All right as promised here are my bike goals for 2016 and beyond!
With the help of my coach, Coach Richard over at Ninja Mountain Bike Performance, I have split these up into Short Term, Mid Term and Long Term goals.
Short Term (3-6 Months):
1. Establish regular/consistent training schedule of at least 6-8 hours per week of training. My work schedule the last two years has not been conducive to consistent training. Thanks to my recent transfer however it looks like things will become MUCH more consistent and predictable if not a little less demanding as well. This is my most important goal, it provides the foundation for all the others. Nailing this is critical. 6-8 hours a week is very achievable. This number includes all training activities, biking, strength training, flexibility/mobility work, meditation, skills work. The key is it all needs to be consistent, scheduled, and measured. In other words my Training Peaks calendar needs to look like a broken stop light, all green, no red.
2. Reduce Body Fat to 12% as measured by my Withings scale. This may be an ambitious goal (I am sitting at 18% as of this morning), however, improving my body composition should have a noticeable impact on my on bike performance as well as being linked with numerous positive health effects.
3. Technical Riding Goals: Manual for one bike length with proper form, track stand 8-10 seconds again with proper form. These are some pretty basic skills however this is a serious weak point in my riding. Not being a confident bike handler leads to be balking and being slow through trail sections I know I can ride because I am not confident I will be able to handle my bike properly should I run into any hiccups. Dialing in these technical skills will help build up the skill base I need to really address my weakest area on the bike, steep and technical descents and anything requiring balance.
Mid Term Goals (6-12 Months)
1. Breck Epic Simulation weekend. Ride 30-35 miles with 4,000-5,000 feet of climbing in under 5 hours three days in a row. This should give a pretty good indication of where I am in my training ahead of the first real test, the three day Breck Epic in August. Speaking of which...
2. 3 Day Breck Epic. Complete the event, shoot for sub 5 hour pace on the first day. Ride a similar pace on the next two days. Goal here is to complete, maintain pace, and test race prep and recovery strategies at altitude. This should also expose any weak areas I need to focus effort on over the next year in preparation for the real deal in 2017.
3. Technical Riding Goals: Wheeling and Jumping. Full bike length on the wheelie, three to four foot gap on the jump, at least 18 inches in the air. Again working on these fundamental skills is key to my progression as a rider and improving my race performance. I waste a significant amount of energy over breaking before technical sections, and riding my brakes on the downhills. Dialing in these skills will rocket me up the standings at races.
Long Term Goals (1+ year)
1. 2017 Breck Epic. The whole thing. Get a belt buckle. I think this goal speaks for itself.
2. 100 mile mountain bike race. Complete a 100 mile distance event. Timing and specific event are still up in the air. This will likely come after the Breck Epic.
3. Podium in Cat 3/Beginner mountain bike event. Must be a competitive field. Getting 3rd out of four doesn't count. Also must be a single event, series awards don't count for this.
4. Move up to Cat 2 racing. I would like for this to be a forced upgrade, but will count a voluntary one as long as I am competitive in Cat 2 when I upgrade.