Posted June 1, 2004
A great week of training and playing

I don't follow a specific training plan (that never works for me), but I do try to mix it up based on how I feel and what I need to prepare for. I think it's important for gravity racers work skills into their workouts, and to hit four systems:
  1. Steady-state aerobic for 15 minutes or more. I used to do tons of easy mileage, but now I do fewer miles with some sort of interval on every ride, to better prepare me for racing.
  2. Intervals on the aerobic/anaerobic threshold for one to five+ minutes.
  3. Full-out sprints for 15-45 seconds.
  4. Resistance training. This rounds you out in ways that bike riding leaves you weak, and it gives you more kung fu for sprinting.
I had a really fun week honing my downhill fitness and enhancing my red-line endurance for super d:

Monday - Drive back from Big Bear. So tired!

Tuesday - (1 and 2) One-minute intervals on the road bike x 5 for about 45 minutes including warmup and recoveries. I started out spinning easy (it felt so good to spin after all the funny business at Big Bear) then picked targets to sprint to. I stayed in the saddle for most of them and spun it up past 120 rpm.

Wednesday - (3) Short sprints and coaster-race intervals at the Arvada BMX track. Even the coaster races were max heart rate. We ran an eliminate format, then we sessioned a little drop, then we raced up the course. I'd say I did 20 intervals. One hour.

Thursday - (1 and 2) Steep XC loop at Walker Ranch with single ring, two climbs and descents. The last climb was 20 minutes out of the saddle the whole way, concentrating on driving the pedals forward along the top of the stroke. 90 minutes.

(4) Weights in my basement. Pushups, pulldowns, military press, bent rows, dips, upright rows. Three sets of 10-20 for all. Plus core exercises.

Friday - (1 and 2) Rocky XC on Sourdough Trail. Up and back from 9,000 feet to 10,000 feet, where it was snowing. Overall easy cruise with some steep rock-induced intervals. 90 minutes.

(1 and 2) Secret DH shuttle with long approach and return, dropping 2,000 feet on steep, rocky terrain. This was too rad. 45 minutes.

Saturday - (3) Dirt jumping and slalom practice. ~2 hours

Sunday - (1 and 2) DH shuttle with some wrong turns, a ton of climbing and two sweet descents. The first was relatively flat and very turny with lot of rock outcroppings. The second had a 20 percent grade for two miles, on loose rocks the entire time. Sick! Time: 4 hours. At 3 hours Steve Wentz and I were slogging up a long dirt road on our DH bikes, and a short, steep pitch appeared. I thought, I should challenge Wentzy to a sprint, but then I thought, no way, on a ride like this that would be suicide. A second later, Steve attacked, and I countered. Silly.

BBQ at my house.

(4) Feats of Strength competition with Steve Wentz: six weight room exercises, percentage of our body weights to failure. Each set lasted about a minute, so this doubled as endurance intervals. We came out about even.

Exercise Steve Lee
Pulldowns 80lbs x 51 90lbs x 51
Bench press 95lbs x 37 105lbs x 37
Seated row 80lbs x 23 80lbs x 37
Military press (dumbbells) 20lbs x 23 21.5lbs x 19
Upright row 50lbs x 23 55lbs x 19
Dips All the way down x 11 To nipples x 23

Sleep. Repeat.


Total riding time: 11.5 hours

Sprint sessions: 2

Aerobic/interval sessions: 5

Weight sessions: 2

Bikes ridden: road bike 1x, Enduro 2x, SX 2x, Demo 9 2x.


What a great week. I got the comments back from my book publisher (Lopes and I are doing a technique book, due out in January), and I've been working hard on revisions. Here's what the editor said:

"The manuscript is really well done -- good writing, interesting analogies, clear descriptions of skills and techniques, and lots of humor. Your writing style is perfect for the audience -- a good blend of informal conversational-type writing and technical descriptions. It will keep readers interested (not bored) but also gives them tons of good information."

See you on the trail (and on the book shelves)!

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