Boy, if there is any season that is all the ups an downs of cycling super-compressed into a 10 week period - it's Oklahoma Cyclocross! I always use my calendar, and annual events, to try and remind myself of times when I struggle with training or motivation. Even times to "leave your bike fit alone" cause I've seemed to want to make changes more then others.
Well, mid-September through early December is FULL of these kind of reminders. As I was thinking about it today, here is the list of big disruptors that cx racers deal with:
- All our roadie friends are starting their fun, long easy adventures and rides - while we are out there doing Tabata, Threshold and Hill Sprint workouts.
- Daylight Saving happens right in the middle of the season - throwing a wrench into the times of day, and ways we can get our training done.
- The whole season happens in a 12 week block - with a race every weekend. This is pretty intense compared to any other discipline!!
- Because there is a race every weekend it becomes a dogged cycle of RACE, RECOVER, TRAIN, PREP, REPEAT. The Body get sore.
- The aggressive schedule also wears thin on key relationships! "Honey, yes, for the 8th weekend in a row I'm racing on Sunday..."
- Finally, it is the most intense, raw endurance event that has a rough and tumble offroad nature. Every weekend you are going through a full-body attack!
Anyone that is racing knows this is true - it's one of the most mentally draining sports to stay tuned up on. Which also makes it that much easier to get off track and loose momentum for your goals and results.
Take heart! Everyone is feeling it - it's not just you.
But this is why Recovery and Proper Diet is even more important in a racing cycle like this. When I get sideways on diet, have a few more beers then I should, or sneak some of my kids halloween candy - it can derail a week of good training. In periods of high stress little slips can turn into big dips.
Keep it chill, get your rest, fully appreciate the tole CX takes on your lifestyle, and body.