Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just Around the Corner

Oh yeah Christmas.... damn just about forgot about it, haha jk. Kelly would never let me forget. She started listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies since the beginning of November and set up the tree about 3 weeks ago! Seriously though it is sure coming quick, only like 25 days to get all that shopping done. It use to be so easy when you were still a kid you make your parents something at school and your mom buys all the presents for the rest of your family and you just write your name on it. Now you have to figure out what everyone wants, decide how much money you have to spend and then go buy all the presents. Damn it's almost crunch time and I haven't bought shit! Actually I have got a couple things but not near all the things that I have to get. I have ordered some of my own Christmas presents, no it's not what you think I didn't really buy them for myself, I buy them for my mom to give to me. It saves her the stress of shopping for me! and I get exactly what I want!

Realize Your Dreams

Well yesterdays work out was pretty good but my low back on the left side has been bugging me a bit, not sure why. It’s feeling a little better after a good foam roll session, stretching and sleeping on a heat pad.
So I stumbled across this a while ago on betterride.net and thought it would be interesting to fill this out as Gene says that goals that aren't written down are just dreams and goals that you write down become reality or something like that so that's what I did. It definitely helped me put my goals into perspective and I hope it helps me stay focused. So take a look and tell me what you think about my goals. Feel free to copy and paste it and fill it out yourself, who knows it might help you have your best offseason and lead to your best mtb season yet! Also check out what else Gene has to offer at betterride.net
Now that the 2010 season is over (for most of us) and you have had a few weeks off from serious training, riding or competition it is time to prepare for next season. If you are serious about becoming the best rider or racer you can be now is the time to act. All the knowledge in the world is worthless without action. Below is an abbreviated version of the questionnaire I use with my full-time athletes to evaluate their season and design their training program for the next racing season.  Use this to evaluate your performance in 2010 and help your plan an even better 2011!
Do you keep a training and racing diary? A diary is a big help in the following exercise and though out the season for finding factors that lead to changes in performance. If you haven’t kept a training diary in the past, start now. A training diary helps you learn what parts of your training are working and what parts are not can explain “peak” performances and poor performances and is a great confidence booster by tracking all the hours of training you have put in.
Work with your coach or consult a book such as The Mountain Biker’s Training Bible, by Joe Friel and/or James Wilson’s MTB strength training programs to create a training plan to reach all of the above goals. Why a coach? A coach can provide you with a structured training program designed to reach your goals while working around your schedule, an objective eye on your skills and physical training, motivate you and share his/her wisdom speeding up your improvement.
Step One: Assess your racing season and your riding ability. Honestly and objectively answer the following questions about your 2010 season.
Did your skills improve over the course of the season? - yes
What are your strongest skills? (cornering, jumping, steeps, etc.)- climbing, not giving up
What skills need the most improvement? Cornering, jumping, speed, steeps
How did the season go physically? I would bonk towards the end or cross races, and lacked the sprinting speed
Did you start strong and get stronger as the season went on? Yes and no I started in good shape and definitely got stronger as the season went on.
Did you fade in late July and August? Why? n/a, didn’t start racing till August.
Did you have the optimum combination of sprinting speed and endurance? No I don’t feel I did,
Did you pick 3 to 5 big races to peak for? Were you able to peak for those races?  I didn’t I tried to race hard in every race and didn’t pick a specific goal
How was your mental game? I feel I’m pretty mentally strong but I can always improve
Were you confident and riding to your potential or did you find yourself racing below the level that you know you are capable of? I feel I was in the correct races racing the correct competitors but I do feel that I could have raced a little better
What factors helped your confidence this season? Just slowly moving up the positions with each race.
What factors hurt your confidence this season? Not being able to finish strong every race
Did you a have comprehensive (mental, physical and skill) training program? What part of your program worked? What parts didn’t work? No I didn’t I would find bits and pieces on line and with a gym trainer and use past experiences to guide me
Did your racing improve as the season went on? Yes,
Did you create and write down concrete goals? no
Did you reach your racing goals?  Yes, because it was my first year, and I simply wanted to finish my first race and improve over the season
Step Two: Use the answers to these questions as an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses setting the foundation your 2011 season training program.
Set career, three years from now and this season’s racing goals (top three over all in my state series, etc.), physical training goals (decrease my 50 yard sprint time by 15%, increase my maximum squat by 20%, etc.), skills goals (improve balance, improve cornering, etc.) and mental training goals (improve visualization, learn relaxation techniques, etc.) for your 2011 season.
Racing Goals
1. Career goal- to eventually become an elite racer
2. Three year goal- move to Colorado and race competitively in XC, DH and 4x or BMX
3. This season’s goal- buy my own mountain bike, race a few super d races, podium in sport class xc, podium in a cyclocross race, possibly begin racing BMX if money allows
Physical training Goals, to allow me to reach my racing goals
1. Build overall strength to prevent injury
2. Increase pedal power and sprinting and top end speed
3. become more explosive out of corners
Skills Training Goals, to allow me to reach my racing goals
1.  Become a better corner
2. Become a smoother rider- ei. Cleaning rock gardens and jumps
3. Become a more efficient rider- ei. Pedaling efficiently, pumping through the downhill areas
Mental training Goals, to allow me to reach my racing goals
1. Stay focused
2. Stay committed
3. Don’t give into fatigue

