Spring Into The Action

I just finished the third and last week of run focused training in my program.  My version of a run focus is different from some other people’s view because I just don’t think you can take weeks away from cycling and still have a solid winter base to race from during the year.  My philosophy is a base layer of cycling, swimming and running.  From that base layer, which is determined based on the number of years you have been training, you have some quality workouts that round out the program.  I figure there is a finite amount of quality that anyone can absorb in training so you have to start making choices in this area.  I have chosen to do three super quality runs per week and two bike (one of which is not that high of quality, more steady state quality).  This is my version of a run focus.  I am now going to turn the tables and do two run quality workouts (one only at “steady state” quality) and three hard bike workouts per week.  One of which will be racing if available.  In this way I think I can get my riding up to where it needs to be by May 2.  Right now I am ahead of last year but I started the season not so fast in Fontana so that is not saying much.

This is one of the hardest periods of the year because now the intensity starts to increase while the volume remains fairly high.  This makes training very, very tiring and although some days I am amazed at how great it is going, other days are very tough to swallow.  The highlight of this entire winter is my running.  I am not crazy fast by any means but I am strong.  My steady pace for a long run is close to what I ran tempo in only three years ago.  Not kidding!  So as soon as I dig out of this mountain of fatigue I am interested if I picked up any speedy legs in the process because I haven’t seen truly speedy Mel since about three weeks ago. 

I am starting to get excited about the five weeks of hard cycling training planned with some mountain bike races to use as hard workouts.  I am excited to have a chance to race with the Sho-Air mountain bike team as the “token” girl Kiss on my new Specialized!!!  Should be fun having a team at the US Cup events and I really appreciate Sho-Air and Specialized putting this together for me.  I am somewhat disorganized right now but the plan is to be in Los Angeles on the weekend.  We’ll see how that goes!  I hear there have been crazy mudslides on the I-5 and I am planning to rock this drive ALONE.  Yikes.

In addition to the training I have had a lot of “non-training but racing-related” work going on and I feel a bit buried.  I am trying to not get stressed out about all of it but seriously, I took on a little too much this season.  Wish me no nervous breakdowns please!  I would also like to say that to everyone who applied to race for MelRad Racing this year thank you so, so much!  I have so enjoyed reading all of the applications and I have to say we have shortlisted a phenomenal group of athletes already.  There ended up being some extra mandatory stipulations to make the cut.  Those included racing at least ONE season of XTERRA already and racing your XTERRA region this season (so unfortunately no road-only athletes for 2009).  We will have some athletes mixing it up on both the road and the dirt but that was not mandatory for this year.  Also, athletes that are coached by Melanie and/or Conrad were AUTOMATICALLY included on the list and had the option to decline their spots so if you missed out this year, you know how to make sure you don’t miss out next year.  There is 100% nepotism in MY team Wink.  Stay tuned as we are very near to our final list…

So I thought I would start this post with some boring training related details to the nerds that like that stuff…. So read on for more…


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Monitor Progress Now to Improve Season Performance

Melanie McQuaid provides advice on using test sessions to help monitor your progress throughout the course of the season.


See I told you that tri top was enormous on me….

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A Little Over a Week In The Life Of Mel

One of the most common questions I get is “what do you do for training?” My answer is always “depends”.  Training is dependent on my recovery, do I need to do more, do I need to do less and can I fit more into my schedule or not?  Sometimes my schedule ends up not being perfect for training but close enough to get the work done.  This was the case over the last 12 days.  I had some sponsor commitments to attend to but I was also in Southern California with an opportunity to train with some exceptionally strong riders so it was an opportunity not to be missed.  So I thought I would record in point form the itinerary from the past few days along with some photos on what some of the commitments of a pro athlete look like…. so here goes the RECAP….


Dean, Mel, Mary, Becky, Taylor, Craig, Ricky and Dennis and their Gold Dudes

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