August came and went in a flash mostly because, as planned, I took the month off the bike. I did a few rides here and there but they were generally easy rides and none of them were “training” rides. I agree with Chris Carmichael that competitive cyclists need a break from training and racing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean getting off the bike entirely. I also added strength training to my weekly regement. The program I put together focused on total body strength with a focus on legs. (It’s been two weeks since my last leg workout and I still feel it on the bike!)
On September 1 everything changed. The knobbies came out of storage and I started my CX training program. The program is designed to peak for the MO CX Championships and the US Nationals. It’s a 3-week macrocycle program–2 weeks of build followed by 1 week of active recovery. I’m anxious to see how this format lines up with the racing season. In addition to the two peak races, I would also like to be competitive, i.e on the podium, for the Da Stad Cyclocross Van Kansas Series. I don’t know if that will fit into my schedule, though.
Two weeks into the program and I can already feel the results, both from CX training and base gained through the summer. First, my legs are tired. The upcoming recovery week will be welcome. Second, I feel a lot stronger during CX-specific workout. Crossing the sand pit isn’t nearly as tough as it was last year! And, finally, I’m mentally focused and eager to race.
I’ve added running to my schedule but this is the one workout segment that I haven’t been too good about doing consistently. I’m running but not on schedule. I’m not too worried about it, though, because I’ve felt really comfortable during runs. My biggest running concern for the season are the 60 stairs of eleveation at the MO Championship course.I don’t know that any amount of running will prepare for that suffer fest.