Applying this analogy to bike racing, like hitting a ball, there is no substitute for being on the bike. No amount of gym time is going to make you bash a corner like the pros. Still, if I want to have more pop out of the gate, increase my ability to get up to speed, feel less core fatigue at the bottom of a race course or just plain be more durable in the event of a crash, I need specific training. Put another way, specific gym training, in theory, should translate to seconds, or the lack thereof, on the race course.
- No matter how much you love your sport, its good to mix it up. Wright Training’s classes offer a great way to do this.
- No matter how much “training” you had in high school or college, you probably lift weights with improper form. In a way, every class at Wright Training is like a personal training session. (its a steal of a deal in this way) They know their shit and will tell you if you are “doing it wrong”. Don’t take offense. Listen. Crystal is the strongest women in the valley. She didn’t get there throwing her back out and eating retard sandwiches. She’s smart and dedicated to her craft. She is there to make you better.
- No one will make fun of you if you can’t throw up a ton of weight. Oh, and if you keep going you will throw up more weight.
- There are super strong girls that attend the classes. Your male ego may get crushed.
- I have more mirrors in my house.
Jeff Brines didn’t go on a real date until he was nearly 20 years old, largely as a result of his borderline unhealthy obsession with bicycles. Although his infatuation with two wheels may have lead to stuttering and sweatiness around the opposite sex, it did provide for an ideal environment to quickly progress through the ranks of both gravity and cross-country racing. These days, Jeff races Enduro at the pro level, rides upward of 150 days a year while logging over 325k of human powered ascending/descending on his bike. Bred as a racer, Jeff is more likely to look for the fastest way through a section as opposed to the most playful. Living in the shadow of the Tetons in Jackson, WY, Jeff works in financial intelligence and spends his winters as head ski gear guru and content manager over at earlyups.com.
Eight years ago doctors advised Katie Steinberg to quit running. Her badly injured ankle couldn’t tolerate the stress that running put on it. Instead of letting it get in the way, Katie pushed on through the miles. The Bighorn 50k is a big win. Congratulations, Katie, for staying psyched on the trail!
How many miles was it?
50K is 32.4 miles! Fortunately, it was all on beautiful (although muddy) trails. (Wow)!!!
What was your training schedule like?
Unlike in past races, this year I added specific strength training to my program. I worked out with Wright Training doing a running specific strength training twice per week, and went to TRX twice per week. In terms of running, I wasn’t as focused on how much I ran as I was on the quality of the runs. I did a hill workout mid week, a mid-distance faster run on Fridays, and a long, slow run on Saturdays. As long as I got in one long run, I was happy substituting biking or skiing for other running days. Cross training really helped me stay injury free and made sure that I didn’t burn out from running.
What kept you motivated to keep training?
For the first few months I was psyched to get out for a run. After such a long ski season it was nice to switch up my activities. Near the end of training I did lose motivation to get out for my long runs. Especially when it meant I had to skip out on some late-night beverages or lazy days with friends. But I had been training so hard that I was determined to see it through.
What was your ‘low’ point?
My low point came the week before my race. It was day six of having the stomach flu. Feeling weak and dehydrated, I finally caved and saw a doctor. Fortunately, I was able to keep down some food and hydrate heavily for the few days preceding the race.
Was the high point the journey or the win at this event?
While winning is fun, it definitely is not the high point. The high point came on days when I was out enjoying a run in the mountains. Having the race in June puts me in shape to enjoy fun, long adventure runs in the Tetons all summer! I can also feel great running in the Alps where I am headed in a week!
There is a 64K race in Lake Como, Italy that I am running while in Europe this summer. I will do another 50K in Park City in October, and a trail marathon in Moab in November. The Bighorn 50 miler did look a little enticing, so I might consider that for next year.
Bighorn Races:: http://www.bighorntrailrun.com/50K/
Lake Como, Italy:: http://goitaly.about.com/od/lakecomolagodicomo/p/lake_como.htm
Park City Race:: http://parkcity.tv/the-wasatch-speedgoat-50k/
Moab Trail Marathon:: http://www.moabtrailmarathon.com
What kinds of food do you eat while you’re training? Do you stick to a strict diet?
I have a terrible sweet tooth, so I tried to amp up my protein intake. I think it helped me cut back on my gummy bear/milk dud addiction. I have Celiacs, so I already eat a gluten free diet. Beyond that, I try to eat a lot of meat and veggies. While probably not recommended, I am not afraid of the nightly ice cream consumption. Oh, and I always drink a beer or two the night before the race, just to loosen up!
What were you thinking mile to mile?
I knew that I was out in front at the beginning. I tried not to be concerned about where I was and focus on running my own race. It is a long race. I knew that anything could happen over the course of almost 33 miles. I felt lucky to look over the beautiful mountain scenery. The wildflowers were in full bloom throughout the race. The last five miles were tough. They were on rolling dirt road which felt extremely hot.
Which classes at Wright Training were helpful?
I was lucky in that Wright Training designed a running specific training for me. I think that all of her classes truly help strengthen and condition one for any race or athletic goal. All the staff at Wright Training were also great about keeping a close eye on my form, making sure I wasn’t going to injure myself. I have weak VMO’s, so that was something the staff at Wright Training helped me specifically strengthen.
