Not in a long-term kind of way, but in that I need a break kind of way. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been racing essentially nonstop since mid-March. Thanks to my coach, I’ve been able to maintain good fitness, and with key rest weeks in spots I’ve been able to maintain my ability to pedal hard. Yet I haven’t been able to stay mentally fresh. The ability to put yourself in the right mental state is the difference between holding redline for an hour and fading.
Or not even being able to push yourself to redline in the first place.
Our last team weekend of racing in New England on Saturday and Sunday was pretty much a disaster. Which is a bummer because I enjoy the course at the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross in Rhode Island. Both days I was in the race for about three or four laps, racing with a group of guys I consider my peers. Then I just wasn’t in the group.
It was worse on Sunday. I don’t even want to go into it.
So now what? Nationals are in five weeks, in Boulder, Colo., and I plan to be there. But there is no point in going if this is how I’m going to be racing, so here’s the plan. Going into this weekend there were two options. The first was to keep riding, hit a few local races, and just keep it going into January. That option went out the window as it was contingent on my having a decent weekend at NBX.
So option two it is. It starts with a break. I’m just not going to ride my bike for a week. I’ll do some stretching and maybe some core work to help my back, if it’s feeling better. Essentially I’m hitting the reset button. Then I’ll throw in some volume and rebuild for nationals. I’ve really been missing the longer volume rides the past few weeks, so it’s going to be good to get out and do some of the longer loops in my ride library, which I’ve neglected during the cyclocross season in favor of more focused and shorter workouts.
I’m hoping the physical break and the mental refresh of some longer rides puts me into a good state to really hammer out some quality leading up to nationals. But in the meantime, I do have to take a second and say thank you to Richard Sachs. I know I’ve thanked him pretty much every single weekend for the past three years, but I don’t think I could ever thank him enough.
I know the season is not quite over yet but I do just want to quickly thank everyone who reads this column. Feel free to get at me on Twitter and follow along on Instagram at @danchabanov.