Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't get dropped, or the vultures will get you!

I went up to Harriman on my road bike this morning to check out the course for the Bear Mountain race this weekend. I've ridden Seven Lakes Drives plenty of times, but I'm not sure I ever headed towards Lake Welch, unless I was coming from Tiorati Brook road. So I wanted to see what I was getting myself into.

Just before the halfway point of the 20 mile out-and-back course, there was a flock of vultures sitting on and around a picnic table just off the road. They looked hungry. Watch out on Sunday...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Extra Effort

One thing that always bugs me during training rides, is my own failure to give 100%. Overall, I think it is a focus issue. I get mentally distracted, and my level of effort drops.

I noticed this during todays interval session inside on the trainer (it's raining out). In the latter half of my 10min intervals, I would become aware of my legs burning, and my heart rate would drop a few beats. Noticing this, I increased my effort and got my heart rate back up.

This is all a mental challenge. It's not that I wasn't working through the pain with the lower HR, it's that I was focusing on the pain/discomfort instead of maintaining my level of effort. Now that I'm aware of this, I can work on fixing it.

I also know that I need to pay more attention to my resting HR in the morning. On some rides, I'm not sure if I'm "tired" or just being lazy when I'm having trouble getting the job done on a hard training ride. Maybe there is more to it than resting HR, also. Something to look into might be RestWise, which Rebecca Rusch uses. Based on my limited understanding of this system, it takes a more holistic approach to recovery, and determining ones state of recovery.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Back to bike racing...

I feel like I've exhausted my infosec blogging abilities. Fortunately, I've got lots of other cycling related stuff to write about. From now on, I'll be posting that stuff here.

Last week I competed in my first mountain bike race in about 10 years. I've been training pretty consistently since December, and had no reservations about racing in the CAT2 class. I've lost nearly 50lbs since last summer, and I've been posting some competitive times on my home course during training rides. I thought I was all set to put on a good showing, and achieve my 2 hour goal for this race. Unfortunately, I made a rookie mistake.

I've been using a line of nutritional products designed for endurance athletes. I haven't been using them exactly as prescribed by the company, but I feel like they've had a positive impact on my training, and subsequently my overall fitness.

Unfortunately, in the fog of pre-race anxiety, I decided I should start using said products exactly according to the companies specifications. For example, during a typical 2-3 hour training ride, I would drink about 20oz of the carb/electrolyte replenishment drink, and 20oz of water. However, the guidelines say to drink 24oz of the replenishment drink per hour, and nothing about fresh water. This is what I decided to do during the race. Big mistake.

My first lap took me 1 hour 3 minutes. I was hoping for under one hour. Half way into my second lap, however, things started to really slow down for me. Yes, things slowed down as my stomach began to feel full from all of that replenishment drink sloshing around. On top of that, I was craving fresh water, and only had more of the same drink in my bottle. My second lap took me 1 hour and 16 minutes, and I dropped from 5th or 6th to 10th place. Damn.

Lesson learned: listen to your body, and don't switch anything up on race day!