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Now that the season's over (for North America, I guess), what's the plan?

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Now that the season's over (for North America, I guess), what's the plan?

Old 10-23-18, 08:43 PM
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carleton
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Now that the season's over (for North America, I guess), what's the plan?

Some of you have been done racing for a month or two now. Some raced your last races last week.

What is the good, the bad, and the ugly that you learned about yourself this season?

What are you looking to do this winter to improve?
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Old 10-23-18, 09:18 PM
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carleton
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For me: I spent a lot on gear and spent a lot of time in the gym with eyes on 2018 Worlds. I tore my hamstring last summer pretty badly in the gym (literally and figuratively pushing too hard and ignoring the warning signs that I shouldn't do "just one more rep!"). It was really bad. I feared that I would require surgery.

Please note: The Bill Starr rehab protocol WORKS. I thought I would have a limp for months and even longer to get back to where I left off lifting. But, I was without a limp and walking up steps within a couple of weeks. I progressed linearly and blew past the weight that tore it. There was a HUGE mental block when I got to that number, though. It was real.

I hit PBs in the gym before and after the injury. All signs were pointing in the right direction. It's cool when the young bucks in the gym are talking about, "See! Das dat old man strength right there!" hahaha.

Power was there, even under the big gears. Torque was there. New bike fit was on point. I was much lower than before. Going from a 58cm TT to a 61cm worked wonders.

I had big plans for a very slow and easy build up through Nationals with eyes on Worlds. But between family and work, I just couldn't keep my nose to the grindstone.

I had one of the worst commutes in Atlanta. Spending 2-3 hours in the car every day just drained me. There were some days when it took 2.5 hours to get from my office to the house..driving a manual transmission. Atlanta has traffic ALL THE TIME. There are no short trips these days...ever. I would workout in the office gym until 7 or 7:30, and still have a 1.5 hr drive home. This drive used to be 30 minutes about 5-7 years ago.

I rode a lot and raced a bit early in the season. I gave big gears a real shot. Side note. I would warm up on like a 114". Just easy, methodical pedaling while traveling normal 20MPH warmup speeds. I treated my on-bike warmup like I would a gym warmup. Slow with load. This didn't seem to adversely affect my performance. My thinking was, since cadences are maxing out at 120-130, why bother with a 81" warmup gear and spinning into the 140s and 150s?

The racing scene is alive and thriving at DLV. But, the traffic is so bad that it's tough to get down there just to ride around for fun or just ring the bell.

I think I'm done racing. I'll stick to being a fan from a distance and see about updating my apps (that's another thing that I've been dragging my feet on.)
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Old 10-23-18, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
i think i'm done racing.
what.
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Old 10-23-18, 11:32 PM
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The good:
Dropped 27 pounds, rode about 2k miles, can now spin up a hill that previously required a mid-way stop and "barely stay upright" cadence. Feel like I got into great shape.

The bad:
Wrecked once and had to replace wheelset as a result. Haven't spent even more hours/miles on the bike. Weather is turning cold, and I'm spending more time in the gym, less on the bike (but still do weekend rides, though more like 25 miles instead of 40-60). Still get passed sometimes. Still struggle on the 8-mile 4300ft climb near my home. Family needs prevented my riding in the Tour of St George, so no century this year.

The ugly:
Anticipating 4-5 evenings each week in the gym for the next five months, before the weather gets warm enough to resume night rides, which is my typical weeknight riding time.

The plan:
4-6h of cardio each week in the gym, plus 2h of weights (mostly legs and core, but a little upper body to maintain fitness). Skiing every other week. Hopefully in the spring I won't have lost too much of what I worked for this year, and will be able to get up Little Cottonwood Canyon without having a meltdown next year.

On the side:
I'm thinking I'll swap out my Shimano 105 50/39/30:11-28 drivetrain with Shimano Ultegra 50/34:11-32 as a winter wrenching project.
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Old 10-24-18, 01:53 AM
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The good
Second kid born.
Back doing proper lifting in the gym again

The bad
Entire year pretty much written off due to second kid (both are under 3), so just been trying to maintain what little I can.

The plan
A first ever full year of uninterrupted training. Aiming to peak around this time next year. See what happens.
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Old 10-24-18, 07:28 AM
  #6  
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I had a so so season, which seems has become commonplace the last few years.

