As I was walking across a timed crosswalk last night, something occurred to me. You see I was walking across 4 lanes of traffic, so probably about 80-90 feet of roadway. The crosswalk was timed at 30 seconds and it took me about 13 seconds to cross. Back in High School I ran the 100 meters in the low 12s, maybe even the high 11s once. I used to run 333 feet faster than I walked across that roadway last night!
What does this have to do with anything you may ask? Well, honestly not much, but it did get me thinking.
You see, I’ve been battling the past few years with being “semi-retired” from racing bikes. The battle consists of wanting to still be “fast” but also not have to worry about actually “training”. I just want to ride my bike, run when I feel like it, hike when it suits me, and anything else that falls into outdoor exercise/exploration.
However, I found myself getting frustrated with my results in the 5K, 10K, and duathlons I did last year. The one mountain bike race I did was almost embarrassing how slow I felt. I am comparing things to when I was 1) younger and 2) way more diligent about actual consistency in my “training”. While I know I am going to get slower as I get older, it’s the 2nd point that I have the most control over.
I’ve never been a guy who did serious “training” (intervals, sprints, threshold rides, etc). I did recovery rides on Monday, fast group rides Tuesday that were brutal, longer slow rides Wednesday and training races on Thursday, Friday was rest or easy spin, then race on the weekends. I have no clue what my VO2 Max is or my peak watts. Frankly I don’t care. I raced bikes since I was 16 because it was fun, the scene was cool, and I actually got some results now and again. I got burnt out on bike racing for a few years in the mid 2000’s and that is when hiking and eventually running came back into my life.
What I am utterly aware of is my need for goals. I tend to do better when I have a target to strive for. Racing bikes was an April – September thing. Back then it was easy to stay focused for 10 months. Lately the few half marathons were very goal oriented, and can be done in about 12-16 weeks of training. The bonus is that they allow me to still ride my bike a fair amount at the same time. I’m going to always choose bike over running first, but I digress…..
In 2014 I picked out a handful of duathlons and 5-10Ks. Then July hit and I had no more goals for the rest of the year. After July my riding was inconsistent and my running was pretty weak and lackadaisical too. It was the lack of a specific target or goal that was a large part of that.
My point I guess is that I am focusing 2015 on 2 things.
- Bend ½ Marathon
- The OBRA XC MTB series
The half marathon will help me get through winter with some specific training, but enough free time to ride too. I want to take a serious crack at the bike racing thing again this coming year and see how it plays out. While I know I’m not going to be as fast as I was when I was 25, I also am more concerned now with age group results compared to overall results. There’s some fast 40+ year olds out there though.
So, we’ll have to see were things lead and how the year develops. Does this mean I am going to go get a power meter and start doing 20 minute threshold intervals? Heck no, it just means that I have something to focus on and from there can structure my workouts similar to what I used to do 10 years ago. It worked then, and it should work again.
I’ll still be camping, hiking, and doing exploration/touring rides too. I’ll just have to fit those into the schedule.
Hopefully I don’t drive Mia nuts this year.
Thanks for reading,