Thursday, June 30, 2011
The World Championships is a short race and I’ve spent most of the last decade doing ultra events. I need to be faster, so July is going to target power and explosiveness, which equal speed. Hello postactivation potention.
Pure speed is one of the harder elements to improve because it takes more than simply getting into shape. You need to train both your musculature and your nervous system to respond differently to stimulus. Getting fit is a natural extension of exercising but getting fast takes targeted training, which is not always as much fun.
But I recently did a short mountain bike race, our state championships, to qualify for nationals and got my ass handed to me in spectacular fashion. I qualified but lost nearly a minute per mile to the winner. Ouch! Speed has always been an allies (I was a sprinter in high school) but the last decade of going long and slow has retrained my body so it no longer knows how to be fast. In order to be competitive in Spain some major reprogramming is in order.
I do actually find this training fun. The downside is less time playing with my friends. Now instead of going out for a ride, run, or climb being a focal point of my training it’s what I do on rest days. Training consists of drills, intervals, and PAP.
The latter is the key. If you follow TSD you know what this is, and why it comprises the third phase of P90X2. If not read this. And this. And if you’re very curious dig though all of these posts.
Essentially my schedule looks like the third training bock of P90X2, with some sports specific stuff added. This form of PAP—that the general public is about to get a taste of—is the epitome of applied science for athletes. And though I’ve already done some experiments with PAP complexing I’ve never been focused on improving my speed. Basically I’m headed back into the lab and it’ll be interesting to see how the experiments shake out.