January 18, 2011

J.F.T. - "Just........Train"

I made the conscious decision (with a little help from some folks poking and prodding me) to not do a bike test today. I know that may come as a surprise for those who know me well, but it’s a decision that I’m sticking by and one that I ultimately know will make me better. As a numbers guru, I’ve always been one to stick to the numbers. So this year with me riding with specific wattage goals and an intensely accurate gauge of how to test and/or complete workouts is extremely beneficial. I’m not going to say I’m a slave to the numbers, but when you put an accurate reflection of my effort in front of me, the “type A” personality takes over and my competitiveness strives me to constantly try and best my prior efforts.
So, I’m of the mindset that the watt-o-meter has made me a more mature athlete (because Lord knows, I’m rarely mature in any other aspect of my life!) I’m actually sticking to my plan that I’ve set out this year (hours per week, when workouts are, etc) and completing a basic week to build on week over week. I actually feel like I have a plan for this year, as opposed to just kind of following a loosely structured outline of a plan. This will be my 7th season of long course racing and I feel like I almost know what the hell I’m doing. With that being said I want to point out an awesome article written by a triathlete in Minnesota about the differences between being self-coached and un-coached.

Honestly, this article pretty much sums my training up to a “tee” before I realized what I was doing. The points that he makes about him changing training rides mid-ride and not really doing too much interval work and just generally being completely unfocused and scatter brained with his training resonated with me. I think we’ve all fallen into the trap of heading out for a moderate ride and feeling good, so upping the tempo into a fast paced ride and then having another workout later on in the week suffer. It’s a vicious cycle and not a good one to fall prey to.
So, today I will not be testing. As my own coach, and hopefully being SELF coached and not UN coached, I know that the zones that I have set up are not too far out of whack right now. Additionally the recovery from testing highly outweighs the fine tweaking of my zones for the time being. (that’s not to say after another 3-4 week build, I won’t be ready to change) But for now, I’m going to focus on just getting the miles in, introducing some tempo styled efforts and having the vast majority of my ride be in that endurance zone so that I can grow my aerobic base and be more than ready for the 2011 season. There is no doubt in my mind that my bike will be where it needs to be come July. And if I train the way I know I should on the run, that marathon that I know I am capable of is well within reach. So as the title and picture depicts, JFT my friends, just get out there and train. Cheers.


Anonymous said...

I have been waiting for this post for a good 4 seasons. YES!

Tim said...

Travis, we of the Kokoryu-kai salute you. You fought with bravery and inspiration. I hope I didn't blow your whole season by pushing the pace too much last night then? (Insert tons of sarcasm here).
No, good for you man. You have a goal and a plan to achieve it. Don't think I won't keep trying to get you to deviate from it and do fun things spur of the moment. Firms plans are good but flexible ones don't break. Don't listen to me though, I wouldn't know a training plan if I accidentally sat on the training log for it.

Good luck Travis.