Saturday, May 26, 2007

A little while...

I've been in hiding, actually just way too much going on. June is Bike Month in Colorado and June 27th is Bike to Work Day (check out for more info) so I've been working on a few things related to BTWD instead of blogging. Time is limited so I have to make choices on if blogging is more important; or are actions related to making people aware of human impact on the environment more important. I've decided the latter and as a result have been working to coordinate my company's BTWD participation, trying to get an article written and published for a community newspaper (doesn't look like they are going to use it) and a few other things that are still in the beginning stages.

Bottom line though, if you live in the Denver area try to participate in BTWD. It has a ton of cool stuff associated (free breakfast stations on bike routes, chances to win prizes, guaranteed rides home if needed) and is great for the environment and your health. With gas prices at $3.30ish a gallon riding a bike doesn't seem all bad.

I've also raced again since my last post, busted out a 7th place at Battle of the Bear, a race held just east of Morrison (Red Rocks). The course is brutal as it is fairly flat with a few short steep hills. Basically you are on the gas the entire time and there is no shade to reduce the heat. Last Sunday when racing it was in the mid 80's making the race significantly harder. Add to that a few beers and not eating well the night before because we were at a party and the racing was tough. I almost didn't race but knew the effort would be good for training and getting me going fast. With the FireCracker 50 just 5 1/2 weeks away (and a lot of shorter races before and after) I need to start working on my speed and not just my endurance. The race at Bear Creek certainly got me some speed work and let me know I have a lot of room to progress. After this week, which has been a recovery week, I will start to focus more on hard efforts (intervals) to get my speed up for racing. Hopefully with this concentrated work on speed the results will improve as well (though my first top 10 as an expert felt good it was a small weakish field).

Since the FireCracker 50 is so long I'm going to try longer intervals than I have done in the past. In past seasons I would go for 9-12 minutes at about 90% of my max heart rate (171-175 bpms). This year I am going to try for 15-20 and maybe longer at the same effort. This may seem extreme, but to give a baseline for my heart rate my averages from Chalk Creek and Battle at the Bear were 174 bpm at Chalk Creek (1:48) and 178 bpm at Battle at the Bear (1:45). There is no way in training to keep the heart rate that high for nearly two hours, so short efforts that are repeated are the best tool to get ready for racing. Hopefully I can take the longer efforts, we'll see starting Tuesday.

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