Saturday, April 17, 2010
BUILDING THE BASE
If you're going to attempt RAAM, you need to ride as many miles as you can fit into your life style. Basically, when you're not working or sleeping you need to be riding. It sounds like a simple rule, but is difficult to put into practice. A good start is to park the car and commute as often as you can. For me, that's close to 50 miles each way and will provide the majority of my training miles. The downfall is that it's just over a 3 hour commute (each way). I'll explain this experience in more detail in a future post.
Then you need to sign up for as many rides as you can. Preferably, double centuries and longer. Many experience endurance riders recommend 24hour time trialing. This simulates RAAM pacing for the day. Now you have to figure out how to repeat this effort 9-11 more days (depending on your pace) to be an official finisher. I have a number of rides on my calendar for the year. Remembering that annual leave is limited, I have to budget this out wisely. I missed my first 24 hour race (Sebring 12/24) in February. The weather had proven to be too much for the arrangements I had made. I manage to squeeze in a century in March and several hundred miles commuting, but clearly not enough training for what I was preparing for. I rode a 300k in Harrisonburg, which proved to be one of the fastest 300k rides that I have ever done. A group of 5 finished the 191 miles in just over 13 hours.
This past weekend I rode a Fleche ride. For a description of a Fleche and a story on the ride check out this link by Robert Matz: http://mason.gmu.edu/~rmatz/ride/report.html Robert Matz is an English professor at George Mason University and was riding to raise money for his department. He's new to endurance cycling and is off to a great start. In the photo above, we are cresting over one of the many climbs on 340E heading toward Shepherdstown, WV. The team captain, Dave Goodwin is front right; I'm front left; Rob Matz is rear left and Rick Rosa is rear right. The photo (above) was taken by Bill Beck, a great photographer and our Regional Brevet Administrator (RBA). Our group ended up falling behind on time with our scheduled route, due to the weather, winds, the amount of climbing involved and my broken carbon handle bars which was fixed with electrical tape, duct tape and then zip ties. Click here for images: www.flickr.com/photos/wabeck/sets/72157623890282290/ We ended up rerouting to make it back on time. So we finished successfully, but the RBA will have to approve our rerouting to make it an official finish. After riding for 24 hours, it can be a bit disappointing to not be an official finisher of the Fleche, but it's not the worst thing in the world.
I have another Fleche ride scheduled this weekend. Another 24 hours, but hillier terrain, longer distance and a faster pace. It should be fun!!!