Saturday, March 7, 2015

Abrupt Transistion

What a ski season it has been, and it is far from over. This past Tuesday was the last points race at Weston. I skied six of the seven points races. An eighth race was cancelled due to a blizzard. The Tuesday Night Worlds, as some call it, were a staple of my fitness routine for most of the last two months. With ample snow and a long course set up, I could expect to suffer mightily for 25 minutes.

There is mounting evidence that intensity, not volume, helps older athletes slow the inevitable decline in fitness metrics. After reading excerpts from Friel's new book, I'll have to pick up a copy. Weston, and Nordic skiing in general, places very high demands on the cardiovascular systems, certainly way more than I could ever experience on an indoor trainer. And ski racing with another 80-90 like minded crazies is a heck of a lot more fun than stuffy go no where indoor routines.

My performance is becoming more consistent across a variety of conditions. I wouldn't say this was a break-out year for me, but I have been finishing closer to the front of Weston races and just posted my fastest time at Rangeley. I guess when cycling is almost impossible outside with the weekly blizzard series we had this year, there is nothing to do but ski. It should be no surprise this brings about more consistent results.

On Saturday, I hooked up with long time no see Dave Penney for a skate at Waterville Valley. You'd never know the last time Dave skate-skied was almost two years ago. Conditions were almost as good as they get. Firm, maybe a tad squeaky due to low overnight temp, and mint weather.

Yes, Dave is still alive. Top of Upper Snows looking at Thornton Gap.

Myself coming around Bob's Lookout. Snow still almost up to top of picnic tables.

It's time to start thinking about cycling again, transitioning ski hours to ride hours. But how do you do that when there is still 30" of snow on the ground and roads are too dangerous to ride? Head to Tucson, Arizona for a week.

With any luck, on Sunday Isaac and I will get in a short ride in Saguaro cactus forest before the sun sets. Then it is a full week of desert trail riding with temps soaring into the 80's, some 80 degrees warmer than my last MTB ride. I've never gone into a week of huge volume with so little hours in the legs. I've barely average 2hrs per week for a couple months. This will be the most abrupt transition to riding I've experienced, both in temperature and in volume. We have some 100km+ rides mapped out. Going to be tough staying hydrated. We'll go from a cold dryness to a dry heat. Some will argue you dehydrate just as quickly in the cold as you do in the heat. I don't know. I've never chugged a 32oz bottle of Gatorade without coming up for air in the cold like I did after a ride in the desert one time. Really looking forward to it. The skiing has been great, but I miss the bike.

0% precip for the week and almost too hot. I'll take it.


rick is! said...

i probably read the same bits from the friel book and it was definitely interesting to see what ned does for training. i'm not 50 yet but it has me rethinking my training for this year a bit.

Anonymous said...

Just ride as much as you want, can, need. Life is too short, sure Friel would advise not going from 2hr wks to 30 plus but what fun would that be? Go get'm