This is a repost of “There Isn’t As Much Time As You Think” – While racing and the normal calendar are back, with the offseason starting now, the “math” that we go through in here still stands as you start to consider the 2023 season!
Recently, Peter has been chatting with a few different coaching client about their goals, and how to prepare for them. All of their races for this season have been shifted to 2021 because of coronavirus, and generally, the reaction, after being bummed, tends to be this sentiment that they “have plenty of time to train and prepare.”
But do they, really?
When we did a quick look at the math, we realized that actually, in most situations, that isn’t really accurate. In one case, a goal race — a 200-mile gravel grinder with a ton of climbing — was closer than one rider realized, and his prep time is, funny enough, already running out. The race is set for early May, 2021. That’s 10 months away, which seems like a lot… At least, until you factor in a few confounding elements:
- His main issue is that he needs to spend more time going long on gravel with hills, but he lives in the city, so weekday rides–while important for training–won’t get him fully prepped for the event. That leaves him about 40 long rides before race day since he can’t go super-long both days of the weekend.
- He only gets every other weekend to do big rides due to family obligations, so now we’re down to 20 long rides before race day
- He lives in Ontario, which means mid-November through March will likely be unrideable most of the time, cutting 4.5 months out of the equation for long rides outside on roads similar to race day. That leaves him with 11 or 12 rides left before race day.
In a similar situation, someone who’s thinking ahead to mountain bike nationals in July of 2021 here in Ontario could do similar math:
- To do well at mountain bike nationals requires a lot of technical mountain bike skill, which is honed on trails
- Most riders will only get to trails twice a week because of location/family obligations/work
- Ontario mountain biking season is all but over by mid-October, and won’t really restart until mid-May, depending on rain and snow
- Mountain biking on wet trails is a no-no, so you’ll lose some weeks of riding even during the summer months
- Again, doing that math, while there’s still quite a ways until Nationals, there’s likely only 12 more weeks of good mountain biking (minus some rainy weeks) before the trails aren’t really rideable anymore, plus maybe 8 weeks ahead of Nationals next summer (not including taper time). With two rides a week, that’s only 40 rides before race day, which isn’t a ton if your focus is on growing technical skill.
Which leads me to my favorite Twilight Zone moment of all time:
While your situation may not be quite as dire, and admittedly, that math is a bit dramatic, it is a good kick in the ass reminder that, especially if you have an early season race on the books for 2021 already, NOW is the time to be thinking about race prep, base miles, tackling the bike skills that you’ll need come race day, figuring out fueling, et cetera. It will be here before you know it (hey, remember how right now, it sort of feels like March was yesterday but suddenly it’s freaking July?).
Right now, you have time. Don’t waste it.
So look at your training calendar now and think about your next big goal for 2021. Apply the same kind of math, taking into account work, family and weather/terrain. If that doesn’t motivate you to get out the door and get moving, I don’t know what will! (If you want to figure out how to make your training smarter + more in line wiht your goals, you might want to book a call with Peter to talk through your training!)