So onto the training stuff. During all this time you might think that I was depressed and didn't feel like training. Well the opposite is actually the truth. I have been training all winter. Even though the weather wreaked havoc on my house, it also provided some of the best cross country skiing I've ever seen locally. In fact, I skate skied at Independence Oaks just about everyday for 90-120 minutes a day. Thankfully I have a pretty flexible job that allowed me to move my hours around so that I could do that. The last time I skied all winter was in 2008/2009. That year I went on to be the best athletic year of my life. I did multiple IM's under 10 hours as well as some other half distance races. I ended up being an All American for USAT that year. Now that's some pretty big shoes to fill I know, but it's definitely a positive factor in my favor going into this season, especially after the disaster and embarassment most of 2013 was. I must say however, I learned a lot last season and I'm taking those lessons as well as new lesson into 2014.
I was fortunate to spend some time in Tucson last month. I put in about 20 hours in the week I was there. While I was out there it gave me an opportunity to challenge myself and see how I'm doing coming into spring. I did nothing but base endurance rides and ski's all winter long with the exception of testing my FTP at the end of each base period. Ironically I saw a pretty decent improvement and I wasn't doing any intervals. I also spent more time on strength training which I feel did make a difference during that time. Now that I am going into the build phase, I've stopped the strength training but I may reintroduce if I don't see continued gains for the next period.