I am so happy to be in Santa Ynez, California this weekend. I love Colorado Springs, but so far this winter has been a tough one. We’ve had a few sustained periods of bitter cold, like many areas of the US in recent months, and I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to escape to warmer climates for training camps and competitions.
To be honest, a few weeks ago my 2014 season was looking pretty bleak. I was suffering from pain in my hip, I had a bad case of bronchitis, and the single-digit temperatures were crushing my motivation to train. Thankfully, the hip pain turned out to be bursitis and that’s on the mend, the bronchitis finally cleared out, and warmer weather always returns (eventually). The whole episode served as a great reminder, however, to be thankful for my generally good health.
I think athletes sometimes forget how good we have it because we’re so focused on pushing ourselves to get better and be better. So, before you head out for your weekend workouts, take a moment to recognize that you’re one of the fortunate ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re slower than you want to be, weigh more than you want to, or get dropped on every group ride; you have the opportunity to go out and work on getting better, and that in itself is awesome!
Now that I’m healthy again, I’m refocusing on some big goals that aren’t very far away. First up is the Bottega Gran Fondo in Napa Valley in April. In a twist on the gran fondo format there are only 300 riders and they get to select from a number of Team Leaders, of which I am one. Personally, I think the guest chefs at the event are the coolest part. CTS Athlete and celebrity chef Michael Chiarello hosts the event, and he’s lined up a who’s who of incredible chefs to be there (check out the whole list of chefs and team leaders). Great ride, even better wine, and some of the best chefs in the world. I’m in!
After Bottega Gran Fondo, May is going to be a big month. First I’m riding the Amgen Tour of California Race Experience (you can still join me, there are a few spots left), and then just a few weeks later I’ll race the Dirty Kanza 200 on gravel roads around Emporia, Kansas (you can join me for that one, too).
Since I feel like I’ve gotten a little behind in my preparation, I’m going to add the following workout to my program. If you’re in the same boat, it’s a great workout to add to your winter/early season training program. It’s a variation on the standard CTS OverUnder workout. It adds a little more punch (stimulus) than a typical Tempo workout, but it’s not as intense as the standard OverUnder, and it’s both interesting and engaging if you have to do it on an indoor trainer.
Mid-Winter OverUnder Workout:
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During a 60-90 minute endurance ride, incorporate three 10-minute OverUnder intervals. During the first one, alternate between Tempo intensity and SteadyState intensity each minute (first minute Tempo, second minute Steadystate, third minute Tempo, etc.). Take 5 minutes easy spinning recovery after the interval. For the second 10-minute interval, alternate between Tempo intensity and PowerInterval (full-throttle) each minute. Take 5 minutes easy spinning for recovery. Then for the third interval, return to alternating between Tempo and SteadyState Intensities each minute. Click here for more detailed descriptions and intensity calculations for the intensities (with the link this time…)
Please be sure to also check out the following news, articles, events, and offers:
- 4 Keys to Success for Time-Crunched Athletes: CTS Coach and my co-author on several books, Jim Rutberg, nailed it with this article for the Trainingpeaks blog.
- American Diabetes Association Press Release: I’m honored to be the National Spokesperson for the ADA Tour de Cure for 2014!
- CTS Chooses PowerTap as a Preferred Power Meter: Press release from our friends at PowerTap! CTS sells a number of different power meters, but only from companies we trust for quality, accuracy, and great customer service!
- Rebecca’s Private Idaho: Looking for your next great adventure? Try this incredible gravel journey through Idaho with CTS Athlete and original “Queen of Pain”, Rebecca Rusch.
- Hypoxico Altitude Training Systems: CTS is now an authorized dealer of Hypoxico systems. We have more than a decade of experience integrating altitude equipment into athletes’ training programs, so we can get you the gear and teach you how to use it!
Have a Great Weekend!
Carmichael Training Systems
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