Archive for February, 2015

Last year I raced what many endurance mountain bikers call the hardest category to race in a 24 hour format, Duo or 2 Person.  There are many reasons but mainly because it involves riding at a high race pace for each lap followed by a short recovery and then back on the bike again.  As a team, you rely on each other, for motivation, support , keeping spare batteries charged, and above all being ready to lay down another fast lap when it’s his/hers turn.  Recovery is at a premium and there is more to do than just ride a bike and wait to go out on your next lap.  My example: A respectable fast lap in 24 The Hours in the Old Pueblo is under 70 minutes.  After the baton is handed off to your teammate and you have made your way to your camp (~5 min), you park your bike in the workstand, sit down and grab some food and take off your jersey (~10 min).  If you are a Duo team with no support, it is up to you to go over your bike and make sure everything is functioning well before you put your feet up and make sure batteries are plugged in and charging (~5 min).  Mind you, problems do happen and you may find yourself changing a tire, wheel, or worse if you crashed on your lap.  Stay calm, refuel, and take care of what is needed.

What is needed after you have ensured your steed is ready to roll is your recovery.  The time between your post ride checks and the 10 minutes prior to your teammate arriving at the transition zone, the hopefully 40 minutes you have to lay down, put your legs up and fuel some more.  During this time I suggest grabbing your personal soignier, masseuse, your Compex EMS unit and hooking up for an Active Recovery session.  My personal experience is with the Compex units and I travel with 2 and spare batteries to speed recovery sessions.  This works out great when your teammate doesn’t have one also.  The 24 minute workout combined with stripping down, hooking up electrodes, disconnecting everything and getting re-dressed to head back to the transition tent leaves you with little else to do but will pay huge dividends on that next lap when you feel like it’s your first.  if you are in a 4 person team, you have even more tim to relax and flush out the legs before kicking back the next 3 hours.  When using Active Recovery, it is best utilized from a setting of 50 to a max of 100.  And set your alarm when using in the late hours of the race, you may find yourself drifting off to sleep and your partner won’t appreciate not seeing you in the exchange tent on time.
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There are many aspects of 24 hour racing, I find EMS to be a integral part of it.  My duo teammate Tony summed up the experience utilizing EMS during the perfectly when he described it as our secret weapon”.  We went on to a 5th place finish in Mens Duo in 2014.  Although we were unable to compete this year, we are looking forward to the top step for 2016.  Hammer On!

For more information on Active Recovery download the pdf @ http://www.hammernutrition.com/downloads/active_recovery.pdf

While there are many “white papers” out there on the subject of EMS for sport, I have not come across any that addressed the use during 24 hour racing.  I hope this has been helpful.  Any thoughts or questions please feel free to share/ask.

It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve had my surgery. Honestly I can’t believe how good I feel. The pain that has dogged me these last few months has gone away. I’ve been cleared to ride outside, on the road, with a brace.  It was nice because we have had awesome weather in the 60s last week. My doctor says unless I fall or get hit by a car I’m fine. I’m listening to my doctors and staying within the confines of the orders.  Others that do not know me other than through the internet have told me that it is too much too soon. To them I say go somewhere else, it’s my life. I’m a responsible adult and know my limitations as set forth by my care givers. My main goal is to stay in shape. My second goal is to not lose sight of who I am. with a year of recovery in front of me these goals will test me.  As an athlete, I believe that my fitness and good nutrition will aid in a quicker recovery.   it doesn’t hurt that I represent Hammer Nutrition, the best sports and nutrition supplement company around.  Bone growth is a slow process. but can be even slower for those with poor health and eating habits.  My one year goal is to have obtained total fusion of the 3 vertebrae and to be standing on the podium at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo with my duo partner. A lofty goal but but so far away. That would put me at 13 months post-op. It would be an incredible feat but not the most incredible in my life.

Back in ’91 I was involved in one of the worst accidents in U.S. Cycling history when a vehicle drove through the front of the cat 3 peloton in the Tour de Moore road race. 18 riders ended up in the county hospital that day, many more were lucky that only their bikes were broken.

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I was the worst of the injured, I almost lost my left leg and doctors said I would never compete at a high level again. I proved the doctors wrong when I went on to be one of the best cyclists in northern Italy a few years later.

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I beat dopers and cheats. Now I’m up against myself. It takes time to heal properly.  I have to reign in my desire to do anything more than just maintain fitness.  The older I get the more set in my ways  I become. I’ll need to change up my routine for a year.  I am a survivor, I will return again. Competition is in my DNA. Wether it be against others or myself.

Follow me this year as I make progress towards my return. Time is on my side.