Today kicks off a new feature for us, here on Catalyst Content, “A Day in the Life”. We’ll use this feature to give folks an inside look into a day in some of our athletes lives, whether it be at a race, training day, or maybe just a day they’re kicking it at the café. Today, we are graced by the smooth stylings of Tyler Williams, reporting from Down Under (Australia). Tyler is about to kick off his season, on Sunday, at the Cadel Evans’ Great Ocean Road Race. It is a one-day World Tour race.
Tyler has been training hard in California. Leading up to this race, the past six weeks have consisted of three weeks focused on volume, aerobic capacity, and sprinting on tired legs. We followed that three-week block with a rest week, and then a two-week block focused more on race specific intensity. The goal is that Tyler is fit enough to race, and have a shot at racing well, but that we haven’t spent so much energy getting him here that it is going to have him dropping down as the rest of the season goes on.
Described below, is a typical day for Tyler prior to the race. He does some recon with the team, and a bit of a workout, check it out:
7am: Breakfast, which is quite good here in the hotel. Generally it seems like the World Tour races that are outside of Europe are really good with the food and housing of the teams. So that is something that is always a plus!
9am: Roll out from hotel for approximately 4 hours on the main drag of the course down the Great Ocean Road. We have been leaving quite early for rides here since it has been so warm, and as it we are getting closer to racing now it’s best we avoid too much heat exposure. We ride together but everyone has a bit of there own agenda for days like this. Nate had me just getting in some tempo work and 4x2’ vo2 to wake up all of those systems before the Melbourne Crit which is Thursday. On a recon day I think it’s important to pay attention as much as you can to the details of the course. Where the wind is coming from and where it is open and exposed. Things like that can be difference makers, so it is important not to just zone out in conversation and not pay attention to where you are riding.
During the ride I just kinda listen to my body and look for ideal times to make sure I do my work without being “that guy”.
As Tyler hit on, our goal with the workout is doing a bit of top end work, so that those efforts are not totally foreign on race day. However, it's important to balance those goals of staying sharp, with not over doing it, and not clutching at straws trying to build last minute fitness. Hopefully folks picked up on Tyler saying "I just kinda listen to my body". That is a huge key for us. Right now it's 100 deg F in Australia, and he's just flown half way around the world to get there. What that all translates to is a precarious balance between not doing the work to open up, and over pushing it and cooking himself in the athlete. The bottom line being, no power or HR number is going to tell me and Tyler where he's at, better than him being tuned into what he's feeling and trusting himself. That takes time to develop, but strive for it!
Also first kangaroo sighting happened 2 hours in.
2pm: we returned from the ride took a quick shower and then went straight to lunch. As we had a pretty free afternoon I organized to go walk around a bit with a couple of my teammates. My roommate, from Girona, on Lotto NL Jumbo, who I hadn’t seen since last season also joined us. Geelong seems to have a good coffee scene so that was a nice way to kill a couple hours in the afternoon and get out of the hotel.
5pm: Quick massage, we only have one therapist here till tomorrow so we just had fast rubs instead of killing poor Tomaz with 3 hours of massage. Then some stretching and just trying to be somewhat productive with my time here which generally poor at doing, it’s easy to just zone out and stare at a screen. Which I’ll do plenty of over the next few weeks.
7:30pm Dinner, followed by bed at 10!
Then tomorrow do it all again but a shorter ride so probably a lot of staring at a screen, to kill time. I’m excited to start my season finally, after having a long layoff from racing. It’s good to have the exhibition race to at least get some feeling of racing back before a World Tour one day race. There is a fair amount of nerves especially in the first races, because I have been training really well but you also have to remember that everyone else also is training and the field is at a high level down here. But it’s nice to be in the sunshine and it will give me a good gauge of where I am at and what work is still left to do.
At the end of the day, the goal is to do a good ride, so I certainly have high expectations for myself and the team.
Thanks for writing, Tyler, and good luck on Sunday!