Wednesday, April 30, 2008

MILES - Several years ago, or precisely after Lance's first Race for the Roses, I asked an upcoming Cat 1 racer how I could get stronger (i.e. faster). His answer was simple: put more miles in you legs. The pros call it putting pain in the bank (or some such phrase), but that seems a tad draconian for an old guy who just wanted to be a little bit better. But however you label it, the more miles you put in your legs, the better off you are. For instance, early this year I could ride 40 or 50 miles without discomfort, but I felt stiff and wooden as I rode. At the time I only averaged 200 miles a month. February saw an increase to 450 and March 550 and in April I began to feel much more at ease in my rides. Because April is a racing month, my mileage dropped back to 350 as I tested my new tt bike, and put more time into sprint practice, plus the races themselves. But to get back to feeling at ease, all of a sudden, rather than just sitting on the saddle I felt more a part of it, like I was sitting in it. On the corners, I was leaning better and on the steep hills, I felt smooth in standing and powering up. So, if you and your bike are feeling estranged, you might spend another 25 miles a week with it and see if you can't warm up to each other. By the way, I am aiming at 750-800 per month. We shall see if that comes about.

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