While I wouldn't call it a raging success, it went OK:
January - 300km / 13hrs
February - 452km / 20hrs
March - 341km / 20hrs
January was a bit of a mess. I tried to change a heap of my training patterns, but the bottom line was the changes just wouldn't work - I couldn't integrate them into my work/family life. So for February, I reverted back to my more usual training patterns - and that worked well for a 50% jump in mileage and a solid increase in training hours.
March was 'messy'. Bad weather and a long work trip meant mileage fell - but on the upside, that 341km was done in the last two weeks of the month, which was a very solid effort! I also managed to keep up the training hours level by integrating some long walks into my program while I was away from home.
The toughest part of all was the mental aspect. By committing to just base training and not racing or doing much effort-wise, I found myself getting a bit bored with it all. I still loved riding, but I really wanted to stretch my legs out in a race. So for next year, I'll limit the base period to just one month - lesson learnt.
What happened then
I am pretty disappointed with the first couple of weeks of April - I still haven't ridden my bike this month at all!!
I wrecked the first week thanks to a little bit of over-enthusiasm. I bought my kids a slip'n'slide - and spent an afternoon in the frontyard with them launching myself at full pelt along the 5m long soap-covered runway. As it turns out, my almost-40yo back didn't like this at all (go figure?!), and I spent the next 7 days chewing down anti-inflammatories trying to curb the intense lower-back pain...
Slip'n'Slide - for kids, not 39yo men who think they are still a kid...
Then the rain came. Any readers who live in South-East Queensland will know what I mean by that! So for the next week and a bit, it pretty much poured rain. Plus a large chunk of that was spent on a camping trip near Kenilworth.
So tomorrow, the 16th day of the month, will be my first real chance to get back on the bike. I'm a bit bummed about the off-bike-time, I'm hoping it hasn't ruined all that time & effort I put into the 3-month stint of base training. But there's not much I can do about it...
What's next - training
I'm not sure what the 'optimal' training approach is from here. But what I really want to do is train hard, smash my legs with some interval work, and get racing again - so that's what I'm going to do!
The plan will be to work in steadily-increasing interval efforts into my daily commutes, plus try again with joining some fast group rides. I also want to start a "Mt Gravatt once-a-week" habit to do hill reps. Club criterium racing is also back on the agenda, with the aim of doing at least one race every two weeks.
In terms of training events, I'm also hoping to do the Troy Bayliss Gran Fondo at Canungra on May 19. Its only a 36km event - but it includes the tough 25km climb up to O'Reilly's. It'll be a great last tough hit out before the Metro Champs on the next weekend.
What's next - racing
I have two big Open events coming up, and I am keen to do relatively well (for me!) in both of them.
May 26 - MAP Financials Metropolitan Championships road race at Mt Alford. I got dropped in this event last year within the first 5km! The aim this year will be to last further with the peloton than last time. I've got about 5 weeks to squeeze some solid training in to do that - with some luck and consistency I'll get there in half-decent shape...
June 16 - Lifecycle Classic (80km hanidicap) at Lowood. My big target event for the year. I have two months to build for this - that is plenty of time if I can show the dedication and consistency I know I'm capable of.
Juggling it all
So the equation is pretty simple really - smash myself on the bike, get the mileage up (to at least 500km/month every month), rest & recover properly, and rediscover my form from late last year!
Probably the toughest bit of all this will be juggling in the kids' commitments. My oldest daughter is moving into cross country season, which involves lots of weekend sporting commitments. But that's nothing new - I'll just have to try and squeeze it all in!
Wish me luck! :-)