Last post I did a few weeks ago spoke to goal setting and looking at the 2016 season as a way to forecast 2017 with regards to looking at strengths, weaknesses, goals, etc. For many, fall/winter can be a balancing act with holidays and family gatherings. In my case, working as a professional mechanic on the World Cup/US Pro Cyclocross circuit adds a layer of complication with the addition of a heavy travel schedule both domestically and abroad. That said, let’s take a look at some of my “points of interest” if you will for 2017.
Finishing off the season with Shenandoah 100, an east coast original NUE and regional classic, was definitely a happy ending. By that I mean it was a low priority regarding result and was more of a training challenge to see if I could parlay my fitness from Leadville 100 (3wks prior) into a solid finish and not land in a deep fatigue state post race, which was probably the biggest take away this season for me.
Balancing family and training 12-15hrs a week, for a married man with a soon to be 3yr old, that intends on being married for a long time and not have a son that resents him, is a challenge. Prioritization and communication are the main tools when navigating these waters and being flexible at times is more of a reality than some type-A athletes can handle. Looking back on the season as a whole from March-September I can honestly say that this year was the first year in my athletic history as a whole (let alone as a married man) that I arrived in September anxious to dial in and start building for the coming season. Most year’s I’m slightly overtrained and tired come August/September or undertrained and trying to push through fall/winter then back into it. Ironically I never would do this with a client but as athletes, if left to our own devices, we tend to overdo it at times right?
So back to looking ahead….
In 2017 my goals are the following: Pisgah Stage Race (finish strong), Break the top 20 in an NUE and/or go sub 8hrs, push my FTP past my 315w (+/-5) plateau I seemed to hang around last season, increase my 3-5min power (aka VO2max) drop 2-3lbs to see if it’s sustainable. The last goal is more experimental than a major goal.
2016 I seemed to build out my XC fitness well which translated to solid marathon xc (~4hr) fitness very well but I seemed to crack 70-75% of the way into many 100mile mtb events I did, then have a surge the last 10% of the race, but there always seemed to be this lull in my race for around an hour left in the race then I would surge back up and be able to finish strong but just off my goal pace. That all said my area I feel I need to address most is my ability to push sub-threshold for longer efforts as well as refresh from those efforts and consistently repeat them. This would be that long solid tempo effort (~85%) that so much of these longer events require you to work at. In short increase my aerobic efficiency so that I can push it at a lower energy cost to my body.
Back to the future….
Starting off this year, strength training will be a solid focus though fall and winter coupled with a block of vo2max focused work and sprinkled with some cyclocross racing. This will then go into a big volume block with a tempo focus building to long tempo efforts on the mtb. Combined, the goal is to see a bump in FTP without loosing my anaerobic/vo2 function that I lean on heavy for early season XC races.
Week one starts next Monday- Stay tuned #DaddyWatts