As most people know by now, the federal grand jury has decided to drop the case against Lance Armstrong. A reader dropped me a note and asked if the information that grand jury gathered becomes public or if it is sealed?
I can see both arguments, taxpayers paid for the information so it should be public.
However, if reputation-damaging information is disclosed (whether it is Lance or others on the periphery) then what’s the point?
Because I hold a USA Cycling license, I received the special announcement pasted below. I’m fairly certain it is related to the new UCI Stage Race to be held in Colorado in 2011 that Lance Armstrong and Governer Ritter have been working towards:
Join Colorado cyclists for a special announcement on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol Wednesday morning
Dear Colorado Cyclist,
On behalf of USA Cycling and the sport of cycling in Colorado, I would like to invite you to attend a special announcement on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol this Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. We’d like to show appreciation for Governor Ritter, Lance Armstrong and others as they unveil plans to bring major international bicycle racing back to the great state of Colorado!
We hope you can join us Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 10:00 a.m. on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol at 200 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO. It's going to be crowded so you might want to come early!
Also, Lance just announced via Twitter that he and the Governor are leading a short ride immediately following the event so you might want to come dressed and ready to ride!
To help 100-mile mountain bike racers with some training references, this blog is a good start. Many of the resources can help 100-mile mountain bike racers for any event. Some of the resources are Leadville 100 specific.
First, training plan help.
In my newest book, Training Plans for Cyclists, you will find two foundation fitness training plans. (You can see the table of contents online.) The two foundation fitness plans are designed to help cyclists maintain or improve fitness in the off-season. Often, there are two Levels of training plan presented in the book. Level I is for completion and Level II is more competitive. Level I and Level II descriptions are also relative to event distance. For example, I classify a Level I rider looking at a 100-mile mountain bike race differently than a Level I road rider looking to complete a century. Of course, the event route itself can have a major influence.
The book contains detailed, daily workouts. (Not just general instructions on how to assemble your own plan.) Here are athlete profile descriptions:
Level I Profile (Chapter 19)
The plan in this chapter is designed for a Level I rider. Before beginning the plan, you are riding two or three times per week, indoors or outdoors; but, your workouts are not consistent. It is not a problem for you to ride for an hour, though.
You are looking to build strength, endurance and increase your riding speed. You’d like to begin a weight training program, but don’t know where to begin.
One big issue you have is time. There is never enough time and you don’t have much of it to devote to staying fit. If you can see a training plan that would whip you into shape on three to six hours a week, you’d jump up and down.
The plan in this chapter is designed for a Level II cyclist that is riding three or four times per week before beginning the plan. You are currently capable of comfortably completing a two-and-a-half hour ride. Your current long ride is mostly aerobic, but may include a small amount of intensity.
You are looking to build strength, endurance and increase your riding speed for next season. You want a weight training program included in your plan that will deliver on-the-bike speed later.
Your schedule allows you to train six or seven days per week.
It really doesn’t matter what your season goals are (road vs. mountain) because the foundation fitness plans can be used for preparation for century rides, multi-day tours, short-course mountain bike racing, 24-hour races or 100-mile mountain bike races.
After you have built foundation fitness on your own or used one of the above plans, then you transfer that fitness to a more event-specific plan taking you right up to race day.
Keeping attention focused on just the mountain bike events for now, below are the plan descriptions contained in the book:
Chapter 16, Level I Rider, 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race, 16 Week Plan
Before beginning this plan, you are riding consistently and doing between five and six hours of training each week. Your long ride is around two hours long and it includes some intensity as well as hill riding. At least one other ride during the week contains some intensity. That ride can be an indoor spinning class.
If your current fitness does not meet the description above, begin your training journey in Chapter 19 to build foundation fitness. After the last week of the Chapter 19 training plan, begin with Week 1 of this chapter.
During the week, you are limited to an hour of training on three days. You need two days off for other activities. Additionally, you do not have time to commute to a mountain course, so the training needs to be on an indoor trainer, spin class or a road bike.
Your goal is to comfortably complete a 100-mile mountain bike race. While you want to ride in a time that is as fast as possible, you realize you are restricted for training time. You want the best time, given your limited training time.
(The biggest training week is 13:30. The online version of this race-specific plan is found here.)
Chapter 17, Level II Rider, 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race, 14 Week Plan
Before beginning this plan, you are training approximately nine hours per week. You are riding two long rides each week. One ride is around two hours long and the second one is roughly three hours in length.
You are riding two or three other weekday rides that are an hour each. You may or may not be strength training.
This plan is designed to follow the Level II Foundation Fitness training plan found in Chapter 20. After completing 18 weeks of that plan, you can move directly into the plan in this chapter. That combination provides you with 32 weeks of training.
If you are not using the Chapter 20 training plan, review the last few weeks of that training plan. Before beginning this training plan you should be capable of completing those workouts, or similar workouts, both in time and intensity.
