Date: Halloween 2010

I am now 3 weeks out from Kona, and feeling pretty well recovered. The period of training following a key race, and entering into a new season is called “Transition”. Since it is now the end of the season for many cyclists and triathletes, there have been a lot of articles and blog posts about the transition period, and early season base training. I’ve read articles stating 1-3 weeks, 2-3 weeks, 1-8 week transition period recommendations. The transition period is usually described as a period of allowing yourself to relax after having a lot of intense training and resting so that you can recharge and get ready to do it again. Skipping the transition period is a set up for a sub-par season, burnout, or chronic overtraining. Some coaches recommend doing other activities, such as hiking, to satisfy some of the need for exercise while being sure to allow your body to rest. Other coaches caution about do too much leisure activity. So, what to do… For me I’ve usually raced a little bit later in the season, such as late October or even November, so I just cruise into the holidays trying to get some minimal exercise. I’ll spend some time skiing and try to think of that as sufficient exercise. Then following the New Year I’ll start training again, astonished at how out of shape I feel and at how much weight I have gained over the holidays.

This year my season ended a little sooner since Kona was my last race, and was on October 9th. I decided to take a few days off, but to start swimming again the Wednesday after the race, and to run and bike a couple days a week. Over the past 3 weeks I have swam 33050 yards, biked 378 miles, and ran 52 miles. The swim workouts were by far the hardest workouts, and I was just trying to take it easy with the biking and running. I basically tried to keep a pretty decent workout routine, but whenever I felt a little tired, or thought about not doing a workout I pretty much decided to skip it.

Joe Friel states that it is okay to allow your CTL to drop up to 20% during the transition period, and that trying to maintain your fitness throughout the year results in shorter athletic careers and poorer performances. I decided to look at my CTL and came up with this:

CTL Chart Date of Peak CTL Peak CTL CTL 10/9/2010 CTL 10/31/2010
Swim 10/21/2010 23.3 22.6 22.8
Bike 7/24/2010 89.2 68.9 62.7
Run 8/3/2010 50.9 41.9 35.4
Combined 8/8/2010 147.3 133.5 117.6

Overall I feel that my recovery has been good, but I am still not planning on any intense workout (except in swimming) for a while. I will be focusing on doing some solid base training and then gradually add in some more intense workouts.

Having said that, today’s ride was more intense than I have been doing. I missed my ride yesterday and saw that the Canari-Navy Cycling Team was heading out today for a short but hilly route. I added on 19 miles by riding from home, so I got it a total of 55 miles. I didn’t try to kill the climbs today, but I found they were still very challenging. It sure doesn’t take long to get used to riding easy! I wanted to look at the segments on, and was surprised to find that this route include 29 segments! I looked at them all, but here are the ones I was most interested in.

Segment Leader KOM Date KOM Time Today’s Time
15 to Chesapeake Me! 9/20/2009 0:37 0:38
Soledad Mtn Rd. Pista Palace 8/18/2010 15:02 15:13
Soledad Mtn Rd. Pista Palace 8/18/2010 7:49 7:54
Soledad Mtn Rd. #2 Me! Today! 12:59 12:59
Beryl to Desert View Pista Palace 8/18/2010 5:17 5:24
Desert View to Cross Pista Palace 8/18/2010 6:40 7:06
Palomino Rd to Cross Pista Palace 8/18/2010 6:04 6:39
La Jolla Shores to UCSD Brian DiLoreto 6/19/2010 4:50 5:57
Bridge to Del Mar Heights Me! 7/3/2010 3:05 3:36
Torrey Pines Inside, Full Length Me! 7/31/2010 7:41 9:18
Via Capri to Cross Joel Price 9/3/2010 10:58 11:34
Via Capri Torture Chamber Joel Price 9/3/2010 6:13 7:21
Antigua to Santo Me! Today! 0:47 0:47

There are more segments, some of which I was destroyed on by riders such as Joel Price, and some were descents that I didn’t go for today so they weren’t much to look at.

The route today included 5 major climbs, Mount Soledad twice (Mt Soledad Rd and the very steep Via Capri), the climb up La Jolla Shores Drive to UCSD, climb up to Del Mar Heights, and then the inside road at Torrey Pines. I also got in a ride up Linda Vista on my way home. These are all popular hills in San Diego, so using Strava to stir up virtual competition is pretty cool. I can see that the leader board for some of these segments are within reach, and I’ll have to go and attack those records soon. Of course I had some other riders with me that just crushed me today. That is fun too. Overall I liked this route a lot, and might work it into my routine eventually when I am ready for more high power workouts.