Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Taking Shape

I hear blog nation yearns for another posting.  See?  When a once-in-a-lifetime perfect season clogs the toilet like a giant 5-month turd, the plunger of pain stretches far and wide.

I've been spending some time lately putting together the plan, or as Mud & Cowbells would say, "Za Plan".  This is mostly a process of determining exactly how you royally screwed up last season, and putting together a new training plan with corrections that you'll mostly ignore or follow until hubris determines it must be set aside -- like on a group ride when some nitwit has the audacity to think about putting his rear wheel a clean couple of bike lengths ahead of you on a climb.

So, I've read the Training Bible a few times, and I'm getting to the point where I need some other perspectives.  Since my email isn't flooded with coaches offering to waive their fees, I glean what I can from people who've been there and done that.  This article also has some interesting insight; well, trust me, it does once you reverse engineer all the training data in the picture.

Anyway, this year will be ripe with changes:

1. Weeks are dead to me.  The idea that I need X hours or Y kilojoules in a week is a just a formula for disaster that leaves me putting in monster weekends to make up for a busy week of work, poor weather, or whatever else.
2. No mediocre days: make workouts more intense and rest days more light.
3. Fight burn-out.  I've done a complete 180 on the "listening to music while working out" debate.  Do whatever you've got to do to keep fresh.  Though, readers be warned, iPod-toting clowns walking 0.5 mph on the treadmill at LAC West will still draw my ire.
4. Four-week cycles are not for everyone.  They might be for me, but I'm not so convinced.  I'll try and pay better attention to the quality of my workouts to determine when extended rest is required.
5. Mix it up.  I'm swearing off the trainer.  When weather is a pain I've been making a concerted effort to hit the gym, either for lifting or running.  Ideally I'd keep one rest day every so often as a day to run -- this in an effort to be ready for some sprint workouts once 'cross beckons.
6. Train your weaknesses!  This is the one rule that everyone knows about but conveniently forgets.  So far I've been pretty good about this, but yikes, it's still early.

That's all for now.  I attached a couple pictures of my training plan -- 2007 vs. 2008.  If you read the Velonews article it should make some sense.

PS.  Check out the YouTube link to the right.  I'm catching up on 30 years of MTV.  New on the iPod these days are "Hard Promises" by Tom Petty and "Volume 1" from Traveling Wilburys.  Good stuff.

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