Step Three: Act on your training program! Ride! Workout! Visualize! Constantly update your goals and training program based on improvement or lack of improvement.
Remember, unwritten goals are just dreams; goals you write down you will commit to and strive to reach. Good luck next season and feel free to call or e-mail with questions, suggestions or to start a personal coaching program.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Rest of the Weekend

So the rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful but it was nice and relaxing.  Saturday we went to the movie “Love and Other Drugs” with my mom, so it was a little awkward.  It was totally a chick flick that was borderline porno.  I truthfully don’t think that I have seen that much sex and boobs in a movie that wasn’t a porno to be honest.  No complaints from me! The rest of the day was spent chilling with my pops talking about the world’s problems and how we’d solve them while watching college football, the usually afternoon back home. That evening we just watched “Joana Hex” that was a pretty sweet movie, if I might add.
Today we were woke up with McDonald’s breakfast, not probably my first choice but I’m not going to turn it down. Then we loaded up the car, made sure it was operational, filled the tank and hit the road. The roads were great. The temp was in the 40’s, sun shining and minimal wind, can’t ask for much more!
Unfortunately now it is time to unpack and get myself ready for another wonderful week of work! I sure hope they get the hockey rinks ready to go pretty soon! I need a release now that the cycling season is finished for me! Don’t have the gear or the money to do much winter riding and it doesn’t really appeal to me at all.
Take it easy!

DH 29er!

Haha alright well I haven't figured out how to post a video on my blog so you'll have to check it out on youtube.... click here I saw this is on bikejames and seriously had to watch it twice because I laughed so hard the first time.... no disrespect to all you that ride 29ers, made respect but this is funny shit!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

Wow, how did I get talked into this? So Kelly had her little heart set on getting this 32” TV for 198 bucks so I said I would go stand in line with her. So we got up at 130AM! Ventured out into the freezing morning air and drove over to Wally World and hopped in line and sat and sat and sat. As it crept closer to the 5am sale time the line grew and the number of people in the store multiplied. I sat contently against a stack of Velveeta cheese and read a mountain bike magazine while Kelly chatted with this lady that was next to us in line. Finally it was time. The line started to move I went around the store and grabbed a couple other things while Kelly waited. I got my dad a Tom-Tom for 79bucks and a little 4gig mp3 player for 10 bucks. So I say it was a good trip, and then it was back to bed!  When I got up I enlisted the help of my brother Ethan to fix my car, it didn’t take him long. Thanks Ethan!
The afternoon was spent lounging and hanging out with my dog Scooby. That evening we checked out a-towns newest claim to fame, the Aberdeen Wings, a junior hockey team. It was pretty sweet actually. I’d say it’s somewhere between good high school and average college, but there is fighting and they sell beer!  May have had one too many of those, but heck it’s the off season! Training goes full speed after the New Year!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Long Road Home

