Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tour de Merde, Stage One

I dragged home from school today, still feeling a bit achy, but thought if I don't get out for some exercise today, I don't think I should go race in Washington on Saturday. Happily, it's the kind of Fall Northwestern day that makes you want to ride your bicycle and then eat some french fries. I rolled up to Thompson Rd and then down Thompson Rd, and then pedaled out towards the agricultural zones northwest of town. It's the middle of the week, which is when you make your hay for the weekend races during 'cross season, so I decided to toss in some VO2 max intervals, the kind of work that is short—but very painful—and is intended to, basically, raise your pain threshold. 5x30 seconds full on, 30 seconds full off. Take a five minute break and then repeat. I used Old Germantown road for this workout, looping back down between sets.

Halfway up the second time, I got an idea.

I'd been talking to Chris B. (no, not myself—my training partner) earlier this year about how we develop the different skillsets that make up triathlon. He recalled a friend who had done insane training blocks of each sport, one after another. He'd do three weeks of each sport then move on to the next, a kind of stage race set. He would mix in short stages, long stages, time trials, mountain stages (difficult in a pool), windy stages, flat stages. It sounded a bit crazy, but I guess it worked for him.

November and December can be bleak months in the athletic world. We're inclined to watch sports, not compete in them, and the fitness we've been working on all year is still there, in the bank, just waiting to be withdrawn. There's too much to eat and too much traveling to be done. I'm feeling the disappointment and confusion that comes out of losing my last A race of the season, but at least I have cyclocross season. Here's what I'm going to do:

30 stages of 'cross riding, between now and December 12th, when I go to 'Cross Nationals in Bend. There will be a few rest stages, but I'm going to do this right. You can check in here every day to see how things are going, and I'll try to post the maps so you can them, just like in the Tour de France.

So, today's stage details:
Distance: 31 kilometers (you don't have to do distance during 'cross season!).
Cumulative Distance: 31 kilometers
Climbing: 862 m
Time: 1:30:31
Workout: 2 x (5x:30 all out, :30 off).
Max HR: 177

Thanks, as always, to Athlete's Lounge, who kept me warm and dry in my Craft stuff.

1 comment:

AmyVT said...

I'll be following my favorite rider through every stage. Will you wear a yellow jersey stages 2 - 30? Perhaps polka dots in Moab?