07 Feb Matthew Busche shares Pro Training, Race Tatics, and Attitude with Enzo
Thank you to Matthew for taking time from his packed schedule to talk with Enzo. The idea was to show that training and race prep is not much different from amateurs to Pro’s. The biggest difference is Pro racers rest like pros, masters/amateurs spend to much time training and not enough time recovering! I hope this helps you improve your prep for the 2013 road season.
To start, how many races did you do in 2012? Starting and ending roughly what dates.
MB: I started racing at the end of January in Mallorca, and I finished my season at the beginning of October. I think I had around 80 race days in 2012.
At the end of your season, how much down time do you take?
MB: I like to take a solid two weeks really easy. One week for sure of nothing but relaxing. Then depending on how busy I am, or how stir crazy I’m getting, I might consider some light exercise of some form in the second week. After that, the timing of when I finished racing to when the season starts will determine when/how I start training. Generally November 1st is a good starting time for beginning to form a routine riding schedule again; however, it is definitely not limited to the road. I like to ride the mtb or cx bike a lot at this time.
What do you do in this down time?
MB: Things that are different, other sports, eating habits, family time, more wine drinking? -I like to try and relax in my down time, catch up on things that have passed during the business of the season. It is never fun to try and catch up on important tasks, but this is the ideal time. Also, I just enjoy catching up with family and friends. I love to go hiking, backpacking, hunting, cook, and read an occasional book.
Do you think the rest/down time is more for your body or your mind, or both.
MB:Both for sure. It is a long season mentally and physically.
Would you give us an example of how you set your personal racing goals from year to year. Do these goals alter your training routine?
MB: I like to set goals that are reasonable. I’m not going to say that my goal for 2013 is to win the TdF, it simply isn’t realistic. I’m not selling myself short, I’m simply using the knowledge I’ve gained in my first three years to set goals that I can hopefully attain. I will look back on the previous season to what I did to find appropriate goals. What I’ve already accomplished is a good benchmark for where I can go.
How long of a base building period do you normally allow. Do you have a zone that you try to ride in and how do you determine this? Watt meter, Heart rate, perceived effort, all of these?
MB: These are things I am still trying to figure out. My build up to each season since turning pro has been less than ideal probably. I’ve spent vital time in December in the cold weather of the Midwest where it is hard to build my base miles. I train with power and heart rate, but at the end of the day, the body is the ultimate voice. Your body is very good at telling you exactly how you’re feeling!
When do you start working intensity? Is this a specific training plan or do you race yourself into top form?
MB: It depends. The season is long and races are often and hard, so finding time to do specific intervals for a specific goal can be difficult. You have to be flexible in your planning. You can make a general plan, but it has to be dynamic to how your needs change.
Tactically speaking, when you won the US Pro Road race, did you let the break unfold, or did you calculate a plan once you knew the break had stuck? Where you nervous or were you in the default/racing mode?
MB: I definitely made a plan to be in the final break. I had done the race several times on that course, so I knew the tactics: be there the last time on Paris Mountain. From there, it was pure instinct. I contemplated attacking several times, but those moments passed. In the end, it was simply all I had!
The next years US PRO race, was your first time defending such a title. How were the tactic’s different this year from the previous year?
MB: There is added pressure being the defending champion, and there is a target on your back, but the tactics were generally the same. It worked out properly for me, but a mental mistake in those final moments cost me the chance at the repeat.
Clearly your are now a targeted man, why did the break allow, not chase, Tim’s timely attack? Did they not want to take you to the line, because you have a decent sprint?
MB: We chased. He was simply stronger than the rest of us. Or all of us were equally dead, so once he had his gap, he only had to maintain his effort. He rode a great race.
If there is one piece of advice you can give to the up and coming young racer that wants to achieve a pro contract, what would that be?
MB: Have fun. Don’t focus on it. If it is going to happen, it will.