Do you peak for a race, or ride your fitness for the season?
Come mid summer. I usually find myself taking a break from the training and regimented road racing/training and start looking toward CX season. Spending more time on gravel on the CX bike, skills practices etc. Once the races start coming fast and furious (first week of September here). I find that I race 1-2 days/weekend, ride easy Monday, try to get some miles tues/thurs and skills on wednesday.
Using this method, coupled with a natural break in our schedule the first weekend of October (Iceman, which is only like 3 hours north of here), I find that I get some decent legs/results the 3-4 weeks following that weekend, and then I try to grind it out to the end of the season (mid-December).
Curious what others out there are doing. Do you bag week(s) on end during high-mileage building weeks during the season, or race, recover, repeat?
The past couple seasons I was on a version of your model - I tried to reach a plateau around the end of October and hold it through states the second weekend in December. It's worked pretty well, and generally I'd rather have six weeks of solid racing than bank everything on trying to really kill it for a couple weeks, and sacrifice the rest of the season to that goal. For me, this has meant racing less through mid-October, and generally not cutting back on the training to rest up for the races. Then, starting late October, I race once every weekend and cut back the volume on my training. Basically, I'm fresh enough for the races, but not training enough to keep getting stronger (much; I seem to still improve a little over the late part of the season).
Originally Posted by adam_mac84
That said, this season I think I'm going to try for a proper peak for states. I haven't yet sorted what that's going to mean in terms of my training and racing schedule. My little road season ends in a week, then I'll go on vacation for a couple weeks, and then I'll start my CX "base training" - which for me means smooth single track instead of gravel. I've got until then to figure it out.
Same here, build in the start of the season then use racing and stuff to keep sharp for last 6 weeks of season.