Saturday, March 8, 2008

TSH Reality Check

top: Neil, Melinda Bottom: Amy, John

Team Strong Heart 12-hr Training Session
Saturday, March 1st – Sunday, March 2nd
9:00pm – 9:00am
Amy’s basement
Amy, Melinda, John (representing the 2008 TSH)
Neil, Bill (representing the 2007 TSH)

This was a fun and interesting exercise. Good team building as we all were thrown into the basement together for 12 hours.

The plan going in was to be “on” the first 4 hours, try to sleep the next 4 and then finish “on” for the last 4. On would mean ride for 30 minutes at a decent effort, then rest 30 minutes. Repeat this for the 4 hour shift. After the 1st two 30 minute efforts we realized this was much too long. Especially riding inside. After 15 minutes of riding we were counting every minute until we hit 30. When we were off, after about 15-20 minutes we were restless and ready to ride again. And getting back on after 30 minutes off had us completely warming up all over again.

After the 1st two 30 minute on/off efforts we decided to go to a 15/15 format. This seemed to work much better as we were able to go hard for 15 without burning up and 15 off the bike seemed to balance well the rest time with the concern of staying warm. After talking with Bernie and Neil we realized that this is what they ended up doing (for the most part) during their race last year. They traded 5 mile efforts which ended up right around 15 minutes.

Neil and Bill showed up for the first 4-hour session and were very supportive. Neil is always a joy to ride with and Bill is a wealth of knowledge, offered great conversation and was the only one to think of taking pictures. Thank you to both of you.

Sleeping and eating on this journey will be exercises in adaptation and even this small circus allowed us to test a little bit. Rotisserie chicken and summer sausage will probably not be on the menu during the race. Keeping fluids going was a concern riding inside and gave us an idea of what we’ll have to be drinking out on the road.

All-in-all this training session was a good thing. It’ll be great to get outside and do some riding in this format to really test it out. The team held together well in their first “stress test”.

On / Off ?

Time

What were we doing?

On – shift 1

9:00pm – 11:00pm

30 minutes riding / 30 minutes rest

11:00pm – 1:00am

15 minutes riding / 15 minutes rest

Off – shift 1

1:00am – 5:00am

sleeping (trying)

On – shift 2

5:00am – 9:00am

15 minutes riding / 15 minutes rest

1 comment:

Tim Case said...

Some comments on your workout...

You'll find that it is alot easier to ride for longer amounts of time on the bike and then seek rest for longer amounts of time once you are actually on the RAAM course. Although we tried to keep the individual pulls w/in 20 minutes, things eventually "came up" which necessitated riding longer, or shorter.

Gumby should be the RAAM mascot, as there are so many variables that come up that you can't get wrapped up in trying to be riding for an exact amount of time. When you're off the bike there are alot of things happening, including trying to eat, rest, get to the next weighpoint, etc., that the rest time flys by.

The eating thing is complicated and you'll need to be flexible. I found that the power and recovery drinks could be used all the time, but the solid food intake took a bit of experimentation. Towards the end high salt meat (think jerky and sausage), high simple sugar food (think gummy bears and smaller fruits) did the trick...at least enough to get across the finish line.

Think of the RAAM as an exercise in "getting there quickly, but just getting there."