Ah where to start. Wednesday Kelly and I went to the Wild game. The drive there kind of sucked due to the weather and we had to pay to park because we didn’t want to get a ticket when they were cleaning the streets. The first period was pretty good, it got cut short a bit when the Flyers dumped it in and the puck hit the lower corner of the glass and shattered. I’m not sure if the puck went through or if it was a piece of the glass that hit this kid in the face but he had to get medical help and probably some free swag, lucky!  The drive back was even slower.
The next morning it was time to head to a-town. Everything was going great got up at 7 showered, ate had everything packed went to start the car about 720, totally on schedule, went down about 725 to put some shit in the car, fuck! I locked my keys in the car while its running and I don’t have a spare! Un-fucking-believable!  So I tried the old wire hanger to no avail. Luckily Kelly has AAA and they were going to come unlock it, sweet, so we wait and wait. Then we get a call, I’m here! We look around I don’t see you, he went to the wrong address so after about an hour total of waiting the guy showed up and we were on our way. The bright side the car was nice and warm!
They drive to SD was uneventful; roads were really nice except the stretch from New London to Benson, Hwy 9. Pretty much as soon as we hit SD the wind started to blow and the temperature dropped, Pretty typical but leaving Milbank the wind really started to blow the little Subaru around. The wind blew so hard that I actually had to down shift going up Summit hill to keep it above 60. For you folks that aren’t familiar with Summit hill, it’s nothing spectacular maybe ¼-1/2 mile long about 6-8% grade but this day the wind was blowing so hard I had it pinned in 5th gear and was losing speed! WTF! Besides battling the wind the drive wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately the car suffered a casualty the oil sending unit blew out and I began to lose oil pressure. So I limped into town and will drive my parent’s car till I get it fixed.
Thanksgiving dinner was really tasty and there were no family crisis. So I rule it a win-win. I hope all of your Thanksgivings were amazing and I am thankful just to be back in SD healthy and with family!
Take it easy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

So I am thankful that this week is over, I've definitely had enough with my job. They have basically jerked me around for the last month and it all boiled down to they don't feel that I'm qualified to do anything but answer a phone, so fuck them! Time to move on, anyone know of a good job? Well I'll be looking. Enough of the pity pot, it's time to celebrate! We should all be thankful to be alive, with family and be able to ride our bikes!
The weather is pretty shitty for travel but we'll make the best of it and hopefully get back to SD to chill for the weekend. The good side to the weather is that there is some snow now and it's turning cold so hopefully soon the ice rinks with be up, the trails will be groomed and the ice climbs will be in!
Take care all, be safe in your travels and have a wonderful thanksgiving. I'll leave you all with a little desert! Check this Danny MacAskill video out, this guy is off the chain! To have his balance would be epic!
Sorry couldn't get the video added to my blog so click on the link! later

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Perfect Bike

The next step in my off season preparation process is to get my own mountain bike. There are so many choices out there; one of the biggest is brand, then full cushy or hard tail and finally 26inch or 29inch. So let’s just dive into this subject.
Most people that know me know that I'm kind of a gear head and research nerd, but honestly you have to be when it comes to spending thousands of hard earned dollars. Plus it's a long term investment for many people; I know it is for me.  Not like I can get a new mountain bike every year.  As the title reads SELF sponsored!
After all of my research, reading reviews, hanging out at the bike shops - way too much according to Kelly, and talking to other fellow cyclist, I have decided to go with either Giant or Specialized, and I will be going with the traditional 26inch bike because I feel that they offer more versatility.  So as for bikes I have narrowed it down to either a specialized stumpjumper or there are two form giant, the Trance X and the Reign.
Truthfully they are all great bikes and probably do great for most everything but I'm really looking for the bike that I will be able to do everything with; ride trails, race xc, hit jumps and do some of the downhill that is around the Midwest, which isn't too gnarly.  I am really leaning towards the Giant Reign, but ultimately it will come down to price and availability.
I will most likely be getting a model from last year to save some money and be doing some negotiating with the local bike shops. So if you know much about bikes, all those bikes I've listed they are all full cushy so I have already answered the hardtail vs. full cush. I have decided to go with full cushy because I feel that they are more versatile then a hard tail and that's what I'm looking for, the do-it-all bike, aka all mountain.  Mountain bike now days come with a variety of different lengths of travel which determine their category as well as their angles and geometry but you can usually tell the style by the travel. Travel ranges from XC at about 4 inches to DH (downhill) at about 8inchs. I figure I’ll try to shoot the gap and go with something with about 6 inches.
6 inches! some of you are saying is why too much for around MN and you are probably right 5 inch is probably the max that you really want around here and four is plenty sufficient but Kelly and I are planning on moving to CO or maybe the black hills in the next year or so and I'm planning on keeping this bike for awhile so I see it as a great fit. Plus I can ride most DH comps around her with an all mountain bike and should do just fine in the citizens and sport classes of XC races as well.
That is my feeling on mountain bikes and my rationale for the bikes that I have narrowed it down, feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. I won’t be purchasing till after tax return time.
Thanks again for reading.
Take it easy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Amateurs practice until they get it right, masters practice until they can't get it wrong

