Welcome to my blog! This is a site where you can keep up to date on my life as a full-time athlete in the sport of cross country skiing. You can expect regular updates throughout the year as I report on training, racing, life in general and maybe even some school. Sponsors, family, friends and fans: Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Warning: This post may or may not contain boring subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised (jk).

After receiving some flak from Zach about the lack of interesting content on my blog (personally I can’t see where he’s coming from – I mean, come on, how often do you get the chance to recount such a ridiculous story as a bear breaking into your house?), I have decided to put together an “interesting” post containing things of interest about me that some of you would like to know. Like Zach. But interesting blog updates take time. So I will start chipping away at one putting in the odd and the cool little tidbits about TD as I delve into the nitty-gritty. Patience young grasshoppers.

In the meantime, things have been a-ight here in Whistler. There are a few workouts that standout in my mind from the past week and a bit. The first being the 5 x 1 min intervals (all out) that Pate and I did in + 34 C on a wicked-sweet climb right close to our house. I didn’t blow up which is quite a significant thing for me as I can easily do so at any given moment. Just give the word and I can blow up, start moving really slow and my eyes will loll about with a distant look. Just give the word and I’m ready. But yeah, I suppose they weren’t “all out” because I didn’t blow up… But I guess an all out interval session of this nature on a super-steep pitch doesn’t exist, because it would be precisely one repetition. And I don’t think 1 x 1 min counts as intervals.

The next workout that stands out in my mind is the Whistler to Pemberton road ride Pate and I did. On the way back up to Whistler we caught up with Stephen Holmes, the president of Triathlon Canada so we started chatting with him. I immediately got a flat tire and because I was just behind Pate and Stephen, they couldn’t hear my shouts of distress as they took off immersed in their heart to heart convo. I was counting on Pate’s spare tube to serve me in such a situation, but because it was slowly but surely getting away from me I was in a bit of trouble. I thought that it was just a matter of time until Pate came around the corner to lend a hand, but no, he did not come back. Bastard… So I sat about waiting for about 15 minutes before saying “screw it” and hitchhiked back home. Buddy Dan the electrician was 5th car in and picked me up so that was pretty sweet. Drove me right to my door, so big shout-out to Dan even though I can say with nearly 100% certainty that he does not read my blog. But I guess if you’re ever in Whistler and an electrician named Dan who talks in “dudes” and “sweets” is a potential guy to work on your place, hire him, he’s a good guy.

The next workout that stands out in my mind is this z3 double pole and/or strength workout we did on the CV access road. Really good workout for me since my upper body is currently of similar strength to that of a 3 year old girl. So I got to work on that a bit. And got some extreme criticism while doing video analysis afterwards. My argument was that I was just trying to get to the top of the hill, grinding it out, and I suppose that must have hinted at “I was not thinking about technique” cause that was the lecture I got, that I should always be thinking about technique. And then my next argument was that I was thinking about technique but because I was going so slow I couldn’t do it right, which got shot down immediately. But realistically this is true. Why don’t you double pole up a steep-ass hill? Because it’s not as efficient. Why isn’t it as efficient? Because technique breaks down and diagonal striding is more suitable. There ya go.

The next workout that stands out is the strength we did later that day. Me and Neumann made our way over to Meadow Park sport centre (or whatever it’s called) and demolished some strength. We pushed each other really well and added in quite a few extra upper body exercises (something to do with improving the 3 year old girl pipes…). Neumann was insanely impressive. I would keep giving him a weight and a number of reps I thought would be impressive and he would own my judgment every time. It’s funny cause apparently Amy said that Pate needed to really improve his upper body strength, so I’ve been constantly teasing him about this. Pate is insanely strong, especially upper body. If you go to the gym with him, be prepared to be dommed, cause he will dom you. He can do like 25 pull-ups, bench huge, curl huge and at the end (well I guess all the time…) look huge. He can basically do all the acrobatics that Olympic gymnast Fabian Hambuechen does, and that guy is ripped. So that was strength the other day. O ya, and I longboarded to and from (I bought a longboard the other day). I still maintain that it is ski-specific training, but Pate doesn’t seem to think so.

Another sweet workout was mtb-ing yesterday. I hit up Lost Lake for a while with some new and improved brakes, and had a wicked ride. My hand was so weak on the hand grip and the brake lever though. I’m starting to get comfy on most of those blue trails in there.

Today we did some big 4 x 6 min z3 ski bounding intervals at WOP. Did the huge classic climb out of the stadium, took me precisely 6 min to get to the top of the hill. First two were leisurely, next one was a little harder than desired (Amy likes to take lactates while doing intervals. I got a 6.8 mmol/L on this one.), and then for the last one I wanted to try something cool so I busted out the “Juergalyzer” and made my way to the top. I got there 5 seconds faster than the one before, but instead of averaging mid to high 170s, I averaged high 180s, so a 10-15 bpm increase. It would have been interesting to see oxygen sats (I probably should have worn it too, cause there is an element of danger in not using it for hard intervals like these) cause it felt like I was drowning the whole time. So I ran 5 s faster, with a way higher heartrate, with my legs and arms felt abnormally energetic, my breathing muscles were completely redlining the entire time, and had a finishing lactate of 6.8 mmol/L, identical to the effort before but with major physiological differences. Most people would look at the two different intervals and argue that the 2nd one would be much higher. Going into it I was suspecting the value would be lower (which it normally is for this test), but I’m guessing that because I did this on the last interval that my breathing was already shot from hammering up the hill 3 times and breathing at about 35-40 rpm (3/3 for easy ones, 2/2 for hard one, and then 2/4-5 for the Juergalyzer one) so I don’t think my respiratory system was as primed as it could have been to show this interesting result. There are many suppositions for why the lactate would drop, and I think it’s because you’re activating more muscles for your activity, which means more effectors to be metabolizing the lactate. As for the feeling better of the legs and arms, this would indicate a reduction of acidosis (possibly – it may be some totally different physiological effect…) (also, lactate being a limit to performance is a total misnomer, but easily made so, since the reduction in pH is the effect of acidosis introduced by hydrogen ions (acid) in the blood which does have a fairly close relationship with the lactate though and is why when determining “threshold” or whatever you term this point you can see a flip in la prod/burning. Lactate actually has slight buffering action (I have heard…) on H+s.) which I would argue would be because you are breathing against resistance, there is a ballooning effect of the lungs which would improve surface area for gas exchange, allowing improved function in the formation of various gas metabolites therefore blowing off H+. But that’s just me and what I think.

Boy o boy, this blog update is way longer than intended. I should end it now and start brainstorming blog ideas for an update that will satisfy Zach.



Warming up for 5 x 1 min intervals.

Our pad on a bright, clear-ish morning.

This may be my first real step in becoming a true Whistler-ite.

This is going to be me someday. Who knew Phil Wood was such a good longboarder? (haha)

There is an infestation of baby-inukshuks at WOP these days. Apparently one day somebody knocked a bunch down. But they were back, and in greater numbers. (reminds me of something Obi Wan once said: "The sand people frighten easily, but they'll be back. And in greater numbers.") The little critters come to WOP searching for Canadian Gold. Too bad they have to wait until 2010 (oh snap!).


Mike Somppi said...

Sweet video TD. Good luck attempting to match that!

ZC said...

Interesting content would be nice Thomsen. But ANY content would be OK as well...