Tagesarchiv: 29. Juni 2010

Training in the Flatlands – Faster, Higher, Stronger Michaels

Thanks to James M., the NY Times article about Christian Van de Velde’s flatland training in the Chicago area has been found HERE.

Seems like training with a powermeter and using headwinds are the two suggestions for climbers living in Flatlands. 

Powermeter/bursts:

„… set about increasing your average wattage. Mr. Vande Velde does this by punctuating rides with five minute “power bursts,” dropping into a big gear, pushing his pedals as hard as he can, his wheels turning at his top sustainable watts and barely 50 revolutions per minute. In the next five minutes, he’ll click up into an easier gear, pedals whirring at low watts and about 90 r.p.m. (which any recreational rider should be able to maintain). Then he’ll repeat.“
Headwinds:

„… if you live in a flat area, listen to local weather reports and note the direction of the wind. A strong head wind can simulate hill climbing, Mr. Vaughters said. “You need to push hard into the wind,” using “a big gear, for at least six minutes and no longer than 45 minutes” once or twice a week “to get the aerobic benefits of climbing big hills,” he said. (In recompense, you get a tail wind all the way home.)“

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Rule 5: This man clearly understands it!

With thanks to http://www.bigringriding.com

„it’s not just a the chainring, it’s a state of mind“

THE KING OF HTFU (ref: rule 5)

FIRENZO MAGNI: I CONSIDER MY GREATEST WIN MY SECOND PLACE IN GC AT THE GIRO OF 1956, MY LAST YEAR AS A PRO.

VALERIA PAOLETTI: You were a very brave second in that incredible Giro. Tell us what happened.

FM: DURING STAGE 12, FROM GROSSETO TO LIVORNO, I CRASHED ON THE DESCENT OUT OF VOLTERRA AND BROKE MY LEFT COLLARBONE. AT THE HOSPITAL THEY SAID I SHOULD PUT ON A PLASTER CAST AND QUIT. BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO. SINCE THE NEXT DAY WAS A REST DAY, I TOLD THE DOCTOR TO DO NOTHING AND THAT WE SHOULD WAIT AND SEE. THE DAY AFTER I ASKED THE DOCTOR TO PUT ON AN ELASTIC BANDAGE INSTEAD OF A CAST BECAUSE I WANTED TO TRY TO RIDE THE FOLLOWING STAGE, LIVORNO TO LUCCA. IT WORKED! I WASN’T AMONG THE FIRST RIDERS BUT I FINISHED.

VP: There is the famous picture of your riding holding a piece of inner tube in your mouth during the 13th stage, the individual time trail of San Luca. Can you explain?

FM: JUST BEFORE THE STAGE STARTED I TRIED TO RIDE MY BIKE ON A CLIMB AND I NOTICED I COULDN’T USE THE MUSCLES OF MY LEFT ARM TO PULL ON THE HANDLE BAR VERY HARD. SO MY MECHANIC, FALIERO MASI, THE BEST MECHANIC OF ALL TIME, CUT A PIECE OF INNER TUBE AND SUGGESTED I PULL IT WITH MY MOUTH. THAT WAS A GREAT IDEA!

VP: Then, during Stage 16, from Bologna to Rapallo, through the Apennines, you crashed again and broke your humerus.

FM: YES, I DIDNT HAVE ENOUGH STRENGTH IN MY LEFT ARM AND I CRASHED AFTER HITTING A DITCH BY THE ROAD. I FELL ON MY ALREADY BROKEN BONE AND FAINTED FROM THE PAIN. THE AMBULANCE CAME TO BRING ME TO THE HOSPITAL. IN THE AMBULANCE THEY GAVE ME WATER AND I GOT BACK ON MY FEET. WHEN I REALIZED THAT I WAS BEING TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL I SCREAMED AND TOLD THE DRIVER TO STOP. I DIDN’T WANT TO ABANDON THE GIRO! I MOUNTED MY BIKE AGAIN AND RESTARTED PEDALING. THE PELOTON HAD WAITED FOR ME, SO I ARRIVED IN RAPALLO IN A RELATIVELY GOOD POSITION. I HAD NO IDEA OF HOW SERIOUS MY CONDITION WAS, I JUST KNEW THAT I WAS IN A LOT OF PAIN BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE X-RAYS THAT EVENING. DURING THE DAYS THAT FOLLOWED I COULD HOLD MY OWN.

