Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Hay Is In The Barn

Pile it on, pile it up

Pile it on, pile it up

How much hay, and whether or not it will be adequate remains to be seen.

Sat. July 18 is the Tahoe Trail 100K MTB race. Another attempt to qualify for Leadville. To prepare, I created a version of “crash training.” For a cyclist, it’s a terrible name. And a runner couldn’t really do this sudden and dramatic increase in volume without serious injury risk. But I gave it a go.

I learned of this through an article by Chris Carmichael called “Spring Break for Cyclists” and another reference in Joe Friel’s The Cyclist’s Training Bible(p. 150)

Carmichael describes how as a junior in Florida, he would see groups of cyclists come down from colder regions to train every spring. They would pile on the miles during a week or so, ending red as lobsters, but with a nice effect on their aerobic fitness. A lot of cyclists and triathletes try to take a spring training camp as a vacation, but Carmichael came up with a plan for regular folk who can’t take off the time. Instead, it focuses on a long weekend.

Friel describes a Dutch study where cyclists took on a very heavy block of dramatically increased workload for two weeks, followed by two weeks easy for recovery. More detail is in The Triathlete’s Training Bible. ((p. 290-1)

In both cases, it was planned overreaching, then planned recovery, in about a 1:1 ratio.

I tackled a mini-crash with 5 days 3-4.5 hrs riding, including a MTB race in the middle, then time off. Then, two weeks out from the Tahoe Trail 100, I tackled an 8 day brick of increasing rides, from 1h to over 5, totaling 25h. It rained. It hailed. There was thunder and lightning. Got a couple cheers from motorists as I flogged myself in Belgian weather. Then I shut it down for a week, only doing a couple short 1h road rides which didn’t feel that great. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good. Strong every day, I was tired at night, but every morning woke with a good HRV score so I kept it up. Until day 9, which should have been a 1h ride. I was fatigued, so I skipped it.

Carmichael claims that his program can get you ahead a month in aerobic development. I don’t know about that, but I really needed those long rides to be ready for 8h at the Tahoe Trail 100, and similar races.

We’ll see.