For new readers

To get an idea of what I'm trying to do and why I think it's possible, check out the following entries, they'll help get you up to speed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hill Sim

After the MNOC adventure-O i realized i needed to step up my training.  I was cramping the last half of the race - the fatigue of pushing hard had caught up with me.  I'm a believer in the research that suggests that cramping has less to do with dehydration or electrolytes, and more to do with how your training compares with the race you're doing - if you don't run hills and your race has hills, your muscles will be pushed in a different way, fatigue quickly, and then misfire (cramps).

But how am I supposed to train in a way in two hours a week that simulates the efforts that will be required in a week long race over mountainous terrain such as idaho?  I've found that even going out for an hour time trial or 10 k tempo run, i'm usually limited mostly by my cardiovascular ability - and that while my legs might be sore the next day they don't seem terribly fatigued during the effort.  So what to do?
Getting set up for the inaugural bike ride

Tire drag baby!  I got a 13 inch passenger car tire (yeah, it's as small as they come, but i'm pretty small too!) and rigged it up using an old length of climbing rope and a short piece of bungee cord for shock absorption.  I can drag it behind me while I run by wearing a harness or while i bike by clipping it under my seatpost.  I haven't run with it yet but went for a 40 minute ride last week and it felt like i was going uphill the entire time.  Awesome.  I'll try it out on foot on friday.  It's super fun (different and new often is), gets loads of funny looks, was free, and actually seems to work pretty well.  I'm going to limit myself to one 'tire' workout a week before Idaho just because i don't want to overdo it, put strain places i'm not used to strain, and get injured.

With enough imagination, that tire looks just like my brother!
As a bonus, dragging the tire kind of feels like i'm towing someone - so i get to use my imagination and pretend i'm hauling my brothers broken body through the mountains as we race to a podium finish.  Sure, neither of these things may actually happen (me hauling jason or a podium finish in Idaho), but hopefully this new workout will better prepare me for both possibilities!

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