and at times was moving backwards. I did some sole searching last year regarding what I wanted to do in 2016 and I'm happy to report that I exceeded my goals! Moving back into XC racing and endurance racing specifically has been rewarding both as a coach, racing with four of my clients in Leadville 100 this year, as well an athlete. Those goals came at a cost though and I'm not talking money.
I've said it before but it demands repeating. It's all about communication with your family if you want to perform at a higher level (notice I didn't pigeon hole elite level but anything higher than where you're at now) it's going to take a village. After you do what I'm about to talk about below sit down and lay out a roadmap of what it's going to take of your family, friends, even co-workers to an extent. Time is a commodity and with a family and you don't hold the whole enchilada. That higher level starts in the fall for the coming season with planning. What you do this fall and early winter determines what you look back on this time next year. If you want to look back on a laundry list of excuses then start writing them down now because you will need them starting in 5mo when the season starts up again. If you're a cyclocross racer then sorry it's too late revisit this post in March.
Your first step toward increasing your #daddywatts starts at the end of your season..... for me it's September 5th as I drive back from Harrisonburg, VA after Shenandoah. That first step is goal setting. I'm not talking dreams I'm talking a handful of Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-based (SMART) goals. Take an honest look at where you are and where you want to be at the start, middle, end of the coming season and align your goals with what you and/or your coach deems attainable. If you are a cat 5 roadie starting out with only a handful of races on your legs then some examples would be: finish with the main group for the first few races next season; aim to increase your hours/wk on the bike from last year be 10-20% or in some cases decrease (yes not a typo); or a specific threshold power goal in testing going into the season; work on increasing your aerobic power, etc.... All of this starts with prep work though, and that's what I mean by "GYM". Nothing will prepare your body better for training and racing then Functional Strength Training with a focus on firing your core and lateral movement taking a holistic approach. What gets measured gets managed! Work with your coach or a specialist or get a coach/specialist to help you navigate this key process. If you do it right you will go into the coming season ahead of your competition and excited post base season versus burnt out and overtrained like so many do.