October 28, 2008
Well, the off-season, in part, is finished for me. Today marks the first day back of structured training in getting me fit for 2009. The last month has been spent doing the usual off-season activities, getting up late, eating more, visiting friends, doing the yard work you put off for the past eight months and basically just being a little more "normal"... well as normal as I can be.
The best part about the off-season is the day you get back on your bike and just "go for a ride."
I hit a few "firsts" this off-season. I went to two weddings, in two days, one on the east coast, one on the west. I finally became a surfer and broke a board. Lastly, this is the first off-season that I have spent without having already signed a contract. It's is very tough out here at the moment, so I just have to keep working on it.
"It is a very hard market for some of us." - Stevenson on his need for a new contract.
The last week was pretty cool and relaxed, Neil had is 30th birthday, so we had a little get together for that and it was a lot of fun. I just got back from doing a little trip with my mate, Brett, who was travelling around the USA. We hit the Big Sur coast and that place is amazing. Check it out.
The two weddings I attended were my friends, now known as Jeff and Leigh Hopkins, and Austin and Suzanne King. It was an awesome time, albeit my head hurt a little bit.
It basically went like this: Hopkins wedding, Friday night, Atlanta -- ceremony, reception, a drink or two, get in the taxi and go straight to Atlanta airport. Sleep on plane. Arrive in Phoenix, put on a different suit, go to ceremony, get told what to do as I was in the wedding party. Go to reception, have a drink or two, sleep the entire drive back to San Diego from Phoenix... Congratulations to my friends.
Breaking the board, although sounds kinda gnarly, was actually less a reflection on how big the swell was and more on my lack of skill as a surfer. I wish it was because I tried to catch a 25-foot wave.
Now, the most important thing, I need a contract for 2009. With all of the economical problems around and other problems surrounding cycling at the moment, it is a very hard market for some of us.
I am putting all my energy into getting a ride for 2009. The only thing I can control at this point is to get my arse in the gym three times a week, start doing more structured training on the bike and giving the Swiss ball a workout. My time off the bike has been great and I really enjoyed it, but it is time to get it all going again to get the body and the mind focused on the job at hand.
I am getting excited to have the routine of training back and all the good sensations. All the little things, like being so sore from doing a hard gym session that you end up walking like Quasimodo for two days or doing 10km/h up a hill with your heart pushing 200bpm. I'm also looking forward to losing the extra weight I have put on.
My training partner, Neil Shriley, and I have still been getting out there and doing physical activities, but now we will be hitting the roads together again and planning some pretty cool pre-season rides. I have a few tests to do on the ergo to see exactly where I am at with my power numbers and I am working together with Neil on specifics strengths over the coming months. We will reassess my numbers on a regular basis to get me where I want to be for 2009.
Now is the time to really set things up for the season, to get the foundations. You can always tweak the training as the season progresses, and this foundation will help the body to adapt to different workloads. Every athlete knows that this is the time when you have to be patient with yourself and trust that you will reap the benefits later in the season.
Right, well, I have some work to do, that thing isn't going to ride itself!