RAAM TRAINING WEEKEND WRAPUP

SoS Coach Brady Irwin is preparing for RAAM 2012 and here is an update on a training weekend that him and his 4 man team recently completed:   

Well to say the least the RAAM training weekend was a great success!  All four riders finished the mileage, no one was injured and fitness is at the level we were expecting for each rider or slightly above where it was expected.  Leading into this weekend, to make things a little more interesting, we put a little wager on Friday and Saturday’s ride.  The two man winning team from the weekend has the privilege of receiving a bike cleaning from the 2 losing riders.  So with something on the line we were off for 3 days of riding. Friday night consisted of a 20k TT.  We fell into line randomly and left in one minute intervals.  With a little bit of peer pressure(mostly from Halsey, persuasive bastard! 

:)

 ) I ended up on a TT bike that I had never ridden and only had about 10 minutes to setup.  In the end it was not that big of a deal and I still ended up with the second fastest time of the four of us.  Jamey put down a blistering second half of his TT and made it evident that he was the strong man for the weekend.  Austin and Halsey both had very strong rides and were not to far off the pace.  With the TT over we calculated up that Jamey and Austin would have a minute head start on Saturday and then we went to hang out talk logistics and eat some great dinner with our crew and families.  Calling it a short night we headed home and began to prepare for the next day. 

Saturday morning came earlier than I had hoped for.  The sky was still pitch black as I loaded up the truck and headed to our starting point for the morning.  This day was set up to mimic what RAAM will be like.  Each two man team had a follow vehicle and each rider did 30 minute rotations.  I chose to stay on the road bike all day long, since I had not put in miles on it before, and Halsey decided to take his aerobars off of his bike.  I think in the end that was the downfall to our day.  As we approached the gulf towards the end of the day there was a constant wind funneling through the trees and battering us and I believe that being in a more aerodynamic position.  Either way… at the end of the day Halsey and I lost a great deal of ground and ended up the losers on the day.  So, that means that the guys will be receiving bike cleanings very shortly.  With Fatigued legs we all headed to Jamey’s house, where Heidi (his wife) made us an amazing meal!  After an hour of story telling and trying to stay awake we departed too get some rest and spend some time with family.  Driving home I was struggling to keep my 

eyes open after a long day of riding but I came home to a quiet house, since Janelle and Katelyn were out, and had my second dinner of the evening and rested and relaxed until it was time to go too sleep. Sunday morning was tough getting out of bed at 5am but I was amazed at how fresh the legs still felt.  Our ride Sunday consisted of a group effort over 100 miles under gray cloudy skies and damp chilly conditions.  Steve B. joined us on the bike that day after graciously sitting in the follow vehicle all day on Saturday and none of us were 

complaining to have an extra rider to do some work.  It took me 15-20 minutes to get the legs loosened up but once they were warmed up I felt like I was firing on all cylinders.  The group hung tough through the 80 mile mark and then riders began to come apart at the seams.  Jamey went to the front with a monster pull and the groans in the group were audible to say the least.  Steve’s fresh legs continued the high tempo effort on the climbs and we finished off a great day and an awesome weekend of riding! This weekend would not have been possible without our wonderful crew of drivers and I thank you all: Jeff Johnson, Lance Hart & Steve Barraco.  You guys were Rock Stars and we appreciate you not running us over more than anything!   Blog from Scalybirdlegs

“How can testing help me?”

After chatting with many of you the number one question that was posed turned out to be, “How can this(lactate threshold testing) help me with my training and race performance?”  For many of you out there who might be asking the same question let me answer that for you as well: The lactate threshold testing is designed for two different reasons.  The first reason is to provide you with customized training ranges for your workouts.  The training ranges that are created based off of your test allow you to train more consistently and more accurately.  This increased accuracy in your training allows you to get more benefit from your structured workouts and more importantly make the most out of the limited time you have available.  Secondly testing adds consistency to your results.  Field tests can be performed to help out with training ranges, however, lab testing does one thing that field testing can not do and that is take out many of the variables.  The controlled environment of the lab allows for much more consistency between testing and gives you a more realistic measure of where your fitness actually is.  The testing also helps to reduce the overall affect that fatigue or mental fortitude (depending on the day) can have on your results by utilizing the blood samples that are taken.

GRAND OPENING

On Thursday, December 8th Science of Speed opened it’s doors for our Grand Opening party!  The support and turnout of the community was outstanding and we hope to have the opportunity to work with each and every cyclist, triathlete, runner and motocross racer in some form or fashion to help you all reach your peak performance capabilities.     