The primary focus had been a US Master's hour record with the Van Houweling group in Mexico... a couple of position changes took a large part of the season to figure out (having a 4 hour drive to Rock Hill made testing challenging) then problems started popping up. I put in a big volume bit of time for the TN State TT and ran into mental burnout, having to take a few days off, then got soundly beaten at that race despite some of my best power numbers ever. (was 2nd last year, 5th this year... can't control who shows up I guess) At the State Track championship (thanks DLV) I showed up with a broken cleat I was unaware of until race day... so limped through most of the events with some unimpressive results (4th in the 4k being my best) before pulling myself from the points race because the cleat finally gave out totally. (should have brought straps I guess)

In my final planned "tune-up" hour session I blew my front tyre full gas going into turn 1 and took a fairly nasty spill. At first I thought it was only scrapes and cosmetic, but my hip flexor was fubar and I ended up spending 3 weeks off the bike and unfortunately having to cancel my plans for Mexico.

That was pretty much it for this season. Trying to decide what's in store for next year... I was thinking perhaps masters nats but Carson is a long way to go from TN so I would want to cut 15" or so from my 3k time before I committed. (considering how crap my standing start is I think I can pick up a chunk of that focusing on starts this winter)
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Old 10-24-18, 07:32 AM
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The Good
10 wins on the road and track this year. With the rest mainly being field sprint wins for placings.
2 medals at Masters Track Nationals
Getting to ride on a non-plywood track for the first time.

The Bad
Missing the early move at Road Race at Masters Nationals
Flatting out of the Criterium while leading the pack with 1 to go in the Crit at Masters Nationals.
2 medals at Masters Track Nationals
Following the wrong wheel in the Scratch at Masters Track Worlds

The Ugly
Totally being out of it in the Points Race at Masters Track Worlds, and then more or less settling.
Starting Athens at the back and getting pulled.

The Plan
Lifting weights over the Winter for the first time in over 23 years. My sprint is consistently lethal if I can come from behind. Will lifting weights allow me to do better from the front?

Doing more elite races and being consistent in getting top tens when racing with younger racers.

Dropping most of my nemesis's in bigger races by aging out of their category at Nationals.
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Old 10-24-18, 07:42 AM
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The good:
Started the 2017 season as a cat 4 and completed the 2018 season as a cat 2 and 2nd overall in our Track Rider of the Year competition. Learned SO MUCH racing at regional/elite events like MW Challenge, TTown, and Nats.

The bad:
While managing to qualify for the scratch final at nats, I DNF'd. My madison partner wrecked horribly because of inattentive and preventable poor racing (not while we were racing together, just a 15-lap scratch) with grave consequences. And I'm staring down the barrel of 5+ months of indoor training.

The ugly:
My home track is being decommissioned after the 2019 season.

The plan:
Resume strength training this winter, after being introduced to weights last year. Focus on improving my aerobic base and vo2 max to improve my individual pursuit (our district record of 4:48 is within striking distance). Potentially spend a week in the Springs mid-winter for some track time.
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Old 10-24-18, 08:05 AM
  #9  
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The good: Finally made it out to a few race days after accumulating lots of hours on the track at structured training sessions over the past couple years. Didn't place well, but learned a lot.

The bad: Burned out hard due to a combination of not being able to balance life and cycling, not letting go of unhealthy habits, and dealing with a heavy personal matter.

The ugly: Stopped riding bikes completely in the latter half of the year, tried to sell my track bike (luckily I couldn't find a buyer).

The plan: Back on the bike and enjoying it again, and living a much healthier life than I was before. Now, the plan is to get stronger. I moved a couple months ago and essentially all of my road riding is flat now, so I'm focusing on developing strength and power. Now that I have to deal with a real winter, I might even wind up in a *shudder* gym.

Last edited by seau grateau; 10-24-18 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 10-24-18, 08:29 AM
  #10  
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The Good: Finally beat my nemesis in a sprint.

The Bad: So many things - but my kilo is not improving.

The Ugly: Did I mention my kilo? It seems to be getting worse each time I do one.

The Plan: Got a coach and will continue to make strides.
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Old 10-24-18, 10:27 AM
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The Good: Rode really well at Master Worlds. Won state championship and Natz Silver in Team Sprint

The Bad: Another year older; at least I maintained my speed, but younger guys aging up!

