Friday, May 3, 2013

2013 Race Season: Looking Back; Looking Ahead

The 2013 racing season is now over for me. I planned to continue racing through April and May (mostly in local club races) but my last race was the Tour of Northland in March. Since then, moving into the city, a little burn-out, and other priorities kept me off the saddle most days of the week. 

So, lets look back at my 2013 season. My best result and most exciting race was finishing 12th at Taranaki Cycle Challenge. I managed to make the break at kilometer 90 and hold on for the last 58km. The Tour of Northland was my first stage race and first time racing in the same field as pros. I learned a lot, and really enjoyed stage-racing. I'll definitely be back in 2014. The Tour de Ranges and The Rev were decent races. I finished in the first group on both undulating courses.

Overall, despite the very active cycling scene in Auckland, I was surprised at the relatively small number of races cyclists can enter. 

My training was quite consistent from mid-November through March. I was riding 10-14 hours per week with three hard, group rides (Rangi Rockets Saturday, Albany Sunday, and Kiwivelo Wednesday), a solo efforts ride, and a recovery ride. 

I was certainly in good form by January, particularly on climbs (I scored several Strava KOM segments). However, without a power meter, its very hard to judge absolute and relative performance gains. I suspect I was overly-focused on high-intensity rides (4 per week), and not enough strength work (as revealed in March's Vo2 Max and wattage test).

So now lets look ahead to my goals for the remainder of 2013, as well as the 2014 season. 

Firstly, I need to buy a power-meter. A power-meter is the only way to objectively determine performance. I enjoy studying ride data, and I am confident a power meter will make me stronger. My only concern is that a power meter may take away some of the fun.

Secondly, I am considering a coach for the 2014 season. Currently, I think I know how to train, but actually, I don't. A coach combined with a power meter should really help me. 

Thirdly, I need an indoor trainer for the winter. July and August can be crappy in Auckland.

Finally, I want to compete in K2 in October and Taupo in November. K2 is a big race: 200km and ~3,000 meters of double-digit climbing. I missed K2 last year because the winter weather was so poor. 

So, thats it. The 2013 season came to close earlier than expected, but thats ok. Now, I am just enjoying long, easy rides, and looking forward to next year.

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