Friday, December 26, 2014

My HAMR Plan

One of the first questions people ask after learning that I’m going to ride more than 75,000 miles in one year is how?  Do you have a plan or are you just going to go out and ride 206 miles every day?  

Actually, I do have a plan and it’s based on going incrementally farther and faster as the year progresses and I have more daylight to ride.  My plan calls for riding long six days a week and doing a century ride on the 7th day as a rest and recovery day.  

Everything in the plan is just an estimate since much will depend on the weather and where I can start and stop each day.   My goal is to start out riding 10 hours a day the first week on my long rides and then add 10 minutes to the time ridden each week as I get more daylight and better weather.   I plan to increase my time on the bike to 14-15 hours during the summer and then taper it back down to about 10 hours a day by the end of 2015.    My speed goal for riding is to start out riding my long days at about 17 mph which, for me, is actually a little slow.   As my fitness improves, my average speed will get better and by mid year I should be riding at around 20 mph or better and should be able to hold that fitness level for the rest of the year.

I put together a projections spreadsheet that uses these assumptions to show how to accumulate more than 78K miles.  The spreadsheet also shows the mileage that was accumulated by the current record holder and how far ahead of schedule I should be as I progress through the year.    The fact that my projections are on the low side for the speed I ride and the number of hours that I need to commit combined with the fact that these projects give me two weeks of burn days, (days I don’t have to ride because of weather or other emergencies), leaves me very confident that this can be done with the help and support of my family, friends and cycling community.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Physically Preparing for HAM'R

In June 2014 I completed 2 Person RAAM with Joel Sothern, the preparation for this event and the actual racing of the event left me with what is known to RAAM athtletes as the RAAM bump. Once you body recovers from RAAM you are usually in the best cycling condition in your life.

My next big competition for was the Powerman World Long Course Duathalon Championships in Switzerland on September 7th. To prepare for that event I spent 3 weeks in Roan Mountain, TN training on the Blue Ridge Parkway. My weakness as a racer is my climbing ability so I spent my time working on that weakness. I left Roan Mountain in the best climbing shape I have been in.

In Switzerland I finished 6th in 50-54 age group in Du Worlds. Du Worlds was a 10K run followed by a 150K and finishing with a 30K run. My finish is a testament to my bike fitness – I was in last place in my age group coming off the first 10K – but I was able to move up to 2nd after the bike and was strong enough to hold on to 6th place.

After Switzerland my training was very unfocused because I really didn't have a direction. I did a couple of long rides and some 50 mile time trials rides and little mountain biking and running in Taos, NM to give my self some altitude training but no direction.

When I decided on November 26th that I was going to own the HAM'R – I had to look at my calendar to figure out how I could get my body ready in one month to be riding 12 hours a day every day. The keys were to build my endurance while allowing my body to adapt. I had to turn myself into a properly fuel machine with legs of titanium and a backside of leather.

To do this I incorporated two principals I use in all of my training. First use a progressive build in the number of hours ridden to get to my target and using harder days followed by recovery days. I started my long hard rides out at 6 hours and my recover rides at 3 hours. The goal was by the end of December for my long rides and my recovery rides to be the duration in the neighborhood of 11 hours a day. During this time I'm dialing in my nutrition and losing about 10lbs. I'm also dialing in my clothing and everything else that needs to be right for me to succeed.

Check out the calendar page on to see when and where I'll be training or riding.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Back in the Saddle.

Its been a while since I've taken the time to write about my ultra cycling.  I've been off doing other things in the athletic world like triathlons and duathlons and taking a month long vacation to study alternate building methods for constructing harmonious living spaces at Earthship Academy.

But since the end of 2011 a little voice has been whispering in my head. Back in 2011 I had set a goal of riding more than 200 century rides and covering more that 25,000 miles (once around the earth) as a goal for the year and at the end of the year I finished up with 212 centuries and over 27,000 miles of ride. I was pretty damn proud of myself until someone posted about Tommy Godwin and his world record of 75,000 miles in one year. Was this even a real thing that could be done?

The record was certified by Guinness Book of World records and it was said they would not certify another attempt at the world record because it was not physically safe to try it. This turned out to be an incorrect statement as I contacted Guinness about the record. They would certify another attempt, but the rules that they were proposing and the documentation that was required was so onerous that it would require a person to have a full time crew of people just to film and document everything. So breaking the record with Guinness certifying the attempt would not happen.

This is when the UMCA or Ultra Marathon Cycling Association stepped in and at the behest of a couple of individuals  Steven Abraham of England and William Pruett of the US wrote some draft rules to govern the attempt in September. I talk with my friend Alicia Snyder about the record and she was certain that breaking the record was why we had been brought together thru RAAM.  

I was involved with the discussions on the rules, we didn't see eye to eye and I was a getting frustrated in the process. This was about riding the most miles in a year and not your standard record attempt. It got to the point where I stopped giving input. After a couple of weeks the rules didn't look much better than those of Guinness so I decided that this wasn't going to be a go either.

Life changed on Wednesday November 26, 2014. I was in California helping Alicia manage with her broken ankle and getting in some late season fair weather rides when I got a message from William that the rules for the Attempt were posted. William has been pushing me to go for this record since the end of 2011. I read the rules and said YES! With these rules I CAN DO THIS. I can set this record with the right team in place. I showed the rules to Alicia and WE decided that we were going to dedicate 2015 to the HAM'R  - Highest Annual Mileage Record.  

Stay tuned.....