Friday, August 21, 2009

Progression 2009: A Snapshot!

As I'm writing this Joseph Schmalz is preparing a foray into the 2009 CX season. The goals are four-fold. Get a single UCI point in the US, Qualify for an invite to race CX in Europe, US CX Natz in Bend, and CX Worlds. All that on the immediate heels of a long 2009 road campaign. Wow! That's quite a bit to ask of one's self especially since as the CX season progresses, you're looking at "going fast" (read, "peaking") for only 11 of the 20 weeks. Excuse while I supress laughter......

Okay, I'm back. To everyone who wants to "go fast" for 11 of the 20 weeks of CX. You CAN NOT DO IT. No exceptions. The human body will not perform at its absolute best for that many weeks. Basically, you'll get two peaks of two weeks assuming it's done right. AND they should be separated by 8 weeks at the least if you want it to be true peaks. Otherwise you're just riding at 90% for 90% of the time. The only problem is that all of Joe's goals are not going to be met by riding at 90%. Perhaps the first two may be, but not the last two.

With this in mind, let's take a snapshot look at Joe's 2009 road season. Okay, here we go!

First. His KiloJoules per week expenditure with his major events highlighted....
The first thing you notice is that there are some very high peaks in KiloJoules (KJ)/week expenditure and as the season progresses, the peaks in KJ/week aren't as high. That's because as the season progresses, Joe transitioned between one day "Classics" and stage racing to criteriums, to consecutive weeks of criteriums. Joe and I were able to lay this out in February so that we knew how to approach the season. In short, we accounted for the decrease in KJ expenditure with the massive increase in intensity. You can see that his overall KJ/ week drops. However, Joe was racing a substantial amount, which translates to extremely high intensity and thus unable to handle additional volume (physiologically, volume is defined in work (KJ) not time in the saddle). Late in the season, it seems like every KJ that is burned is burned in a hard race, with recovery rides being super slow and easy.

Joe's season begins with Hillsboro RR/ Tillis Park as his first targeted race. It's important to note that he did some racing before this, and he got some great results. However, I don't have data from much of this and I wanted to keep the data relevent. Anyways, the Hillsboro/ Tillis goal was to see how he compared to others in order to see what we needed to address for his first upcoming peak: Joe Martin Stage race. The result 6th place in GC with a 4th in the ITT.
You can see here where Joe's Peak Powers are all set within the April/ May line (dotted) compared to March (solid). New season max's across the board.

The goal for the second phase of the season in, June/ July, was to get as much high-end racing as possible. The qualifier to racing this much: he has to be competitive and must be effective. Aka: no racing to "hang on." We worked on having him repeat the supra-maximal efforts and supra-threshold training. However, you can see that new peak powers set here are interspersed throughout the graph. April/ May (dotted) vs. June/ July (solid).

Finally, the end of the season where Joe's 2009 road season goals lie. U-23 Natz, and US Criterium Natz in Downer's Grove (if there's anything left). The results weren't the best and the conditions as well as the competition were brutal! But he's had impressive numbers since his final peak for U-23 Natz. Here you'll see that August (dotted) shows new peak powers at the extreme high-end powers when compared to June/ July (solid). That's exactly what we focused on for the late season and those are the powers that decide criteriums.

Also, the majority of his 2009 Peak powers have come in the last 28 days, really since the U-23 Natz in Oregon. Last 28 days (solid) vs. 2009 (dotted). Most of the dotted you can see, what little of it there is, was during the Joe Martin Stage Race.

So now what? Well, as you can see (way at the top) this is his third and most "restful," and much deserved, active recovery portion of his program. From here, he'll be building for CX and back to those four goals. We're going to start by using Gateway Cup as part of his first training block of cross season in order to springboard him toward a smaller peak in Mid-Late October in the hopes he can grab a single UCI CX point. Once that phase is over, we'll work towards having him riding at higher intensities for longer durations which translates to him riding faster than anyone has ever seen young Schmalz go on a Cross bike. Peaking for Nationals, or Worlds depending on the selection/ invitation process.

To help Joe get to Europe and offset his expenses, Click HERE!

Also, a debriefing of the TNW KC last weekend coming up. Some fantastic racing!