If you race both road and cross it might seem as if you don’t have much of an off season. Gayle Connell has learned the importance taking a break from racing and training and will approach the 2016 road season with a new attitude.
This past season I decided cross was where I wanted to focus my energy and concentrate on as my top sport. I didn’t train or compete as much as I would have liked on the road last season and probably started my training a bit late, but I did put the effort in (cardiovascular at least, skills not quite enough!) starting in August through December. I definitely made improvements and see that I have much more room to improve in the future. It was a hard, fast and fun season that ended with a 4th place at the Colorado State Championships race for me, 5th for the SW3 BRAC Cross Cup standings and Naked Women winning the SW3 BRAC Cross Team Cup!
While I continued to “work-out” over the holidays and into the new year, I made a conscious decision to cut myself a break. I probably (who am I kidding, I definitely) had a few too many snacks and drinks, and maybe slept in a couple extra days, but I think the mental break was just as important as the physical break. We all know it is vital to have adequate rest and recovery times built into your training schedule to perform well throughout both cross and road seasons, but sometimes it is hard to force that change.
Well, I’ve now laid off the delicious handfuls of dark chocolate covered cashews and extra glass of wine and have started looking at the road race calendar for this season. I’m looking forward to training with teammates and even happily suffer though all the morning sessions on the trainer at 5 am in the basement. I’m hoping that one of the biggest changes I’ll take through these next seasons is one of attitude. Knowing that the road races are merely a stepping-stone to greater things for next fall/winter will hopefully take some of the pressure off allowing me to have plenty of fun, work for my teammates and perform better though out the year.