It is mid-July and I’m starting to feel the rewards of the long hours and efforts in my legs, lungs, heart, and soul. The early summer months were spent doing more riding than I’ve ever done before – lots of long rides, lots of intensity, lots of time with just me, my bike, and my iPod. Focus was on cadence – getting my legs ticking over at a speedy rate, spending lots of time in my tempo zone building and pushing forward, lots of long steady rides that built up physical and mental endurance.
Now it is time to switch gears a bit and focus on race preparation. This means I’m still doing long rides but the intensity has been notched up and changed focus a bit. Cyclo-cross is all about accelerating, maintaining speed, and keeping this speed for the 40 minutes of technical and flowy riding. Throw in some barriers, stairs, sand, mud, tricky descents and you have one of the best ways to spend time on a bike. To get ready for this assault on the senses, I’m working on start intervals, accelerations, threshold work, long rides, and technical skill rides. I’ll start doing some criteriums and road races to get some race intensity into my legs and to continue to build up my mental confidence.
This is a great place to be. The summer so far has had its share and ups and downs with some injuries and health issues. But I’m not letting this get me down. As I’ve written before – “everyone has something”. I have learned to handle my “something” and not let it beat me. I’ve also learned that rest, recovery, sleep and proper nutrition are extremely important. It really doesn’t matter if you do the training if you don’t let your body recover and fuel it sufficiently. I’d have to say that so far this season of training has been a massive success – I’ve learned so much about what I can handle physically and mentally. I feel like a different athlete.
Everything is coming together off the bike as well. I’m pretty happy to announce my sponsors for the upcoming cyclo-cross season. Without the support of these companies, I really wouldn’t be able to chase my cyclo-cross goals and live the dream. Thanks to the following outstanding companies for their support:
KingsBridge Disaster Recovery
Outdoor Gear Canada
Bell Lap Coaching