Due to the volume of training necessary to complete this plan you will need to focus on recovery as much as you focus on accomplishing the training. Improved performance is accompanied by recovery techniques and high density nutrition. In summary, in addition to completing the training sessions, you need to get adequate rest and eat nutritious foods that fuel a high performance body. Be sure to read Chapter 3 that covers nutrition.
Your goal is to ride a 100-mile mountain bike race in a personal best time. This competitive goal is more than just completing the event, it is competing at the event. The competition may be for a spot on the podium or to beat a past personal record (PR). You want a new PR.
(The biggest training week is 22:00. The online version of this race plan isfound here.)
Now that the training portion is covered, below is more information within columns and blogs:
Description of key points and challenges in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race: (Note that the entry numbers are low compared to 2009 because the column was written in 2005):
Those of you that have been following my blog and recent column know I’ve been doing a “look back at training 20 years ago theme.”
Today’s post featuring “Hotshot Lance Armstrong, Age 16, Plano, Texas” has several key features I’d like to point out:
Earlier this spring I read a column written about Lance Armstrong where the author claimed that Lance’s VO2max as a young person had never been documented or published. I don’t recall the author or column title now and it’s not really that important; but, the author claimed that Lance's high childhood VO2max was fabricated and later published to give cover to high VO2max numbers posted when Lance was well into his professional cycling career. I knew I had read about his high VO2max when he was a youngster, but I couldn’t find the information anywhere in my files. I finally found it in a 1988 Triathlete magazine column. At age 16, his VO2max was measured at 79.5 (world class) - documented below.
In the training column I wrote recently, I noted that in the late 1980s people were doing very high volume training schedules. At age 16, Lance was swimming 10,600 meters, cycling 320 miles and running 30 miles in the given sample week training schedule. Doing some rough estimates at 2700 m/hr swimming, 18 mph cycling, and 8 minutes per mile running (all average because not all workouts are done at race pace) I come up with a weekly training volume around 25 hours. This is a big load and is typical for many of today’s professional triathletes.
“Junior” loves his mom.
Prize winnings went into a trust account.
It’s a fun column to read.
(Click on the column to get a larger and more readable view.)
Have a great weekend.
If you find something or someone inspiring, let me know. Drop a comment below.
I found this old column and thought you’d get a kick out of it. In 1988 Triathlete Magazine picked five athletes to be stars in the upcoming year. They featured this photo of young, 16 years old, Lance Armstrong with a photo caption: "If he can handle the psychological pressure, he may become one of the greatest athletes the sport has ever seen.”
The column goes on to tell that though his sponsorship with McDonalds fell through others came through, including current sponsors Nike and Oakley.
Mental toughness is one of his best, if not his best, assets.
If you follow sports whatsoever, by now you know that Lance Armstrong won the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race in a time of 6:28. He beat the course record and dethroned six-time champion Dave Wiens (6:57). You can do a search for the event and find all the details and videos you please of these two great athletes and the top five or so men in the event.
What is tough to find in print or video media, is coverage of the real tough-gals and tough-guys of the event. I want to tell you about these superhumans.
The overall female winner, Rebecca Rusch from Ketchum Idaho, placed 30 OVERALL. Yes, overall and with a time of 8:14. (She is in the photo below, left to right, Ken Chlouber, Rebecca, spectator in the background, Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong). Second female, Amanda Carey from Victor Idaho was second female and 66th overall with a time of 8:40. KC Holley from Spanish Fork, Utah was third female, 126 overall with a time of 8:59.
Two women rode the event on single-speed bikes. That is da/mn tough. Kara Durland from Colorado Springs, Colorado was the first singly with a time of 11:19. Second was Amy Owens from Denver, Colorado with a time of 11:28.
The mens single-speed division was tough as well. The top single-speed male was Charlie Hayes from Boulder, Colorado with a time of 8:11. David Bott from Buena Vista, Colorado was second with a time of 8:43. Third place was Kenny Jones of Provo, Utah with a time of 8:49.
As if going for the Leadman distinction isnt hard enough, Corey Hanson and John Odle did the mountain bike race on single speeds. (Leadman is completing five Leadville events the marathon, 50-mile Silver Rush mountain bike race, the 100-mile mountain bike race, the 10k running race done the morning after the 100-mile mountain bike race and capped off with a 100-mile run done a week after the 100-mile mountain bike race.)
You think descending on a mountain bike is scary? How about grinding it up a steep, loose section? Try it on a tandem. Serena and Mark Warner did it in 10:48, followed by Mark and Jon Hirsch in 11:14. Charles Schuster and Karla Wagner round out the top three with a time of 11:19.
Id tell you about the oldest female and male finishers, but I cant tell from the results page who those people might be.
