Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gran Stupido! Amateur Dopers get it all wrong.

Folks please tell me that some knucklehead did not get caught using EPO at the freaking Gran Fondo New York. From here on out the term Gran Fondo is officially banned from this blog! That news makes me want to take up fly fishing. Seriously, we need to take back this incredibly fun sport we call cycling. 

When I read that two amateur weekend worriers tested positive for EPO at the GF New York to help them win prize money, I about died (laughing). David Anthony of New York admitted to doping while competing in the mens 45 to 49 category. Mr. Anthony said, "This was something that I alone did, and I take responsibility for it. My team, coaches and friends had absolutely no knowledge or participation in this.” Did he say team and coaches? I thought we learned our lesson here. 

Isn't it ironic that an upper middle class american is mimicking a starving bicycle racer. What is a GF doing offering over $100,000 in prize money anyway? I predict a  GF France that snakes through the countryside for 21 days and has a race leader, team cars, feed zones, fans, mechanics and a television network will pick up on it and sell the shit out of it. Certain things in this world are sacred and winning money for pedaling your bike should be limited to professional cyclists only not an insurance agent from Wichita on a SL5 with deep dish wheels and shaved arms. 

David Anthony is not even a good doper. Dopers are like inmates, even they have a hierarchy of class. Let me see if I can get this straight, David Anthony paid for the EPO, paid the GF fee, paid for his expenses only to try to recoup the cost of his GF by doping? A true Doper would never have to pay for the drugs, travel expenses, or bikes and any and all doping is directly related to a UCI title or salary increase. Come on, If you are going to dope you have to dope with honor. Can't you just see the headlines - Local Disease Ride Fund Raiser Disqualifies Seven For Doping, Pledges Returned. Didn't David Anthony win the Spina Bifida Ride and place 2nd at the Flesh Eating Disease Ride? 

It is stories like this that make me even more motivated to organize some fun Boogies for  Steel WÜleurs looking for a good time, a silky tempo, no prize money, and the occasional "Dave, you are only hurting your friends".

Keep the faith, engage your neighbor, ride with friends, don't spend money.

For the record: Mr. Anthony's cycling team was sponsored by Comedy Central and the USADA spent $17,000 on anti doping controls at the 2012 Gran Fondo New York alone. That is almost as sick as giving Olympic Medalists a tax break.

Get your Boogie on!

Monday, August 6, 2012

"when fires burn, rollers heat up"

This is the extent of my recent emergency training and the music playlist is always courtesy of Andrew Carroll. When you have logged as many hours as Mr. Carroll has on rollers, you too would find songs like this perfectly acceptable to get you through an hour roller session. Enjoy...

Steel WÜleur and running guru Jay Dicharry

Running expert Jay Dicharry details injury-free running in 'Anatomy for Runners'

