Like everyone else in the cycling world, I want to be faster in 2010 than I was in 2009. That fact is like inalienable rights – a self evident truth. And one such that motivates otherwise rational adults to pursue ad nauseum an end which can never be obtained. Like golden windows on the horizon, one simply chases after them each and every day, only to discover upon arrival that they have moved on to yet another far and distant sunset. Until at long last the cold realization settles into the heart and mind that a lifetime has come and gone, with countless delusional spring mornings promising, but perhaps never delivering new legs and new fitness and those summer afternoons atop podiums and leader boards.
But then, that is the dream, is it not?
I am determined to turn empyrean visions into corporeal reality this year. Which means ignoring those golden windows (momentarily) and focusing on the bitter, hard work that is required to actually obtain something of substance and merit. Which means engaging in those unpleasantries like…training. Not every day can be a watershed day in the mountains snaking through singletrack or floating through powder. Some days have to be miserable, taxing, and utterly mind numbing – the indoor trainer, painful, contorted calisthenics and of course, laying off those culinary vices that contain taste and flavor.
How is it all going to be done?
Quite Simply (in theory):
I Have a Plan. Literally. Lynda Wallenfels has created several inexpensive pre-built training plans suited for a wide variety of ends in mind. If your summer is anchored around a 12 hour race, there is a plan for that. A 7-day stage race? There’s a plan for that. Cross-country domination? Yes, there is a plan for that also. My favorite part about these plans, other than that they are designed by a National Champion, is that they are flexible. You can adapt them to meet your schedule and your goals. If you are like me, and your winters are spent under snow, you can adapt the workouts to work on skis or runs. I’ve even incorporated some of them into my backcountry ski touring. Get an LW Coaching training plan for 2010. But only if you will not be racing against me, of course.
I’m dropping weight. There are two ways to lighten up. Shed grams on the bike itself, and drop fat from your love handles. I’m doing both. In 2010 I will be racing a 26-inch (gasp!) full suspension bike. It will, if the stars align, weigh in around 22 lbs. That is not exactly super-light, but it’s 4 pounds lighter than the bike I rode last year, and I still get to enjoy the cushion for the pushin’. I am also shedding pounds from my midsection. This is a slower, and somewhat more agonizing process than simply swapping out parts (although that would be cool, no?). But the downward trend is encouraging, even if it means I have slightly less cushion for the pushin’.
Underlying this all is still that desire to go outside. I’ll skip a trainer session of intervals for a day of backcountry touring without even thinking twice. I’ll ski the resort or the skate skis (thanks to Bart for setting me up with some loaners) rather than ride the road in sub-zero temperatures and pea-soup air quality. Inversion might destroy the valley, but the mountains are mercifully free of its clutches. Which is all part of my ongoing endeavor to embrace the winter. The snowy Wasatch is inspiring and beautiful. I see no viable reason to spend much of it in a basement staring at a blank wall while daydreaming of better, warmer, longer days.
But if that is what I have to do from time to time, then so be it.
After all, there are golden windows that need chasing.