My 2016 Season in Review

Wow, another year has passed already, and I haven't even posted once since last year's retrospective! Perhaps I've been too busy training toward my goals to write about them.

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.

Some highlights:

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 first point above, setting weight-lifting PRs, is not directly correlated to cycling sprint speed. But there does seem to be some amount of transference, so getting stronger should also make me faster on my bike. Last winter I had Clay Edgin, at Santa Cruz Strength, coach me in the gym during my off-season. I'm doing the same this winter, but I think even more so.

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!