I learned a couple of things about training last season. One is that it's important. Another was that ultimately, all tracking methods are somewhat arbitrary. However, the information yielded by a cycle computer is pretty useless, especially when training on the road for off-road riding, or trying to combine on- and off-road training numbers. A mile of mountain biking is a lot harder than a mile of road riding, and road riding can be very different depending on whether I'm riding to commute or somewhere on the East Side on a long stretch of uninterrupted road. An hour on the bike at an easy pace is an hour on the bike at an easy pace no matter which one I happen to be using that day, where I am, or why. A cynic might point out that I also lost my cycle computer early last season, so in a sense I didn't have a choice about going to a watch and my own rate of perceived exertion as my only training tools. Oh well.
Anyway, I think riding my bike a lot last winter was a big part of my success in the early part of last season. So I'm going to try to do it again. I'm also going to try to follow a schedule, because I think that ramping up over time was a big part of how I did the season before last, when I went from having to severely limit my ride time to being able to do my first Century. I'm also trying to talk my friends into riding bikes with me because while these rides may not be catatonically slow, they're not going to be speed work either. Also because it's always more fun to ride with friends and when the weather sucks, that's extra-important.
So without further ado, here are my time goals for the next few months. I'm planning to do my first race on February 21st, after which I'll decide what I need to work on between then and my first 'A' race, probably in mid-April.
|Week Ending||Goal (Hours)|
I'm going to be giving myself credit for time spent commuting - basically, any time spent on a bike I'll count as time spent on a bike (go figure.) I don't have a great sense of the times I spent last winter. My records weren't great and I was counting miles, not hours, which started to annoy me pretty quickly when it came to riding around town. I think that this schedule is going to be a little more demanding at the end, but then I'm racing in a harder category than I expected to when I was training last year.