Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The best laid plans

As a part of 2014, I realized that I had to do something different than 2013 to meet the goals that I had laid before me.  For 2013 my big goals were to complete the Assault on Mt Mitchell and to ride at least 400mi/month on average (but aim for 100mi/week average).  I completed all of these goals, riding over 5,400 miles and completing the Assault as my first English Century.  What I realized is that without a comprehensive training plan, I was expending a lot more work than I should have needed to in order to complete the first of these goals, and by having goals that were distance-based I was setting myself up for always feeling like I had to be on the road gathering miles.  I signed up for 3 "major" events for 2014, which I will consider my "hard goals", and I'm working on the "soft goals" for additional requirements along the way.  The events that I've signed up for at this point are:

  • The Assault on the Carolinas - 62mi ride in the early spring that was one of my favorites from last year.  Starts and ends in Brevard, NC and benefits the Rotary in Transylvania County.
AOTC 2013 finish line

  • Beech Mountain Metric - this is a new event for 2014, and is a metric century event in Beech Mountain, NC.  Starts and ends at ~1mi above sea level, this is going to be a challenging climbing event.
  • The Ride to Remember - this is a 3 day event where riders travel from Simpsonville to Charleston, SC.  Proceeds from this ride benefit the Alzheimer's Association. The lengths increase from 60mi to 80mi and culminating with a 100mi ride to the coast.  240mi in 3 days will be a real challenge, and will test my ability to recover and prepare.  This is also a fundraising event, so I will be working on creative ways to gather support for the ride.

Beyond the planned events, I have a few other goals I would like to cover in the process.  

  • Complete a training plan -  This one sounds easy enough, but sticking to a 10-12 week plan is very challenging.  It means finding a way to ride when riding is the last thing you want to do.  It will mean NOT riding when I should be resting, and preparing myself mentally and physically for the rest of the year.  So far I am working my way through a training plan using Training Peaks right now that will finish right before the Assault on the Carolinas.  It is going to be very challenging, but I think it will ultimately be very beneficial.
    Feb 3-9 training log.

  • Quality over Quantity - Instead of just putting in miles all the time, I'm focused on my rides having a purpose.  If this means spending an hour with The Sufferfest to get a workout to target certain aspects, or just following the training plan, giving my workouts a purpose should allow me to do more with less time on the bike.  
  • Balance Bike & Family time - last year to meet my mileage based goals I ended up riding on both Saturday and Sunday ... a LOT.  This meant taking time away from my duties as a husband and father.  This year I am looking to balance that out, making sure to not rush out on the bike when I don't need to, and getting my other goals accomplished around the house.  I'm hopeful that this can extend to finding a way for the whole family to spend time on the bike together as well.
Taking a Water Break

    With focused goals that are within my own ability to control and manage, I think 2014 will be another good year on the bike.  

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