Thursday, July 28, 2011

June? July? August?

     Has it really been three months since I last posted? That would be a yes. Well, since then I have raced...a lot,  took a week off in Spain, raced more, and now I'm looking at the last 4-5 weekends of racing here in Belgium until the end of the season.
     It's not over yet, but at this point it's been a really tough season. There wasn't much racing after Triptyque and everyone went on break. i took mine a little later in the season, since I'm staying for almost 7 months, I wanted the first part to be longer than the second. No one likes coming back to school knowing they have long semester ahead. We had 4 1.2 races all in a row after I came back. It really amazes me how fast you can lose your edge when you stop riding, even for a week. Retrospectively, doing all of those pro races may not have been the best way to get back in shape. I am now just pulling myself out of a little slump in my form. In all the races I've done since Romsee, which was a really good race, I feel like I've lost a cylinder. That top end just isn't there. A big clue was having a lower than average heart rate in races. In one race I maxed out at 183, my usual is one or two over 200. That's a problem. So, off to the team doc I went. Got some blood work, and physically everything is fine. No viruses, no elevated white blood cell count. Good iron levels and good hematocrit levels (43), well ok levels. That one could always be better.
     We have our home town race next week, the Oostkamp kermis. Last year I missed out because I was the lucky one with bronchitis. I'm keeping that to a minimum this year. The good doc prescribed what he calls "parasympatic overheating". This involves me getting on the trainer in full thermal gear. Just like how I dressed when I was riding for hours in sub freezing weather. But on the trainer, with no fan, riding until I hit 140 bpm and them holding it for 40 min. The idea is: there is a hormone that's released once you go above 140 to keep your heart rate in check. To keep it from going too high. In doing so this will also trigger more adrenaline. I keep the same effort as I did to hold 140, and you want to see your HR increase. And that it did, I went up to 170 eventually and was thoroughly soaked. And the best part is, I get to do it all over again tomorrow, oh goody!
     So that't not very fun but it should help get those adrenaline glands going again.