This is an introductory post to what I foresee as a series of more specific articles dealing with aspects of diet and performance nutrition. I will cover topics as diverse as the myth of the dangers of cholesterol, the pitfalls of meatless eating, benefits of fatty acid supplementation (think fish oil here), Paleo and Zone Diets, anti-inflammatory eating along with other related topics. I will try to cover topics that readers do not have the time to research or are simply unaware of. I will try and distill the information down to the salient points and how this knowledge can be used in our own programs.
Slave to what, Brian? Funny you should ask. Well, for starters, how about your heart rate monitor? Or your power meter? Perhaps your cog set or your speedometer. Your training program can certainly enslave you. What do I mean? First of all the devices. They give us feedback that tells us something about our performance at any given instant on any ride. We then internalize this information and decide how we're going right then. Is this the usual gear I ride this hill or am I killing it? Why am I going so slow right here? I'm usually pushing 30 watts more on this stretch. God, I can't seem to get my heart rate up. I'm supposed to be doing threshold hill repeats today but my legs feel like shit! Any of this sound familiar?
Early in my cycling career in the late 80's I bought a cyclocross bike to use for training on the dirt roads around Boise in the winter. As the mountain bike trail system developed in the foothills above town, I ventured onto the single track on the cross bike. Although mountain bikes became popular during this time, I resisted them, continuing to ride the skinny-tired bike on more and more technical terrain. Hell, I was a telemark skier, too. I thought it was cool doing things the hard way.
Just as Mark Twight, Steve House, Rolando Gariboti and others ushered in the era of fast and light, single-push alpine mountaineering with mind-blowing repeats and enchainments of routes all over the world, ski touring and ski mountaineering sit at the threshold of a similar breakthrough. Due to the rising popularity of ski mountaineering racing, the industry has responded by engaging in a surge of technological breakthroughs in equipment and materials. These breakthroughs have then trickled down to the more modest touring sector creating a whole new quiver of superlight boots, skis and bindings. This equipment, combined with the skills developed while racing on ridiculously light gear, has created an environment where exceedingly long tours and traverses can be completed in previously unthinkable times.
Since most of you are interested in my musings on all things training and racing, I thought I would start a regular post discussing my previous week's efforts both preparing and performing, successes and failures and how I think I got there. Lot's of stuff goes through my head guiding my decisions on volume and intensity for any particular block. Perhaps writing my thought processes here will give others insight that could help their own progress.
I finished the 25 hour, 8-day endurance fest with a long drive over two days. I was not able to get on the bike for either of those days so last Monday and Tuesday were a bust for miles. Wednesday I decided to hit with all guns blazing. My Restwise score was 90 which indicated I was good to go.