Welcome to my August 2015 Endurance Path Monthly Report!
I started the month off with the Maah Daah Hey 100 and spent the rest of the month learning some lessons about recovery and fatigue. I need to learn how to just go out for recovery rides sometimes without having to push the limits every ride. This was a good month for me though, in helping sort out the type of racing that I want to do and that is Endurance Racing. I like the races that push you to your limit and will make you suffer to get to the finish line, regardless of who you are. There is some massive satisfaction knowing that you can take yourself to that place and push your body through it.
I raced twice this month with the Maah Daah Hey 100 being my big Epic for the year.
Total Races: 2
Mountain Bike: 1
Road Bike: 1
Maah Daah Hey 100
Results: 10th place
This was my big Epic Endurance Race for the year and I am totally hooked on Endurance Racing. At the end of the day I just wanted to finish the race, but did have a 12 hour goal in mind. I ended up finishing in 12 hours and 5 minutes. The race was brutal and took a massive toll on my body, but left me wanting more of that type of racing.
Minnesota State Championship Road Races
Results: 20th in Cat 4/5 and 7th in Cat 5
I almost didn’t go to this race, but figured I would have put a hard ride in that day anyways and was still curious about road racing. I was pretty fatigued still, but held my own most of the race. I wasted some energy in a few hard pushes and pulls and entered the final climb in a terrible position. Regardless, I still got beat pretty good on the final climb by the winners.
September 19th: Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival
All races are included in the mileage and session counts. I count a warm up and race as only 1 session, so if you are following me on Strava, the session count on Strava may or may not match exactly.
Total Miles: 510
Mountain Bike: 214 miles
Road Bike: 283 miles
Total Sessions: 21
Mountain Bike: 8
Road Bike: 9
I spent the first couple weeks of the month recovering from the Maah Daah Hey 100. That was by far the most brutal race I have done and I was pretty beat up from it. I pretty much stayed off the bike for a week, aside from a 4 mile ride with my kids. I still don’t know if staying off the bike for a week was a mistake or not. What I do think was a mistake is that when I did get back on the bike, I jumped right into riding hard again and I should have eased my way into it.
When I did get back on the bike the second week, I was still feeling deeply fatigued. I could ride the distance, but could definitely feel the fatigue when I pushed myself. For some reason, I kept pushing and its taken me a bit to recover because of it. I still went ahead and entered the Minnesota State Championship Road Race anyways, as I was still curious about road racing and thought it would be a good hard training ride regardless.
One big change to my training this month was the addition of some running. I have an urge to add some endurance running to my calendar and feel like it would be some good cross training while potentially creating another season for me in the future to change up the muscle usage and fatigue. My intention is to keep it up, but ease my way into it.
My nutrition this month was extremely poor and I am paying for it. I was traveling quite a bit and also visiting family. I do pretty decent when traveling, since we take our travel trailer that has a full kitchen in it, but I tend to eat a bit too much garbage on the longer driving days. I am back home now and will have it reined in within a couple days. I can totally feel the bad nutrition from both energy levels and digestion. I will have to pull things together in the future if I am going to continue to compete in the events that I want to compete in.
Health and Fitness
Weight: 155 lbs
My health has been good, but my overall fitness levels have plateaued and I am feeling overall fatigued as I have already mentioned. I think this is to be expected after a couple big endurance races and spending time recovering before being able to do another building block. That being said, during my last trail ride at the end of the month, I was feeling like I could have ridden all day long at an average pace. My average heart rate was relatively low and only jumped when I gave a good push. I’ve noticed that I can ride an average pace for quite some time, but seem to fatigue quickly when I push things. Right now, I am nervous that I will fatigue quickly when pushed in a fast paced shorter distance race like the Chequamegon 40 that is coming up. I have some really good endurance built up, but feel like I never let my muscles fully recover for speed and strength.
The last couple of months I have been experimenting with ice baths and hot Epsom Salt baths. I store up ice in the deep freezer from our ice maker and then take a 10 minute soak in an ice bath after a hard workout such as interval sprints or hill repeats. It seems to take away any inflammation and then allows the muscles to heal up faster. I’ll use the Epsom Salt an hour or 2 before bed to help the muscles relax so that I can get a good nights sleep. I feel this helped me recover from day to day and get some good hard workouts in on back to back days. Now that I am deeply fatigued, I am not sure how much they help. But, I do think they were helpful during my build phases.
This was a new section last month and I enjoyed documenting it, so I will keep it up.
The biggest thing I have to say about my Mountain Bikes is that my Felt Edict NINE 3 totally rocked on the Maah Daah Hey. I may want to upgrade the Elixir 3 brakes at some point and maybe even go to a 1 X 11 drivetrain, but I love the frame geometry and the feel of the bike. It climbs well and the current build weighs in at 26.5 lbs with my pedals on it. It lost 2 lbs when I swapped out the stock wheel / tire package for a tubeless set up with the Sun Ringle Black Flag ProSL wheel set with Continental X-King Protection 2.2 tires.
My Specialized Fatboy Expert has turned out to be a great summer training bike and I have been spending more and more time on it. It is just a fun bike to ride on and I have been pretty amazed at how well it handles single track. The only time I did not enjoy riding it was at one of my local trails that is extremely hard packed and smooth. All I heard was my tires on the trail and for some reason, I just wasn’t having fun that day on it. That being said, my next all around general purpose bike might be a full suspension Fat Bike. I have to attribute some of my increased fitness levels to trucking the Fat Bike around the trails.
I have been messing around with my bar position on the road bike. I dropped it way low so that I could try and get in a good arrow position while gripping the hoods, but it was straining my back way too much and I ended up bringing them back up a bit. My road bike is mostly used for training. I did do quite a few races with it this year, but that was mostly early season training, so I do not intend to do much with the road bike for racing purposes.
Personal Training and Coaching
I am just getting started on my studying, but just the little bit that I have read has been interesting. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can. I think there are a lot of people that go through the Personal Trainer Programs, just for the certificate so they can start working at a gym, but that is not my purpose with it. I really do want to learn as much as possible and long term have no intention of working at a gym with it. I would like to do private coaching and learn how to create my own personalized training programs for people and have a high interest in learning the science behind fitness and nutrition.
This is a new section, but thought I would share some photos from this past months riding…
My biggest lesson for the month is that I need to know when I have peaked for the season and when to go into maintenance and sustain mode. There comes a point in the season where fitness levels are going to peak out and if I try to keep pushing or building during those times, I will risk breaking down more and getting weaker vs recovering and being ready for the next event. I think I am on that edge as I type this.
Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for my Chequamegon 40 Race Report in a couple weeks.