Racing: Time to Get Serious

The Spokane 24-hour race is barely 5 weeks away and although I did get a number of long, fast rides in this winter, I haven't been riding with much consistency. That has to end now, else I'm going to be in no shape to race in Spokane.

Unlike last year, I'm not really sticking to any sort of detailed training plan. The days of me being hostage to a spreadsheet and periodization tables are over. That said, I do need to have some sort of weekly approach to what I'm going to do just to ensure that my hilly days and my fast days don't start to pile up on top of one another.

So here's the very high-level, not-too-detailed approach I'll be taking.

Monday - Off
Tuesday - Off or 1 to 2.5 hours on mtn bike, rider's choice.
Wednesday - 50 mile mtn bike ride, Thrilla East course from home.
Thursday - 30+ miles on road bike, group ride.
Friday - Off or 1 to 2.5 hours on mtn bike, rider's choice.
Saturday - long distance road ride, Cascade Bicycle Club RAMROD training series.
Sunday - long, 6+ hour mtn bike ride.

I'll be making changes to this in the coming weeks as the 24-hour race gets closer. For starters, I'm going to really try and replicate my Kokopelli Trail experience from last year during the first week of May by trying to get the three 6+ hour days in back to back on the mountain bike. I'm also going to do what I did last year the week before the race and ride the Tour de Cure century ride on Saturday, then head out and do another 80-100 miles on the road the very next morning as well.

I'm happy to report I had a bit of a breakthrough last night. I not only finished the 50.5 mile mtn bike ride about 12 minutes faster than last week, but I even bettered my time on the route from last year when I was in (or so I thought) much better shape. I cued up the course data from last year's ride on the Garmin and raced the Virtual Partner last night. I was about a half-mile ahead of my best 2007 time at the twenty-mile mark, then pulled away by an additional 0.4 miles over the last 14 miles of the ride.

Oh, and I also learned an important lesson last night: Do not apply Icy Hot immediately after a very long, very hot shower. I forgot about the whole "opening of the pores" aspect of taking a hot shower and was in extreme pain moments after rubbing the cream into my hamstrings and calves. I ended up back in the shower 3 minutes after getting dressed, in a frantic effort to scrub the pain from my legs. I've never had that happen before and hope to never experience it again.

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