Preparation is everything

Too bad preparation is not necessarily my forte…

It’s not that I’ve been doing nothing, it’s just that I’m well aware I should be doing more than I have so far. On one hand my life just generally keeps me occupied (you know, with making a living etc.), but whenever I did manage to clear my agenda, the weather has not been kind. Although temperatures are mild and often even comfortable, it’s been rainy, or windy, and most of the times just a horrible combination of both. And too many times, especially if I got soaking wet twice on the commute to and fro work, I allowed the weather to be a valid excuse to keep the bike dry and cuddle up with my best friend Netflix. One night I skipped Modern Family or Jessica Jones or Sherlock or whatever and watched the Pantani documentary, considering that to be a fair substitute for riding my own bike. But instead of getting inspired, I just got depressed with another drug infueled downfall of a massively talented rider. (Maybe I should have taken a hint from the subtitle “The Accidental Death of a Cyclist”)

Anyway, here is a list of what I have not accomplished so far:

  • Riding at least 200KM every week – I’m still spending more time on my city bike than on my road bike.
  • Digging into my route – My rough draft I started in November remains unchanged to date.
  • Getting my kit together – I have an awesome Alpkit Saddlebag and top tube bag, and I now own aerobars I still need to install, but that’s about it. 
  • Figuring out how to get back if and when I make it to Canakkale.

Just to name a few major things to get done within the next six months…

But here’s what I have been doing:

  • Riding D1 rides in the weekends.
  • Doing treshold and/or block training once or twice a week after work – It’s less than the three treshold trainings a week I planned for, and they are shorter than they were supposed to, because I still hate riding in the dark with bad weather. But I’m happy with what I do put out, because I really need to improve my power output.
  • Doing my core stability exercisesI forced myself to double the routine on every day I don’t ride my (road)bike, so my slacking on the bike meant I got a lot of core exercises done. I think my sixpack is really pronounced now. Unfortunately I can’t really tell, with all that winter fat. 
  • Taking cold showers – OK, I know this one sounds weird. This is something I’ve been doing sporadically in the past, but started to do consistently since January 1st and I really feel like it helps to build my resistance. It’s also supposed to help you with your blood circulation, which is helpful. And so far I’ve not been affected by the flu epidemic going on here (knock on wood). Not 100% sure if the benefits are just between the ears, but hey, if it works, it works! 
  • I’m having a bike fit tomorrowMy bike was already fitted for me when I bought it, but that wasn’t focused on the really long rides. Also they’ll take my aerobar into consideration. I’ll look forward to start training extensively on the aerobars, I have a feeling I will like them very much. 
  • I have some major rides scheduled in the spring – That includes some audaxes, and – still to finalise – a ride in Switzerland, a ride to the Eifel area in Germany, and a ride to Berlin. I want to dedicate this weekend to take a very close look at the schedule for the next six months. 

So honestly, despite the occasional nervous butterflies and twisted dreams-borderline-nightmares about the TCR (not kidding, unfortunately), I’m not really too worried yet about my preparation.

Alfonsina Strada

(Just a random picture of Alfonsina Strada to stay inspired)