The Ugly: 500 m at Master's Natz. I guess I lost more than I thought when I broke my wrist in the spring. Finally caught up when Worlds rolled around

The Plan: Undecided. I intended to retire from competition, but then they announced Master's Natz at my home track. Decisions, decisions!
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Old 10-24-18, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
For me: I spent a lot on gear and spent a lot of time in the gym with eyes on 2018 Worlds. I tore my hamstring last summer pretty badly in the gym (literally and figuratively pushing too hard and ignoring the warning signs that I shouldn't do "just one more rep!"). It was really bad. I feared that I would require surgery.

Please note: The Bill Starr rehab protocol WORKS. I thought I would have a limp for months and even longer to get back to where I left off lifting. But, I was without a limp and walking up steps within a couple of weeks. I progressed linearly and blew past the weight that tore it. There was a HUGE mental block when I got to that number, though. It was real.

I hit PBs in the gym before and after the injury. All signs were pointing in the right direction. It's cool when the young bucks in the gym are talking about, "See! Das dat old man strength right there!" hahaha.

Power was there, even under the big gears. Torque was there. New bike fit was on point. I was much lower than before. Going from a 58cm TT to a 61cm worked wonders.

I had big plans for a very slow and easy build up through Nationals with eyes on Worlds. But between family and work, I just couldn't keep my nose to the grindstone.

I had one of the worst commutes in Atlanta. Spending 2-3 hours in the car every day just drained me. There were some days when it took 2.5 hours to get from my office to the house..driving a manual transmission. Atlanta has traffic ALL THE TIME. There are no short trips these days...ever. I would workout in the office gym until 7 or 7:30, and still have a 1.5 hr drive home. This drive used to be 30 minutes about 5-7 years ago.

I rode a lot and raced a bit early in the season. I gave big gears a real shot. Side note. I would warm up on like a 114". Just easy, methodical pedaling while traveling normal 20MPH warmup speeds. I treated my on-bike warmup like I would a gym warmup. Slow with load. This didn't seem to adversely affect my performance. My thinking was, since cadences are maxing out at 120-130, why bother with a 81" warmup gear and spinning into the 140s and 150s?

The racing scene is alive and thriving at DLV. But, the traffic is so bad that it's tough to get down there just to ride around for fun or just ring the bell.

I think I'm done racing. I'll stick to being a fan from a distance and see about updating my apps (that's another thing that I've been dragging my feet on.)
One option to cure your ails is to move to Colorado. Lots of jobs, Boulder is the cycling center of the USA (track*, road, CX, MTB, gravel), plenty of skiing, CX, and snow shoeing, most cities have rec centers (gym, pool, and more).
We are short of cycling officials. Lots of cycling volunteer opportunities.

* Colorado masters won 46 medals including 26 golds at this years worlds.
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Old 10-24-18, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 700wheel View Post
One option to cure your ails is to move to Colorado. Lots of jobs, Boulder is the cycling center of the USA (track*, road, CX, MTB, gravel), plenty of skiing, CX, and snow shoeing, most cities have rec centers (gym, pool, and more).
We are short of cycling officials. Lots of cycling volunteer opportunities.
Hmmm....That's a thought!

Originally Posted by 700wheel View Post
* Colorado masters won 46 medals including 26 golds at this years worlds.
Y'all really do have a vibrant scene up there, despite getting all 4 seasons in full force.

Also, maybe there is something to that high-altitude training!
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Old 10-26-18, 01:29 PM
  #14  
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The track never sleeps in Detroit. Last weekend we had people fly in from LA, Portland, Seattle, UK, Canada... Makes for some interesting racing. Now that the road season is winding down, there will be even more people heading inside. Well, after we get rid of the pro level mountain bike race in a week - still gotta train for the iceman.

If you have a couple of hours you can even watch the video (Scroll along to the "pro" races for some good action). Its kinda cool to see this venue grow and progress. They even paved the craters in the parking lot! (Detroit has come a long way...)

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Old 11-05-18, 11:36 AM
  #15  
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The good: Lots of stuff, actually. Started the season weighing 80kg, never having done a century and stalled at stage 2 of Manchester's 4-stage track accreditation process. Ended it having done some big events (the Fred Whitton Challenge, a pretty tough 113-mile gran fondo in the Lake District with some gnarly climbs; The Struggle, a similar ride in the Yorkshire Dales, and cycling from Paris to Geneva - 400 miles over 4 day) and down to a low of 75kg. I've also started lifting in the gym twice a week - up to lifting almost my body-weight (i.e. 70kg) on back squats and deadlifts - and passed the last stage of the accreditation for the track yesterday.

