I’ll be helping to lead a new program that The Bike Lane is kicking off this year. It’s a program geared towards the Shenandoah Mountain 100 mountain bike race in the George Washington Forest. It’s an epic race, with some amazing climbs and descents, including some very technical sections. The program includes a weekly training schedule, clinics, and group sessions (including some pre-riding of the course). You can find out more details here. It’s a steal at $300 for a 6-month program.
One aspect to goal setting for the new year is to decide on the races you want to do. There are races that you want to do well in and others that are simply fun races that you enjoy doing. There are lots of reasons why we all race and generally they include doing well and being competitive.
In cycling, we often prioritize our races as A, B, or C races. Generally, the priority refers to how competitive and fresh we want to be for the race. It’s important to prioritize your races so you (or your coach) knows how to manage your training schedule for the season.
A Race. An A race is a race you want to focus your season on. You will be managing your workouts to bring you to a peak for this race and to have a pretty big taper to get your fresh as well. This generally means that after the event, you will have compromised some fitness for this event, but since it’s your A race, that’s the point. A good example for an A race might be national championships. However, you may actually not have an A race, which is perfectly fine.
B Race. Your B races are ones that you want to be competitive in but are not necessarily season goals. This could be important races that you want to get upgrade points in or otherwise do well, but you don’t want to sacrifice too much fitness for this type of race. This will be the bulk of the races for the season typically.
C Race. A C race is a participation event where you don’t need to be competitive. This could be a training race or a race where you’ll do some work for the team. Another example might be a second race in the same day in which your strategy is to focus on the first race and merely complete this second race. It’s fine to have some C races in your plan, but you probably don’t want to have too many of these either or you won’t really be having fun in your races.
So make sure you give some thought on why you’re doing a particular race and set some goals for the event itself, including prioritizing the race as an A, B, or C race.
Winter is still in full effect, throughout my area at least. I know that I’m a little tired of cold weather riding and yearn for those warmer days that will come with spring-time riding.
Hang in there! The key to remember is that those who persist, continue to put in the efforts required, are the ones who will make progress and have the best results during the upcoming season. The “off season” is the the ideal time to build upon last seasons results and set yourself up for a great year this year.
Whether you’re grinding through another trainer session or enduring frozen fingers and toes during a long outdoor endurance ride, continue to persevere. Those folks who give in and short cut their workouts now will be steps behind you while you are continuing to make progress. Keep it up and have a great season this year!