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.

Cyclocross race in Denver

We headed to Denver Sat morning and I raced at 12:40. It was a bit warmer than I care for, at about 91 degrees, and the dust was flying for sure. I jumped into the “Open” race which is P/1/2 category riders and unfortunately it was a small race starting at only 14 racers. It was definitely a race of attrition though on a very dusty rough course and only 9 of us ended up finishing. 60 minutes later the pain and suffering was over and I was pleased not only to have finished but to have finished ahead of a cat 2 racer and only 15 seconds behind another cat 3 racer who was beating me by minutes last year.

After the race we grabbed some lunch and then went looking for some colorful aspen trees. Needless to say we didn’t find any… but we did find some nice views! I also added more pictures to the Photo page so don’t miss those!

Mountain biking in Fruita with Trek/Honeystinger pro riders

Here is a quick picture from Fruita, CO. I was fortunate enough to go out there two weekends ago and spend 11 hours in the saddle over three days with the Trek/Honeystinger team. These Pro mountain bikers put the hurt on me and made me realize why I am not at their level but it was a GREAT time and some of the best riding I have done on the mountain bike in a LONG time. Thanks a bunch guys for letting me join in.

The Importance of Bike Fit

Many people often look at the cost of a bike fit and think “That is to expensive, why would I need that?”  That is a very good question and one that I think you deserve an answer to.

Coach Athlete Relationship

Over the years I have worked with many athletes of varying levels and have learned many things about training, people, communication and friendship.  When I first began coaching I was excited to help people not only meet their goals, but meet them more quickly than they imagined and even exceed many of the ones they set for themselves.  The last thing that I had consider was the friendships that grow from the time on the phone as well as riding together. Not until recently had it really become more of a reality when one of the athletes that I worked with several years ago passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at 48.  This shook me to a point that I have not been to in a long time.  This made me realize several things.  First, how much my athletes (current and former) mean to me but also the fact that this relationship is very important for great success. In American society we tend to be very closed in and it takes us a very long time to open up to someone.  As a coach the people who I have seen be the most successful in their training are not always the ones with the most time to train but are the ones that see the most improvement are the ones who are willing to open up and communicate the things that are often hard to verbalize.  We don’t often realize, or want to admit, the fact that whether at work, at home or on the bike our stresses and strains are not often localized and every aspect of our life affects our performance. 

We are Thankful Athletes and Coaches

Many athletes start their mornings off with a good hard run or maybe that nice long swim.  How about wrapping the day up with a nice fast paced group ride to really test your limits?  No matter what your workout is the test is always there.  Pushing your limits, bettering yourself and achieving that much loved endorphin rush from your workouts. This Thanksgiving day, nationwide, people are showing thanks for many different things and we at SoS are thankful for many of those great things that include: family, friends, a roof over our head and food on our tables. We are also thankful for each and every one of you.  The athletes that inspire people to be a part of the lifestyle that you have.  The people who drive the events in communities, lead beginner rides and runs and guide people through the first stages of what your sport really is about.  Thank you for your dedication and devotion and we look forward to continuing to support you to the next level in 2014!  Happy Thanksgiving and Thank you for all you do!