The good? I know what I did wrong.

The bad? That was an entire year of mediocrity.

14 races (13 local and Leadville), a small belt buckle, no podiums, and no improvement.

In previous years, I’ve seen solid improvement doing what I was doing (lots of lazy miles) because I was still “new” to the sport, “getting my legs,” and learning skills hand over fist. I could ride brainlessly for long periods and see that translate to increased performance. I’ve clearly hit a plateau where that isn’t going to cut it anymore.

I still put in similar time and miles, but with even less focus than ever before. I blame this on having Leadville in the calendar, not wanting to take it seriously, but then once it was over still being mentally exhausted from the effort anyway.

Do less better. That’s the lesson learned, and it’s a lesson that can be applied to all of life. I need to focus my training. I need fewer empty miles. I need to count quality, not minutes.

For a few weeks this fall when I was regaining my motivation and fitness, just before getting sick and getting bucked off the horse again, I focused on Strava’s Relative Effort metric. It’s a measure of time and intensity across sports (this is key since I do lots of things), and provides a target range each week. I was nailing that with less time in the saddle and seeing a measurable difference. That will be the focus this coming year since I already know I’ll have less training time available.

Note: I did focus on running until May and did adult-PR in the 5k. Being a certified coach, I suppose I know running training better? Time to apply some of that to the bike.