ROAD TO LEADVILLE: RPM’S

Friday July, 23, 2010 – Yesterday was busy and after work but before the twins’ baseball game I tore out on my MTB to Hartmans for a quick hour and a half of JR. JR can go either way: it can be “JR/not feeling so hot” or it can be “JR/feeling pretty good; hard at times.” Yesterday I felt pretty good so I was punching it a bit out there.  The storms were all around and I got rained on on my way back into town. Also, since Hartmans is a good 15 minutes from our house, this ride really only was an hour of mountain biking. The approaches to Hartmans are dead flat pavement, great for warming up and cooling down.

Today, once I got the boys sorted out with Mr. T (Coop’s violin teacher) and Mrs. B (piano teacher for all of them) I hopped on the road bike and did 2 hours of AMU up to Crested Butte and back. Even though you gain 1200 feet to CB, I consider this ride to be essentially flat. I did 2 cycles of the 5 HR zones and stayed in each zone for 12 minutes. I spun 100+ rpm’s for 9 minutes in each and pushed a big gear sitting down for 3 minutes in each zone. This workout is torture for me because of the constant pedaling; you never get much of a break and it kills my sit bones and all of the muscles and structure sort of high up on my legs and inside. I walk kind of funny for a while after this ride. Actually, I walk kind of funny all the time but that’s a different story.

Then, this afternoon, I went to the gym for the first time in 2010. I’m consistently inconsistent about going to the gym. I always do the same workout: 3 sets of 15 reps with low weight. I bounce back and forth between upper and lower body and I go from machine to machine with no break; just bang it out as fast as I can. It’s some core, squats, lunges, bench, triceps, curls, knee extension, ham curl, adductors, abductors, calves, etc. I do this to shore up all of the supporting muscles that I think I have trouble stressing in training but seem to get worked in races. I lift to, hopefully, prevent cramping.

So far, this has helped me at Leadville. I have lifted going into this race the last three years and I haven’t cramped. In years when I didn’t lift, I’d cramp coming down Columbine, but I’d just kept spinning my legs, though, and they’d go away. It certainly isn’t doing my legs any good, though. I experienced the same thing in the Firecracker 50 this year – and in others – when I haven’t been lifting. I’ll try to get into the gym for this workout 8 or 9 times before Leadville, my last one being on the Monday or Tuesday before the race. We’ll see how this works out this year.

Tomorrow is a riding clinic up at Crested Butte Resort and afterwards, depending on weather and how I feel, I may try to do a high-alpine ride for a few hours.

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3 Responses to “ROAD TO LEADVILLE: RPM’S”

  1. Quick Question Dave,
    What “lifts “are you doing to prevent the leg cramps.? It got the best of Me at the Firecracker 50 two years in a row.

  2. Dave Wiens Says:

    The main lifts I think help me avoid cramping are squats (light weight and not too deep); lunges on the Smith machine; abductors, adductors, ham curls and knee extensions, all on the hip machine, all in one shot; calves on the leg press (50 reps each of toes straight, in and out); and classic ham curls and knee extensions. All of these are done with silly light weight and I do 3 sets of 15 reps with little or no rest between sets (upper body, lower back and abdominal work is mixed in, too.) It’s about an hour in the gym no matter how I slice it.

    The theory being that you’re strengthening all of the supporting muscles. Those are ofter the ones that cramp on me rather than my quads or hamstrings. I hope to make it into the gym about every other day between now and the Monday or Tuesday before Leadville. Good luck?

  3. Brad G. Says:

    Hey Dave,

    I have been following a method of strengthening and balancing my body that doesn’t involve traditional weights or a gym. This sounds like an infomercial but I have no interest in this other than it’s been great for me. Check out http://www.sportsciencelab.com if you’re interested. Have a great race at Leadville!

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