Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pulling the Plug

My vision for this weekend's races was this: Francis Mourey in full flight.

Instead I promptly made my way to the back of the field on the first lap and stayed there the whole race. I went flat out and was able to hold same consistent miserable gap the whole race.

In that 45 minutes of racing it all became clear: I'm burned out. I've been training seriously since June without more than 4 days off the bike in a row. This 'cross season I've been training well but I'm still going backwards with things progressively worse every race weekend.

The good news is I still love the sport, I'm just not into racing right now. I'll still ride until the snow flies, then throw myself into skiing with the myopic focus you'd expect from a true obsessive like myself.

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my friend Jason about improving at endurance racing. His experience taught him that a break was critical to improving year over year. As I thought about the last few seasons I noticed a distinct pattern: that I get way into three sports (mtb, 'cross, and nordic) and end up not improving at any of them. There are guys that are good at mountain biking and 'cross, and there are guys that are mountain biking and skiing, but there aren't any guys that are good at mountain biking, 'cross and skiing. Winter here is way too long not to ski, so next year I'm going to do an abbreviated 'cross season like most normal people and hang it up in October before the weather goes completely pear shaped.

Endurance mountain bike racing is my primary goal, so I'm going to treat it that way and scale back everything else.

Maybe I should clean off my mountain bike and take it for a few rides before the snow flies. I've got that brand new 10 speed X0 group still sitting in a box just waiting for some attention...and I'm sorry to say that the YBB hasn't been ridden or even cleaned since the 50.

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