How do I fit in training time around family obligations? I commute to work by bike. It’s only 6 miles each way so I supplement that with a lunch time ride of 70-80 minutes. That means I put in about 8-10 hours on the bike during the week with no rides longer than 22-25 miles. That works out just fine for cyclocross since my races aren’t much longer than an hour. Lately I’ve been getting around 90 minutes on Sunday on the rollers while my son naps.
I’ve made the choice to make my riding as transparent as possible to my family because in twenty years I’m sure I won’t be wishing I’d spent more time riding my bike. My wife and two children are my first priority and I have curtailed my racing ambitions appropriately. That said, I’d like to race at as high a level as I can given my time constraints.
This spring, my first order of business is to lose weight. After the holidays (lots of food and not so much riding) I had put on ten pounds (192) over the weight I raced at last season (mid to low 180’s). Last season’s racing weight is at least 15 pounds heavier than I should be. I have a target of weighing 165 pounds by June 4. Over the past four weeks I’ve lost ten pounds so that means I’m 182 pounds right now. I’ll need to lose seventeen more over the next eight weeks.
Since the cyclocross season is pretty far distant, I’m not doing structured intervals yet. What I am doing is riding some moderately hilly terrain at lunch. I power up the hills and then recover on the descents and flats. There are a couple of long low grades where I incorporate some tempo like riding as well. Once a week I hit the hills on Prune Hill. There are seven ways to the top of Prune Hill and most of them boast sections steeper than 10%. Thus far I’ve eschewed the two roads with sections above 15% but I’ll be mixing them in pretty soon. I can get more than 2,000 feet of climbing crammed into 20 miles or less. There’s a killer .84 mile climb that averages about 10% that makes for some challenging hill repeats.
I am considering racing some local weekly training races over the summer. If I decide to do that, I’ll start some intervals soon and plan on structuring a two peak training plan. If I bail on those races, then I’ll begin intervals in August. In early September, I’ve got a family vacation planned so I’ll have five consecutive days off the bike which should help me fully recover before really ratcheting up the intensity to build for the season.
As far as the season goes, the early races are training. The later season races like district championships and the USGP dates are the ones I’ll be shooting for. I’d really love to score a top ten finish in a Crusade race and get in the top twenty at one of the USGP races.