Monday, October 8, 2012

Tour of the Moon

This past Saturday, I wrapped up my riding season with a spectacular ride in the inaugural Icon LASIK TOUR of the MOON, Hell of the West Cycling Classic, in Grand Junction / Colorado National Monument, CO.  The Tour of the Moon was made famous in the 1980's Coors Classic and later in the 80's film American Flyers starring Kevin Costner.  This ride was the second stage in the film's fictious Hell of the West Bicycle Classic.  The weather was perfect, especially in comparison to the frigid weather that had rolled into the Front Range the day before, and the scenery may have been the most beautiful I'd ever experienced.
I rode the 62 mile route (~3,500 of climbing) from Grand Junction, up through the monument, down through Fruita and then back into Grand Junction.  My goal was to ride a sub-4 hour time even though this wasn't at all a competitive event.  I was quite pleased with my ride (I've posted my data from  I felt strong climbing and cruising and very comfortable letting it roll in the descents.  It was a great day all around on the road and I am already looking forward to doing this event next year.
Another cool thing about this ride was that I got to ride 10 or so miles with Tom Danielson, a professional road racing cyclist who currently rides for UCI ProTour team Garmin-Sharp.  He rode in the 2011 Tour de France, riding well and finishing as the highest placed America in 8th place and placed 3rd in the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.  He is a great guy and an amazing rider.  I won't soon forget this experience.

We can rebuild him. We have the technology.

I've decided to take an even more scientific approach to training with a visit with Dr. Iñigo San Millán, PhD at  The Human Performance Lab at The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.  Dr. San Millán is considered one of the top and most experienced applied physiologists in the world, and has worked with many elite and world class athletes and teams in sports including track and field, running, cycling, triathlon, rowing and basketball, including six Pro Tour Cycling Teams, a Tour de France winner and 16 Grand Tours podium finishers.  I figured if it was good enough for elite athletes, then it was good enough for me.  I spent the better part of an afternoon working one on one with  Dr. San Millán, suffering in the name of science.  After explaining the biological basis of athletic successes and failures,  Dr. San Millán put me on a bike and pushed my to my limits to get a good understanding of how my body works.  I got detailed information on my VO2Max (Maximal Oxygen Consumption), Lactate Profile and Metabolism and my Individual Excercise Metabolic Profile and Metabolic Crossover Point.  He then tailored a training and nutritional plan exactly for my needs.    Dr. San Millán is awesome!  I highly recommend a session with him for any athlete looking to take there performance to the next level.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Raising the Bar

After my most recent marathon, the urge to take on bigger challenges grew considerably. I am hardly a dominant marathon runner and I certain can still get much faster, but I didn't feel particular challenged nor was there any uncertainty as to whether or not not I would finish.  I have already signed up to run the Greenland 50K on May 4, 2013 but the additional six miles seems to be a fairly modest step up.  I really want to go out and tackle a 50 mile or 100 mile run.  These would be a whole new ballgame and would once again bring the uncertainty as to whether or not not I would finish back into the equation.  Fifty miles sounds more pleasant to me but I'd like to knock of 100 miles at some point even if it does sound like a death march.  The question now is how do I get ready for something like this without over-training and/or hurting myself and what event should I pick.  Colorado has several options but most of them sound kind of brutal but I'm always a bit reluctant to leave my normal training environment for I'm found that heat and humidity sometimes hit me harder than altitude.  The Leadville 100 would be awesome eventually.  I think that the Leadville 50, Run Rabbit Run 50 or Bear Chase 50 are the races I will target in 2013 (one not all three).  We'll see how it goes.