All ‘er nuthin’

I think I’m getting the hang of this "short distance" give-it-all quickly style of training. Basically, you kick the tar out of yourself as much as possible in 40 minutes (about the time it takes to climb Teton Pass), and then you try to avoid looking at bikes for 48 hours thereafter–until your next tar-kicking.

Okay, so I haven’t quite got that second part down, but the basic premise is there. Here’s my thinking: I’m really not going to lose much more weight (back when I had six percent body fat–yes two years ago–I weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 138 pounds). But since climbing is a power-to-weight activity, I figure I can work on the other side of that ratio: power. And lately, that’s been my focus, keeping up the speed for the duration of a 40-minute climb or a 40-minute time trial ride. I really don’t know if it’s working because I haven’t had any chances to go back to the Pass lately, and I probably won’t have any for a while. But that’s not the point.

I recently got a look at the Teton Pass Climb results from the race this year, and it looks like I would’ve come in 24th with my current time trial time, and that’s a heckuvalot better than last year’s 40th or so (even if it is relatively close to the same time). It also looks like a lot of people slowed down; Kit DesLauriers didn’t produce the same speed she did last year, so heck, I might’ve even been able to keep up with her again. Woulda, coulda … so much for that. But the reality was that most people didn’t really improve much on their times–maybe a minute or so at most–so improving by leaps and bounds is going to take a lot more than my casual training regimen.

But you know, really, I’m just excited about the fact that I have already been able to put a dent in last year’s time. Coming in under 42 minutes was a thrill, and if I have to spend all winter dreaming about rounding that final corner and rising to a sprint just so I can attempt to kill 40 minutes next year, I think I’m okay with that.

But yeah, that hasn’t stopped me from going to ‘extremes’ in training lately. Just today, I did something I never would’ve done before: I … used a trainer despite semi-nice weather outside. Wait, I can explain: I just needed a 40-minute high-resistance workout, and I wasn’t sure I’d get one outdoors. Either that, or I just wanted an excuse to rewatch the Plateau De Beille stage from the ’04 Tour. I realize it’s no ’06 Tour stage 17′, but it sure got my juices flowing.

Wednesday, I’m planning on doing something else a little out of character for me … I’m going to … go to the gym and actually do some squats … I know, weird. But really, I’m hoping to see some results from a more clinical approach to this power thing. And heaven knows, I might actually be able to shed a little poundage with the weights.

In other news:


3 thoughts on “All ‘er nuthin’

  1. uncadan8

    Yesterday, I did some squats for the first time in months just two days after riding a century. Walking is becoming exceedingly difficult. However, the next time I climb a hill, I am sure it will be easier. I hope.
    I did a write-up on the century at my place.

  2. Unknown

    In fear of stating the obvious – this type of effort would improve by increasing aerobic capacity. 🙂 3 factors come into play –
    Max V02 capacity
    work economy
    utilization rate
    Work on these 3 and you will improve your time.

  3. Zed

    You make those sound so simple. Mags, oh wise one, fill me in, buddy. VO2 max, I know, increases as you ride greater distances (which I don\’t have a lot of time for, so I may just push harder on shorter distances and hope for the best); work economy would be helped by reducing the amount of weight I have to haul up the gradient with me, something I think will be helped by spending a little time in gym; utilization rate I\’m a little fuzzy on.
    What are you thinking, Mags? What kind of training would you recommend?

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