Yep, it is that time in the training cycle. The time when the training, focus, and mindset really shifts to preparing for the cyclo-cross season. As you may know once again we’ve done things a big differently this season – even less racing than I did the previous summer with a big focus on building a better and more powerful engine. This meant lots of long rides, lots of tempo efforts, with some sprint work-outs as well to tap all energy systems.
Now that it is July, it really does feel like “go time”. Time to start doing the down and dirty training, lots of double days, lots of time on the ‘cross bike working on ‘cross specific skills and just fine-tuning my energy systems. As crazy as this may seem, I love this period in the training cycle. I really really enjoy doing double days. I like seeing my numbers progressing, my skills becoming more and more refined and just simply getting out on my ‘cross bike more often. As for the running? Well, it is not my most favorite part but at least the work-outs are short and intense… (i.e. over quickly).
All the little things are coming together. Housing is sorted out for Belgium. Looking into vehicles. Checking out flights. Trying to finalize race schedules. Clothing design is getting finished. Lots of good stuff happening.
I’m feeling better than I did on the weekend. Suppose I was having a bit of a “poor me” party. But this isn’t how I operate. I forgot that everyone has “something”. The champions are the ones that handle their “something” the best and keep focus on the positives. So this is what I’m doing. Looking ahead. Looking forward. Feeling pretty darn psyched about the upcoming race season.
Health-wise, well, I’m trying something new in an attempt to put the ulcerative colitis in the background. I started on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This diet has helped many people who have ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, celiac disease, and other auto-immune diseases. The idea is that some people (like me) have trouble digesting starchy carbohydrates (grains, pasta, rice, flour, sweet potatoes, potatoes, etc) – so when these are eliminated from the diet, the digestive system has a chance to heal itself. Now, I know you’re scratching your head right now wondering how an athlete can perform on a diet that eliminates carbohydrates… I felt the same for quite a while. But after some research and the power of the Internet, I’ve learned that I can combine this style of eating with the Paleo Diet for Athletes (one that many top cyclists follow) and this way I can fuel myself sufficiently. I’m only on day two of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, so it is too early to tell how things will work out. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this change does make a difference.
In other news, well I’ve sold one Stevens Super-Prestige and I have another one to sell. If you’re interested, drop me an email and we can chat. I’m super happy that the first bike went to an awesome home and I’d like to do the same with this one. Funny, I suppose in a way I’m sort of emotionally attached to these bikes – they took me on some amazing adventures last year – awesome training rides, incredible races, and really were my ticket to a whole range of experiences, friends, and emotions that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience. Who knew a bike could do so much?
Alright, time to ride. Slather on the sunscreen, fill up a couple of bottles, pull on your kit, and hit the open road – no life like it.
I love how many people have switched their mindset and training to cross full on as soon as we hit July. I am so stoked for the fall, and hearing that others are too only builds it up more.