My season revolves around the #1 goal of getting on the podium at CX Nationals in Austin, TX in early January. I will be racing in the Masters 45-49 age group for the first time, but so will Peter Webber and other heavies, so getting on the podium will be a tough but I think realistic goal. After some reflection, I've come to three important conclusions about attaining that goal:
1. Obviously, I have to plan to peak physically and mentally in January. To that end, I've mapped out a season that has 3 minor peaks building up to that highest peak. My first peak will be for the Trek CXC Cup on 9/20 & 9/21. My second will be for Jingle Cross on 11/14-16. And my third peak will be for the State Championship race on 12/6. Then I will have a full month to recover and rebuild for my final peak at Nationals.
2. I have to do all I can to get a front-row start at Nationals. This means doing races that help my points. Since my points are already very good, it does me no good to race in the masters category at WCA races. So for that reason alone (I'll go into my other reason below), I'll be racing in the Pro 1/2 category at all WCA races. But I also need to be doing national-level events whenever I can afford to travel to them. So I am hoping to get to the Gateway Cup in St. Louis on 10/25 & 10/26, the Cincy3 races on 10/31-11/2, and the Derby City races on 11/8 & 11/9 in addition to the Trek CXC Cup and Jingle Cross.
3. At Nationals, it is all about the start and the ability to chase the fastest guys like Peter Webber and Mark Savery. I'm good at starts, but I need to spend my season chasing people who are faster than me. I need to build not only the physical ability to sustain that high pace but also the mental fortitude to avoid cracking and to limit my losses if I do crack while chasing. This is my other big reason to focus on the Pro 1/2 category at WCA races and to travel to bigger events whenever possible. So I hope to chase my teammates Brian Matter and Joe Maloney a lot this year as well as other strong WI guys like Isaac Neff & Tristan Schouten.
But don't worry, Wisconsin masters racers: the new WCA schedule puts the masters races AFTER the Pro 1/2 race, so I will likely be lining up to do my second race of the day with you! I know you would miss me otherwise.
Next post I'll explain what I'm doing in this first phase of building toward the Trek CXC Cup.