With only around 50 days left until the 2016 Little 500, it is officially “go time” for Beta Cycling. In the coming weeks, the team will begin our track workouts, prepare for our Spring Break training week, road race in Kentucky and St. Louis, and compete in Spring Series. To get to this point, the team has already put in a significant amount of work. In the fall we spent countless hours per week on the road making sure we had a solid “base” fitness. Our immediate goal is to transition this base fitness to a “build” phase, where we train for less hours but significantly increase the intensity and introduce interval training. Also, we have completed several indoor interval workouts as a team on our Little 500 bikes.
With the track opening Monday, the entire team is excited to test their legs on the cinder track. We are happy to report that for the first time, all of our riders are healthy and injury free. Despite our hours of hard work, we know that this last training phase is the most important.
We recently had a recovery week, and we all took advantage of it in a unique way. Each of us got out of Bloomington for the weekend to regroup mentally before the season officially kicks in, one of our critiques from the past seasons has been our mental sharpness come race day. This year we are all in the best shape physically, as well as mentally, and believe this will assist us in reaching our goal of winning the Little 500. Following this brief recovery weekend, the team will have 2 weeks before spring break to dial in our high-end fitness. This means mostly Little 500 specific workouts, and a big push on weight training and flexibility. After these first two weeks of the track, the team will transition to our most difficult week of training during the year- Bloomington Spring Break.
During the first weekend, we will travel to Kentucky to compete in the first annual Louisville Criterium. For those who are not familiar with road cycling, a criterium race is a 30-60 minute circuit race on a small course. During the race, riders will generally hold speeds of 20-26mph, and the race usually ends in a sprint. After this race, the team will return to Bloomington to train on the L5 track. Generally the first several days contain multiple workouts per day, with a rest day built into the week. This is a great time for the team to grow closer, reevaluate their personal and collective fitness goals, and plan the last month of our season. Following the week on the track, we will travel to St. Louis to compete in two additional criterium races. Following our Spring Break training week, Spring Series track racing begins.
This series consists of Qualifications, Individual Time Trials, Miss n’ Out, and Team Pursuit. We will be posting another blog post closer to this time, highlighting our goals and a detailed description of the events. Until then, we will continue to fundraise for race day fees, bikes, parts, and nutrition. We want to thank our alumni supporters that have already contributed this year; our efforts would not be possible without your continued support!
Last week I had the opportunity to spend 4 days in Naples, FL on a weekend trip. Aside from getting 8 hours of training and a very fast group ride on my legs, the trip provided me an opportunity to reflect on the season, and think ahead to the spring events. It is a bittersweet feeling going through my last Little 500 season; I am sad to leave the cinder track behind, but excited to see what my future in cycling will look like. I believe I speak for the whole Beta Cycling team when I say we are 100% committed to the program, and excited to start racing on the track.
Below is a summary of the team schedule from now until race day:
March 12th- Criterium Racing in Kentucky (Louisville Criterium)
March 14th-18th –Spring Break (Track Workouts in Bloomington)
March 19th-20th – Criterium Racing in St. Louis (Tour of St. Louis)
Spring Series Events:
March 26th- Qualifications
March 30th- Individual Time Trials (ITT)
April 2nd- Miss n’ Out
April 10th- Team Pursuit
April 16th- Little 500 2016