Every season presents unique challenges. 2012 was an interesting year for me. I was coming off a significant injury with a broken collarbone in October 2011. I started a new job in January, and was presented new challenges finding time to train. I had some successes and some failures but overall it was another successful season.
Although 2011 was my breakout season, winning the 2011 Best All-Around Rider, I still had not won a Pro/1/2 race. I felt like my form was too even in 2011 and set out to find higher peaks in 2012 in hopes of winning a few races. I was successful in this regard, winning 3 races (A stage race crit, a cyclocross TT, and a cyclocross race) in 2012.
The big addition to my collection this year was my first proper time trial bike. I’d been racing on a converted road frame, and having a proper TT bike was a major revelation. I improved my 40k PR by a minute at the State TT Championship and finished 5th, less than minute from the winner.
This season I’ve taken on extra duties with the team. I’ve been taken behind the curtain with team finances and sponsor relations. Its been a lot of work but I’ve been excited to have more control over my own destiny. Part of the reason for less frequent posting on this blog has been that I’ve allocated more of my free time to team matters. That being said, I’m very much looking forward to the 2013 season.
As always, my volume was lower than planned. I’ve been reducing my training volume to meet my time constraints, and I usually miss my targets but 5-10%. This year was no exception, as I trained about 400 of my planned 450. You can see that my weekly hours and TSS varied week to week; This is evidence of my training to ‘peak’ with harder weeks followed by much easier weeks before key races.
Performance Management Chart:
Below is a chart with my 2012 PMC (top) and 2011 PMC (bottom). First I’ll point out that my data is much more complete for 2012 (2011 is missing some data in August). But next you’ll notice that my build up was more gradual and my peak form was longer. I think this is probably why I had trouble continuing through the length of cyclocross season late this year, as I had been very close to top form since July.
2012 (Purple, below) saw very similar peak power number to 2011 (Gray, below), and I even set a few power records. Partly this is due to my crank power meter reading ever so slightly higher than my powertap, since the power is measured before losses due to the chain (about 3%). At the very least I was happy to see similar power numbers with fewer training hours, as it showed I was utilizing my time training properly.
This graph probably gives me the most insight into my abilities and where I need to focus my efforts for 2013. You can see clearly my three seasons of data below, with each data set (time interval) having three distinct peaks for each season. My sprint power has been decreasing, 5 minute power holding steady, and last season I saw my highest threshold number yet.
Overall I am happy with how this season went. I laid out my goals and felt like I did my best at the State TT, although I missed my goal of qualifying for the Nature Valley Grand Prix. I had good race results and won a few races (I’ve updated my Palmarés page above). I wasn’t targeting the BAR and still finished 12th. I lost steam towards the end of the season and have taken more time off and gained more weight than I would have liked to, but I am excited to choose some goals for 2013 and make a plan for another successful season in 2013.