The bad: Inconsistency. Work has been pretty full-on at times this year and my schedule just disintegrates sometimes. If only I could keep the consistency up a little better.

The ugly: I am terrible at sleeping properly and I've been stuffing my face since the season ended, with the result that I'm now back up to 78kg. Need to get back on it - Operation Skinsuit, as in getting to a point where I can wear one without looking comical, starts here.

Next season's goals: Get everything set for a season's track racing next winter and do some decently challenging gran fondos. Get down to 70kg and stay there; keep going on the weights.
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Old 11-13-18, 01:25 PM
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i've been chewing over my season. Or really, over my past 3 seasons.

For this year - the good? A sole early-season win over riders who went on to race World Cups for the USA; improvement on UCI results (when the dust settled on my UCI season, I had enough points to be among the top ten american men in the scratch, points, and omnium); a few pro podiums later on in the season with the field lightened up, including taking a lap with Stephen Hall late in the season to podium a points race.

The bad & the ugly was having 2 of the past 3 seasons interrupted by intercity moves and jobhunting; a bad trip to elite nats and masters worlds that left bad tastes in my mouth; 3 crashes in 1 year, with some injuries including a concussion that I didn't recognize early enough or heal from fast enough. The schedule took a toll. All those hours on rollers in the basement in the winter took a toll. The crashes took a toll. The missed vacations and constant focus took a toll - I'm a little burnt out, and when I got home from my last race of the season last month, I didn't even unpack my track bike. It's still in its travel bag in my closet.

Last edited by queerpunk; 11-14-18 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:06 AM
  #17  
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What the heck. I'll join in.

The good: It was my second season on the track, and I began to learn how to execute. I also did more work in the gym, and got stronger (in spite of the weight I put on - ahem). I scored three silver medals and a bronze at Nats in T-Town. I scored three District Championships at Hellyer. I went out the following week and won my age band in the District Crit. Then, at Worlds, I made the podium with a Bronze in the 500.

The bad: Wrapping my training around my work schedule. Breaking five ribs back in April (six week setback, but in the end I learned a lot about me from that). Weight gain. Some is muscle. Some is not. Ugh...

The ugly: My Monkey Brain. Lack of confidence, as in self-confidence. I'm a new athlete, well, serious athlete for less than eight years. I'm not life long at any kind of competitive sport, and I have issues believing I belong sometimes.

Next Season Goals: National Championship. More District wins. Maybe go to Worlds (if the UCI fixes the age bands), and if so, do well there. Not get hurt! Hopefully maintain my health.
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Old 11-15-18, 02:35 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by ruudlaff View Post
The good
Second kid born.
Back doing proper lifting in the gym again

The bad
Entire year pretty much written off due to second kid (both are under 3), so just been trying to maintain what little I can.

The plan
A first ever full year of uninterrupted training. Aiming to peak around this time next year. See what happens.
Add to this, going mid 20 in my first attempt at man one in TS in competition after spending 3-4 weeks training for it.

Plenty wrong that could have been corrected:
- forgot about foam blocks, bit of a swerve once I lifted my head after the initial drive
- was on someone elses wheels due to some technical issues, felt pretty weird.

New plan. Mid 19s
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Old 11-15-18, 12:00 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
The bad & the ugly was having 2 of the past 3 seasons interrupted by...
...life.

I can relate.

It seems like that what you have to give up to win, for elites or masters.

Not every elite or master does it. Some are naturally gifted but most simply work hard and pay a lot of dues.

Here's the reality of it: All it takes is for 3 of your dozens of competitors to either be naturally gifted or give up their free time and go "all-in" with training to bump you off the podium. Even if you go all-in yourself and dedicate an entire year or 4 to training, you still have to fight tooth and nail to get a spot on the podium.

It's really hard to do that and function as an adult (career, relationships, kids, bills, hobbies).

That's what makes Masters Nationals such a crap-shoot. Especially in the fast and competitive age groups (35-39, 40-44, 45-49) where the top speeds are on par with elites.

After plateauing in 2012, I took a break and LIFE got better. Career got better. Family got better. Relationships got better. Hobbies got better. I had fun again...and money in my pocket
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Old 11-16-18, 03:33 PM
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Yup. When it comes to getting faster - for most people - there is a silver bullet: consistency. But that often means a lot of other things falling into place - relationships, career, finances, etc - or having your priorities really clear.

