Archive for January, 2010

A New Season Underway

The Tour Down Under started today, sort of.  An unusual format to a stage race, a criterium that doesn’t count toward the overall standings, yet is still somehow part of the TDU.  Good thing they have the day off tomorrow to recover; you don’t want to push them that hard this early in the season.  I guess it’s also good that there’s no serious climbing stage.  Or time trial.  If there’s such a thing as an emphatic “meh”, then this race earns it.

I’m not here to hate on the race, not at all.  It’s good to have something to follow this time of year besides transfers, legal mumbo jumbo and other detritus.  Up until this year, the TDU was a prelude to the first race on the calendar I had genuine interest in, the Tour of California.  Sadly, I have to wait until mid-May for Cali.  All I have in February now is the GP Tom Boonen Tour of Qatar.  I’ll really be jonesing for Paris-Nice.

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Topics to Ponder

Last year at this time I was musing the year that was.  However, this time around I just didn’t have the motivation to look back.  Overall it was a sub-par year for me.  There was a metric assload of rain in July and August and my total miles were down around 25%.  Now it’s January and I am wrestling with the traditional winter issues of weight gain and trainer rides.  I need to look forward, not back.  It’s time to do a status check.

Here’s what’s going on right now:  Starting 4-ride weeks on the trainer.  I have just enough cycling clothes to do this.  They will take the form of two interval workouts and two tempo rides.  I need to increase the volume and I don’t want to burn myself out on constant lung-burners.  No January Champions here.

I’m going to do one tempo ride on the weekend and fit the other three in mid-week.  This should be a fun exercise in reovery.

I want to train for a century this year, but not like I have done in the past.  No, this will be what I’m calling a “Circuit Century”.  This past summer I added a loop route to my stable of rides.  It measures about 10 miles per lap.  Yep, I want to take a shot at 10 laps.

If it’s anything like riding a more conventional century, there will be at least two brief stops.  I’m going to need them to to refuel and keep my sanity.  I’m liking the idea.  I just hope it’s not stupid.  (FYI, 4 laps was my max last year on that route)

Speaking of riding longer distances, I need to give my most precious contact point greater support.  More specifically, the Canari Velo II shorts I have had since 2006 are nearing the end of their run.  I bought a pair of Performance Elite bibs with a gel chamois, and mostly like them.  The gel chamois is a little rough at times, but nothing a little chamois cream shouldn’t help.  I’d like to get a couple more of these, but experience tells me to go for the foam padding.  Ride and learn.

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