My New Cyclocross Race Season Schedule Strategy


The next couple months are going to be crazy.

As summer winds down, cyclocross season kicks off, and my schedule goes into overdrive. My calendar runneth over with races, and not just cyclocross races. This is what I’m currently planning for the next 6 weeks….

  • Sunday 8/23  Putney Cider House Classic MTB Race – Putney, VT
  • Saturday 8/29  CompEdge CX @ Forest Park – Springfield, MA
  • Sunday 8/30  Boston Spartan Sprint – Barre, MA
  • Saturday 9/12 Aetna Silk City Cyclocross – Manchester. CT
  • Saturday 9/19 The Dude Smash – West Warwick, RI
  • Saturday 9/19 White Park Cyclocross – Concord, NH
  • Sat & Sun 9/26-27 Gran Prix of Gloucester – Gloucester, MA
  • Wednesday 9/30 The Night Weasels Cometh – Shrewsbury, MA
  • Saturday & Sun 10/3-4 The KMC Providence Cyclocross Festival – Providence, RI (one of these days, not sure yet).

Then I have a business trip for the better part of a week to the west coast in mid October. That will really screw up my fitness. I plan of trying to race every other weekend in October, but I’m not sure which ones and the particulars of my schedule that far in the future. I want to stay in good fighting shape for Cycle-Smart International November 7-8 in Northampton, and after that–well everything is gravy.

Don't forget to enjoy yourself this cyclocross season!

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself this cyclocross season!

I’ve really changed my expectations this year. I used to stress about racing well every single race. That’s not realistic. And I used to think I could keep up the pace through December. That’s also not realistic. I just don’t have the space in my schedule for that. But I can use the summer to build a good base and go into September in pretty decent shape, This year, I’m riding almost twice as much as I did last year (at this time). I had to work really hard to make that happen within the confines of my schedule. Last summer I was job hunting, and my focus was on my professional development. I was feeling a lot of conflict trying to ride well and also pursue life’s priorities. As a result, I had a relatively crappy season. This year, I tried to ride more often, rest deliberately, and dabbled with HR training.

Now I know-(I know) I’m a 40+ mom with a full time job and while my athleticism is holding up relatively well, I’m not 20, or 25, or 30, or even 35 anymore. I’m very competitive in spirit–I always want to do well for me, and I’m getting better at accepting that while I can get faster, I will never be fast. I know what I’m good at (technical, sketchy, mountain-bikey terrain) and I know what I’m not (steep hills, speed, extreme heat). So my strategy this year is to go into the season relatively fit, dial it in after the first couple of races, then go hard. Try to rebound after mid October’s known setback of a week of travel, and then punch it again at the end of October and Early November. Then I will chill. I’ll race when I can but won’t feel guilty or like I’m not a real athlete for not committing every weekend through December to CX. I love the sport, but I have to keep life balanced.

My goals remain:  Have a ton of fun, give my best effort, stay upright, try not to DNF, finish mid pack when I can, and enjoy the cyclocross community.

See you at the races,

-Karen

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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling. Always looking to see what is around the next bend in the road.

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