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Archive for July, 2012

Go Mom Go

Cycling is an incredibly accessible sport.  Everyone knows how to ride a bike and a basic bike is actually rather affordable. (think Walmart)  While I wouldn’t recommend a big box store bike for real riding, I see so many folks using those bikes to get to work, etc. that aren’t “into” cycling.  Good for them.  And some of these folks eventually make it into the world of wanting to get into RAGBRAI or a charity ride of some sort.  Good for them.

My family has gotten into cycling quite a bit over the past decade.  My brother and I have both raced mountain, road, track , cyclocross, etc.  I have watched my dad go from the $1200 dollar Klein (actually a pretty cool bike) to the Trek 5200 to the Madone to the Project One Madone.  And now my mother has her carbon Trek and is taking on a 50 mile charity ride.

My mother isn’t the most athletic gal, which makes this goal even more inspiring.  Go Mom Go.  I was happy to put together a training plan that takes her from a very recreational level (1-2  one hour rides per week at the most) to a person capable of a 50 mile ride in the summer heat.

I structured a plan that takes her up incrementally over the next 2 months to get in the miles and to train her all of her energy systems.  A solid mix of endurance, tempo, cadence work, and even some VO2 max work to progressively get her in shape to complete the ride in fine fashion.  I am excited to watch her improve over time and become more fit.  Go Mom Go.

I’ll post an update after the ride to see if we were successful.

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Transition

I am currently in a number of transitions, most importantly the move of my family a meer 6 miles down the road.  This doesn’t seem like much but it is taking quite a toll on the time for bike riding/racing/everything.  I did put in some monster miles in the last month and I am pretty confident of keeping my fitness through this transition.  Lifting all those boxes has to be good for something.

The second transition  many riders are about to begin is into cyclocross training.  Whether you are racing road and then cyclocross or if you are just focused on cross, this is usually the time folks start to think about getting a bit serious about training.  If you are racing road/mountian and transitioning, your training will be much different than just focusing on cross.  The cross specific folks need to get a good base and build under them to be ready for the intense season.  The year-round racers have that in spades and likely need a break.

Personally, I am again going to try and have a real cross season.  I have yet to put together more than 10 races in a year and most of the time only hit a couple, mostly due to injuries and illness. (Broken arm, chest pains, Swine Flu, etc.)  I am hoping that I can get it right this year and actually come out swinging.  Time to start working on all those skills so I only make a minor fool of myself on the first Wed. worlds.

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I have coached a number of sports at a variety of levels – 6 year old soccer (assistant coach), high school rugby, etc. While serious in their own ways, it was always a “fun” activity without too much pressure. Being a coach in Colorado can be the exact opposite if you let it. There are countless coaches in the state with a variety of “expertise” or formats that creates a highly competitive environment.   Some are part of a large conglomerate, some are ex-pros looking to extend their career in cycling and then there are the other guys.  (me)  Although I don’t believe I have lost a client to another coach yet, it is bound to happen.

I am almost entirely reputation based with my clients.  Most folks have come to me once they got to know somebody who raced and improved.  Occasionally someone reads this rambling drab on my website and gives me a call.  I haven’t let it get to the point of being a job yet and many times it is the best part of my day.  This year I have been lucky to work with some fairly successful athletes.  I have been uber proud of these guys and it has dwarfed my somewhat subpar personal performance.  (Cool thing is my team is doing well so I get that bump too) 

As I was working on July’s training I received a cool email that one of my athletes is tied for the Best Rider in his category.  I am pretty excited to focus on winning that deal together as we wrap up the remainder of the season. 

Thanks to all those athletes I have had the pleasure of working with in the past decade.  I am lucky to have made many lifetime friends in a job that I love.

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What?  Stop riding your bike?  What the heck is that all about?

RECOVERY

Depending on what part of the country you live in, your season is about 1/2 way through or just past.  If you have a long season, like many fair weather states (Texas was February through October when I lived there) it is time to consider a break.  Cycling is so difficult and taxing on the body that a good midseason break to recharge the batteries is important.  This is both a mental and physical break from the intense racing and training that most racers have been neck deep in for several months.

Mentally most racers have a hard time keeping that desire and winning edge the entire season.  It is tiring to hit up endless intervals, long endurance rides, etc. for months at a time.  If time is not taken off, it can become a massive chore to train or race.  As soon as thoughts like that enter our minds, you should know that you are likely long overdue for a break.

Physically racing and training at your top level for several months can have negative consequences.  Eventually your body can’t keep it up and you can slip into overtraining and cronic fatigue.  If you are trying to peak for certain parts of the season, these mid season breaks can be instrumental in setting your body up to achieve peak performance later.

So take a bit of time off now or soon.  Go hiking.  Go on vacation.  Eat some ice cream.  Enjoy it.  Don’t worry about losing fitness.  1-2 weeks off won’t set you back much and will give your body a chance to actually set up for bigger gains later on.

A good indicator of when it is time to get back on the bike is when you just can’t wait to get out and ride.  Once you have that feeling, wait 2 more days and then ease back into training.

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“Epic” Ride

 

The term Epic is overused in cycling. One of the reasons is that so much of what we do in cycling and training can lend itself to such and adjective.

 

Epic is apropos for riding so hard you want to die, 18% climbs, 60 mph downhills and the like that we encounter in cycling and racing.  

 

 This weekend was a mixed bag for me.  Saturday was the Masters State Championships and I suffered greatly in the peak of the heat at the 4:20 start.  The course has six 90 degree turns in 1 kilometer, making it difficult to drink any thing while racing.  I was happy to finish in the 20-somethings and get some liquid in my body.  I have never done well racing in the heat and 100 degrees was insane.   I am going to explore some techniques I have been researching this weekend and see how it goes in my next hot race.  I’ll do a report on the variety of heat fighting techniques next week.

 

The real challenge came on Sunday when a friend and I decided to do a 125 mile ride in the mountains.  I don’t usually have the luxury of having the time to hit up these insane rides, but I have a bit more time in the next week or so to get in some “Epic” rides.  The route was big one.  13 categorized climbs and a lot of heat.  I went through 14 water bottles and 2 coke ice cream floats.  The smoke was pretty heavy north of Boulder, but it was worth the stinging eyes and throat to enjoy an amazing day in the mountains. 

 

After descending Boulder Canyon we hit up a nice dip in the creek.  Perfect way to end a long hot day.

 

I took a couple of pics of some interesting items along the way.  My favorite is the Cows Not Mine sign.

 

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/108918797

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