CCNS athlete Anthony Vecca has been around cycling for a long time. He's a regular at New England mountain bike and cyclocross races, and he always is out there having a good time. His success story is all about 2018 though, as he has progressed from a Category 4 cyclocross racer to a Category 2 racer in a short period of time. We send him a few questions about what has made the difference this year. Here are his answers!
CCNS - You have a few years of CX under your belt. This year has been especially productive from a results standpoint. What are some of the details and adjustments you attribute the success of the season too?
A.V. - My cyclocross season is undoubtedly the result of structured training with CCNS (starting Spring of 2018) and monitoring my diet via MyFitnessPal. Joining the Stage 1 / Airline Cycles team also had a huge impact on my season. The biggest adjustment for me was having to make sacrifices on a weekly basis...ie. Missing low key group rides because I had an interval workout or passing on pizza lunches at the office because I had to stick to my daily caloric intake. Don't get me wrong, I had my fair share of fun over the last 7 months, but the sacrifices made heavily outweighed the indulgences. Joining a team provided me with a vast support system. From mechanical support to a bike sponsor to moral support from awesome teammates / new friends, the team has become family and they motivate me daily.
CCNS - How would you describe the changes you've made in the day to day, week to week training?
A.V. - It is nearly impossible to compare my 2017 training to this year. Last year if I felt like riding hard, I rode hard. If I were feeling lazy, I'd go play on the mountain bike. I had no structure
whatsoever. This year 90% of my training was on the road bike and incorporating a power meter into my training helped tremendously.
CCNS - Routine is obviously essential to athletes. What do you do when you get knocked out of your routine?
A.V. - I'm extremely OCD, so I live and die by my routine. When I'm knocked out of my routine, I'm quick to find a fix or adaptation to the norm I know. A prime example for me this year was business travel. I was on the road one week a month for my job much of the Spring & Summer. That takes a huge toll on your training and nutrition. Having to adapt to getting up at 4am to put in a 1-hour hotel gym spin bike workout, and avoid the all you can eat free hotel breakfast bar is rough, but it had to be done to maintain fitness and keep to the plan.
CCNS - How much is running a part of your CX training?
A.V. - I've done a limited amount of running this year. My pre-riding background was cross country and track, so I think my running form and speed was developed back in the 90's.
CCNS - What's the sky's the limit goal for 2019?
A.V. - First a foremost, I'm after a Pro-3 podium next CX season....even though I'll be eligible to race Masters 40+. If I'm riding strong and things pan out, I'd love to adventure out to Tacoma to CX Nats and shoot for a Top 10 finish in the Single Speed Open.
CCNS - Once the end of the CX season is here, what will you do to keep yourself motivated thru the winter time?
A.V. - I don't anticipate losing motivation after the season ends. I suffered way too much to get where I'm at fitness-wise, I'm not losing it and starting over! I'll ride outside as much as I can, and on those brutal snow days I'll hop on my CycleOps Hammer and live the Zwift life. See ya in Watopia!
Thanks for taking the time to talk training Anthony! Keep up the great work!