Personal training @ Wright:: http://jhwrighttraining.com/?page_id=985
Is there any advice you would give someone with a similar goal?
My advice is that you can do anything if you train smart and take care of your body. It is important to include giving it plenty of time to rest and recover. Two years ago I never thought I would be running again. At that time a 50k would have sounded impossible! I truly believe with some hard work and patience you can train your body to do almost anything!
By: Brian Mulvihill
On a recent trip to Alaska, while volunteering as a Denali Rescue Volunteer with the National Park Service, I was able to get away from job duties and climb a 1200ft alpine ice route during a “free day.”
This climb would not have been possible if I had not been training before hand. Leading up to the 12 day volunteer patrol, I trained 4 days a week for 6 weeks sport specifically as well as multiple long to moderate days ski mountaineering in the Tetons. These cumulative hours of training made it possible to complete the climb with a smile and little suffering.
During this 12 day trip I had brought along a book called Training For the New Alpinism by Steve House and Scott Johnston. A must read for any current or aspiring alpine climber, though it has many applications for any outdoor athlete. One of the main points of this large training book is the focus on your actual training volume. Although I had not previously read this before my trip, I had actually been following some of their suggestions.
In short, I used my long days in the mountains as training as well as my sport specific gym sessions to maximize my ability to climb during my time on the patrol. Given the fact that Alaska weather is very fickle, I was training knowing that I may not be able to climb at all.
When I landed at Kahiltna Base Camp, the starting point for most Denali aspirant climbers and where I would spend the next 12 days, the weather was perfect! We spent the next few days doing daily glacier camp chores and helping out climbing teams unloading from their air taxis and enjoying the massive views of the Alaska Range. A few days later it starting snowing and did not stop until 5 days later. During this time no flights were coming or going and it took serious motivation for me to get outside and exercise via flat skiing in whiteout conditions. These low impact sessions of cardio exercise helped keep me sane as well as kept my body refreshed for what may come.
Once the storm broke my friend, an NPS climbing ranger, asked if I was ready to try to climb the following day. I was ready and the weather looked perfect. We set out at 5am the next morning and skied up a glacier to the base of the route in 2.5 hours. The climb started out first by climbing up past a difficult bergschrund and then up 400ft of 50 degree hard glacial ice. Next came 800ft of phenomenal climbing up a narrow ice hose through golden granite rock. After descending the route amidst spindrift avalanches and returning to our skis we enjoyed a slow but moderate descent back to base camp. Total time was 12 hours.
During the climb I felt strong and less fatigued than I have felt on other long climbs. I believe this is due to the fact of more training volume at lower heart rates and strength training such as recommended by House and Johnston. My own training sessions did not follow their specific recommendations but the principals were similar.
If you have goals that require long days of physical exertion and currently train in the gym consider reading Training for the New Alpinism for a new look on supplementing your current gym training plan. I am looking forward to seeing where I can take my fitness level once I follow their program religiously instead of by chance!
Early summer in Wyoming is a magnificent season! The wildflowers are blooming, the river is rushing, the days are long, and the animals are frolicking. The sun is shining, the weather is sweet!
We have a lot on our plates these days. The summer months have the responsibilities of the rest of the year, but with more distraction! Outdoor recreation is high on the priority list. I feel like I have to make up for a long and dark winter. How to soak up all the summer sun?
To ‘regular American folks,’ a weekend could mean relaxing with the family and getting some reading done. Here in Jackson a weekend could include climbing a Teton, biking to Jackson Lake Lodge, or running a mountain race! Plus, we’re competitive about it. We see other people’s accomplishments and we want to keep up! With a remarkable community like this, it’s a lot to ask of yourself!
It’s great that we value exercise, but we ought to pencil in some rest time into our busy schedules. Balance is key to success!
This lack of rest can carry over into our work week, creating unnecessary stress. Really, this behavior of ‘over-doing it’ is like shooting ourselves in the foot. We think we’re getting ahead athletically by pushing hard. We think we’re getting ahead by filling our days to the brim with activities or chores to get it all done so that we can go play. And around here our play is exhausting to our bodies!
Today my room mate said to me, ‘I wish it would rain today so that I don’t feel guilty about staying in and watching movies.’ It’s can be stressful to have such spectacular weather!
High levels of stress on our minds and bodies has direct affect on the way we recover. If we don’t lend enough time to recovery, then we spin our wheels in getting stronger, faster, better (and maybe even affects positive traits like patience). We over-do it then have to suffer the repercussions. We end up getting sick, injuries do not heal as quickly. Over time increased stress can actually decrease thyroid function, increase abdominal fat, and create cardiac issues.
So to make a plan for summer… Let’s not rush through it this year! Take time. Time to sleep. Time to breath. Don’t be forced into bed by late nights at the bar~ Make it a choice. Take time to sit and read a book. Time to snuggle up on the couch. Turn off the cell phone. 8 hours of sleep… Every night!!!! It’s just as important as the big plans outside! Don’t feel obligated to go out and push it all the time. Even if the sun is out, it’s O.K. to hide in your cave for a few hours. Trust me; it will make your adventures sweeter, your workouts more effective, and your work days more bearable! Besides, taking time to reflect could actually stretch out summer’s time!