Monday, January 11, 2010

throwing down

Well, four days off the bike did the old head some good. And the legs too, they felt like they were 19 again all week. And I squeezed in 19hrs on the bike, culminating with the CSC ride around wolf creek, a sweet loop which we hadn't done in several months.

I set some good (for me) power numbers on the Sunday ride up the first wolf creek climb - 400watts for 9 minutes, 10min average 387 (the climb was only 9& a little) which is on par with my EC hillclimb profile. Of course, I'm a couple pounds heavier than I was then so that gets diluted somewhat, but still, quite OK for January.

I've heard a lot of comments and warnings about being fast in the winter, every time I've shifted into the big ring on the 'ol cross bike (only a 46t mind you) and broken a sweat on a climb. Things like, "if you're too fast now, you'll peak too early", or "races are in the summer you can't keep that up", etc etc. To which I feel the need to reply: hogwash.

Those statements focus on the results of training, not on the methods used to get those results. And that is where the confusion lies. It's not "being fast" that is a problem in January, it's training as if it was June that is dangerous. If you get faster and faster and set personal bests on nothing but base miles, tempo, and endurance rides, then great, because that's sustainable and sets a huge base for the summer months. If you're doing anaerobic work, living on a diet of VO2, and generally doing everything associated with a peak in fitness, then yeah, you won't hold it through the summer. I generally have little tolerance for the mindset that says that riders need to be slow, or out of shape, at particular points in the year in order to have a good season. No, they don't. They have to make sure that a) they recover from the prior season b) they build a good base of training on which to lay the work that will result in good VO2, anaerobic, and endurance gains in the next season, and c) the peak of their fitness for the year comes during their A-priority events. Saying that you have to be slow in the winter is like saying you have to gain 10lbs every December: it's hogwash.

So yeah, I set a personal best on Sunday - longest time ever over 400W. Yeah I'm "fast" relative to my last years' fitness. And I'll be faster in June than I am now. Will it get results? Who knows, I'm not in control of my fitness relative to others, only relative to myself. I'm also not in control of flat tires, crashes, team tactics, and illness. Results are largely the product of too many externalities to use as a barometer of fitness. But the powermeter and bathroom scale won't lie, and that's what I'll measure training by, thank you very much.

No comments: