About 6 weeks ago I realized that things weren't coming together the way I wanted them to be and I wasn't recovering well so I set myself up with a 10 week training plan leading up to some big races in July. Last season I had "The Master Plan" which took me all the way from Dec up until Nationals and learned quite a bit more about how to make myself faster and the timing of my peak form.
This winter/ early spring I was finding that the rides weren't easy or hard enough, the rest wasn't at the appropriate times and I kept convincing myself that my base was big enough from previous years so that I could cheat a little to get fast sooner. I started to find that my legs felt like bricks all the time and I couldn't predict when I would feel fast or good.
I looked forward to May as there was no racing on the horizon and I could just put it down and train balls kitty, which I did. After four weeks of two hard workouts a week and one breakthrough workout a week I started to feel some snap when doing my intervals and my legs were recovering from the efforts much better. I watched the average speeds of my endurance rides go up dramatically and I was highly motivated for the next workout. Aside from coming up a little short on hrs the week of memorial day due to the atrocious conditions, I didn't miss any workouts and am sitting here feeling pretty good about taking a rest week and going into some racing next weekend.
The only variable I'm concerned about is the lack of spring racing and hope that after a couple races in June I am ready to go in July. Since I didn't race or need to recover from racing I was able to train more consistently and much harder, but it's not the same as racing and I'm the couple race like efforts I was putting in on the mtb are close enough to the sick intensity of racing. We can only see at this point.
As much as I wanted to fuel my ego and didn't like that thought of downgrading from semi-pro to Cat 1, I opted to do so to give myself my next goal; upgrading to PRO by gaining the points rather than taking the free pass USA Cycling offered me. It's not really a big deal either way, but as my friend Dan Grausam explained it to me " How many people can say they lined up next to the best in the country, even if they do get smoked?" So, my goal for next season is to gain the points needed for my upgrade and line up next to the best, maybe at Nationals. If not, I'll might be toeing the line at Nationals next year looking for the Cat 1 jersey.
"I hope you brought your wood screws"