Monday, March 24, 2008

Training Explosion

Step One: Altitude and Snow

Step Two: Make A Hard Day Harder

This week should be an off week. I relieve myself of forced riding quotas every fourth week to remind myself that I do still ride a bike because I enjoy it. Next week my wife and daughter are relieved of their requirements to go to work and school so it made more sense to have my mini bike vacation then. Though this week is the last full week of March I have started my April training early. It looks to be a good start to the month.
It started with a high aerobic output snowshoe session. This wasn't a lovely stroll through the woods rather a sweat dripping from my brow, veins popping from my calves and quads deep powder stomping session. I threw in a back country nordic ski outing just for good measure.
With my calves knotted up real good and my quads basically emptied of all glycogen, I spent today wondering the hilly dirt roads in the south county area. Before the eight hour day was over I was surprised with how good I felt so I detoured a little bit and did some actual single track. I had heard that the trails have firmed up at Beacon so I took a look. It is hard to believe that they are in such good shape considering that last friday there was a four hour snow storm down here at lower elevation. It has been since last fall since I did any real mountain biking and I think that I am more than ready to start throwing in some dirty ol' biking fun.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What's Missing?

It occurred to me today that while spending my morning ride accessing the State Of My Fitness that there were things missing. Missing are the slight knee pain that I never let concern me, the tired back and shoulders that can develop during consecutive long days early in the season and the hand and wrist discomfort that forces me to adjust my hand positions constantly. The only conclusion that I can draw is that the fit of my new bike is so spot on that things I assumed were just part of being almost 40 years old and spending hour after hour on a bike are no longer there. Kudos to Independent Fabrications for building me a better bike than I was expecting but damn them for ruining me on stock, off-the-rack frames. Custom geometry is worth it.
The only hitch I have encountered is that in order to make the fickle Koobi saddle work with my geometry, I had to switch to a set back seatpost, but the proof is in the joints, and as a single speeder I have to watch out for my knees especially.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Training Blues

Runoff on Latah Creek Along Valley-Chapel Road.
The weather is improving somewhat. The roads were clear yesterday but it snowed, rained and snowed again while the wind blowed between 20 and 30 mph, but I got my time in.
My training program is simple. Every month I ride more hours per week than the last month. The details and nuances beyond that are few. My long day is Monday and that begins my week. I try and accomplish up to half of my weekly riding on that day. The incentive is to front load the week with rides so that I earn more rest toward the end. If I fail at this I have Friday to make it up; that day I go to work later so I can ride four or five hours (not what I want to do before a tough Friday night at work in the kitchen). This is not a good training program from a scientific point of view but it is the only one I am willing to commit to. Basically, I would rather ride than train.
I suspect that I will be writing about my preparations less. I was eager to unload my thoughts when there seemed to be more thinking than doing. I have also begun to tire of talking about the race. I am known to be extremely talkative but there is not much new to say and the repetitiveness of explaining to people the event and my involvement is not benefiting me at all.
As much as i am worried about the fast approach of the start date, I really do want to get this thing under way. The getting ready isn't interesting anymore. The same old low elevation country roads don't inspire me. The compromises in my schedule between family, work and riding continue to get more difficult and snow still covers all of the trails even down in the valleys.