In staying with a new approach to the CX season I am trying to get in multiple 10 day blocks of training, strategically throughout the season. What I have experienced in previous years is that coming into the season with a good solid base from Mtn/Road season is not enough to get you through the entire cross season. Once the racing begins it is super important to try and recover from weekend to weekend in order to be fresh for the next race. Throw in travel days on Friday and Monday and that doesn’t leave much time for training. This wasn’t such a problem when the race calendar spanned 2 1/2 months, but now the races start in early September and continue into January, nearly doubling the length of the season. Fortunately, we have had fantastic weather in the high country this Fall, making the training sessions a little more enjoyable. But the timing of the latest 10 day block didn’t set me up to be going well last weekend in Boulder. We are lucky to have two UCI race weekends in Colorado. However, the fact that they both take place in November and are exactly two weeks apart, make for a difficult situation.
I was going good at Ft. Collins and had a descent result. After getting in a high volume week of training with some work behind the scooter I knew I was going to be a little flat for the Boulder Cup weekend. Like many of us ‘cross racers here in Colorado, I consider Chris Grielish’s Boulder Cup a hometown race. Due to calendar conflicts with the World Cup in Europe, this years Boulder Cup was downgraded to a UCI Cat2 event. So, with a slightly more shallow talent pool, I was hoping to be able to get a good result. We kicked off the weekend of racing at the Colorado Cyclocross Classic. The course is on a peninsula at the Boulder Rez. A classic course with a couple of good power sections, mixed with some technical sections and some sand riding on the beach.
After getting involved with a course tape snafu on the first lap, I realized that didn’t have the legs I was hoping for. I pulled off a top 25, but didn’t really feel like there was much fight in the dog. On Sunday, we raced at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder. The legs had opened up and come around, but taking the wrong line through one of the sand pits early on, put me into a deficit. I was feeling better with every lap, but ran out of real-estate and came through in 20th. All though the result wasn’t that much better than the day before, I at least had a couple of glimpses of brilliance that I was looking for. I am headed back to the East coast this weekend to race the Cycle Smart International. This is a race that I’ve wanted to do for years, and I am psyched that it works with my schedule this season.
I am also looking to gain a little motivation from the book I just started, Behind the Stare. It’s written by the US National Team coach and EuroCross Camp Director, Geoff Proctor. Check it out!
Also check out this great interview with Jake on ProVeloPassion about recovery between races and the importance of sleep.