I’ve been racing and training hard for mtb and cyclocross for around 7 years now, am 44 years old. I spent three years under a coach, training with power and had some cool results, the best being 16th at mtb xc nat champs and 21st overall in cyclocross national series (40+ age group, UK).
At the end of the 2017/18 cyclocross season I decided to stop using a coach and back off on the training quite a lot as I was worn out mentally. The 2018/19 cyclocross season went predictably slightly worse but not terribly, however come the start of this years xc season I realised I couldn’t face racing so decided to completely stop competing for a long period.
I stopped all specific training too but soon got bored and looked around for something to give me structure in my life. After considering my options I decided to focus on becoming stronger in my whole body, so now I’ve started really enjoying the gym; its so fun learning a new set of skills and seeing gains almost every session. I still ride my mtb but only once a week, however I am trying to make sure I do something a bit epic on it every other weekend (6hrs +).
Thing is with my new found energy, strength, wellbeing and maybe increased testosterone from strength training and massively reduced endurance training, I’m starting to want to race again!
Due to the work the boys do on the podcasts (I’m an avid listener), I’d be prepared to put my training into their hands. I know how to train but the accountability of following a plan is hard to replace.
I have been mulling over joining Trainerroad, doing a low volume plan, combining it with the strength work with an aim of being at least in some kind of condition for the upcoming cx season. However I’m putting in 5 sessions a week at the gym of around an hour each and that is giving me a nice balance of work and recovery leading to nice gains without feeling exhausted. If I add a trainerroad program onto this I’m concerned I’ll start to nullify my gym work and just sink steadily back into the world I struggled to quit, the world of mental and physical fatigue, and over dependance on results for validation.
I’m enjoying being a healthy human for once but do love being really fast too and fear I’ll miss it when cx season comes around.
I’d appreciate any input from you all. Do I dare to take a whole year away from bike training and racing and focus solely on strength or do I try do a bit of both?