Super-Secret Ninja Endurance Training Techniques

05.22.2005 | 2:24 pm

Sorry, no humiliating photo of me for this weekend; I had to get out the door pretty early in the morning yesterday (Saturday) in order to start the trip to Florida. I’ll post a photo on Tuesday, when I get back. That should be especially humiliating, since I’ll be taking that after having eaten excessive amounts of fatty, salty food and not having worked out for several days.

So, now I’m in Florida. Strangely — to me, anyway — I’ll see almost exactly nothing of Florida while I’m here. I went straight from the airport to the hotel, will stay at the hotel for two days of meetings, then will head back to the airport. As far as I’m concerned, Fort Lauderdale, Florida is nothing but a Mariott.

On the plane, I was considering: what will I be thinking about three months from now? Ie, three months from now my ninth Leadville 100 will be 1 week in the past. It’d be nice, on that day, if I were no longer the fat cyclist — or if I were at least the less-fat cyclist. "The Chubby Cyclist," perhaps? It’d be even nicer if I got a reasonable time at this race.

So, I guess I’m going to have to start training.

Training Invisibly
Here’s the thing, though: I do not currently have time for training. I  just don’t. Last year (I still need to give a synopsis of that crazy year; I’ll get to that later) swapped around some priorities for me. I’ve got to make sure I’m at home at the right times to help my boys with their homework, read to my girls, and keep my wife sane.

But I still want to train. So here’s my plan:

  • Ride 40 miles per day, 5 days / wk. And do it without impacting my family. I’ll do this by getting up early (6:00am) and riding 30 miles in the morning, winding up at work. Sort of a secret-bonus extended dance remix of my commute. Then, after work, I’ll get home with a 10-mile ride. Every other Saturday, I’ll do a 50-mile ride at 6:00am, getting me home  in time to spend the whole day with the family. This kind of consistent riding wouldn’t be right for someone who’s really hoping to shine in their races: you’ve got to be able to do intervals, hard days, easy days, etc. But I don’t want to shine. I just don’t want to suck.
  • Lose the weight, but don’t be a pain in the butt about it. Right now my wife doesn’t need me to demand fish for dinner every night. The fact that she manages to make dinner each night while taking care of 4 kids — two of which are 3-yr-olds — is a minor miracle in itself. The key to my weight loss will be in eating reasonable amounts, and then not grazing late at night.

Oh, it’s so easy to make resolutions like this when you’re nowhere near your bike.

Next up: Long-promised recap of my crazy year

Today’s weight: I dunno, but would guess I’m up by at least a pound, what with all the healthy eating options at airports across the country.


  1. Comment by Unknown | 05.24.2005 | 1:02 am

    Let me play devil’s advocate. Since you successfully finished multiple Leadville 100s, you’ve obviously built up a stupendous aerobic base that most of us could only dream about. Whaever it is that allows one to do this ride annually, well…you’ve got the requisite studliness. Given this, do you believe that your performance in this year’s ‘Ville will be enhanced most by a) losing as many pounds as possible, b) riding as many training miles as possible, or c) losing a medium amount of weight while riding a medium amount of training miles?The assumption here is that you can’t do both a and b, full bore (unless you’re superman or on some whacky caffeine-ephedrine-diet coke-moles’ ears-larks’ vomit-carrot gorging-dillweed munching trip). So if you’ve got the training base miles in the bank, why not focus on dropping as much weight as possible in the remaining months, and doing just enough short, intense rides to keep the muscles tuned? Hell, you can work on losing weight 24×7, without danger of overtraining. But riding 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week might be a tougher pill to swallow, especially if you miss a few days and then put yourself under even more pressure to play catch up.In any case, I sincerely hope you succeed.

  2. Comment by Robert | 05.24.2005 | 4:40 pm

    Sounds like a good year to do Leadville in 11 hours, but with a sprint finish. Say, that reminds me. Let’s train for next year’s STP (Seattle to Portland). 200 miles, one day or two. Say, that reminds me. We’re moving to Seattle end of June. I’ll be ready to start riding early July.

  3. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 05.24.2005 | 7:44 pm

    I hope to accomplish (a) by doing (b), and not grazing during the weekend. The thing I worry about with doing short, intense training is that it makes you fit for short, intense races. I’ve got to be good for the long haul.


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