I felt much better on the bike last night. After having a rough morning on Tuesday, I was able to swing right back into my known routine for my ‘sustain program’. This doesn’t mean that I was able to step on it right out of the gate, but it was the ride pattern I’m used to.
I’ve known for a couple of years now that my body takes a while to warm up and that I actually get stronger as I ride, peaking 75% of the way through a ride. It doesn’t matter how long it is, unless it’s a 30 minute sprint. I don’t think I’d ever be good at criterion racing and, while I enjoy it occasionally, would never convert to cycle cross racing.
I believe one of the factors to slower starts could be nutrition and water intake (or the lack thereof). The more I think about Tuesday morning’s ride I believe that it had just as much to do with the fact that I had a Stromboli for dinner Monday night, peanuts (protein) for a snack later that night, and then nothing for breakfast as it did me not being a morning person. Normally I start out every morning with a couple of banana’s, and when I race I have the banana’s, a granola bar, and a handful of peanuts (not too many, but just enough to give me some longer lasting energy). Though my races have historically not been real early in the morning, I’ve never felt that bad during a race start. I’ll be sure to eat breakfast and down a bottle of water before my next morning ride.
Because I felt guilty for cutting my Tuesday morning ride short, I ended up doing my planned 60 minute routine, and then added another 10 minute sustained 80% effort segment with a final 5 minute cool down. I also revisited some of my training materials I’ve accumulated over the years afterwards and developed some thoughts around continued plan tweaks. More on that later.