This Can't Be Right: July

Welcome to "This Can't Be Right," a journal about my second year of Taking Cross Seriously. Why the name? Cross is chaotic and messy, and there's a lot to learn, from building the right kind of fitness, to bike maintenance, to race knowledge, and technical skills. Usually it's a bit of a head-scratcher. Maybe writing about it will help? Thanks, Cullen, for help with the name!

Last year went pretty well. I ended up ONE point shy of moving up to Cat3 (going from 5 to 3 in one season was the goal) in 2016, despite having less-than-perfect prep before the season, and carrying around a lot of extra weight.

This year has gone significantly better; to this point I've had better health, more consistent training, and the added inspiration of joining a team. My weight is down and my fitness is up!

What's working:

My July output was much better than last year. I had some rough work travel (Dubaiiiiii) in July 2016, which led to a huge dropoff in training load – only about 13 hours in total for the month. This year, I clocked 13, and most of it was targeted to CX.

  • Week 1 was pretty meh. Was fairly sick and lost a bit of weight.
  • I was still in recovery mode in Week 2, but was able to spend around 13 hours on MTB trails in Idaho which was great for my skills and confidence.
  • My volume dropped in Week 3, but I was able to get back into focused indoor intervals due to the arrival of my Tacx Neo (that thing is silent enough even for old Co-op floors and walls!).
  • Finally, for Week 4, I started my TrainerRoad Cyclocross Build plan and nailed every workout.

I've also been working on getting around five of my friends into CX for the first time. We made a document to help them know what to expect. Enjoy!

Bike-wise, I built up my pit bike (AKA Pitchey) while the race bike (AKA Ritchey) is at Velocolour getting a fresh paint job. It also received a Rosko lugged steel fork in the offseason, which I can't wait to see in the flesh. For training, I'm using Vittoria Terreno Dry tubeless tires on HED Belgium+ rims, which are a perfect combo fit-wise, but man, file treads feel loose in the corners. Learning!

Fitness/Fatigue/Weight

I'm using Strava for this instead of TrainingPeaks. Less pro, but maybe more comparable for more people.

Start July 2016: 69 fitness, 79 fatigue @ 92kg
End July 2016: 49/24 @ 95kg

Start July 2017: 52/39 @ 96kg
End July 2017: 61/79 @ 92kg

Racing

Was only able to race once in July, at Floyd Bennett Field, placing 11th in the 3/4.