Posts

Blue Dot Stalking

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March and April have been pretty quiet with regards to races for my athletes - but the races they have been doing have been big ones. Ones that spanned multiple days and utilized the Trackleaders platform to allow for monitoring and following all the athletes - blue dots for the guys and pink dots for the ladies. Hence the term blue dot stalking.

At the end of February, Judd started the Iditarod Trail Invitational 300 - racing from Anchorage to McGrath along the traditional Iditarod dogsled course. There are specific checkpoints that the athletes must reach and a recommended route. Each athlete has to have a minimum of survival and mandatory gear that they have to carry that is checked before the race. Judd is no stranger to winter racing and fat bike racing, with multiple finishes at the Arrowhead 135. But this was his first trip up to Alaska and over twice the distance as Arrowhead. As a rookie, the primary goal was to finish. He had some other goals of course, but finishing was nu…

Lost Time

It happens to everyone. At some point, something happens and the well thought out, perfectly built training plan is in tatters. It can be from injury, a prolonged illness or something else and the athlete is left staring at a training plan that is no longer appropriate, wondering how to recover from the setback. The first thought is to cram as much training as possible into the time left following recovery or clearance. Then come the thought of just abandoning the race and training because the fitness won't be there. Finally, the realization that the goals might have to change, and the training plan needs to be modified to reflect the new reality. Cramming sounds good in the beginning, since even a few weeks won't affect too much fitness - but it's a good way to get injured, especially following another injury. Abandoning the race might have to happen pending the timing and recovery status. The important thing is to balance the reality of the injury, current fitness before…

January and February

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The first two months of the year were busy for my athletes. Most people think of winter as the off season, but not so much around here! Between early season running races and fat bike races, there have been some outstanding performances.

In January, both Shana B and Merideth B took on the hilly 10k Rescue Run in Colorado Springs. Shana finished in under an hour and Merideth ran six minutes faster then her prior best time for that race. But the month wasn't finished for them. They both were running in the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series, a progressive four race series in January and February. The first race was a very hilly four mile race on the multi-use trails of Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Since this was Shana's first year doing the race series, we had no history and the goal was to run smart. We were also using the races as long training runs with extended warm up and cool down for prep for her goal half marathon. Merideth on the other hand ran the series last year,…

Goals

As a physical therapist, the first thing we are often taught is how to write measurable and functional goals for our patients. These goals need to be patient directed, addressing the deficits and prior level of function for each patient. Cookie cutter goals don't work in therapy because each patient is different. It is no different as a coach and assisting an athlete writing goals for the upcoming season and even the next few years. The goals have to be written with input from the athlete, directed towards the specific events the athlete has planned, and addressing the athlete's weakness and strengths. They should help the athlete reach the long term goal, but with short term goals along the way to reflect progress. But good goals are hard to write and that limits many people in their ability to achieve their goals. The goals are either too easy and don't challenge the athlete or they are too hard and nearly impossible to reach. The goals are often not detailed enough, mak…

Comparison is the killer of Joy

How many times a day do you find yourself saying "If I was..." or "I once could..." in regards to sports and life? You find yourself comparing yourself to not only the people around you, but the person you used to be. Both comparisons are mentally detrimental to performance and enjoyment of activities. The killer of joy and desolation of motivation. So how do you deal with this? It depends on the type of comparison you are making.

Comparing to others - it's really easy to do in this age of social media. Photos of adventures and travel flood the Instagram and Facebook accounts. Race results and epic rides litter the Strava feeds, with the real time comments. When all the photos and results published are curated to promote the most bad-ass image available, it's really easy to feel like nothing you do really matters and that your life is boring and drab. Remember, that everyone is posting the best of the best, with staged photos and the best runs made public o…

Race Ready

The final race of the 24 hour season is fast approaching - 25 Hours of Frog Hollow, held over the end of Daylight saving every year. This year, it also marks the finale of the N24 - the National 24 Hour Mountain Bike Solo series. It's a new series this year, with three races joining forces to host solo riders and award the championship to the most consistant soloists. With Frog Hollow only days away, now comes the time for all races to make sure they are ready - double checking all gear and the plan. Most of these tasks should have been completed before leaving home, but it's always a good reminder. 
Lights - at this point, you have done a few night rides, ensuring that you know how to use your lights and that the position on both helmet and bars is correct. You should also know long the batteries last - nothing worse then getting halfway on a lap and having lights fail. Note on your master plan how long each light lasts and how many laps you'll be ably to get out of it. Yo…

Hunting season

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No, I don't mean KOM/QOM hunting season. I mean real hunting - heading out into the woods with a deadly weapon in the hopes of filling the freezer with meat for the winter. In Colorado, archery season kicks off at the end of August and goes through September, depending on the type of animal. Muzzleloader hunting is in the middle of September. And finally, rifle season for big game such as deer and elk started October 1 and depending on where you are, runs through November 20. Why are those dates so important? Because the middle of September through the middle of October is also prime leaf season and fall riding season. Riders from all over are converging on the mountain trails for the final alpine loops and golden singletrack. And most of them aren't thinking about the hunting season or the precautions they should follow to stay safe. That fact became quite clear last year during a late season trip to Salida and Fairplay. We met several groups of hunters, all decked out in the…