Now that we’re rolling into mid February, training is ramping up. Last week we finished our first training cycle, which lasted six weeks. We capped it with a quality five-hour ride with 10,000 feet of elevation gain in the mountains around Chambéry, but unfortunately couldn’t ascend much higher than 1000 meters since almost all of the higher roads are either too icy or blocked off due to snow. Physiologically, I’ve advanced more in the past six weeks than the past year, so I’m seriously excited to see where this training base places me come race season. Technically, I’ve developed even more. Coming from the US, Minnesota and also Colorado, where roads are flat and wide, France’s narrow winding roads were at first a shock . But I’ve grown more capable and confident with every ride, with great support from teammates in that.
Our first training cycle mixed five training modalities: road rides, rides on our time trial bikes, cyclocross sessions, gym work, and cross country skiing. This let us put in good daily volume, with no truly easy days, as we never did the same thing two days in a row. The next three weeks will be more focused. Our only training will be on our new road (more on that later!) or time trial bikes, plus one gym session per week. Thursday through Sunday for each of the next three weeks we’ll go on training camp, first in Trescléoux (population 312, two hours south), then Salernes (between Nice and Marseille), and finally Venasque (in a hilly rural area north of Marseille). The latter is not far from Mont Ventoux! Each of those four-day blocks include 20 to 23 hours of training, followed by three days of easier riding back in Chambéry. The training camps will be largely endurance riding, but with more intensity as racing approaches. We’ll then recover for a few days, and, Covid willing, get the racing season started in mid March!
Here are a few photos of training over the past few weeks. Chambéry has been treating me well!
Last Friday we received our new bikes for the 2021 season, BMC Teammachine SLR01s. We’re riding with Campagnolo groupsets and Mavic wheels, so I can’t say I’m complaining! The bike has been an excellent ride so far, and I’ve appreciated finally switching to disc brakes on the road. Later we’ll receive our training bikes (identical to our race bikes) and the BMC Timemachine 01 for time trials.
Here are a few photos of my new machine!
I’m excited to say that I’ll be working with Hyperice, the parent company of Normatec, going forward. Commonly known as the gold standard for performance recovery and movement enhancement technology in the World Tour professional peloton, Hyperice also works with incredible athletes such as Patrick Mahomes, Lindsey Vonn, and Blake Griffin, with its products widely used in the NBA and NFL. I look forward to using Hyperice products both to aid my recovery post-training, and to reduce the likelihood of injury, which is called prehab. I’m most excited to be using the Normatec Pulse 2.0 recovery boots, which should arrive here in Chambéry in a few days! I’d like to extend a massive thank you to Hyperice for their support of my athletic pursuits.
The next time you’ll hear from me, I’ll have just finished our second of three training camps. We’ll see how well I’m feeling then!