The Daily Grind: Finding Some Rhythm
There is nothing I hate more than the opening weeks of training for a new season. Coming out of the off-season those first few intervals feel like death even at power levels that would have been a breeze four months earlier. Thankfully I have also been racing long-enough to know that this is all part of periodization and as soon as you fall into a training rhythm your legs and numbers both start to improve.
The two weeks since introducing the Daily Grind have been focused on just that - getting into a training routine. Which for me is as much about finding enough breaks from ‘real life’ to get in the training that plays a big role in ‘bike life.’ Thankfully our team coach, Jacob from Cycle-Smart, emphasizes finding a realistic balance between those two often times opposing lives. In my case this means relatively modest weekly duration with a focus on time efficiency. In pursuit of this time efficiency I do the vast majority of my weekday work indoors. Since it only takes 5 minutes to prep for a trainer ride I can fit in one of our sprint workouts including getting kitted up in well under 60 minutes. And every minute saved is an extra minute of sleep that I desperately need these days.
Longer weekend trainer sessions are definitely more of a drag (my annual Zwift Century two weeks ago notwithstanding) but thankfully this past weekend had a treat in store with temperatures in the high 40’s. With that sort of weather the squad was out in force both days. For Saturday Jacob prescribed tempo work so I headed out with one of the smoothest wheels I know, the now bearded Roger Parmelee, for 3ish hours of steady high-tempo / low-threshold work with Lisa hanging out in our draft throughout. It turned out to be a pretty perfect day on the road and a reminder that my legs are (slowly) improving. We even snagged a few photos of the team's fleet of Garneau D1's:
On Sunday the squad had total freedom assigned in TrainingPeaks. Not to give away the secret's of Jacob's training recipe but it's a good feeling when your workout description starts with "Today's focus is mainly fun and enjoying riding your bike. It can be road, mountain or cross." This is definitely our favorite workout format. So with a big group the team rolled across the GWB and set about some hard paceline work on 9W. Hard enough that a few of our crew was slightly cracked by the end, but fun was definitely had and there is plenty of time to recover with a rest day coming up the following day.
There is still a lot of hard work ahead given how much of a hole I am starting in fitness wise. But on the bright side of things my training load is headed in the right direction for the first time since last May and having the majority of the team working with Cycle-Smart has been a great addition to the season thus far. Now if I can keep finding enough breaks from 'real life' to keep the training regimine going...