Our Tallahassee Facility offers many great options for all athletes.  Our world  class equipment gives every athlete the opportunity to test just like the professionals do.  The Retül system offers unparalleled levels of accuracy to your bike fit and the same system utilized by the Olympic Training Centers, N.A.S.A. and a great number of well respected research Universities is brought into our arsenal of equipment to provide you precise and accurate VO² Max testing, for the run and on the bike, that many other public facilities simply can not provide.

RAAM Training Weekend

This weekend is bound to be a tough weekend for me.  Wednesday night I hopped on the bike for the first time in 2 weeks and this weekend is full of miles in a competition that our RAAM 4 man team will do.  We are looking at near 250 miles in 3 days for each rider and the break down is something like this: Friday: 20km tt after work Saturday: 202 total miles (RAAM Style rotation for two man teams) Sunday 100-125mile training ride This is going to be a GREAT opportunity for all of us to push our limits and hopefully motivate us as well.  I can not deny the fact that I am having a hard time getting/staying motivated and maybe this will be the kick start that I need!  More to come later! Blog from Scalybirdlegs

Off to Chula for training camp

SOS athlete Lisa Turnbull is off to Chula Vista, CA for the next month to spend some time training with her tandem Partner Karissa Whitsell.  With a World Road Race Championship jersey on the line for 2012 and vying for a World Time Trial Championship jersey these two ladies will be putting in some quality miles in a bit more temperate climate.  Have fun and ride hard Lisa and have fun!

Pet Peeves

Alright so several weeks ago I did 6 Gap Century in Dahlonega, GA.  It was a fun event and really eye opening at how much fitness I have lost in the last 5 months or so.  The riding has slipped a bit since our move, and a little before that for that matter, the guys I did Phantom canyon with can attest to that! 🙂  But hopefully really long days of work are going to become fewer and farther between and a little more consistency will come back in my training which is necessary in preparation for RAAM next year. Anyways…enough about that and on to my real reason for writing.  At 6 Gap I was surprised by the audacity of one individual who stated, “Dumb racers go to fast to even enjoy the scenery,” as I was riding through a little slower moving traffic (missed the start by 10-15min…oops!).  This really bothered me because I felt I was being as courteous as possible in going by.  Either way I think there is something that the “racers” need to understand as well as the more recreational crowd and everyone in between.  Everyone gets their enjoyment from riding in different ways, some enjoy the scenery, others like to push their limits.  The most important thing is that we all have a mutual respect for everyone that is out on the road.  Love what you do and just be glad that someone is out on the road and riding in a respectable manner to continue to give cyclists a good name.  

Cross Country Training December 1-3, 2011

Congratulations Colin Osborn!

Honeystinger/Trek 4 man team took 1st place at 24 hours of Moab and one of our athletes, Colin Osborn was there putting down some of the fastest laps of the race for his team. This was a great finish to one of his strongest seasons yet.

Off to the races!

Well, I got my first road race in 4 years done 2 weekends ago at the Mead Roubaix.  For those of you unfamiliar with a roubaix style course it is not only pavement but dirt and gravel roads.  This race happened to be 68 miles in total and 20 miles of that was Gravel.  Let me clarify that a bit more.  It was gravel, hard packed dirt and the worst of all was sand that was 2+inches deep.  The race started and we have several miles before we reached the first of 3 dirt sections.  This was the longest section each lap and was the smoothest and fastest (minus the the headwind) it wasn’t more than 150meters onto the dirt and the first crash happened near the front of the field taking down 5 guys right in front of me and thankfully there was enough room that I was able to steer clear and catch up to the guys who had already created a gap.  The cross winds played their toll and those who were not able too find shelter suffered.  The race turned south and the tailwind kept the group compact.  Because of a recommendation from another racer in the morning wave I moved to the very front in this stretch for the next section of dirt.  It was a great tip because when we hit that stretch I was second wheel and the 2+ inches of sand had clearly played havoc on the fields.  There were police cars already on scene from groups that went off in front of us and broken and battered bodies laying in the ditch.  A deep section of sand grabbed my front wheel and put me into the left lane and almost onto the hood of the cop car that was sitting there.  Through the descent and up the sandy climb and a field of 65+ was now a break of 10 riders. A couple miles of pavement and we were on the final dirt stretch.  This was two shorter steeper climbs with what looked more like a cyclocross sand pit to me than a road race and we reached the top with four of us together and nearly 50miles to go still.  We turned back north after the start/finish line and within miles it was 3 of us. The final 2 laps we continued to push and pass the shattered remains of many of the fields that headed out before us.  On the final lap one of our 3 men was struggling and in the second dirt section we dropped him and then there were two.  I worked as little as possible and tried to conserve as much as possible.  A valuable lesson was learned in the final 1000 meters and that is be sure that you pay very close attention to what the finish looks like.  I attacked thinking I had 400 meters to the finish and it turned out there was a orange fencing up at the turn prior to the finish and I went with closer to 750 meters.  OOPS!  So giving it my all and realizing that the distance was nearly double what I expected the other rider caught my wheel with 200 meters to go and then went around me and I was unable to muster up any additional strength.  Second place on the day and a big lesson learned.  Either way it was fun and a great challenge. Final lap and hurting a little   Blog taken from Scalybirdlegs