Jay, who has competed in triathlons, swimming, cycling and running events, is the director of the SPEED (Strength, Power, Endurance,Education, and Development) Clinic at the University of Virginia.
Dicharry, MPT, CSCSA, has researched the biomechanics of proper running form, and is also a board-certified sports clinical specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association and a certified coach through both the U.S. Track and Field Association and the U.S. Cycling Federation.
In this exclusive interview, Jay shares tips on how to prevent common running injuries, his thoughts on barefoot running, and discusses how we can all get the most out of our runs.
Samantha Chang: You have a ton of knowledge and personal experience with endurance sports. After doing research for your book "Anatomy for Runners," what's your advice on the best way to run?
Jay Dicharry: Safely! OK - want a more serious answer, the best way to run is to use as little energy as possible so that you are efficient, and put minimum stress on your body. How do we do this? It's actually pretty simple. For a given pace, you want to land as close to your body as possible.
Imagine climbing up a flight of stairs one step at a time, and then 2 steps at a time. Which is easier? The single step at a time puts your foot close to your body which is more efficient and places less load on your body.
Sure, you can do two at a time, but it's going to tire you out quickly, and can place more stress on your body that you must control. If more runners took time to learn to run better, a lot less of them would get hurt!
SC: Do runners need to stretch?
JD: The age-old question is actually very simple. You need enough mobility in your joints for the sports and daily activities that you do, and nothing more. For example, a lot of runners have overly tight hip flexors. If you are in this camp, stretching this muscle group is tremendously beneficial since opening up the hips is critical to running.
However, if you already have enough mobility in your hips, stretching your hips won't really provide any advantages at all. It's best to assess yourself, identify your limits, and work on the things you specifically need to improve.
SC: What causes injuries such as fractures, pulled muscles and tendinitis, and how can we prevent them?
JD: Training breaks the body down. Following a proper training schedule ensures that you can recover between workouts, not just day to day but month to month as well. If you load the body faster than it can recover, with too much volume or intensity, muscles, tendons, and bones become overwhelmed and break down. So a proper training schedule is essential.
However, this doesn't explain the biggest reason people get hurt. Even though we run essentially straight ahead, the body must be able stabilize itself in the lateral and rotational planes. Since most runners don't complement their run training to work on this these specific out-of-plane skills, a number of imbalances creep up. The best way to prevent these imbalances is to identify and target your individual weaknesses, and improve them!
SC: Barefoot running is extremely popular right now, and a topic you cover extensively in your book "Anatomy For Runners." What are your thoughts on barefoot running?
JD: Barefoot running is great drill to learn proper run technique. We've been raised to think that the cushioning and stabilizing elements in traditional running shoes are good for us even though there is no body of research to show that this is true. Taking away all the stuff between your foot and the ground takes you from a passenger to a driver. Without cushioned shoes, the body figures out a way to cushion itself. You contact closer to your body, and land a bit softer. And these are two beneficial attributes no matter if you wear shoes or not!
SC: What type of diet do you follow? What type of diet is optimal for running (is there one)?
JD: The diet pendulum has swung far and wide. No one magical solution has ever appeared. All athletes should eat a wide variety of foods focusing heavily on fruits and vegetables, and unrefined sugars. The most critical aspect of sports nutrition actually should focus on the timing and amounts of foods you ingest in relation to your training. The timing of your meals and snacks is much more powerful than most runners realize.
SC: What are your thoughts on ultra-runners/marathoners? It seems logical to conclude they probably get injured more than recreational runners. What's your opinion?
JD: This is a great question, and one that requires more clarification. A lot of ultra-runners and marathoners follow well rounded training programs, and have trained for years to get where they are. This group is knowledgeable and in it for the long haul.
Conversely, there has been a recent surge in everyday people challenging themselves to tackle their first marathon. I wholeheartedly cheer and admire their mental focus to take on an event like this. Unfortunately, the mind is often willing to take on more than the body is ready to tackle. A lot of runners in their first 5K download a marathon training program off the Internet. Instead of going to the finish line, they typically are calling for a medical appointment. Running long distances in the right amount of volume is doable and even healthy. But we must be sure that gradual increases in our activity match those that our body can handle.
SC: There's a common belief that people shouldn't continue running into middle age and beyond because of knee and joint injuries. What are your thoughts on this?
JD: You hear this every day, don't you? And guess what? There just isn't any real proof. This highest incidence of osteoarthritis is in athletes and factory workers who do a lot of heavy lifting and pivoting under load - the stress of a heavy laborer in a factory are quite similar to those of an NFL player. Taking a critical look at all the research shows that no running is actually bad for joint health.
Some running is good for our joints, and more than that is better still. Somewhere after that, more running is worse for us. We just don't know exactly what amount this is, and if it evenly applies to all runners. Like general health, this all comes back to "everything is good in moderation." Running ten 50-100 mile ultramarathons a year likely isn't best for most folks. But sitting on the couch isn't best for most folks either. Go outside, and go for a run!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tour of California- all suffering, no cycling

As I return from my recent out of county fire assignments I realized just how similar it is to stage racing. The preparation is no different - you train and train until you feel ready then you carefully chose and maintain your gear right down to the smallest detail -like what socks to use. Instead of mapping out a TT course and choosing gears ratios, I am now mapping out a fire perimeter to chose resource needs. The physical exertion is very similar as well. As a matter of fact Steel WÜleur and ex-Cat-1 racer Brent Marks said he never suffered in cycling as much as he has while working a fire with San Francisco Fire Department. The hydration and calorie intake is almost identical. As we drive to fire incidents we are drinking fluids just like an endurance athlete would be. I saw more powerbar wrappers on the fire line than I have ever seen at a feed zone.

Here is a our latest Tour of California:

Prologue: 'Ranch Fire' Solono County. 106 degrees, 70+ acres, grass oak woodland. 12 hours in the boots

Stage 1: 'Coyote Fire' Amador County. 2600 lighting strikes, heavy brush & timber. 27 hours in the boots

Stage 2: 'Mountain Fire' Amador County. 100 degrees, steep inaccessible terrain. 16 hours in the boots

Stage 3: 'Black Oak Fire' Amador County. inaccessible terrain. 95 degrees, remote access. 15 hrs in boots

Stage 4: 'Nice Fire' Lake County. 80+ acres, grass / oak / vinyards. 18 hours in the boots

Now off for a ride in the mountains...oh yea, did I mention that I love the coastal fog!

What would Mt. Larry do?

A year ago the Buena Vista dump would have been the natural resting place for our blown out shoes, ripped wet suites and broken toaster. With a little inspiration here and some mindful conversations there, we have been challenging ourselves to live like Mt.Larry. Or better yet, we ask ourselves what would Larry do in this situation?

12 year old Merrell boots re-glued

Olivia's junior guard wet suite with fresh stitch repair from Mama WÜleur. 

our toaster even bounced back with a little exploration with a phillips head screw driver.