With Track Nationals 2014 over and done, and 1.5 weeks of doing effectively nothing, I jumped back on the trainer Tuesday night to re-start training again. However, my motivation was still low. As I did the sprint workout, it hit me: what am I training for? The goal of last summer was to get ready for track racing in the fall and see what I could do at the Provincials Crit. The goal of the fall was to become ready for track nationals. I am not at the point where I am looking to the future and seeing what it holds.
One of the things I was told when I started a new training plan last September, is that I race too much. There are two types of bike racing I like doing: Track and Criteriums - basically any race that is short. Anything much over an hour, and I get bored. Riding around for 2-4 hrs for a single sprint is not something I enjoy. I used to do it, but results are usually the same: I forget to eat/drink when the pace picks up, and I blow up. One can get away with that one the track and in a hour crit, but after 90 mins of intensity, the body runs out of stored fuel. I'm done.
In setting a goal for the 2015 season, I think I would like to make the Athens Twilight in Athens, Georgia my first A race. It is held at the end of April. I dd that race two years ago. In the morning, there are amateur qualifiers. The top 10 or 15 from each field places for the final. The races are short: generally, 30 mins in length. They are run on a 2.2km course with a 3% grade in it. It's really fast on the backside of the course, but for the 8 laps, its intense. Two years ago, it was the first time I experienced an "cyclocross" start in a crit. I will never forget it. The amateur final runs before the Pro races in the evening on the downtown course. Athens is a university town, and there are 10,000 screaming fans to cheer on the races. There is nothing like it. The idea is to place in the amateur final and be able to race on the downtown course. I don't expect to place in the final, because it is a combined field with everyone from CAT 1 to CAT 4 and CAT 1-4 Women. It will be a fast race, but that is the point. 45min of hard racing.
The second A race this season will be the Provincial Criterium. This year, it is the Via d'Italia race in Windsor. I had a lot of fun at the Provincials Crit in 2014, and managed to get into a break for 8 laps which was unfortunately below apart with 2 laps to go. It was the closest I have come to feeling I could win on the road. The Via d'Italia course is a long 1.6km course with some wide open roads. In 2012, I placed 7th overall in the M3 field. It will be interesting to see if I can repeat last years breakaway, and take up a podium spot. Of course, this is racing and everyone wants a great result.
Other things I intend to do, it focus on track racing starting around July. I intend to travel to Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, MI to get the track legs back before 2015 Track Nationals. When road and track collide, track will take precedence.
I think the biggest change this year is I will plan what races to race, and try to remember: I need to also plan for sufficient rest. No DNF's this year.
So, if you are looking for what you are training for, have a look at the Ontario Cycling Assoc. calendar and plan. Don't forget, there are some great races close to the border in Western New York. Be sure to consider them when planning your season.