So there is one-third of the year left to run - the 3rd third, only 4-months to go. The perfect time to have a think about what I want to try and achieve for September to December 2012.
I am reasonably happy with how I have gone so far in 2012. As always, I would have liked to have been more consistent with my training mileage and have raced more often - but family life and work-trips take priority over that, so c'est la vie.
So what will be the focus for these last 4 months of 2012?
Road racing season is coming to a close. There are still a couple more races, including the Ipswich Open (which was on my list of 2012 goals at the start of the year) - but looking at my forward calendar it looks like I'll be away for all of them.
And so, I have decided I will be switching my focus onto preparing myself for the upcoming criterium season. My training and prep will be mainly about getting myself in a position to do well at these shorter, more explosive types of races.
There are a few Open Criteriums that I'd like to try and have a go at in this last part of the year. I'm not sure I'll be able to get to them all, but I'll do my best to arrange the schedule so I can hit at least one or two of them.
1. Northshore Criterium, 21st October, near Hamilton, Brisbane.
2. Be Better Psychology Criterium, 28th October, in Toowoomba, Queensland.
3. Brisbane Blast, 1st-2nd December, a new race in the Brisbane CBD.
I'm also hoping to do well in the Summer Twilight Criterium Series, run at the Nundah criterium track on a few Wednesday afternoons (after work) by the HPRW club. It's only a 5-minute ride from my workplace, and is a fun mid-week hit-out on the bike.
So far this year (as at the end of August), I've racked up 3294km on the bike. When you split that up, I did 1494km in the first third of the year, then 1800km in the 2nd third - nice to see an upward trend!
I'd really like to make 6000km for the year, which would need me to knock out 2700km for the final third of the year - almost 700km/month. I'm not sure if that's achievable, but I'm going to give it a red hot go!
My plan is to make 600km/month as my base goal, and try and push a couple of those months up to around 800km. Of course, I have to be realistic about it - but I'll strive hard to achieve it and see how I go. No point in having a goal that's 'easy' - I'd rather fall short striving for a difficult goal, than rest on my laurels for reaching something that's too easy...
No, not what I'll be wearing on the bike... ;)
The plan is to get back to incorporating more hard efforts and intervals into my training, after a couple of months of 'just riding' to try and build up some base. I'm not going to crazy with it, but will do at least two sessions a week (probably integrated into my commutes) where I really try hard to smash the legs.
To help with leg strength, I'm also planning to hit Mt Gravatt for some hill reps roughly once per week or per fortnight. Not sure how often really, but I'll see how that goes...
I bought a 5kg medicine ball, which I have just started using as part of a core strength routine 4-5 time a week. I'm enjoying doing it, and I feel like its paying some dividends on the bike. It'll be interesting to see how that progresses over the next few months.
I'm also going to try and do the One Hundred Pushups program. Not sure if it'll do much to improve my cycling, but this is more about my long-term general health and fitness. My upper body strength has always been pretty ordinary, and I'm hoping this'll give me some half-decent functional strength.
Finally, I'm considering integrating a bit of running into my week. Not so much for my cycling (although I think it will help), but because my oldest daughter is becoming a keen runner. It'll be fun to be able to train with her, plus the 'cross-training' can only help me. What can be better than combining exercise and family time!
I have probably rambled on longer here than I expected to. There is plenty in there for me to achieve, but I believe if I can really commit to these goals, plans and ideas, I can have a really strong finish to my year cycling-wise. It would be great to be able to podium in a club race before the finish of 2012, and I think that's certainly a realistic goal if I can stick with what I have written above.
Naturally, I'll review and rejig all of this after a month or so, as I settle into a routine and figure out what is working and what isn't.