Just ordered P90X for my brother in law for Christmas. We do Secret Santa, which is all told a zillion times better than other systems we've experienced. That vendor gets no stars for ease of ordering and 5 stars for suspicion of chicanery. Every person I've talked to who's followed the program says it totally transforms your physique and in-shape-ness, but JHC they shill the crap out of you when you go through the ordering. There are 5 or 6 screens of "THIS $200 VALUE CAN BE YOURS NOW FOR ONLY 9 EASY PAYMENTS OF $47.65 IF YOU ORDER NOW." Never mind that these incredible things are a chinup bar that you can buy at any store in America for $19.99, and some protein powder that any GNC will overcharge you for and you'll still come out about $30 ahead of what they'll charge you. Then they want to sell you a bunch of workouts (isn't that what I just bought), DVD damage insurance (I'm not kidding) and something else. Shysterism at its best. Of course the "BUY IT NOW" buttons are about 15 times bigger than the "no thanks" buttons. Sheesh.
Last week was a bit difficult to manage with a bunch of different holiday related obligations. Ultra secret cross training went almost entirely by the boards, which isn't good. Managed to get all the scheduled lifting in. I'm now squatting a lot, and the other leg related exercises are all good. The good wife had me do some crazy lunges on Saturday that kind of beat me up pretty good. When I do a significant LT workout the day after lifting, it sucks. This means that most every bike workout lately sucks since this happens at every LT workout except Sunday's. I normally don't lift on Saturday, but I did yesterday. The ultra secret seems really helpful in mitigating this suckingness, but since I couldn't get it done except for once this week it couldn't help. So I limped, mentally and physically, through today's workout and into the upcoming rest week. This last block, on paper, didn't have nearly enough recovery built into each week, but the numbers don't lie (at least I think they don't) and I made it off of a step that I'd been stuck on for a while and pretty firmly onto the next. Hopefully that consolidates with a rest week.
It's going to be hard when I get to Jeff Cup and get dropped after all this work, but the way it's structured I won't yet have done stuff that's going to prevent surges from being anything but wicked f-ing painful. The challenge is to do a shit ton of fundamental work (LT and longer) without burning out, and then to not get all pissed when I suck in the early races. So training hard like a January hero, but much differently, and not having the benefit of any positive reinforcement early on.
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski writes a column for singletrack.com. He's pretty articulate and it's usually an interesting read, but in the latest column he challenges mountain bike race promoters to do what the rest of the world has done and create viable races under the UCI compliance requirements and their associated expenses. The problem is that by "the rest of the world" he means "Europe." His (understandable) motivation is that he wants to have domestic races which can help send people to the Worlds and Olympics. In Europe (and not even all of it at that), you have a geographical area that's smaller by far - FAR - than the US and Canada, and you have what, 20 countries each sending between 2 and 4 athletes to the Worlds and Olympics. So in a concentrated geographical area, you have nearly 80 people (per gender) getting slots to the marquis events, as opposed to the US and Canada, where in an unbelievably big geographical area you might have 7 people per gender going to the same events. As an American, you have several huge advantages, but this is one of those things you aren't going to win. The simple dynamic of that kind of concentration of potential Olympians in Europe versus the sparseness of them here gives the European scene a built in, unbreakable advantage. Get over it. American Olympic sailors face a very similar situation and the only answer is that you pack your bags and you spend a lot of time in Europe. It's not on, or possible for, promoters to solve this problem.