Training in Leadville July 14 & 15

July 13th, 2012

Top of Columbing During Leadville 100 Training

I’m going to be training on the Leadville 100 course this weekend. Here’s my training plans for this weekend.

On Saturday I’ll watch the Silver Rush 50 start and then drive down to the Twin Lakes aid station. If the Silver Rush starts on time, that should have me leaving from Twin Lakes soon after 9:30. I’ll ride up to the top of Columbine and back. Back at the vehicle at Twin Lakes, I’ll refill bottles and then ride to Fish Hatchery and back to Twin Lakes.

Sunday I’ll ride from Lifetime Fitness at 9:00 as that’s when Art normally leads a ride. He may be helping out with the Silver Rush run. If there isn’t a group doing something else, I’ll ride the first part of the course to Fish Hatchery. If I’m feeling good, I’ll ride back to the finish on the course but if not I’ll just short cut back into town on the pavement.

I’m still 45 lbs heavy so I don’t go up hill fast but still can go down fast. I have decent fitness so think I should be about 11 hours on race day. In any case, I’m still a long ways from my 8:18 in 2003.

If you’re up in Leadville this weekend or want to catch dinner Saturday evening, contact me.

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Riding a Bike Inside Versus Outside

February 7th, 2008

Singletrack Near Section 16 in Colorado Springs

Today I got out for a nice spin on the bike trail on the mountain bike. It was in the 30s with lots of sun but there was still plenty of ice and snow on the trail. It was good to be out on the bike.

I got thinking about how much more I enjoy riding outside instead of on the trainer. I don’t even feel I’m working as hard when I’m outside.

Several years ago, I was part of a study on mountain bikers at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (that’s when I started calling it the Olympic Torture Center). I told one of the researches that it seemed like I was working a lot harder in the lab. She decided to test me outside on an old railroad grade.

I would ride for 3 minutes trying to hold the same HR that I had at a given power output in the lab. She would get a blood sample and then I’d push my HR to match another 25 watts of power output. At each level, I’d use the RPE scale to rate how hard I was working.

The result of this test was that my HR and blood lactate levels matched for both the lab and out on the road. I pretty consistently used 2 points less on the RPE scale to describe my effort outside. It clearly seemed that it was easier to ride outside but I was actually working as hard.

In spite of enjoying riding outside more at least when it’s not too nasty, I still think riding a trainer is valuable. I can get training in without spending all the time of getting layers and layers of clothes on. Some workouts such as intervals, one legged drills and high cadence spinning can be more controlled on the trainer.

I also feel that riding a trainer gets you used to pedaling all the time instead of coasting for even a few seconds at a time. I think that’s why my legs sometimes feel more tired after riding the trainer. I’ve seen where some coaches think that you want to be on a trainer that mimics the feel of the road the best which would allow you a little coasting. I’m not convinced of it.

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Excuses, Excuses

January 11th, 2008


I’ve had way too many good reason not to workout such as being sick, the Holidays, working on my garage, etc. Spring is coming and now is the time to be training.

via The Everyday Athlete

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Training With Limited Time From Hunter Allen

October 16th, 2007

Hunter Allen, one of the training with power experts, is doing a webinar tomorrow, 10/17/07 at 4 PM tomorrow on training with limited time. It’s through USA Cycling and costs $35 for members, $25 for coaches and $50 for others.

10-17-07 Update: I just found out about this yesterday morning and didn’t realize you had to register by noon yesterday.

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Sinus Infection Prevention

October 7th, 2007

Sinus Rinse

It’s fall and we’re heading into the cold part of the year. At least here in Colorado, sinus infection are common with cyclists during this time of year. I’m not sure exactly why but I think it was to do with the really dry, cold air and breathing hard while training. It’s also when we get more colds and try training too much before we get over them. My non-active co-workers also are more likely to have sinus infections during the winter too but not as bad as cyclists.

For the last several years, I haven’t made it through a winter without being on antibiotics at least once for a sinus infection. Not only do I have bad summer time allergies but I’m also allergic to molds and dust. I have some congestion most of the time which contributes to my sinus problems.

With my extra job stress this year, I’ve been on antibiotics 4 times for sinus infections. The last time was about 2 months ago. The biggest thing that makes it hard for me to train while on antibiotics is that it messes my stomach up. That makes it hard to eat enough on long rides and can cause a bonk. Eating yogurt and taking iFlora or Digest Caps really helps my stomach.

