Testing out a New GoPro and Documenting a Week of Winter Training
Over the last four years I have spent far more time with TrainerRoad than I have with most of my teammates. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing, but it’s a reality. As a self-coached competitive cyclist, who is also a suburban dad and husband, I love designing a training plan in December and then doing my best to stick to it all winter long. As I have mentioned many times before, TrainerRoad suits my personality perfectly. I can establish a training baseline through a threshold test, determine a timeline to accomplish my goals, and then select and tweak a training program aimed at meeting those goals.
I think I would go crazy if all of my training time was spent on the bike, so I try to also include a fair amount of strength training and yoga. I have always loved lifting weights, so strength training is a joy to incorporate into a workout plan. However, even though I know flexibility is crucial for a 40 year old cyclist, a few yoga sessions per week is the element of my plan that is by far the most difficult to stick to.
The week that was documented in this short video (January 25-31, 2016) includes just over 11 hours of exercise. That is a pathetically low number in comparison to an elite cyclist as well as many riders I race against each year. However, it’s what I can afford and it works for me. I spent roughly 8 hours working through the second week of TrainerRoad’s “Short Power Build—High Volume” training plan and the rest was spent doing plyometrics, lifting weights, and begrudgingly doing yoga.
I have been a competitive cyclist for the last 5 to 6 years and had a few small moments of glory, but for a couple of different reasons the last two years have been complete busts. An inopportune crash at the beginning of the 2014 season and a new office job at the beginning of the 2015 season derailed a few concrete goals I had established at the beginning of the year. However, like any athlete or sports fan says at the beginning of a season, “this year is going to be different!”
The tangible goals I have set are always in the back of my mind as I walk down the steps to my chilly unfinished basement in January, but the real goal is always trying to beat my best year after year. I have never participated in anything that tests my physical limits as much as competitively racing a bike. At 40 years old I’m definitely starting to come to grips with my mortality. Working out like this for 10 to 15 hours a week helps clear my head, practice my focus, and challenge that impending mortality.
Thank goodness for chilly unfinished basements in January and the fortunate good health to continue to try to beat my best.