Monday, May 23, 2005

trying to cramp

Bike racing is hard. It really hurts. To train for bike racing you have to hurt in training as much as you hurt in a race. This is difficult to do outside of a race situation. Some people can just motivate themselves in any situation to go balls out. Racing is the easiest situation to motivate to go hard. If you do a lot of races you can use many of them as training races, sacrificing your result for the opportunity to work yourself into the ground. Hard group rides are another. But for me I only do a handful of races a year, and it's hard to get my schedule to fit with any group rides, so riding alone is where most of my training is done.

How do I know I am training as hard as I am racing. Power? Heartrate? Perceived Exertion? Average Speed? Those are all passe', old technology. For me the new metric is cramping. Lock up muscle leg cramps. I always seem to cramp in race. In training rarely. Sure I ride hard in training, but obviously it is not hard enough. (Note I also rest hard too). It is not just the length of the races that is getting me, it is the high volume of high intensity that burns me up. Doing some 3hr endurance rides is NOT what I need, 3 hrs of a race is what I need. So I've got a new goal. Once a week I do a race sim ride. And my goal is to cramp now.

If you have never experienced these kinds of cramps well then good for you. But you will never truly understand where I'm coming from. It is akin to getting hit in the face, run over by a bus. These are not things that people actively go seek. Well sane normal people. It's not every day that you wait on the edge of the side walk for a bus to come down the street and them time it just right to step in front of it. The mind has built in defense mechanisms. On training rides, I'll just back off so I don't cramp. In a race, those defense mechanisms get held back a little and I seem to push hard enough to cramp.

Today I tried to find that bus. It was hard to be uber motivated. Lots going on. Did a short hard hill climb in the road bike yesterday so legs were starting to fatigue. If you can't motivate to go hard, than chose the course to motivate for you. I climbed sidewinder in the middle, went down beast, turned around, climbed back up beast in the middle (where I could climb walked the tech sections), went down old farm, climbed back old farm, and my time up OF was almost on par with what I've done when totally fresh. Went back down sidewinder, went to the Gap side on the new gap trail, pushing middle ring on everything, then went to old gap and back on the basin, up Royale (middle/big), down Royale, then across horse hair to horse's annex, taking the steep route to the horse trail.

Did I cramp? No. I was close though, I could feel the tightness, the burning in the inside of my thighs. Oh so close. But no total lockup. I was on the sidewalk, one foot in the air ready to take a step off in front of the bus, but just didn't have the nerve to do it . There were other indicators that it was a hard ride. I started to ride like a moron. Looking at obstacles instead of where I wanted to go, losing the timing for lofting the front wheel, sitting down over rocks when I should have been floating. And I was thinking of food.

So not a total failure of a ride. I wanted to cramp so I could use this ride as a baseline for comparing some cramp mitagation. Like the Endurolytes and glycerol hyperhydration.

Well there is always next week.


At 12:50 PM, Blogger Juancho said...

Make sure to deprive yourself of fluids for the total cramp effect.

I like your style kid, good writing.


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