This last time I was on pretty strong antibiotics for 18 days. Within a week of finishing the antibiotics, I was feeling like I had a sinus infection again. I was doing everything that I know to do. I was taking antihistamines, using nasal spray and Mucinex.

When I was in to my asthma and allergy doctor’s office to get my allergy shot, I told them I was having trouble again. They said I really should be using the Sinus Rinse. A couple years ago they had tried getting me to use it too and had given me a free one.

I had never used it. You use it to spray a saline solution up one nostril and let it run out the other side. That just didn’t seem pleasant to me. My dad had been using it for a while and had told me it doesn’t feel that bad and had really helped him.

They gave me another one even though I told them I still had the other one. I figured I’d give it a try to try to avoid taking more antibiotics. It ended up not feeling bad at all and I got a lot of crud out of my nose. The key is to bend over enough so the solution doesn’t run down your throat. I’ve also found when I’m really stuffed up it helps to take a really deep breath and hold it while squirting the solution up my nose.

Even after using it once, my sinuses felt better. After a couple more days of using it, my sinuses felt fine. I used it for a couple weeks and then felt well enough and quit using it. After several days, my sinuses started bothering me again. I guess I need to use it every few days to keep things cleared out.

According to the list on the website of places to buy the Sinus Rinse, it should be easy to find at a drug or grocery store. My free one only came with 5 packets for making the solution but I think the ones in the store come with 50 packets. I bought a box of 100 packets at Walgreens once the ones that came with mine ran out.

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15% Off Cycling Books and Videos

December 12th, 2006

If you need something to keep you motivated while you’re sweating away on the indoor bike trainer or need to learn more about training, Cycling-Videos.com is offering 15% off videos and books. Use coupon code DM11 through December 18th to get the 15% discount. Cycling-Videos.com is run by a guy that raced RAAM solo last year and is planning on doing it again next year. I met him at RAAM and rode with him part of the way during the neutral start.

They carry Spinervals, Train Right, and Cycling Fitness Results DVDs. They also carry books like Coach Friel’s “The Cyclist’s Training Bible” and bestselling videos “Rides” Volumes 1 and 2 from Endurance Films.

You can find even more cycling, outdoor and travel related deals on my deals blog.

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Riding Harder Again

July 12th, 2006

The last couple weeks I’ve kept my rides an hour or less and at a recovery pace. Monday I rode an hour and 15 minutes and my left leg was only a little tighter after the ride.

Yesterday 5 of us from work went out at lunch. I’m lucky to work with several good riders. James won the 24 Hours of EROCK the beginning of June even though he did a fair amount of it without a crew. Last year he finished the Leadville 100 in under 8 hours which is something very few people have done. Bob was also on the ride. He was on was on the 4 person team that finished 3rd overall at the 24 Hours of Steamboat this year. John is a Sport mountain bike racer and we also had Daryle, my 2nd level manager, who is a strong recreational rider. We also have a few other strong recreational riders that weren’t on yesterday’s ride.

We went out into Black Forest which has lots of rollers. At least that’s what we call them although people from other places don’t agree. I was riding with Mike Enfield from Arizona at last years RMCC 200k and he insisted they were climbs instead of rollers. James was pushing what seemed like a hard pace but I haven’t done any intensity for nearly a month and a half. I managed to hang on even though Daryle and John got dropped. Bob also looked like he was working hard to stay on so I think I haven’t lost as much speed as I thought I might have. I had some pain in my left leg and hip but not nearly bad enough to affect my riding. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before everything is back to normal.

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Weekend Training Rides

May 9th, 2006

Since I’d been sick last week with a mild cold, I didn’t go to the 200k brevet that I had planned to do. Instead I did a ride up to Palmer Lake, through Black Forest, out on the plains to Peyton and then back US 24 in to town and then rode up toward Woodland Park.

I started late because it was cool and rainy first thing in the morning. It cleared off nicely and dried off making for a nice day when I started out. Thunderstorms kept building around them but I managed to stay out of their way for a while. When I went through Falcon on the way back into town, there was a thunderstorm on each side of US 24.

