Tuesday, October 14, 2008

All-Rounder??? Uh, No.....

If you haven’t read my previous post then go ahead and read that first and come back to this post….go ahead, I’ll give you time……ready then? Well now you know what this post will be about then. Basically I’m trying to figure out how I want to approach racing next year, although my racing will be minimal I’m obviously not just going to train haphazardly and not prepare as I should. I look at the calendar of races for the WCA and I wonder to myself, is it really worth trying to become as lean as I can be for racing a calendar of events in Wisconsin? We have 2 road races of note with any climbing in them, Baraboo and Denzer, and Baraboo to me is really a power climbing race, Denzer is a little bit more than that. The Baraboo RR hills are steep, but c’mon they aren’t all that long, Denzer is really the only race where a “climber” would have an advantage in any race in Wisconsin. Holy Hill in Superweek, I don’t think so. A power rider and good sprinter can handle Baraboo and Holy Hill, soooo, I can’t really see where being 6’1” and 160-some pounds would help me in any Wisco races, I think it’s better to play to the strengths of racing here. In my opinion, that strength would be sprinting as we have so many criteriums, and looking back at the results from this past season it was a lot of the same people winning the races over and over. I checked back to 2007, then 2006, and yes, it was the same guys winning. Guys that were power riders and really good sprinters because those are the abilities that are needed to win races here where almost all of our races are flat. There are races with opportunities, Evergreen maybe, only because that course is kind of messed up in that it goes through a winding section that’s about as wide as a foot path, then down a curving hill, then up a hill, and repeat. The skinny section and the subsequent downhill create some places to get away and then maintain the gap on the hill. GDVC has some opportunities as well because of the crosswinds usually, Elm Grove because of it’s dangerous turn before the finish, but a lot of the other races I can think of usually come down to a sprint. The State RR is tough but usually it’s a decent size group going up that hill to the finish, the long hill is a tough one but it’s maybe a third of a mile if you count the part that levels off at the top before it starts to go downhill again. Don’t get me wrong, there are some tough races in Wisconsin, but they are usually won by the strong men and the sprinters. So, how does that affect me? Well, the last two years I was really striving to get down to 170 to 171, but was accepting a racing weight of about 174 because I just couldn’t get much lower. I really had to starve myself to get down to 174 and it was especially hard this year. I think I’ve decided this year to just shoot for what I need to do in different terms, and that is to lower my body fat % to as low as I can go while building muscle and power to enable me to be a better sprinter. I’ve done some calculations and my guess-timate is that I can be about 180lbs and my body fat will be low but I won’t be starving myself to get lean and I also won’t have to stop doing yard work because I’m afraid my arms will get too big. I have a big upper frame, my shoulders are pretty wide and it doesn’t take much for me to build up some good size lats, shoulders and biceps. I’m not going to worry about that this year, I’ll do what I can to lower my body fat as low as I can go without sacrificing power and then I’ll be happy with that even if I can’t go up the hill at Denzer. I’ve been a better sprinter than climber the last two years so it makes no sense to kill myself to be 170 when I should just play to my strengths, although my strengths right now aren’t all that strong so to speak. Either way, I’ll do a lot more sprint specific stuff this year, work a lot in the weight room and then hope that whatever hill work I do will keep me with the group over the little bumps that I do have to go up. Denzer is probably off my calendar but Baraboo is still a possibility. The State RR is up in the air right now, but I’m not counting that off my list yet either because of my lack of climbing ability, maybe just pure strength will keep me with the group there. Right now it’s all a little premature to say because who knows what will come up. Last year I had a big work project come up that completely derailed my training, the same thing could happen in 2009 and I could end up getting fat on the couch again. Right now though, I have a plan, we’ll just have to see how that works out. Until next time…..

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