Monday, June 01, 2009

Getting Worse To Get Better

Finished my virtual Giro yesterday near the back of the pack. I’d say it was expected but think my lack of winter conditioning made it even worse than expected. I’m tired, of course, but also a weaker climber than when it began.

Training doesn’t yield improvements all the time. Sometimes you’ve got to lose fitness in one area in order to gain fitness overall. This month’s concentration on base conditioning and volume has reduced my absolute strength. It’s frustrating, but necessary. For one, my overall goals include long hard days and require a strong aerobic system. Also, my focus on climbing exclusively had resulted in a tendonitis flare-up, which also needed (and needs) to be addressed.

At the beginning of the virtual Giro I’d hoped to be able to have long climbing days. I had one, but as my tendon issue wasn’t getting better I needed to axe these, as well as the pull-ups, in order to focus on rehab. I did manage about 10 times as much riding and running as I’d done all year. I’m still pathetic in both of those areas, compared to where I’ve been the last decade or so, but starting to come around.

Dr. Fred Hatfield said, “Power and endurance, ne’er the twain shall meet.” My ultimate goals require both, so I want him to be wrong. But he’s right in that you can’t train both simultaneously. At least not effectively. So for phase two of my 90-day program I’ll be heading back into the gym to regain my climbing strength, while maintaining the aerobic gains I made in May, which will actually improve these areas because as I recover I’ll get stronger. And my virtual Giro beatdown has the old body screaming for recovery.

pic: I live in a beautiful place. Here's the view from part of my latest concoction, The Tour of Salt Lake, an urban ride that mimicks the Tour of Flanders. With 16 of SLC's steepest bergs, lots of miles, dirt, and SLC pave, this, too, will require improvements in both power and endurance.

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