I've been lucky that I've had jobs that have allowed the flexibility to train and race, a very supportive sweetheart (also a bike racer, matter of fact), and enough money to get to races I want to do. But for about five years, track racing has been just about top priority. I've definitely clawed and scratched my way up, one small rung at a time. But I'm ready for a break.

(fwiw, or just for the record, i don't think the fast masters nats or even worlds fields are on par with elites)

Last edited by queerpunk; 11-16-18 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 11-16-18, 03:58 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
(fwiw, or just for the record, i don't think the fast masters nats or even worlds fields are on par with elites)
Giddeon Massie is old enough to be a Masters racer.

2018 Elite Nationals:
- Kilo bronze (1:04). He also won the kilo with 1:04 in 2010.
- Keirin Bronze

Molly van Howeling at 2018 elite track nationals
- IP silver (3:52)
- TP gold


I'm not very familiar with all of the racers these days. But, there are several "elite masters" on the scene.
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Old 11-16-18, 04:03 PM
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sure, but the fields as a whole are another story entirely than a few masters-aged elite racers.

for reference, i race the pro season at TTown. and i raced master's nats and masters worlds events this year.

for example, the 35+ master's nats points race took 41 min. an elite points race a few weeks earlier was done in under 38 min. that's a significant difference!
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Old 11-16-18, 04:19 PM
  #23  
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The Good --- Raced this year after having both knees replaced last year
The bad---- slow as a turtle
The ugly ---- getting fat and slower over winter
The plan--- getting less fat and faster before 2019 season
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Old 11-16-18, 06:03 PM
  #24  
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QP, maybe I should qualify my statement more.

Generally, the elite masters are there to fill out the elite fields.
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Old 12-07-18, 02:58 PM
  #25  
krispenhartung
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Boise, ID
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Bikes: S-Works Venge Dura-Ace DI2, KTM Strada 4000, Fuji Norcom Straight 1.3 (TT), Fuji Track Elite, BMC Trackmachine TR02

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The Good
- Started and completed by first track racing season! Yay! What a trip. Feel pretty good about this as a 50 year old who just started bike racing 4 year ago
- Took two track classes at two different velodromes, and upgraded from Cat 5, to Cat 4, to Cat 3 in less than 4 months
- Raced 14 omniums in 3 months
- Learned a lot! I learned that winning was fairly easy in Cat 4 and I could just use primarily brute force and my fitness to get on the podium, but in Cat 3 I have to race smarter and more strategic; no more 400m sprints to the win! :-) That's a free ride for everyone else and an opportunity to get overtaken the last 25m.
- Met some great people and new friends, and found places to stay when traveling
- Discovered this forum and all you guys...great information, tips, and expertise
- As a result of my training, I improved my power profile in the 20s to 1m times; 20m threshold suffered slightly
- Had the opportunity to race at 3 velodromes: Marymoor (JBV) (400m, 23%), Alpenrose (268m. 43%), and Burnaby (indoor, 166m, 48%), and took a great clinic at Burnaby

The Bad
- I put over 5000 miles on my car going back and forth between race location and home, spends hundreds on lodging.
- I spent several thousand dollars on bikes, gear, etc (this could be interpreted as a good thing, I suppose)

The Ugly
- As a result of the above, I got pretty burned out and fatigued, suffering from insomnia, etc (some of this is work or person related)

The Plan
- I took 2 weeks off a few weeks ago...mainly off the bike; did some yoga, light gym work, walking, hiking, etc
- I revised my annual training plan; more gym time and leg work; less endurance time in the saddle optimized for road racing, more sweet spot; more strategic and custom anaerobic interval work, tabata intervals, lots of sprint drills and high cadence work...basically what I did to prep for my first track season but refined and tweaked
- Redoing my bike fit slightly
- Recently purchased WHOOP and will be more mindful about my fatigue and recovery, better sleep quality
- Slight modifications of my diet
- Fewer races now that I've got past my quick ramp up
- Will probably not do any long distance road races this next season, but may do a few crits and Time Trials;
- Just keep learning
- I need to live part time near a velodrome!
- I started a community of interest here in Boise (FB group), to re-start conversations to build a velodrome; working on getting people excited about it
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