After Big Sugar in October, we chatted with Alexey Vermeulen about how he structures his season, and what the planning process looks like. After all, no matter whether you’re an amateur racer or a full-time pro, the logistics around an event like Unbound can be daunting—and require a lot of thinking ahead to make a weekend go according to plan. Here, he shares how he organizes his season, from start to finish.
No one needs more apps. I like using lots lots of paper, and writing things down to make sense of it all.
I tend to kind of break the planning of a season up into first half / second half. So by my first big training camp, which is usually February for me, I'll have everything booked through Unbound: flights, cars, hotels, all that stuff. Then, by a month or two ahead of Unbound, I’ll start booking the second half of the season. After Unbound is over, there’s not really a break but there is a bit of a season reset, so I’m already thinking about that second half. From there, I’m booking through the whole rest of the season, up to November. It's a nice way to like stay on top of stuff.
Race registration is obviously your first priority, and from there, I look at flights and hotels since those get more expensive the closer you get. I try to stay on top of things like who's coming with me (like Avery, my friend and camera man, or Willie, my dachshund) and what do I need to plan outside of racing, especially when events correspond with my From the Ground Up project. It’s definitely easier to book for two people at the same time versus booking the second person later.
I usually make notes post-race of things I want to remember for next time, like if I want a second set of wheels or if I should have run different tires. I look back at each race when I’m booking everything around it for this coming year, and I make notes around if there’s extra stuff I need to bring.
I know that things can change, but I’ve learned that you can always turn around and cancel something if something changes, but for a race like Unbound, hotels in that area are booked so far in advance. Especially races that are in small towns like Unbound or Leadville is, it’s even more important to be ahead on booking.