So what is going on right now in the lovely world of chance's self sponsored cycling adventures, well to tell you the truth not a whole lot. I have currently enlisted the services of a personal trainer at Lifetime fitness, and trying to make it there three times a week. I only actually see my trainer once a month. I can't afford more at this time, but it's ok, it’s more of a test of determination and drive to stick with it. The workout is pretty good, I struggled with it at first, I think she likes to see me struggle, haha, but I'm getting the hang of it! I will most likely continue with this training until after the first of the year, and then the plan is to purchase the Ultimate Mountain Bike Work Out from James Wilson and bikejames.com. It's a 6month program that is suppose to cover everything from strength and cardio to stretching and nutrition, as well as riding tips and bike set up tips. Sounds like a great deal to me! Check it out if you want more info. Other then the gym, I'm staying off the bike for a few weeks as I did develop a bit of an over use injury in my right hip from riding so much. I believe that is partially impart to the clipless pedals that I have been using. So with the advice of James Wilson I will be switching to flats and five ten shoes exclusively for training and for any type of off road riding I partake in next spring. So I will be leaving the clipless mafia as James refers to it. Not sure about the road yet but we will see, but I’m definitely going to give it a try and keep an open mind. After the 1st of the year I do plan to get back on the trainer and attend spin classes at least one to two times a week. As for now I will be doing my strength training and stretching and try to squeeze in a yoga class or two!

Monday, November 22, 2010

ladies and gentlemen welcome to the big show!

Hey everyone, it been a while since I've been on the blogging scene so forgive me for being a little rusty, I know my blogspot is a little sketchy right now but I promise to spruce it up over the next few days! If you don't know my back ground, I'm from SD and grew up riding my bike, racing bmx, freeriding, playing hockey and just partying hard! I graduated college from St Cloud State, got to love the Huskies! No one parties harder, one of the best chapter of my life, great time and great friends! When I graduated my girlfriend and I rode our bikes from New York to San Fran, not going into that too much you can check out my old blog if you want to read more about that. Plenty of reading on that subject if you like, cycling4acure.blogspot.com.
This last year I moved to the Twin Cities with my lovely girlfriend Kelly, can't ask for more with her! Tough to find someone to ramble across the country and spend 3 months in a tent with you, let alone a girlfriend! She rocks! So we've been living here now for about a year, there are a lot good opportunities here but not a big fan, can't ride my bike everywhere because it's too big and there are just too many damn people! I have a job, not a good one but it pays the bills and lets me do the stuff I love to do, namely ride my bike, rock and ice climb and go camping!
This last year in cycling, I realized I was becoming a fat pos so I decided to dust off the LHT for some good cardio training and discovered my long lost mistress! cycling. I forgot how free I felt on my bike, I hadn't rode my bike since we finished our trip the end of July '09. I basically became addicted, might have neglected my amazing girlfriend but because she is so amazing she simply supported my new found obsession and I started riding daily and longer and harder. Then I discovered cyclocross and found out a girl at my work races, the only good thing about my job, and got into that had a great time racing this fall. I did about 8 races and improved each time.
Now it's the off season and I'm currently saving to by my first quality mountain bike and maybe a BMX bike so I can expand my riding and racing for next season. I try to strength train as much as I can, so about 3 times a week. Just trying to be as ready as possible to come out ripping next year!