Above is a video I took rolling the top of Chutes. I'm kind of proud of it, as getting comfortable on that was a bit of a project, training up my mental fortitude rather than my physical strength.
I started by consciously improving my skills on trails I'd already ridden. That built skill and confidence. I then took on some new challenges on trails that I had not ridden yet. This got me comfortable with the mental landscape of rolling into something new that I was slightly intimidated by, but confident I could do.
Once I'd done that, I worked Chutes itself. I used an old tool from music school: I broke the section down into mangeable chunks, and took them individually. It took about 20 minutes to work through each piece and finally link them together.
No more foot pain. Replacing the bolts in my shoes with shorter ones did the trick. Lesson learned: when something hurts, check for the cause immediately. I suffered needlessly for months because I figured it would go away by itself.
Last weekend I rode a lap on the the course for the Santiago Oaks Race in September. The data is little crazy. My time from the bottom of Goat all the way around to the top of Coachwhip is one second ahead of what it was nine months ago.
Matching last year's race-pace effort on a solo ride where I backed off occasionally, and intentionally overgeared the major climbs is good. And doing that at a point in my training cycle where I'm doing consistent barbell work (which always makes me slower) is even better.
But I was pretty well cooked after just one lap. I'm going to have to ramp up my endurance if I'm going to improve my results over Aliso.
But first I'm concentrating on faster. My (ambitious) target lap time is 40:00. I think that's potentially doable, if I train right.
I'm doing my best to ride three hours and do two gym workouts each week. I'm taking a page out of Christopher Sommer's book and let my body truly adapt before stepping up to heavier loads. The general plan is four weeks at each weight, rather than steadily increasing each week and doing a back-off week. Here's the workout:
Warm up with 20 KB swings, then 20 one-arm KB swings, and some goblet squats if I'm feeling tight.
- deadlift x 12 @ 135#
- push-up x 8 @ BW
- bent-over row x 12 @ 75#
- flutter kicks x 45
Then KB waiter walks x 20m @ 35#
I'm feeling steadily stronger on the bike, and the weight work feels easier and easier. Once it feels too easy, I'll step up to a heavier load and start again.