VP: You were even able to ride the Stelvio Pass (Stage 19)!

FM: YES, THERE I DIDN’T HAVE PROBLEMS ON THE CLIMB, BUT THE DESCENT WAS HARD. ON THE CLIMB I COULD GO UP AT MY OWN SPEED. AT THAT POINT MY AIM WAS JUST TO FINISH THE GIRO, NOT TO WIN IT OF COURSE. I DIDN’T WANT TO ABANDON THE GIRO IN THE YEAR OF MY RETIREMENT.

VP: Why did you have problems on the descent?

FM: BECAUSE I COULD NOT BRAKE WITH MY LEFT HAND AND I SKIDDED. THAT WAS TOUGH!

VP: Then there was Stage 20 from Merano to Trento, over the Costalunga, Rolle, Brocon and Bondone climbs. Pasquale Fornara was the pink jersey. That day 60 people abandoned! What happened?

FM: IT SNOWED THE WHOLE DAY AND IT WAS VERY COLD, I HAD NOT NOTICED HOW MUCH. ALONG THE WAY I SAW MANY BIKES PARKED NEXT TO BARS AND I ASKED WHAT WAS GOING ON. THEY TOLD ME THAT MOST OF THE PELOTON FROZE AND HAD TO QUIT. THEN, BEFORE REACHING TRENTO I SAW THE PINK JERSEY QUITTING TOO! ‘WHAT?? AM I SEEING THINGS?’ I WONDERED. IF I WERE THE PINK JERSEY I WOULD HAVE CONTINUED, EVEN IF I HAD TO WALK, BUT I WOULD NEVER ABANDON!

VP: What happened next?

FM: WHEN WE WERE IN TRENTO MY TEAM CAR CAME UP TO ME AND SAID I WAS THIRD. “THIRD?!”, I WONDERED AGAIN. I WAS THIRD THAT DAY AND BECAME SECOND IN THE GC.

VP: Gaul won that stage and went from 16 minutes behind to winning the 1956 Giro.

FM: ACTUALLY, I THOUGHT ABOUT ATTACKING CHARLY GAUL IN THE FOLLOWING STAGES AND TRYING TO WIN MY FOURTH GIRO. I TRIED ATTACKING HIM A COUPLE OF TIMES DURING THE LAST TWO STAGES, BUT HE WAS TOO STRONG. THE DAY AFTER THE END OF THE GIRO I WENT TO AN INSTITUTE THAT SPECIALIZED IN BONE INJURIES. AND THEY GAVE ME A DRESSING-DOWN! THEY SAID I HAD TWO FRACTURES – I THOUGHT I HAD ONLY ONE – AND FORCED ME TO PUT A PLASTER CAST ON. THE NEXT DAY I WENT TO MY MACHINE SHOP AND ASKED MY MECHANIC TO CUT THE PLASTER CAST AWAY WITH THE SPECIAL SCISSORS HE USED FOR SHEET METAL. THIS WAY I COULD START TRAINING AGAIN.

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Save the Date – Midsummer Team Dinner – Tuesday July 27

We are losing Michaels to the flatlands at an unsustainable pace this year.  First Michael K. to the flats of Northern Germany.  Now Michael H. to flat Dubai, in August.

A promotion within his bank (the very same institution which is called „home“ by his countryman, David J. of the P.E. London chapter — you know, the one with those funny/serious old/new ads in the jetways) sends Michael H. off to oversee their legal function for a much bigger piece of real estate.

I am hoping to be able to celebrate my own recovery and return to the saddle at the same time.

For any of you who will be in Tokyo in late July, SAVE THE DATE – TUESDAY JULY 27 – for a team dinner, place TBD.  Given the season, the focus may be more on cold drinks than on food.  Ideas welcome via email or comment.

P.S.  There was a nice article within the last few years about Christian Van de Velde of Garmin Chipotle, and how he can train to win (well, be competitive in) Tour de France mountain stages while living in a completely flat city like Chicago.  First to find that article and link to it (or forward it to me, for the technology challenged) for the benefit of our two flatland Michaels gets treated to a cold beer at the dinner.

 

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