May 05, 2008

Time to rest...and reflect

We are almost "there" and made it though the last major week of training before the Xterra West race... By choice and necessity we are turning it down until the race because we are totally spent!! I dont know if we were 100% recovered from Hurkey Creek but this week we pushed through a few hard workouts, stress at work and some interesting future plans with just enough energy to get out and enjoy the weekend. We are both overtrained for sure but I am stoked that Monique is so patient with me and we have no "workout" plans this weekend so we can start a easy shift until the race. Short, intensity, race simulation until race day from now on out...

We wore ourselves out all week with a crunch towards the weekend..... This week we started a company and finalized some plans so we were home Saturday morning to finish it up and get in a swim and then we were heading south again.. More biznesss...We made it out friday stopping to purchased a bike rack and camper shell for the truck(finally!) and made it just in time to stop the work and get on the trail with family. Perfect!! We headed out to El Moro with my Bro and the family to explore the trails and caves off of the lizard trail. Sick trail! I have never ridden it (yet) but will need to get back there fo sho.

My nieces and nephew are SOOO cute and SOOO big now! They say the funniest things and I wish we had more time to hang out with them. We will need to make some more plans and it was definitely overdue and time well spent. We made it out of the park just before the sun set and we were off to stay at my buddy Nicks house...

The next morning we got up early (felt super early!) and we were so tired... Drag our butts out to Temecula for the Xterra pre-ride/run review of the course. Temecula hot? Actually, it was not bad at all with a light breeze but who knows how it will turn out on race day. The longer race is starting a couple of hours earlier this year so hopefully that will help. I was really questioning going to the longer race after the first few climbs on the bike but I just need to suck it up and slow down and I will make it. Monique is ready to go and if Nick made the entire pre-ride when it was only his 4th or 5th time on a mountain bike then I gotta step up. Nick is ready to take it on however and is somewhat of a natural...

I also got to talk with Jon Clark after our run about training a bit and I learned a ton... Mostly confirmed my "theory" about volume and intensity but I think I can get much faster by changing a few things around...Maybe work on it next season but I am learning that you have to think "long term" when it comes to fitness and making changes. This year I was trying to maintain consistency and stay injury free. I have done that so far and this is probably the first time all year I feel overtrained but I have a rest ahead and I am injury free ;-)

Looking at the year (that is flyyying by) and some changes/lessons learned I see a few key areas where I can make HUGE improvements.

#1 - Frequency -
I went from riding 2 times a week average last year to about 3 this year. I also went from an average of 1 swim a week to about two now. BIG HELP! However, I think that if I could cut the volume of the sessions down and get in 4-5 times a week it would be an even better use of the time with better results
a) it would allow me more frequency to have specific sessions (skills, hills, etc) compared to "go out and swim/bike/run hard" a few times a week. I could "practice with a purpose"
b) it would allow for optimal recovery and focus on intensity. I could gain a lot from quality sessions of only 30min at a high intensity and still be able to recover to keep the frequency up.

#2 - Balance -
This takes on more areas than I could or care to explore right now but to be specific I need to work on the balance between the sports. I have been getting in a whopping 1-2 runs per week but at least one has been off the bike. I think every multisport athlete is constantly working on this and by adjusting #1 I should be able to get more frequency/balance between all sports.

#3 - Race Selection -
I love to race. I LOVE to race ;-)
This takes on two major areas for me
a) Going long requires you to focus on a few "key races" and it is really hard for me to give up a month our four for just one race. I signed up for three half ironmans and an ironman this year and I just cannot commit to putting away that much time for a few races... Maybe someday but it is just an expensive learning lesson for now.

b)I realized this year there is a BIG difference between racing for "fun" and really going for it at a state that is mentally and physically demanding enough to only do a hand full of times per season. This is yet another "filter" for race selection where I want to "perform" at my best. Pick it and stick it!

c)This follows to a final race selection that equals dirt. I love the dirt. I am not really interested in doing the ironman except to make the goal and push my limits but there are plenty of ways to do that without reaching for the Ironman. At best I would be pushing to break 10hrs or maybe make it to Kona.... Is that the ultimate endurance challenge? Would getting there be the journey that I am looking for? I would MUCH rather spend 24hrs in an adventure race with a team of friends getting scratched up from the brush, lost in the woods and push through the dark in the dirt. To me that is true accomplishment and good times and the road to the race could be built with lots of ultra trail runs, endurance mountain bike races and epic paddle sessions. Exciting!

So...Next year I think I will focus even more around off-road type racing. It just fuels me like nothing else. Adventure races, off road triathlons, trail runs and mountain bike races. Looking at my blog I am also shocked at how much time is focused on the "bike". I have only done the Vision Quest and Hurkey Creek races but I think I will spend more time on the bike than anything else and have never done a cross country race. I may give one a go this year and try to do a series of some sort next year.

Wow... I was going to pop out a quick post but this was more insightful than I thought!! ;-)

Good times and rest ahead

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