Last week I attended the USA Cycling Coaching Summit. One of the presentations was given by Jacob Baty from USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency). He did a great job of giving valuable information about serious subject matter, while being entertaining as well.
The USADA website has a load of valuable information, for you to peruse and perhaps share with others.
You may not be going to the Olympics; but, are you clean?
One of the features of the site is a drug reference online, where you can put in the brand name of any medications you might be taking to see if they are banned or not. You can also find a good summary of information on the wallet card.
USADA has teamed up with several top athletes for the My Victory campaign for clean sport. I like the motto:
I didn't always hate geese, but since I became a dog owner I loathe their every honk and the site of a flock of geese this time of the year tightens my jaw as my teeth clench together.
Poop. Endless poop.
I live near a park that is next to a lake. Every fall and winter, the geese congregate at the park to enjoy sweet meals of Kentucky bluegrass and paddle around the lake. Soon there will be a goose poop pile on every square inch of the park. I am not exaggerating.
It's not bad enough that if I go for a walk or a run in the park, I return home with goose poop cemented to the soles of my shoes. Worse than that, goose poop is apparently a delicacy to dogs. Most dogs cannot resist snatching a piece or two of the green goop, even if it means harsh and punishing words from the owner. Yes, eating goose poop is worth any punishment.
It's not enough that this act of snarfing goose poop is just disgusting, but in goose poop lives loads of bacteria. One particular bacteria, Clostridium, causes severe diarrhea in dogs.
To rid the dog of this bacteria, it usually involves a round of antibiotics and probiotics to get the dog's digestive system back to normal.
Meeka, my Rhodesian Ridgeback just got off of a round of Clostridium treatment about three weeks ago. Today we went for a walk in the park and there are more geese than just a week ago. They are telling their goose pals about open water and bluegrass paradise.
I want them to relocate to the cornfields and remote country lakes. I think it's hopeless.
As the heart of the season is winding down (or is already down) and you start heading back to the weight room, consider checking your side-to-side strength.
I never really thought about my side-to-side differences until I went through a program titled the Frappier Acceleration program that was run through the local medical center. Before I began the program one of the athletic trainers tested my baseline strength. Many of the tests were done with a single limb.
Specifically on legs, I was tested for abduction, adduction, leg press, hamstring curl, knee extension and heel raises. My left leg was pathetic. It was a lame 22% weaker than my right leg. Additionally, my left leg isn't as smart and coordinated as my right leg; but, that's a different blog post.
One of the problems I faced is that prior to the testing, I didn't do any single-leg strength training. Apparently, while the right leg was working away on all the exercises listed above, leftie was taking a break...soft pedaling so to speak.
Well, the party ended for leftie. Each season during general preparation training I return to doing single-leg lifts for all the listed exercises.
What about you? Take the weight you can lift with two legs for 12 to 15 repetitions, and divide that by two. (Consider the weight of the platform on the leg press machine. If you don't know the weight, estimate it.)
Begin with your strongest leg - how many reps can you do? Can you do 12 to 15? More? Can you add more weight and still do 12 to 15 reps?
How about the other leg? What happened there?
Anyone willing to share their strength discrepancies from left to right?
A couple of weeks ago several of us met at the Stove Prairie School, just west of Ft. Collins, Colorado and headed out for one of my favorite rides - the Old Flowers Road. It is indeed a road and there's no single track; but that doesn't make this an easy ride.
A good sized group of Steve, Michael, Ron, Dave, Mike, Todd, Scott, Mike, Bill, Mike and me started the ride. Yes, you read correctly, a four-Mike ride.
I didn't get a start photo and unfortunately, three of the guys - three Mikes to be exact - had to head back early. The sort of half-way photo is below with Bill F., Michael, Dave, Steve, me, Todd, Ron and Scott.
The spot where the photo was taken is the intersection of Old Flowers and Monument Gulch Road. We did some exploring in the Monument Gulch area before heading back.
Ron logged the ride and you can view it if you have Google Earth. (If you don't have Google Earth, it's a free download on the left side of the hot link in the last sentence.)
The file is attached to this blog. If you don't see the file, click on the title for the blog and look at the bottom of the blog.
If you haven't played with Google Earth, it is really fun. You can zoom in, pan the view and a host of other fun stuff.
On this particular ride, I was consumed by learning how to operate a new camera and didn't bring any gadgets along - other than the camera.
So...I'm going to ask for some help from the other riders. Mike - you collected climbing data, right? Can you post how many feet we climbed in how many miles on that first section?
Others, how would you describe the ride? Can we get descriptions from both experienced Flowers riders and first timers?
On this ride, I remember Bill F. saying something about the second section of climbs, "You know it's steep when you can't keep your front wheel on the ground."
On a past ride, a new Flowers rider (Bill Beyers) turned to the group after climbing the toughest hill triplet and said, "Don is the devil." (Don was the guy that talked Bill Beyers into doing the ride. Don is also the moto specialist from a few blogs ago.)
Steve Douglas posted some comments in his blog. (Notice Scott trying to push me out of the camera shot? He is such a photo-ham.)
Dave took more photos too. Dave can you post a group photo at the beginning in the comment box? I think that's possible.
In advance, thanks for the help...
PS...Mark Kuusick: This is the ride we finished last year when we met you and your buddies on your self-designed bike trip.
If you want to look at proof - data and not raw emotion, mainstream press or the generally male-dominated history and view of cycling - I think you have to agree that the greatest cyclist of all time has to be Jeannie Longo.
Consider that Eddie Merckx, considered the greatest male cyclist of all time, earned 525 career wins. Longo has earned an impressive 1,022 victories. Sure, Merckx's career was a relatively short 13 years and Longo's career is 29 years long. At the young age of 49 (turning 50 on October 31) she is giving no hints of retirement.
In a great column by Charles Pelkey, in the September issue of VeloNews, Longo said, "Retire? I don't understand why everybody is asking me this question," she sighed. "It's impolite, isn't it? It's almost as if they are saying ‘We are sick of you and want to see you go away.' I like to ask the reporters then ‘When will you stop your work? When will you stop writing?'"
Just to give you a small glimpse of some of those victories, know that she has qualified for seven Olympic Games and has four Olympic medals. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic time trial, she was only two seconds shy of her fifth medal. Two seconds!
She has competed on the road, on the track, mountain bike and vied for the hour record. She owns 13 World Championship titles on the road, has 10 UCI World Track Championship medals, has a silver medal from the 1993 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships and beat her own hour record in 2000, fourteen years after her previous record.
In the VeloNews column she says, "It's a matter of focus. I like what I do and I get great satisfaction from doing it well. There is a satisfaction in doing something well, and that allows you to defy time."
I couldn't agree more.
The VeloNews column is not available online, at least that I could find. You can find some information on Wickipedia and the links at the bottom of the page dedicated to Jeannie.
To her critics in France, those that say she should move aside to make room for younger women, I say quit worrying about Jeannie's success and begin worrying about why your younger women cannot perform to her level. Do not lower the standard by asking her to step aside, seek to better your athletes' performances.