Thursday, November 12, 2009

Training with power, 2010 season

So I took the big plunge and got a Powertap (Pro+ hub, still not sure which computer to use). This means several things:

- I'm broke(er)
- I no longer have excuses for sucking
- I'm going to be forced to train hard

This is part of a larger plan not to suck as much next year. In order to have a more concrete goal than "not suck next year" my goal will be to upgrade to Cat 3 next year. Once I'm a Cat 3 I will again suck, but then I'll have a plan for the next year. Upgrading to Cat 3, according to USAC, means:

20 points in any 12-month period; or experience in 25 races with a minimum of 10 top ten finishes with fields of 30 riders or more, or 20 pack finishes with fields over 50. 30 points in 12 months is an automatic upgrade
Assuming criterium/circuit race fields of 21-50, upgrade points are awarded as follows:

1st - 8
2nd - 6
3rd - 5
4th - 4
5th - 3
6th - 2
7th - 1

Of course, I've heard I can put in for an upgrade with fewer points, but again, this gives me concrete goals, and allows me a season of (hopefully) not sucking before I have to race against Cat 3s.

Naturally a power meter is not going to make me faster. In fact, I got a power meter because most training plans and coaches almost require them. The plan is to use Chris Carmichael's The Time-Crunched Cyclist for a plan. Not so much because I'm time-crunched, but because it's interval-heavy, which is my weakness. Putting in a lot of miles is not going to win races; getting faster is going to win races. Intervals suck, but with this plan they're over pretty quickly with plenty of recovery time.

So that's my plan. Some base-building in Texas for Hell Week and then hitting the plan. I'll have my first peak for the last couple of Opus races and Snake Alley, then another peak for early cyclocross season. I won't completely suck in between, but this plan won't have me winning races during that time either, so I'll just enjoy riding the bike for a while before I start torturing myself again.