My year in general has revolved around large amounts of weight lifting and very short sprints on my bike. As a consequence, my bike mileage has dropped from over $10,000 miles/year, to about 3,000 now. And I've gained weight; while some of it is fat, much of it is muscle.
If you read my retrospective from 2015 season, you'll see that I actually accomplished the goals I set out for 2016.
- Won three Golds at our Masters NCNCA District (State) Track Championships... out of three events entered!
- Raced at my first Masters Track National Championships!
- Won my first National Championships Gold! This was in team sprints (read race-type descriptions here).
- Also won a Bronze and a 4th place, in match sprints and 500 m time-trial respectively.
- Set several PRs in weight training (275# back squat, 205# bench press, 335# deadlift).
- Raised my peak recorded power to 1426 watts (per my old PowerTap).
|Wearing my first National Championship jersey and Gold medal!|
7-11 Velodrome, Colorado Springs.
So I'd definitely say this season surpassed my expectations, and could well qualify as my best season ever!
Next year, the 2017 season, I will raise my sights a bit higher, and venture into greater challenges. My priorities for 2017 will include:
- Set new PRs in the weight room (while avoiding injuries!).
- Increase my sustainable speed in 1 km distances (mostly to improve my man #3 contribution in team sprints).
- Repeat my District Track Championships successes.
- Enter my first UCI Masters World Championships (in Los Angeles)!
The second point above, my 1 km speed, is a complicated matter. Judging from my split lap times, I'm not the fastest guy in longer efforts, such as lap 2 and 3 in team sprints. That can be a function of several things, including:
- The speed of the guys leading me out (the faster they are, the more fatigue affects me).
- My physiological characteristics (I'm a pretty good man #1, starting from zero and riding one lap, instead of three).
- Aerodynamics (both my own, and the guys ahead of me).
So, I may not be the perfect man #3, but I'm good enough for a National Championship, and an excellent match to my team sprint teammates, Ray Gildea and Brian Moore. Ray's explosive starts are very hard for anyone to match, so the team needs a guy like me who is fast enough to not get dropped at the start, and who can still maintain a high-enough speed on the last lap. I can stay with Ray from the start, and that is a big component of my contribution to the team.
Assuming I can do well with my training the results should follow. Staying consistent, and following the advice of my coach, Jeff Solt, is a great start.
I haven't yet decided whether I'll race at Masters Track Nationals again; in 2017 they'll be held in South Carolina, in muggy, hot August, during hurricane season. Masters Worlds will be in October, and is something I'm pretty excited about.
Wish me luck!