So yeah, I neglected the blog a little last week. Sorry, things have been pretty busy lately. Plus, racing in Northern California has started and several athletes are beginning their competitive seasons which is always a fun and exciting time even though it involves a little more time spent analyzing race files and developing plans to fine tune fitness. I will try to make it up with some awesome content from here on out!
It has been a while since I have done a random thoughts blog and I have a few thoughts floating around in my head that I don’t think warrant a full post but thought would be good to put up here.
1. I recently heard a few comments criticizing other cyclists that were justifying being slow on a ride by saying they are “training properly” and hence not supposed to be going fast. My response: When is every ride a race?! It is completely legitimate for a rider who the day previously did three 20minute threshold intervals to not be riding hard and staying closer to an endurance pace regardless of who is passing them. It is foolish to think that every training ride is a maximum effort workout. Good riders are fast when they need to be fast, otherwise they are doing what it takes to make them faster when it matters. Even on a group ride people have different goals. I remember blowing past Barry Wicks a few years back spinning along on the road in Santa Cruz and thinking “Dang that guy is slow right now” to only read in his blog that night about how hard it is to go slow on recovery rides. He had a purpose to his ride (we all do!) and it wasn’t competing with some dude on his ride.
2. Along these same lines are the people that think you can’t following a training program without giving up some of the “soul” of riding. There is nothing wrong with people riding purely for pleasure, stress release, to smell the flowers, or chase pink unicorns but to think that only the two far extremes of the spectrum are possible is ridiculous. There are shades of gray ya’all. A great example would be Geoff Kabush who is a dang fast cross country mountain biker (8th in the world last year) and most of the time follows a structured training program but also includes some “adventure rides” into his training and isn’t afraid to have a beer every once in a while. I don’t know if he chases pink unicorns though…
3. I am going to do a full write up on this soon but I have just finished reading the 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferris and it has been one of the more interesting books I have read in a while. Some of it definitely applies to endurance athletes (weight loss) but a lot of it is focused on strength building. The science and the extent that Ferris went to experiment on himself is truly fascinating. I would definitely recommend giving it a read if that kind of thing interests you.
4. There is a lot of benefit from using a good whey protein after exercise and through out the day to boost protein in the typical endurance athlete’s diet. Not only does whey protein promote recovery but it also can heal the GI tract and through its natural Glutamine content it can boost our immune system which is typically depressed after prolonged endurance exercise. But not all whey protein is created equal. Here is a good read on the Fragility of Whey Protein (and milk) that goes into some of the differences. I generally recommend a undenatured whey protein like Hammer Nutrition’s Whey. An extra bonus with the Hammer product is that it is even fortified with even more Glutamine to help your immune system battle the nasty cold and flu bugs. Its an easy way to get some goodness!