I debated whether I should take shelter at the gas station or hope I could get between them. I decided to take my chances and the 2 storms grew into one. At first it was just big, stinging, cold rain drops and then it was mixed with big chunks of slush. Fortunately it didn’t turn to hail. I probably rode in the rain for about 30 minutes but it took over an hour to dry off once I got through it and then sun came out. My cyclocomputer once again quit picking up just like it did after riding in the snow a little over a week ago. I discovered that the o-ring that’s supposed to seal the battery compartment on the transmitter has gotten old and cracked. Now I hope I can find something to replace it with. I think I got almost 110 miles in although my computer only recorded a little over 91.

I had the stitches removed from my arm last week and Dr. Carter said I could use the aero bars as much as I wanted as long as it didn’t hurt. I didn’t even feel any discomfort. Unfortunately that couldn’t be said of my knee that I slammed into the fence post when I was riding near Avon. It was stiff for the first couple hours and then it got to the point that it didn’t feel too bad. My bio-mechanics were off though because my ankle and hip hurt and my hamstrings were getting tight.

Sunday I went for my first weekend mountain bike ride in a long time. I’ve done a few mountain bike rides at lunch but they’ve been short. I rode a bunch of my favorite trails such as the Chutes, Buckhorn, Upper Captain Jacks, Bear Creek, Intemann, and some trails in the Red Rock Open Space. My handling skills actually were better than I was expecting but my shoulders and arms got tired since I don’t use them much on the road.

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How I Use Hammer Nutrition and E-CAPS Products

April 14th, 2006

Since Al asked about my take on Hammer Nutrition products, I thought I’d write a post rather than just add a comment because I have a lot to say about their products. I’m sponsored by them although it’s a discount, not cash or free product, so if I didn’t like their products it wouldn’t do me any good. If you’ve never ordered from them before, you can get 15% off your first order by following this link. They have a Yahoo group where even the owner will answer questions. Steve Born that has finished RAAM more than once and done things like start at the finish line of the Furnace Creek 508 and ride to the start to do the race has been a big help for me to get my nutrition dialed in for long races. Last year I was really out of shape for the Adirondack 540 and I had to call him the day before the race to be convinced I could do the race.

The best way to explain my take on the products is to tell my experience when I first did Montezuma’s Revenge in 1998. It was my second 24 hour mountain bike race. I was sick when I first did the 24 Hours of Moab and spent 7 hours off the bike but was so congested I couldn’t lie down without starting to choke.

I had tried Sustained Energy during training but had trouble with bloating and gas so I had given up on it. I now know that because it doesn’t have any preservatives it goes bad in about 3 hours in the hot sun and that is what was causing my problems. They actually say it should last a little longer but 3 hours has been my experience. I ended up solving that problem by mixing my 2nd bottle the night before and freezing it. That was back before they had Perpetuem and HEED which take a lot longer to go bad. I had gone back to using CytoMax and GU. I got about 8 hours into Montezuma’s Revenge and got so sick to my stomach I didn’t feel like eating plus I was peeing like crazy but at the same time feeling really dehydrated. I got up on Gray’s Peak above 13,000 feet and was stumbling and falling asleep as I tried hiking with my bike on my back.

After that miserable race, I decided to give Sustained Energy another try along with some Hammer Gel. I used them at the 24 Hours of Moab along with solid food and did much better although still had some stomach problems. Dr. Bill that has had a huge part in developing the Hammer Nutrition products finally convinced me that for 24 hours I was best off without solid foods. The first time I tried without solid food I had plenty of solid foods available and ended up not using any and didn’t have any stomach problems. I now pretty much just use their products except I’ve eaten a small amount of solid foods in my RAAM qualifiers. When I did the Furnace Creek 508 in 2002, I had 36 servings of Sustained Energy and less than a 1,000 calories from other foods.

Now they have more choices in fuels and I mix them depending on what I’m doing. For short, hard group rides I use HEED and some Hammer Gel. When they first came out with HEED, they just had the Lemon-Lime flavor and I didn’t like it but I’ve come to really like the Mandarin Orange. For 2-3 hour mountain bike races, I use Sustained Energy with a couple scoops of the powdered Endurolytes added in plus I use a coin purse to carry more Endurolytes. For 100 mile mountain bike races I mix Sustained Energy and Perpetuem half and half along with some powdered Endurolytes. When I’m going hard I seem to have some problems digesting straight Perpetuem and that’s why I mix it with the Sustained Energy.

