After the last race of 2013 on 3 October, I told myself I would take a month off the bike. I would eat, drink (lots), and be an über merry TURTLE as Oktober Fest here in Germany was in full swing. I would put the “H” back in “hang” and the “K” in “kick’n it” . . . it was going to be on like Donkey Kong!
Well, that lasted 10 days. I just could not stay away from my bike. I am a bike addict. It is the crack that I need to make it through a day, week, or month. My legs craved a steady and continued fix and after 10 days I could not take the shakes any longer. To the bike I went.
On 13 October I started riding and soon sat down with Coach Quest (Dragon Quest Coaching) to analysed my season (it was not very pretty . . . in fact is was rather pathetic), I decided to do better, and set goals for 2014. I started pushing chips across the table early. I was ALL IN by the end of the first week back on the bike.
Pencil, paper, my scale (a was far from biker lean), and some higher level mathematical proofs (power to weight ratio and training consistency) revealed I needed to change my methods if I truly wanted to improve. So I set out to do just that . . . new focus, specific goals and a plan to make it happen.
The first target was the TURTLE shell. It needed consistent training and no excuses. I pressed Coach Quest for a plan. I read Coggan’s book Training and Racing with a Power Meter, I read Freil’s The Cyclist Training Bible, I dusted off my Carmichael Training System DVDs, and then I argued with my Coach time and time again when I thought the plan was not right. I was determined to change the results of last season.
As with most efforts, the initial steps are easy. I watched my fitness start to climb and became addicted to the little blue line, TrainingPeaks Chronic Training Load (CTL). I bounced ideas off my Evolution Cycling Club Brothers . . . SHAGGY (Jeff Erler), CHEWIE (Luke Majewski), DIVA (Luis Infante), and Kent. I argued with my Coach so more, I sacrificed sleep to train, and I entered a deal of no alcohol until training camp (which is next week). No German beer, no martinis (I am so craving one now), no evening wine down glass of lovely red. It was all off the table. I weighed my food and controlled my portions. I documented what I ate . . . I got a little (really rather a lot) obsessive compulsive and would almost feel pain when I missed a workout or logging my food. Yeah, it got crazy in the TURTLE House.
I also targeted my bike and snatched a replacement frame off eBay. I cashed in a retirement account, sold all my spare parts, and asked John’s Radhaus to pimp it out. He did just that and the rig is ready for action. I set a plan in motion to eliminate every excuse I could have. It would be up to my legs to deliver on the vision in my little cranium now. It was and remains ON!!!
I plotted a plan to be race ready on or about 1 March. I wanted to be 70 kg (started last season at 76 kg) and a CTL of 100 (last season I started the season with a CTL of 30). I fell a bit short (71 kg, CTL of 65) but on the eve of race #1 of the Schmolke Carbon Cup and a flight to Virginia on Monday for Evolution Training Camp, I am ready as I have ever been. My stomach is currently doing cheetah flips as I packed one bike for the plane and prepped the other to race tomorrow.
An easy spin is about to start followed by removing my beard and stubbled hair from my legs. I believe Albert Einstein is attributed with this definition of Insanity:
“…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…”
Well this winter I did not repeat the days, weeks, and months of winters past. I trained over 183 hours and rode over 4500 km. As my season starts tomorrow there are no excuses for me to list. I am expecting a different result . . . BRING IT!