It was a tough race day with rain and cold temperatures. (Ill give you my personal race debrief later in the week. Ill also finish the France trip series.) Here are a few stats I compiled from the results page:
1307 people started the race
896 official finishers (I gave the last racer the two-minute timing chip leeway that the race directors gave at the awards ceremony)
40% of the entry field did not finish the race
33% of the starting field did not finish
The stats tell you that it was obviously a tough race, made more difficult by the conditions that day. Hats off to everyone that trained, took the challenge and did the best they could on that day.
A couple of weeks ago I was up in Leadville for a course pre-ride. Marilee, the race director, mentioned that the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race would be available for viewing on the internet. On August 15th, they will have a live stream webcast that will feature four, 30-minute segments. The segments will include the race start, mid-way of the race for the top riders, the finish for the top riders and finally the last 30 minutes of the race including the “Last A$$ up the Pass” – i.e. the last official finisher.
Yesterday I spoke to race promoter Kathy Bedell and she told me that Lance and Dave are racing, but so is Jeremiah Bishop (2008 National Champion for short track and marathon mountain bike) and Tinker Juarez (2 x Olympian, 4 x 24-hour solo champion). Kathy told me that they are not counting out Levi Leipheimer yet – hoping the broken wrist he suffered during the Tour will heal enough to allow him to race.
You know that Lance was busy getting himself on the podium at the Tour de France, as Leadville preparation. Dave Wiens’s preparation can be found in the column I wrote for the July Active Cyclist. Jeremiah won the Breckenridge Epic. Tinker’s prep can be found here.
If you can’t be in Leadville, you can watch the action live via streaming video at a cost of only $5.95. The Leadville 100’s new website went live today and you can find all the info. you need on the site.
Friday night I watched some of the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics. What I saw was fantastic, I think the Chinese organizers did a really nice job.
While I wanted to watch all of the ceremonies, I needed to get some sleep. I knew a 4:45 am wake-up call would be the start of a long day on Saturday at the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race.
I posted that Lance Armstrong did indeed show up to the pre-race meeting. He was discounting his race ability, compared to five-time champion Dave Wiens. Dave, however, knew better than to think Lance would do anything other than try to win.
Meanwhile, on the women's side of the race, very few people knew that Susan Williams was racing. Regular blog readers knew Susan was racing, but not many others did. When we were driving up to pre-ride the course, Susan asked what my time goal was and I told her 10:30. She said that was her time goal too, on the advice of someone that knew her.
"No Susan, you will go faster than 10:30," I told her.
She asked if she could line up with me at the start line and I told her, "Of course, you're welcome to start with me...but you ride your own race and do not pace off of me."
I told my husband after the pre-ride that Susan is well-capable of a sub-9 finish; but I don't know how she'll ride this year after running around 30 miles in a 24-hour relay the week before the Leadville event.
The rain the day before the race put the course in perfect condition. Race morning was cool and overcast, not too cold. Perfect!
Below are shots of people outbound at Twin Lakes, getting ready for the Columbine climb...
Roy Gatesman (441)
Todd Kornfield (his fiancé Jen is crewing)
More shots home bound after Columbine Mine....
Del, my husband and great race support with me
The short story is most everyone had a good race. Two guys that missed the cut-off last year, got their shiny buckles this year. They both had plenty of time to spare.
As most of you know by now, Dave Wiens was the first place male. At the awards ceremony, Lance gave a really nice speech and complimented race organizers as well as Dave. "Not many guys can ride me off of their wheel, but this guy did," Lance said. Lance continued to say something else complimentary about Dave, but I don't recall his exact words.
The women's champion was Susan Williams. Did she race faster than 10:30? Ah, yeah...try an 8:40. I guess running more than a marathon the week before the race isn't a bad idea after all.
Below is a shot of Susan Williams and her two girls, Dave Wiens, his wife Susan (DeMatti) and their three boys.
Several of my buddies got more good photos, but I don't have them yet. If you're a subscriber to the blog, you will be notified when new photos are posted to this blog or to a new one.
As for my race, I did make my 10:30 goal with a bit of time to spare at 10:27. I could have lived without an hour of rain near the end of the race, but given the rest of the day's weather, I won't complain.
My second goal was to get on the podium to score one of those nifty mining pans. I managed to do that as well.
I can't say/write enough about the incredible support I received during the race. The crowd support was fantastic. At the base of Columbine Mine there were two little girls standing on the edge of the road screaming, "Girl power!!! You rock!!!" That was really cool.
Lots of people got me to smile with their encouraging words. It's nice to smile during a ride like Leadville.
I rode with some really terrific guys that helped me achieve my race goals. I told several of you I owe you a beer post-race and I'm more than willing to pay on that promise. Seriously, you guys were awesome.
I think people can post photos in the comment section. Give it a shot. If you can't send me your photos and I'll post them in the blog.