So, this year we have an entirely knew coaching staff which was a lot different for me because I'm used to some stability on the coaching front. This year going into residency I had a lot of different focuses then in years past. This year I wanted to come into residency capable of skating contributing in the distance department. Last year and this year I was able to race the endurance races well, but racing and training are two completely different entities. So far I think I've done well. Throughout most of the year and leading into residency I've felt that I've been strong, but have lacked a little in the speed department. I spent a lot of time doing intervals and sprints trying to fix the problem I feel as if I've been having. I think my training at home before residency has been really good for me. I've been training for worlds, not residency and I think it's been going great.
A few things about myself in terms of an athlete: I analyze everything. I like to work hard, I want my legs to hurt and hurt bad so that I know I'm working hard. I like to bang out my workouts, not drag them along.
The first couple days of residency did not bode well for me. I felt as if we were not going as hard as we needed to, I felt as if we were wasting so much time, and my legs did not hurt enough. One of the easy gauges of if the team is going hard enough is how many people are sore/hurt. It is inevitable for people to hurt their feet, have trouble with their equipment, get sore groins, etc. This is not a knock on any athlete(s) I just feel as if you have to prepare physically and mentally for a training program like this and if it is your first time or if you underestimated anything then you could end up with a problem.
Secondly, I've run into a little bit of trouble in the wheel department. It is not the quality of the wheel as I am still skating on the most impressive wheel out there but more of a problem with people outside of the sport not understanding the needs in terms of wheels especially on bank tracks that gobble wheels for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.. aka Colorado Springs velodrome.
Anyway.. I've gone into residency just wanting to work hard. If I work as hard as I possibly can then I know I will be on an incredible peak for worlds not to mention the mental toughness that you pick up along the way. So far I think I've been working pretty hard, I've yet to miss a drill and I've given every drill everything I've got. After this mornings workout when I got out of the car I'm pretty sure my legs were still shaking, which is a good sign in my opinion.
One of my last thoughts is somewhat simple, I hate when people who are not around the team try to decide just by word of mouth what is the best training method for us. Any good coach will have their athletes do at the least one workout to test the athlete. When I say test the athlete I mean it is easy to see an athlete compete and do well when everything is going well. But if you stick them outside of their comfort zone, put them up against a wall when no matter how hard they try the thought of quitting is always creeping up on them, that's when you find out certain things about athletes. Do you want the athlete who can win as long as nothing unexpected happens? Or do you want the athlete that will grind every possible spectacle of energy and fight out of their body to avoid failure?
I've got just over three weeks until worlds begins. I plan on working on the mental aspect just as much as the physical. I am a quiet athlete, but by the time I get to Colombia I can guarantee I will be confident in my abilities. In terms of my speed and what I thought I've needed to work on a lot, every day I feel tired a little more, but my lap times get a little faster which is what I want to see from myself heading into the stretch run.