Weekend Reading: The Best Way to Wrap Up a Great Racing/Training Season

Wow, August is over already!? This summer has flown by and hopefully you’ve made the most of it. It’s been an incredible summer for CTS Athletes, and I need to give a huge shout-out to Gregory Brenes of the Champion Systems Pro Cycling Team on his incredible performances for 6th place overall at the USA Pro Challenge and 15th overall at the Tour of Utah! Gregory is one of the Costa Rican athletes that CTS Coach Adam Pulford works with, and it was awesome to watch him climb and time trial with the top Pro Tour riders in the Pro Challenge!

Throughout the summer I’ve tried to call out and recognize the accomplishments of many athletes, amateur and elite, but in reality I’ve only scratched the surface. I wish all of you could be in the office on Monday mornings to hear all the great news that comes in from weekend races and events!

Along those lines, I recently posted a list of CTS Leadville 100 Athletes and it turns out my list was incomplete. I really want to make sure everyone gets the recognition and kudos they deserve for their efforts at Leadville, so here’s the list of athletes who were inadvertently left off the original list. And to view the complete list, go HERE. Congratulations on a great day at Leadville, we hope to see you all out on course for the 2014 race!

Name Time Category Coach Notes
Chris Jenkins 7:50 M4 Daniel Matheny  
David Johnson 8:22 M4 Daniel Matheny  
Joe Kraxner 8:57 M3 Daniel Matheny First time under 9 hours
David Torres 9:50 M5 Daniel Matheny  
Tom McBeain 11:37 M5 Brandon Babiracki PR, first time under 12 hours
Charlie Smith 11:48 M5 Allen Yip  

At the end of August a lot of athletes start to think about wrapping up their summer seasons. Many of you have already completed your major goal for the season, or it’s coming up in the next few weeks, and you’re left to wonder what to do next.

I want to encourage you to go out with a BANG! You have a tremendous amount of fitness right now. You’re lean. You’re strong. You probably have greater power numbers and can hold faster paces than you could a few weeks ago or a few months ago. It’s time to leverage that fitness, have some fun with it, and set yourself up for an awesome 2014.

I look at September through November as a great time to put fitness in the bank. Over the next 8 weeks, the weather will start to change, but it will still be warm and sunny. Use this time to pack in the miles; you’re making deposits into a bank of fitness you’ll be able to withdraw from during the cold and dark winter that’s swiftly approaching.

If you let your fitness erode out from under you now, you’ll have nothing to sustain you through the winter and you’ll emerge next spring back where you were last February. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like working for a full season only to lose everything I worked for and start over again. Especially for athletes around my age (nearly 53 years old) and anyone training like a time-crunched athlete, you can’t expect to perform better in 2014 if before the end of 2013 you lose the majority of the fitness you currently have.

In some ways, we’re all like the bear I rode by earlier this week on my way up Cheyenne Canon. He was sitting there gorging himself on berries because he knows winter is coming and it’s time to stock up on calories. If he doesn’t, he won’t have the energy to survive hibernation. In your case, it’s time to stock up on training miles and hours, or you risk being weak as a cub by the time the first spring tulips pop out of the ground.

For myself and the athletes I coach (I have a few spots open for the next 12-months. Respond to this email if you’re interested in one of them), I’m a big fan of Fall Training Camps. That’s why I’ve encouraged my Tucson, Santa Ynez, and Brevard training centers to host camps in September through November. These camps are different than our Spring Training Camps and our Climbing Camps. They are still instructional, but the focus is on bigger miles and more sustained hours on the bike.

Do they work? You bet. Last year one of the athletes at the Santa Ynez Fall Mileage Camp had already gained 30watts at lactate threshold during the season. He got a great training stimulus from the camp, stayed on top of that momentum through the fall, and by the middle of the 2013 season he was 40 watts above his highest 2012 lactate threshold power. Training is all about building upon what you’ve already gained, so don’t let time and malaise start dismantling the towering fitness you’ve built this year!

The list of CTS Fall Camps is below, and if you sign up online over Labor Day Weekend using the promo code CAMPS100, you’ll receive $100 OFF the price of the camp. You can also view all 2013/2014 CTS Camps ($100 offer only valid on remaining 2013 Camps).

Stay tuned next week for stories, photos, and videos from the 2013 USA Pro Challenge Race Experience. It was an incredible experience, for the athletes as well as all of us on the staff. For now, be sure to check out this video from Stage 7 last Sunday and go to https://trainright.com/bucket-list to apply to be “Bucket List Qualified”!

Have a Great Labor Day Weekend!
Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach
Carmichael Training Systems

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