Friday, February 27, 2009

Sugarloaf Pickle

I've just put myself in a pickle. I signed up for the Sugarloaf 50km Marathon. So what's the deal, you may ask? I've skied about three times in the last two weeks. Work demands will make it pretty much impossible to get midweek skis in before the race. Thus I might go five weeks or more with just one ski workout per week into a very difficult race. As I commented on the Lake Placid Loppet, a three hour ski race is way harder than a three hour bike race. Imagine doing Battenkill on training only once per week. That would be far easier than doing a ski marathon on once per week training. The closest comparison I have for a 50k ski race is the Vermont 50 MTB race or the 62 mile Iron Cross race in PA. Sure, I maintain a nice aerobic base all year, but there is so much more to skiing than cardio.

So why did I sign up for it? I can't let this epic snow season slip away without doing another legitimate, punishing race. Locally, conditions have sucked for skiing for some time now. I have a season pass for Great Brook, but their trails have been better suited for studded tire mountain biking the last several weeks than skiing. They are probably closed for that matter. The tiny machine made track with Tuesday night crasheriums at Weston really cramps my style too. I'm not quite an age group contender in these things anyway, so I can treat Sugarloaf as a no pressure, low key event.

I should be ramping up the cycling volume by now. I have ramped up some, but I suspect full-on wheeled training won't start until very late this season, not until after I get back from Hawaii in mid April. I hope we can pull together another late April spring training camp down to Virgina. That would be a nice kick start. I got in about 15-20 hours in four days last year doing this. Either way, I feel pretty good about my fitness on the bike right now, and I should be good to go for some rides of legendary status in a month on the islands.


Colin R said...

You I have different backgrounds, to be sure, but I skied Sugarloaf last year despite only getting on skis 3 times (all races) in March. You probably have a better ski-specific strength based than me based on how many hours you put in so I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how you feel at the 'loaf.

Luke S said...

Agreed-at this point in a ski season, especially with the aerobic base you've got, and the number of ski hours you've put in this year, I think you should be fine for Sugarloaf. I haven't skied for more than 1.5 hours in several weeks, and I'm skiing Rangeley this weekend.

Hill Junkie said...

I'm not so worried about DNFing or doing poorly as I am about how long it will take to recover. You guys might understand this better in another 20 years. I have a 24yr old son, you know. That makes me as old as dirt.

I haven't been skiing that many years, and I don't do any ski related fitness maintenance over the summer. I need to change that. A rigorous ski workout is felt several days later on the bike, whereas I can do a hard century ride on the bike any month of the year and recover fully in two days.

Looking forward to Sugarloaf. The weekend after will likely be my last chance to ski this season, as I head to Hawaii for a couple weeks after that. I doubt anybody will be grooming when I get back.

Luke S said...

All it takes is rollerskiing about once a week over the summer. Thats about what I did for training between my 2nd and 3rd years of skiing, along with some running and strength, and I jumped from 38th in state to 8th.