Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nutrition Guidelines

This is a great website to utilize for all your nutrition needs.

I felt that since the Dietary Guidelines are soon to be revised in 2010 (they are revised every 5 years by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.) why not provide some helpful info to get you acquainted with the Guidelines in the first place.
A great tool is to go to the MyPyramid Plan and find out the amount of each food group you need daily. You will most likely be amazed how little you consume vs. what you think you consume daily.

Also worth checking out, MyPyramid Tracker.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee just met in Washington D.C during the end of April and the meeting was held via Webinar if you would like to watch.

Keep in mind that these are just "guidelines" and that you may need to adjust according to your activity level, or specific health condition.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Next on the Agenda

This coming weekend is round two of the Nue Series, the Mohican 100. I'm excited about this race because I have never ridden my bike in Ohio, let alone do a race, yet this is supposed to be one of the most challenging events in the Series.
Living in the west part of the country, Oregon, we are accustomed to having access to many a climbs. Now Ohio, you wouldn't think of climbing. However, the Mohican 100 has an elevation gain of 11,000 ft (comparable to many west coast 100 milers - Cream Puff has 18,000 ft), with the longest climb being only a mile. Over the course of 11,000+ feet of climbing there will be roughly 31.5 short but extremely steep hills to suffer up. Throw in a mixture of rocks, roots, stream crossings, and one giant loop and you have the making of a classic race. More reports on this race to come.
It's no wonder the race draws the top ultra-endurance competitors, even though the overall prize for the winner is a mere $475. It's not the cash we are all after, it's overcoming that internal challenge we place on ourselves to be successful...regardless of the outcome. Each year more and more of us cyclists are reaching to new heights to find that "limit" of how far we can push ourselves. Always looking for a new challenge...that's what REALLY makes competing enjoyable, even through the suffering.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More Giro Photos

I think this is why cycling is one of the best spectator sports. What other sport allows fans to get this close to a professional athlete? Besides, there are NO security guards there ready to pounce you if you do something. Instead, the other fans would most likely torture you.

All photos complimentary of

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Giro photo gallery

Although most of us are not fortunate enough to visit Italy during the Giro d'Italia, we can however get first class photos that almost put us there live.
All photos complimentary of


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Very Sad Day

Pro racer Steve Larsen dies of heart attack during running workout
By Steve Frothingham
Published: May. 20, 2009
Bookmark and Share

Steve Larsen, probably the only professional who competed and won major races as a mountain biker, road biker and triathlete, died Tuesday evening after collapsing during a running workout, his friend Michael Nyberg told VeloNews.

Larsen was 39 and he and his wife had five children.

"He was doing a track workout and he collapsed. They did CPR immediately and an ambulance arrived quickly, but they weren't able to save him," Nyberg said.

Larsen began racing in the 1980s and raced for the Motorola team for three years in the early 1990s, racing the Giro d'Italia. He then moved into mountain biking, winning the NORBA National Cross-Country Mountain Bike title in 1998 and 2000.

In 2001, he switched to triathlon, qualifying for the Ironman in his first year in the sport, and finishing ninth at the Hawaii event. He also competed in XTerra offroad triathlons. He was reportedly the only American to compete in the world championships for road, mountain bike, track and cyclocross.

He retired from professional racing in 2003 and opened a real estate agency in Bend, Oregon.

It's Fun to Experiement

...with making your own energy bars. Over the last few days I have been in the kitchen mixing ingredients to come up with my own energy bars. What a blast! So far I have made three different bar and plan to make at least two more different flavors, as well as a recovery/protein bar.
I've been working on eating more solid foods during training because I've noticed in the 100 miler races I've been stopping at the Aid Stations for food more than I had planned. So rather than spend $2.00 for a name brand bar, why not make my own. Besides, they taste better and are way easier to chew and swallow during exercise than most commercial bars. The first real test will come at the Mohican 100 MTB.

Here are two of the bars. The secret ingredients in the top bar are apple and pears. The bottom bars secret ingredient is orange juice. Both are made with old fashioned oats. Each bar has roughly 250 calories.

If you too have made your own energy bar, let me know and I would be happy to share recipes. Leave a comment below.

Monday, May 18, 2009


This past week I began ramping up the intensity during my training workouts. With the more important races approaching and the season now underway, the duration of my workouts has begun to diminish a little while the intensity has increased. I'll be including 3 days a week of high intensity type workouts, 1 long day (4-5 hours) and a few easy/recovery rides. Training the muscles groups to work hard and then recover is the key at this point. And this cannot be possible without proper nutrition and hydration, especially since the temperatures are beginning to increase.

