I hope my post finds you all doing well this holiday season! I am doing wonderful. Winter season is now upon us and here on the west coast we are very lucky that we can ride just about 365 days a year while some other places around the year are indoors riding trainers for the next couple months. I have taken that to heart and have begun to implement a little bit of treadmill and trainer workouts into my routine especially when it is 29 degrees outside at 4:45 in the morning.
Winter Break has just begun for me which means no school and lots of work and even more training. Racing season is quickly coming around the corner and I will be starting my season in January with a local Crit series to work on bike handling and group racing tactics. For those of you who don't know what a Crit is I will explain. A Crit or Criterium race is a bike race on a very small course about 1 kilometer or less with anywhere from 50 to 75 bike racers racing around the course for 45 minutes and the first person to cross the line without being lapped is the winner. In many crits they have special laps called primes and a prime is a lap which is designated by the ringing of a cow bell in which the first person to cross the finish on that given lap will win a small prize. Crits can become hairy because they are such small courses usually with tight turns and many riders going into them they can cause very large spills if people aren't careful with there bike handling skills and alert of everyone around them. January will mark the first time I will race in those races. I am just hoping to get a grasp of strategy and comfort in large groups the first couple of goes and who knows maybe at the end of the month I will try and set myself up to win a few of them but we will see.
Also during Christmas I have upped the amount of swimming to help with speed and endurance so that I remain in the lead groups during draft legal triathlons rather than having to attempt to play catch up during the bike portion and be tired on the run. this has been my favorite portion so far especially training because it's the warmest in the pool. I'm working on some new running technique which includes running with a metronome to work on turnover speed no matter how fast or slow I'm supposed to be running. Right now i have it set to 178 beats per minute but i want to work it up to 182 beats per minute by racing season. I'm starting to see a lot of benefit including softer and quieter landing. News on the bike has been great I feel this is where the greatest improvement has been for me. My average speed has gone up while maintaining heart rate and my body has become part of my new time trial bike that has been given to me graciously from my new bike sponsor specialized bicycles. Locally we have a few time trials that are recorded with best times and recently I broke one time trial record by more then 30 seconds and the other one I had tied it. if you want to check them out go to www.strava.com create an account and see the posts for Santa Maria, California and look for different segments I'm trying to earn a few hill climbs now as well.
As for racing season we have made one change. The Olympic Training Center has requested that I participate in a few draft legal races to see how I perform in that setting so I will be adding my first draft legal triathlon in March in beautiful Clermont, Florida. I look forward to this opportunity to race the sprint triathlon with some of the countries best. For those who don't know what a draft legal triathlon is it has the same rules as a non-draft legal triathlon except the fact that you are able to draft off others and work together on the bike portion. This changes the tactics of triathlon dramatically. Now you don't want to go all out on the bike and ride off the front because others are going to sit on your wheel behind you and not do any work and still be in the lead group so they can work you down on the run while they are rested and you spent the whole bike up front. Draft legal triathlons have become a swimmer and runner sport with the bike becoming unimportant portion in some aspects of what it take to win the race.
With that I will part with you guys today and will be posting soon. If you have any questions pertaining to anything I have written or any other questions about training or racing feel free to leave them in the comment box where I will be able to answer them in upcoming blogs.