30 November 2012

Pear Sports

I've been a big fan of Matt Fitzgerald and his books about optimum racing weight.  I recently have been barred from riding for the next few months.  First is was a self imposed exile as I wanted to  focus on running and lose some weight.  Then an elbow injury result in the ban being medically enforced.  The issue is I suck at running and the big multiplier is that I also hate it. 

I was looking from some advice from Matt when I stumbled upon a new project he is a part of.  It is called Pear Sports.  In the past I have been using Training Peaks to develop training plans.  The problem is two fold.  First off, it is tedious to build your own plans and second, I have to write down my intervals or send them to my phone as I tend to forget what my intensity levels are when I want to puke during a ride. 

But Pear Sports downloads the training plan directly to your iPhone and Matt or another coach talks during your music play lists and tells you what zone to be in and keeps your times for you.

Best of most of the plans are free.  For full functionality you need an iPhone 4S or 5.  Paired with their blue tooth HR monitor, the training plan will tell you if you are above or below your zone.  This eliminates having to look at your watch.  Since I have an older iPhone and don't want to shell out for a new one or for the HR strap, I use my Garmin and keep track myself. 

If you don't have an iPhone, you can use this piggy back device and an iPod shuffle.  There are some limitations to the system and I will highlight those after I have used the software for about a week or so.

More to follow.....


24 November 2012

Trail Stomp

I didn't have anything planned today, so last night I decided to do the Trail Stomp cross country race by Belle Plaine. I enjoy cross country races and like supporting small races, and this was great. When I got there it was a nice balmy 27 degrees according to the thermometer in my car, and I was afraid that it was going to be cold! There was a 5K at 9:00, a 1 mile at 10:00, and a 2 mile Xtreme at 10:30. When I was signing up, the lady that was helping me asked what race I was doing. I made a last minute decision and signed up for all three and immediately hoped that I wasn't going to regret it. Just before 9:00, I lined up for the 5K and they weren't kidding when they said it was going to be a shotgun start. They fired a shotgun to start all 3 races. I started out a little too fast and struggled at the end of the race. The 1 mile went a little better since pacing wasn't as much of an issue and I finished strong. I wasn't sure what to expect of the 2 mile Xtreme, so I started out conservatively. I was very glad because after about 1/2 mile the racecourse turned and went straight down into the ravine. The course followed the bottom of the ravine which was about ankle deep in sand, and then they decided to go up the side and then almost immediately back down. This happened what seemed like about 20 times before we came out of the ravine for the last time. Then after some fairly flat running, we went down about 20 feet almost straight down towards the river and then straight back up. Then since we hadn't gone up and down enough, we had to run over 4 or 5 dirt piles and through a trench that I think that they were hoping would be muddy than it was. I'm glad that it wasn't muddy because about 100 feet later we had to cross a metal balance beam over a 5 foot deep trench. After that it was only a little under half a mile to the finish on very fatigued legs. All in all a fun morning full of races.