–By Jeff Nordquist, Team Athletic Mentors Multi-Sport Athlete
Seems like every year we learn lessons from our season of racing, this year was no exception. I had few highlights and plenty of mistakes. Yet, there is always a lesson to be told from every experience, here are some of mine.
1. Under-training for long races. This year’s event was real long, The 2016 Bayshore Marathon, which happened to be my first 26.2 race. I had a slow start to spring training and decided to train my way through the race, no biggie, I’ve raced like this before. The only issue is covering such a large distance with a body that hasn’t been tested. I finished 10 minutes off my goal and crossed the line in 2:40. The real disappointment was the months to follow, developing a stress reaction in my foot, which brought my triathlon season to a halt.
My advice: Don’t train your way through a marathon.
2. Racing with one brake on a mountain bike. I had a less than eventful crash this past summer. I lost momentum on a steep hill and fell over, pathetic, I know. The majority of my back brake lever snapped off. After finishing my ride, I quickly believed a rear brake was expendable. Bad choice. Racing cyclecross a few weeks later, I found myself a bit too fast on a sweeping downhill with no back brake, you can paint the picture from here.
My advice: Don’t undermine your back brake’s significance.
3. Road tires are not meant for grass. I had a great experience with my first crit race. Plenty of prep, I had game plan, and most importantly I felt confident. The only issue was being on the wrong side of the last turn. Sitting a few lengths behind the leader, the odds were in my favor, until that back tire ahead of me decided to force me closer to the outside edge of the road, before I realize, my 23mm wide tires hit soft grass, and that was quite the maneuver to watch at 28mph. More than likely I had room to stay on pavement, but my reaction was too much costing me a chance at the win.
My advice: Go for the gold, not the grass.
I always reflect on the season and make adjustments based of past experiences, I’m excited to see what 2017 has for me, and hopefully next time around I have fewer mistakes to talk about.