Sunday, April 30, 2006

I-5

Well, I've just finished day 1 of an 8 day capacity block. I'm planning to do 10 I-5 interval sessions during these 8 days (heart rate 90-95%). If my legs can hold up and I complete the cycle with some quality - I should really see a nice increase in my O2 values. This is something new for me, I haven't tried having that many high intensity sessions in that short of a time-span.

I'm excited and a bit "nervous". Proper execution is so vital for this to work. Most people go too hard on these intervals, so I'll be using both HR, Watts and lactate to monitor and adjust the intensity.

I'm doing 5 x 4 minute efforts mostly, with a few longer 30-40 minute distance sessions to spice things up.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thoughts about next season

What!?? Next season? This season haven't even gotten off the ground yet. I know, I know... But still, here are some of the things I'm considering doing differently next season:

Lots of I-3 sessions (threshold), completed as distance sessions. Not intervals. In other words, 60-90 minute constant efforts at I-3. I've been doing that this season as well, and I might do even more of it next year.

A bit more I-4 / I-5 (Max VO2) sessions. I may introduce these sessions a month earlier than usual. I'm also seriously considering having 2-3 blocks of very intense I-4 / I-5 sessions as a build-up to 2007. Each block would consist of 10-13 I-4 and I-5 intervals over the course of 7-10 days. With 2, or maybe even 3, of these blocks, I should see a considerable increase in my Max VO2 numbers.

Of course, it's early still and things might/will change.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Developing talents

I was recently invited to start a larger mass-start event for Juniors. After spending some time with some very, very promising young riders, I got inspired to write a few lines about racing philosophies at the age-group levels.

I think too many young, talented riders tend to sit in the pack too long and simply roll over the line with 50 other riders. More than often they have simply ridden with the pack for the entire length of the race. And who can blame them? I mean, it's safe in the pack - you can hide. And just watch any ProTour event, many high profile riders tend to ride across the line in a sea of other riders. So wouldn't the Juniors do the same thing?

Maybe it's ok at the ProTour level, at that stage in the game many considerations come into play. Considerations that does not exist for young, promising Juniors. But I can promise you one thing; the riders you see roll across the line on a ProTour team did not get there by hiding in the pack as a Junior. So why do we see so many riders playing it "safe", rather than taking a chance and going for it? Is it because it's better to end up number 20, rather than maybe giving it an honest shot but blowing up and not finishing?

I believe it should not be about the results, but what happened during the race. Juniors develop by racing aggressively. By daring to go in breaks, by creating opportunities, not waiting for them to be created by others. Juniors need to risk individual race results in order to grow and learn. How can you discover the strength of your legs if you don't dare to push it a little harder? Not to mention what you can learn in terms of tactics.

So, in short - I'd like to see more aggressiveness from Juniors. Think Vinokurov during the 2005 Tour. This mind-set is just as much the responsibility of anyone involved with and working on developing talents. This is encouraging and rewarding aggressive riders. The change should happen from club level up to national level.

If any Juniors or anyone working with Juniors have any input, please post it. :)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sunny skies

Ahh, there is nothing like the feeling of the sun warming your body after a long winter. This is my favorite time of the year, no doubt about it. The extreme summer temperature hasn't set in yet, but at least the snow is gone (?).

My daily routine still consists of fairly large volumes of training, at least another 2 weeks or so. But in between rides, I'm enjoying the French cuisine and countryside. The track bike arrived about 2 weeks ago and is great. As soon as I can get a new digital camera, I'm posting pictures. Apparently, most digital cameras don't do so well in water.... And they don't float....

I've done 2 road TT on the track bike, with fairly good results considering my training volume and recent spouts of illness. I am looking forward to letting up on the training though and actually arriving at events with fresh legs for a change. Right now I just keep telling myself that I'll reap the benefits later this summer.

Train hard and smart and the results will come.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

New toy

I'm suppose to get a new track bike this week, I can't wait. Custom made and everything. A bit overkill since I'm not really planning to do much on the track - but the offer was there and I just couldn't refuse. I'll try and post some pictures this weekend, if I can.

Other than that, I've got some downtime this week due to a mild infection that has stopped me from doing anything other than easy riding. Not perfect preparation for this weekend, but that's the way it rolls sometimes. Hope everyone is enjoying spring and getting some quality training in.