My 2015 season retrospective

Another season has passed, and I must look backward to evaluate how the 2015 season went before I start to plan my 2016 season.

Last year I made big changes and was very happy with my 2014 results. So continuing in that direction for 2015 was an easy decision. My coach, Jeff Solt, was able to evaluate how my 2014 season and training had worked for me, so he could refine my training for 2015. The biggest changes for me were:
  • Increased weight training, with heavier weights at lower reps. 
  • Increased training on my track bike, including motorpacing at the velodrome. 
  • A brand-new Dixie Flyer track bike. It has made a huge improvement in my high-speed handling.
My weight training over the 2014/2015 winter was pretty intense, as I shifted from lower weights at high reps, to heavier weights at lower reps. Here's some examples of how things changed:
  • My bench press went up to 185 lbs at 3 reps. 
  • I started doing squats, and maxed out at 315 lbs. at 2 reps (on a Smith machine though). 
  • As the season progressed, Jeff had me add bench jumps to my weekly training. I would usually do 3 or 4 sets of 8 jumps on benches, steps, logs or whatever, up to about 24 inches or so. 
Jeff had me back off on all of this in May, with just minimal weight training to maintain the strength gains I made. Instead he stepped up my motorpacing and on-bike drills, with a nice mix of standing-start sprints, rolling sprints, and flying sprints. All of these were mixed in with various gear choices, from very tall to very low gears (including max-RPM cadence drills), to promote specific physiological adaptations.

Here are some of my accomplishments during the 2015 season:
  • I set a personal best standing-start 500 m individual time trial by a full second (36.2 seconds vs 37.2 in 2014)! In the process I won another State Championship, one I could be proud of. 
  • I also did well in the team sprint there; my lap #2 was 22.75 seconds (I also got another State Championship, but since we were unopposed I'm not proud of that). 
  • I entered my first National cycling event: Elite Track National Championships, in the team sprints only. Didn't do well as a team, but I did well on my lap (#2 lap). Our splits (on the 250 m track in Carson, CA) were:  
    1. Tim: 22.722 seconds
    2. Dennis: 15.707 (38.429 e.t.)
    3. Bobby: 15.250 (53.679 e.t.)
I also won a small road race, the Salinas Criterium (35+ 3/4 race), and did OK in the Masters State Criterium Championships (50-54) but none of that was a priority for me.

My priorities for 2016 will be very similar, except...

My weight training has already changed a lot, in that I hired Clay Edgin, at Santa Cruz Strength, to provide more specific programs for me during the off-season. He has provided a wide variety of workouts for me, far more than I would have done otherwise, and made sure I could do them at my work gym at West Marine (p.s. I quit HP in July, after 12 years there!). I am hoping I will soon be reaching new personal records in my training.

I will then start my cycling training with Jeff Solt again, in February, but will need to figure out how to transition from the off-season weights program to a combined cycling/weights program (currently my cycling is reduced, and only meant to maintain some general fitness).

I will also be entering the Masters Track National Championships, focusing on the team sprint, match sprint, 500 m ITT, and possibly the Keirin (if they even have one). My team sprint teammates aren't definite yet, but the two guys I've been chatting with are motivated to enter with me! This year they will be held in Indianapolis, in August, so travel will be an issue.

One thing that worries me is that I'll be 55 years old, and it's hard to say whether I can improve at this age. It might be more that I try to lose less performance than my competitors! They're facing the same issue, after all. Either way, I will be out there giving it 100%.

We shall see!