Monday, November 19, 2012

Big training!

Many hundreds of hours of training throughout the year leads to pretty epic fitness.  It also leads to tons of residual fatigue.  To account for that, most high performance athletes (and those all across the spectrum of performance) should have several weeks of being "normal" people.  By normal, I actually really just mean "lazy."  Catching up on sleep, getting out of shape, and enjoying a great deal more free time than usual is an excellent, amazing, stupendous way to spend a November.

Some may recognize where this is from...but no one in NC!
Having recently purchased my first mountain bike my main goal this past week was to familiarize myself with it as much as possible.  If triathletes being bike racers (although I'm stretching that a little at this point given I only did a single race) is a paradox, triathletes riding mountain bikes with any sort of competence is an even bigger one.  That being said, I don't like sucking at things.  I consider myself to be a pretty good bike rider in all respects (not related to fitness)... I make rational decisions.  I handle well in a group.  I pick good lines.  I have confidence in myself and my bike (this may sound silly but it's actually one of the most important aspects of being a good bike long as it's not misplaced confidence!!).  This all goes out the window a little bit when it comes to mountain biking.  I DON'T know what my bike is capable of (yet).  I DON'T pick good lines all the time (yet).  I am NOT familiar with the trails in the sense that I'm familiar with the roads.

So, all the things I'm NOT good at tend to add up on the ol' trails.  All that being said, I think I hold my own pretty well.  I'm not afraid of crashing, which means a lot on the trails.  I'm afraid in the sense that it would hurt, but I recognize the likelihood of actual injury is much smaller than on the road.  If a handlebar catches a tree at 10mph I am less worried about the consequences than if my wheels slide out at 45mph on a downhill while cruising on the roadie.

The physiological demands are also different on a mountain bike.  Lots of spikes in power.  LOTS.  It actually reminds me most of road racing.  A good bit of coasting, a lot of hard, short efforts and relatively little "cruising along." I assume that as you improve skill-wise it likely smoothes out but I have certainly not hit that point yet.

While I may not be as bold as (for example, this guy)

some out there, I figure I can only get better!  Next week brings some more of the same training-wise but also some Thanskgiving!  Yay for being out of work a day next week! That is always fun.

Also, here's a brief (and not as cool as the above) video I made this week of a very quick part of a ride on Friday.

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