Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Training - 2013 in Review

For me it's time to start thinking about next year. I mean, okay, I've been doing that for a year already, but this season is pretty much done. No more racing for me this year. I'm going to start training for next year, deal with some equipment maintenance, possibly hone some equipment choices (minor changes), and think about how to get back some of my lost speed.

I post everything to Strava nowadays. It's easy to access from anywhere, the offer a great "synopsis page", and I can get a quick snapshot of what I've done (and, similarly, what others have done). I still maintain some offline power data in Golden Cheetah and, prior to moving to Macs, I used WKO to store my power data. Strava, though, is the quickest way for me to get an overall view of my riding.

This is my 2013, which I probably should have "ended" at the end of September. Still, though, it's impressive to me.

Snapshot of the Training page from Strava

You can see some trends here. First, January is a high hour month. My hours drop off quickly because I got sick and stayed sick for a while (I'll blame it on Junior picking up colds at day care for a few months). I had no SoCal training camp so no 25-30+ hour week in there.

February I almost didn't ride - 8 hours for the month isn't great for me, and no rides in the second half of the month. I hurt my back, sleeping on a couch while holding Junior who was coughing up so much phlegm I was worried he'd choke. In fact for a while I was convinced he had whooping cough, and even though the doctor said no it was still kind of panicky sometimes, with him choking on phlegm while on his back. Laying on my chest helped so therefore that's what I did.

March and April I don't ride much - I basically race Bethel, do an easy ride here and there, and that's it. Bethel consumes my off-bike time, stresses me out, and basically forces me to do a very light two months of riding. This year I went into March weighing 181 pounds, a lot for post-2009 me. From 2004 and 2009 I sometimes hit Bethel at 200 lbs or even a touch more. In 2010 it was 158 or so. I gained weight steadily, I think entering 2011 at 168 and 2012 at 175 or so (I forget). At my higher weight, with virtually no riding in the prior 4 weeks, I knew the races wouldn't go well for me.

May through August normally is the heart of the season. Unfortunately once Bethel ended there weren't a lot of races for a while - a few were canceled, others had been moved up the schedule so they were on the same weekends as Bethel (but on Saturday), etc. I rode to pick up the van at Bethel (that's that spike in April), but otherwise I got into "summer mode", which is doing a day or two of training a week plus race on Sunday. Weather played a big role too - a lot of the Tuesday Night races got rained out so I lost an hour or so of riding each week there. I still managed to do 13-17 hours a month from May through August, with a few glimmers of hope amongst a myriad of DNFs.

September was unusual this year. We went away for a week to visit in-laws (to me). The Missus, having watched me get shelled regularly, encouraged me to train a bit, so I did. Not only did I train a lot, I did about a third of my total annual elevation in four days of training. I hoped that this would give me some fitness for a tough, end of season race in Hartford.

This didn't happen. I had a terrible race, shelled in less than 3 laps. This worked to give me solid motivation to keep training, keep losing weight, and to focus on my next race, the first race at Bethel in March 2014.


kendogz161 said...

Aki you are mad strong, I think you just have to find time to ride more. If you could ride a solid eight hour a week and start from there, I think you would kill the 2014 season. Good luck with it, I look forward to seeing you at the races. Thank your all of your help.

Aki said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I agree that riding more helps. It's tough but it's something I'd like to do. This year felt better than last year, when I was absolutely exhausted at the end of each day. This year I have some energy. This winter and next year, hopefully I can do even more. Thanks again for the encouragement.

kendogz161 said...

Anytime, you have helped me a lot with racing.