Behold the power of the mind, or lack there of…

(My 2-3minutes of hell)So…I figure I will use my lack of mental fortitude today as a coaching opportunity.  First with a little insight into our office setting though.  Around the office everyone is fairly interested in what other coaches and staff are doing in their training.  Whether it is to learn something new, gain some motivation or maybe even poke fun of something “odd” someone is doing.  Well before the ride today I was asked by Coach Rebecca “what are you doing today? More Power Intervals?” My response was “Yes.” and Coach Jim responded with “What are you training for?”  It brought me to a realization that I haven’t really put together up until now.  I don’t really have any races on my calendar or major events that I want to do until ‘cross season but my training has been more consistent/structured than usual.  But the conclusion I came to was, I am REALLY enjoying riding right now.  I’ve found a renewed energy in the bike, I’m the most fit I have ever been and my power to weight is quite a bit higher than ever as well, which makes it more fun. 🙂  Love what you do and do what you love!

Now, on to the learning experience… So I am on day 3 of Power Intervals and as many of you have done I am doing a “peak and fade” type of interval where it is all out from the gate.  So on Wednesday I went out and did my first set and they turned out pretty good.  I went as hard as I could on each one and was definitely gasping by the end.

Thursday my power numbers were even better, which isn’t too out of the ordinary, and I continued to push myself to my limit for each interval.  My motivation was super high and I felt like I held nothing back on any interval.

Today was going really well for the first through third intervals and then as you can see, looking below, I gave up on the fourth interval.  A big gust of wind came up as I got into it and mentally I talked myself out of the effort.  I was planning on quitting and as I rolled down the hill on my recovery I got angry and decided to give it another shot.  So, I went at it again with yet another mental debacle.  Beaten and batter I rolled down the hill again and got just past where I start each interval and then told myself “well, the third try is the charm right?” So I gave it one more shot and went in with the mind set that quitting was not an option.  It might not have been my prettiest effort but then again when are power intervals ever pretty?! I know this was mental because you can see my starting powers for both of the “failed” attempts were still high and my powers for the next 4 efforts were consistent to prior days efforts.When things get tough and don’t always go your way we might have moments of mental lapse where we either want to quit or do quit.  The biggest thing is to regroup and come back and do it again.  We are all capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for but overcoming those hurdles can be very difficult. Blog from Scalybirdlegs

Metabolic Efficiency

in the science behind training I will give you an eye into what our nutritionist is currently working on and what I’m able to take a part in.  The thought is based off of some work done by Bob Seebohar, however, the goal is to see if there is (and if so what is) the result of doing work at threshold on our Metabolic efficiency.  For those of you that don’t know/understand what metabolic efficiency is: roughly it is the amount of work, or in this instance power, that your body is capable of doing while still burning fat as your predominant source of fuel.  The purpose behind this is because we have a nearly unlimited amount of fat stores to fuel our body but carbohydrate stores are

limited and we can only eat so much in a day.  So…the graph below is mine… Apparently right now I’m not super efficient and weird because there shouldn’t be 2 crossover points.So, “What are we doing to try to increase metabolic efficiency?” you ask.  Well here’s a quick screen shot of it: So, this is 4x10min at threshold with 5 minutes of recovery in between.  Seebohar’s research focused on low intensity work (no tempo or threshold) to get the resulting improvements in efficiency.  The problem with this is that if you have minimal time to train you may see gains in metabolic efficiency but you may actually see decreases in fitness.  This is why we are putting focus on threshold work for those of us who are less fortunate and don’t have 20hrs/wk to ride our bikes.I will keep you posted as we are going through the next several weeks of training as well as the results of the final efficiency test.  So keep your eyes posted.