So here we are in mid March. Winter has come and gone, and Marin County is in full bloom. Cold mornings and warm sunny afternoons hog the weather forecasts, while the daylight savings shift allows for some after work pedaling. I think I can comfortably say that the off season is over, and we are now into part one of the actual bike racing season. As I sit here and type this, Milan San Remo is in full effect, the best of the best are battling it out on snow and ice covered roads for the beloved "sprinters classic", La Primavera.
Zooming back in, what does this time of year mean for Scott and I as we move into the second part of the season. Long slow base rides are automatically shifting, and the mental capacity for 6-7 hour days in the saddle starts to fade. For me, this is a logical time to take small rest, and put down onto paper some plans for the next few months. The race is the first week of July, so that leaves just about 14 or 15 weeks left of actual training time. This includes rest weeks, and most of this block I will be working full time. It is so important to think realistically about training blocks. The reality for me is that I will not be able to simulate 7 big 60+ mile days on the dirt. I will need to sort of "fake" my body out in a way. The goal is to enter the race with a full mental and physiological tank.
I was able to get a good block of days in Maui earlier this month, and it really is a whole different animal. First and foremost, the riding was breathtaking. We live in a pretty special place here in our little corner of Nor Cal, and new places obviously get compared immediately to what we have right outside the front door. Maui was at this same level for sure. The air is so warm and sweet, and the colors are so vivid. Bright blues, greens, purples and reds around every corner. It was something I will never forget. It was such an intense contrast of emotions and feelings.
After 4 days of hard 5-6 hour rides, the body becomes very sensitive to all sorts of new things. Food, sleep, bike position, and gear all matter so much more. Little discrepancies can sort of pile up and create problems. For example, a small cleat position error on my part has me in physical therapy right now healing a strained hamstring. These are all great lessons to learn now, and not 4 days into a week stage race across Spain.
I will be setting small, short range goals for myself over the next 6 weeks. First and foremost is to get my body healthy again so that I can handle another large training block. My January-March period this year was probably, my biggest block ever volume wise. Now, I will rest up, heal up, and sort my new race bike out. My next post is going to be a full gear update.
I am really excited to test out some new super light XC race gear. Both Scott and I are going to be running SRAM's new XX-1 11-speed mountain bike gruppo through the Pyrenees. I am looking forward to some big Marin loops on the 20 lb hardtail. Since I live in Terra Linda, I can link up just about any fire road in Marin right from my place. The ultimate goal is to go all the way out to Mt Vision and back along the ridge lines. More to come soon on my new Pivot LES!