I road about 550 hours in 2017, with a fairly structured approach. I didn't accomplish all of my goals for 2017. Still the goals did set a good direction. The 2018 goals:
- Be healthy and ride safely. I fell five times in 2017, nothing in the serious category. Still, falling is unpleasant - a bruise or sprain that one upon a time would go away in a couple of weeks takes a couple months. Could be something to do with age. It would be nice to fall zero times in 2018. To be able to peddle is a gift. I'm lucky. So, I'll be appreciative; I'll be mindful and focussed in all the riding. Every time I set out for a ride I know I'm at risk. I'll manage the risks as best I can.
- Ride three of the Gran Fondos: Leavenworth, Ellensburg, and Winthrop. I'd like to ride the other two Gran Fondos - they look great! - but I don't think my schedule will allow it.
- Try to work in some long randonneuring rides into my training. I'd like to give a 400K and 600K ride a whirl.
- Core strength: Learn to love planks and bridges. Try to build in core strength training throughout the year. Work towards greater variation in the core routine. Start to explore how weights can be brought into my near-daily routine.
- Peddling. Keep working at the improvements to my peddling. (1) One-legged peddling at the start of recovery rides. (2) Work at leg speed (warmup routine). (3) Do big gear low cadence drills and variable peddling cadences on hills. (4) Become comfortable standing while climbing for 15 min.
- Structured training and periodization. (1) Aim for about 550 hr of training this year - that was doable in 2017. (2) Take a recovery week after two hard weeks - recovery weeks are awesome! (3) Do one 4-6 hr ride/week. (4) Work towards doing 2-3 hours of threshold / VO2 Max work / week. (5) Explore training blocks within a week - e.g., back to back days of threshold work, then a recovery day; 4 hr/day + 4 hr/day) (6) Lots of controlled climbing, working various peddling cadences.
- Work up to and try for stupid hard threshold work-outs. For example, work up to 4 x (20 min. HARD + 4 min. EASY) and 3 x (30 min. HARD + 4 min. EASY) in high Z4.
- Pair threshold workouts-outs with V02 Max workouts. Last year I didn't too much in the way of threshold workouts. Instead, I focussed on weekly V02 Max workouts (4-6 x (8 min. HARD + 4 min. Easy) in Zone 5). There is, I believe, a good deal of debate on the relative merits of VO2 Max v. threshold workouts. But, this year I'm going to try to strike balance of these two kinds of workouts, especially over the last 10 weeks of training that leads put to GF Leavenworth.
- Re-working the bike. Looking forward to putting on new chainrings and a new drive train and replacing the cables and back changer. I also need a new front wheel - the rim is worn out - so I'm looking forward going through that process of figuring out spoke lengths and wheel building.
I saw Frank Colich on my evening commute a few days ago. He's looking fit! Looking forward to being out there riding with Frank - well at least trying to stay with him! - and all the other fit and skilled riders.