Here is an example of a workout I am doing:

Pyramid Hill Intervals. Warm up well and then do the following intervals at your CP6 power (zone 5b) or VO2 Max level. My CP6 is 380-400 watts.
Do 1-2 minute efforts at lower cadence 60-80 rpms, and 3-4 minutes efforts at 80+ rpms: 1 minute at CP6, 2 minutes at CP6, 3 minutes at CP6, 4 minutes at CP6, 3 minutes at CP6, 2 minutes at CP6, 1 minutes at CP6, (total = 16 minutes at CP6) Alternate between seated and standing climbing. Recover for time equal to interval (for example, 2 minutes on, 2 minutes recover).

These efforts may seem somewhat easy at first, but towards the end they start to get difficult. It's also best to use a power tap or some other unit that measures power because HR will lag behind. These require a day or two of "recovery" type rides or a complete day off before doing another such workout. I am doing my intervals on either Wednesdays and Saturdays, or Tuesdays and Fridays.

If you are looking for a challenging workout give these a try. They are best done on a slight incline (6% gradient) and on a road without any stop signs or lights. We've all got our favorite climb, right.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chainbreaker XC - It's All About the Fuel

This years' Chainbreaker XC race had exceptional course conditions. Typically the course is dry and super dusty, however, due to the excess amount of rain we've been receiving the last two months the course was dry and tacky for the most part. This made for some very fast overall times (possibly even a course record).

The calm before the storm - Trebon looking relaxed while directly behind Sheppard has the look of intensity

As I mentioned in my last post it's always nice to roll out of bed, have a home cooked breakfast, and ride to the start line. I arrived at the venue around 9:30am and continued to spin my legs to keep warm. At 9:45am I went over some last minute details with Jenny about bottle hand-offs. The course starts with a short starter loop before beginning the first of three laps. There was some confusion as to how long the starter loop would take and as a result Jenny was not there in time to hand me a bottle for the first lap. Long story short, I was immediately in a caloric deficit. Riding at close to my max HR for the first 2 laps I was feeling very good and had lots of power in the legs. Then on the final lap, the lack of calories eventually caught up to me. I began to feel tired and my legs had little power in them, especially on some of the short steep climbs. At the start of the final lap I was right behind Trebon, and by the finish I had lost 7 minutes.

Starting to show signs of the fatigue setting in

I knew the inevitable would happen sooner or later and was just hoping I would be able to finish strong. This just proves how important nutrition is during endurance events. One minute you are feeling great the next you are fighting fatigue.
The XC races are always a challenge for me but it's great to have such strong competition in Bend to gauge your fitness against. Chris Sheppard proved today why he is still one of the premier XC bike racers around. By setting what I believe was a course record with a time of 2:22:39 for the 39 mile race, he beat Carl Decker by over a minute.

Pl Num First Name Last Name City Time
1 4237 Chris Sheppard Bend 02:22:39.00
2 4470 Carl Decker Bend 02:23:41.00
3 6266 Cody Peterson Bend 02:26:44.00
4 135 James Williams 02:29:57.00
5 4414 Brandt Brig Bend 02:30:31.00
6 3367 Brett Nichols Boise 02:30:59.00
7 3 Ben Thompson Bend 02:31:47.00
8 3277 Ryan Treban Bend 02:32:48.00
9 205 Chris Brandt Eugene 02:37:17.00
10 92 Scotty Carlile Bend 02:39:03.00
11 7 Chad Swanson The Dalles 02:40:31.00
12 181 Sloane Anderson Bend 02:40:36.00
13 3294 Andy Rigel Seattle 02:43:38.00
14 37 Ian Leitheiser Portland 02:43:54.00
15 3462 Paul Clark Bend 02:46:10.00
16 40 Matt Russell Bend 03:01:03.00
17 3364 Ryan Weaver Portland 03:01:47.00

Riding over an obstacle through the infeld kept things fun

The view from behind as I finish the last lap

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Local xc race has World Cup feel

This weekend in Bend the Cascade Chainbreaker event will be held, as always, on Mother's Day. It's one of two XC mountain bike events held in Bend, OR (both part of the Oregon MTB Series. With the local cycling talent that we have here in Bend, the events are always world class. Names such as Adam Craig, Carl Decker, Chris Sheppard, Evan Plews, Erik Tonkin, Cody Pederson and Ryan Trebon to name a few will line up to see once again who has the bragging rights of pulling out the victory. One name that also need to be included in the mix will be Steve Larsen, yes, the same Steve Larsen that dominated back in the 80-90's. Rumor has it that he is training to compete in the National XTerra Series events this season. The dude is always super fast, as is his older brother Mike.
It's always great to mix it up with the fast XC guys at a local event. Nothing beats rolling out of bed 2 hours before the race and riding to the course to redline the HR for 2.5 hours.
Pre-rode the course this morning with a couple friends, and with all the rain we've gotten the last couple weeks the trails are in great condition. Temps for this weekend look ideal (mid 60's).

Snaking thru the whooop-ti-do section

Mike Larsen leading thru the whoops

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ouachita Challenge Video

Found this video of the Ouachita Challenge race I did last month, gives you an idea of the terrain...minus all the rocky sections. Enjoy.