Thursday, 11 March 2010

Balance

Sticking with the one word titles. I would have gone Jens II but that would have ruined the theme. He is ruining everyone's hopes of defeating a 38 (racing age 39!) year old man at Paris-Nice. P-N, incidentally, is by no means some slipshod hackfest, the pro equivalent to the Cat 4 race at Turkey Day (although I hear the guys who get second in that particular hackfest are usually marked for greatness). The only reason that many who've won P-N wouldn't list it first on the highlights of their palmares is because they've also won some other trifling things like Le Tour, Le Worlds y Le Giro. The shit is for real - you win it and you're big league, no doubt.

Work's been weird lately. Overnight stuff, plus a healthy dose of keeping up with what's going on during the day. It's one of those deals where you gotta accept it, make your lemonade, and move on. The lemonade, as it were, has wound up in my water bottles, as the one benefit of the schedule has been the ability to ride during the day. I've been putting a bunch of extra time in with some upgraded intensity as well. Sounds like a recipe for bad things, I know this, but the extra training load gets me tired out so that I get a good solid few hours of sleep in the late afternoon/early evening before work. The alternative would be less riding and a few hours of mushy half sleep/half lying in bed. On balance, it's not what I'd choose to do in the ideal world, but it's not forever and there are tons and tons of people who would trade with me in an instant.

Today's workout had some brief glimpses of fast. It was mostly recovery from knocking myself silly the last two days, but I did throw in a few one minute intervals. One minute intervals are fun for me because they are the shortest intervals I'm any good at, and oh how I like the fast. I got to pull my second favorite move at the end of the 10am last Saturday (although I chundered it pretty badly), which depends on me having a pretty balls sharp one minute dose. Gotta have that fast.

So after my paean to the CAAD 9, it looks like we will have exactly none in the family next year. Dead sexy team frame arrives soon for me, and plans are for the missus to acquire a frame from a friend who's getting a new one. It's just a good deal, nothing more than that, and a really - REALLY - nice frame to boot. Both will be built up using current parts, augmented by a couple of new bits. Everything I said about CAAD 9's still holds, and were the situation not what it is, we'd both be on them.

Having worn out my Speedplays and temporarily switched to the old old Looks with worn out cleats that I pull out of with alarming frequency, I acquired new Speedplays today. I'd debated what to get, ultimately deciding that I do indeed like Speedplays, that three hard years of use is a pretty good lifespan, that with a new set and an old set in fine condition but for the bow ties on one, and a several year stock of cleats on hand, the smart money was on sticking with them. Wound up getting white ones.

Enough.

5 comments:

Corey D said...

You went 3 years without having to replace the cleats on your Speedplays? That's a lot of mileage out of the equipment.

Chuck Wagon said...

I wish. The bow tie things on one pedal became tweaked so my foot could rock back and forth over the cleat. I think I had 3 sets of cleats over that span of time, the newest of which is less than 2 months old.

They spposedly sell a parts rebuild kit but it's like $120. Might as well get all new ones by then.

The pedals were probably good for 12k miles - I didn't ride much one of the years I had them due to injury.

GamJams said...

Ah, 1s. They're like winter camping to me - I hate doing them, but like having done them.

Carmichael doesn't actually have 1s in the time crunched thingy. Instead he has PFPI: Peak and Fade Power Intervals. Basically it's the Gilbert - you jump hard and bring it up to speed well above the wattage you expect to hold for 2 minutes, then you go as hard as you can for the remainder of the 2-minute effort. It's different from straight 1 or 2 minute efforts since it's not steady. It's more specific to the actual race day effort, and it's until failure, every time.

He prescribes them as 3 sets of 3x2 PFPI, 1 minute rest between intervals (not a typo), 6 minutes rest between sets. How about a nice cup of lactic acid to start your day?

Chuck Wagon said...

Yeah those would just make me puke. Hunter Allen's answer to it is "The Race Winning Interval" - jump hard (like sprint hard) for 10s, downshift to VO2 max for 2 minutes, LT for 10 minutes, VO2 for 2 more (they're closing in), then sprint for it. I'm good to try that about once a month.

Jim said...

Yeah, I'm grooving on Jens kickin' ass. It'd be nice to see him cap his last year with a P-N win. Not sure if he can pull it off, but short stage races are his forte as a supported rider. As for Mike's 3x2s... I do them sometime. If I do them right, I'm nauseous until somewhere north of lunch hour.