It's interesting to compare the last four race efforts via the heart rate profile for each. I don't think it's lost on any reader that longer events require slower average paces. But it is helpful and instructive to see this visually in the graphs below. Pretty cool.
After 35 years of competitive endurance racing of one sort or another, no sport has captured my interest quite like ski mountaineering racing. Sure, it has the usual, vomit-inducing qualities they all share - heavy breathing, masochistic throttling of one's capacity trying to keep up with or vanquish fellow competitors. Nothing unique there. In that regard, it's much like mountain bike racing. But it's the technical side of the sport that captures my interest. The gear and technique involved fascinate me.
The Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race in Aspen, Colorado a couple of weeks ago was an adventure into the physiologic unknown for me. Sure, I've done plenty of exercise of that duration and longer. I've also gone just as hard for periods of time. But I've never really combined that kind of duration with that kind of focused effort. There just aren't competitive events of that length happening that often. I think endurance mountain bike racing will be the venue for similar efforts as that sport continues its growth but since I don't own a mountain bike right now, those races pass me by.
As most of you know, I got a bit of a late start on skimo training this season but have been committed to it since. The form has come around nicely. The one disagreeable aspect of the sport is that, outside of Colorado, races are few and far between. We are lucky to have two here near Jackson but then the next closest is a three hour drive and it just goes up from there. This fact leads to less testing of my training than I would like. At the same time, when I do get to race, a lot tends to be riding on it.