In 24 hour mountain bike events and RAAM qualifiers I use mainly Perpetuem but use a little of the other fuels for variety. I always have plain water with me so I can drink what I need independent of the calories I’m getting plus it helps to not have any taste in my mouth. Even under ideal conditions, I have trouble digesting much over 250 calories and hour and try not to go over 28 ounces of fluid an hour. Eating or drinking stuff with simple sugars while using the Hammer fuels is a sure way to bonk. I found this out the hard way doing the Vail Ultra 100. Julie offered a couple bite sized Snickers bars at one of the aid stations and within 20 minutes I was severely bonking and sat at the next aid station for an hour wrapped in blankets and shivering.

If I’m doing an early morning race, I sleep as late as possible and don’t eat anything until I’m on the bike. The first few times I didn’t eat before I felt really hungry and thought for sure I’d bonk but my stomach felt better early in the race than if I had eaten and I didn’t bonk. I do find I have to start eating sooner but my stomach feels fine. If I ate too close to the start, I’d find my stomach didn’t feel the best and it would be an hour or so before I could start eating.

Lately on my long training rides I’ve been mixing one bottle with 4 scoops HEED and 2 scoops plain Perpetuem and another bottle with 1 scoop HEED and 5 scoops Dreamsicle Perpetuem and 3 scoops powdered Endurolytes in each bottle. For performance I’d probably be better off using more Perpetuem but I like the variety of flavors.

For races and rides under 3 hours, I take 1 Race Cap Supreme, 1 Mito-R-Cap, and 4 Anti-Fatigue Caps an hour before the start and then just Endurolytes during the race or ride. I longer races and rides I take the same thing before the start and then starting 2 hours in I take the same thing every hour except drop the Anti-Fatigue Caps to 2 and take 2-3 Endurolytes. I always have more Endurolytes so I can take more if I need them to keep from cramping. The Anti-Fatigue Caps really help keep me from smelling like ammonia. Before I started using them I used to stink of ammonia by the time I’d get 6 hours into a race. For during races and rides, I use the little baggies to but in an hour worth of pills so I can just grab one out of my pocket and dump everything into my month. I can really tell I don’t fatigue as fast and recover faster if I take the supplements. During training I generally open the bag and squeeze from the sides on the zip section to open it wide so I can reuse it but during races I generally tear the top off. If I have a crew with me, I use empty canisters that film come in and have them hand it to me. Now that I’m using a digital camera I have to make sure I don’t lose the ones I have.

After hard rides, I generally have 2 or 3 scoops of Recoverite and then a little while later I mix a bottle of 2 scoops of Recoverite and 1 of Whey Protein. I also take Super AO and Tissue Rejuvenator.

Update: See what I did for nutrition during my 2006 solo RAAM attempt.

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3 Days and 300 Miles

February 27th, 2006

Until this last weekend, it had been nearly a month since I had done a long ride. When I had the flu about a month ago, I ended up with a sinus infection. For my Eiseman hut trip, I was on antibiotics and felt Ok. A couple days after I was finished with the antibiotics, the sinus infection came back. Now I’m just over 10 days into my 2nd round of antibiotics.

With Texas Hellweek only 2 weeks away, my coach scheduled this last weekend as 3 back to back long days. Fortunately the weather even cooperated and it was nice all weekend. My wife was out of town Friday night through Sunday afternoon but her parents were able to watch the girls during the day. At night and in the morning, I got to play Mommy and Daddy.

Friday I took off work and met up with the Verizon (formerly MCI) lunch ride. When I worked at Agilent, I used to ride with them quite a bit but now it’s hard for me to get over there. As always there were some attacks and sprints. I then went out and rode through Black Forest to Peyton and then came back in US 24. That gave me 93 miles and 4662 feet of climbing.

Saturday I started out with the 10:00 Acacia group ride. There was a large turnout and I’d guess there were about 70 riders. There seemed to be a lot of riders that weren’t used to riding in a group. I really thought there’d be a crash. On Link Road I got dropped when I didn’t realize the 3 guys in front of me had let a small gap open. I tried bridging but couldn’t. I was pretty down on myself for not being able to hang.

I had to keep telling myself I had done 93 miles the day before and that they’re training for short, fast races. At the group turn around, Tim joined me on his recumbent and we went out to Hanover and Ellicott. I finished out the ride with a trip through Manitou to get 110 miles and 3501 feet of climbing.

Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day with the temperature topping out around 60 degrees. I rode down Hwy 115 to Florence and then back. On the way down I had a pretty good headwind. I was afraid it would shift but I got a tailwind on the way back. I got in another 97 miles and 4131 feet of climbing.

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