If you want to see some of the past weekends shenanigans… go to http://www.deltavelo.com/race_coverage/2007_multi_sport/07xterra/xterra_west_video.html
Make sure you watch all the way to the end to see Hans Diben’s super hilarious victory comments
Thanks to Damian Gonzalez, the 30-35 men’s champion, for sending the link!
See all of you in Alabama…. M
Started the season off just the way I like it… with a win! I must admit that my confidence was at a major low because of some rough patches this spring. I changed my training to address some weaknesses and as a result my progression was different than last year. Not less, obviously, but I did a lot of different training this year. In general, more of everything I wasn’t as good at, like swimming and running. I was watching my competition kick ass all spring at the mountain bike races and since my bike racing was nothing to write home about I really wasn’t sure it was going to come around in time…. but it DID.. read on…
By Melanie McQuaid
May 12, 2007 — XTERRA has a reputation as the triathlon for non-swimmers – a designation often offered to Ironman as well. Strong bikers/runners figure that with good training they can earn back the time if strong swimmers falter in later stages in the race. It is true that XTERRA was invented with the cyclist in mind (a mountain biker in particular), but recent improvements in the quality of field have left the mountain bikers scratching their heads, wondering why they are not making much of a dent in the field after weak swims.
Well, obviously XTERRA athletes in general have improved in ability but also the numbers in the race are much larger, which has created a more interesting dynamic in the race. It’s no longer an option to simply ride your way to the front because traffic is an element of the race that needs to be considered. We ride on trails, not a wide open road, and even though drafting is legal, waiting for an opportunity to pass is mandatory.
You cannot win an XTERRA, or an Ironman for that matter, in the swim, but you certainly can lose the race there. Below are some thoughts on how to improve on, if not maximize, your swimming ability to get the most out of yourself on your next XTERRA race day.
I have not been able to attend some of the races I have planned this spring, for various reasons, so I decided to create a local “race”. I felt that I needed to ride my new mountain bike at race pace and no matter how strongly you adhere to the intention of riding at race pace for 3 hours in the trails, there is nothing like a looped course to keep you focused and on track riding fast for an hour or so. Luckily, I have my fantastic training partners Ross, Palmer and Kelly who kept the effort honest and made the day at the "Dump" (a popular Victoria trail network on a landfill next to the municipal dump) so much fun. We tried to convince Plaxton, Sydor, Virge and Cruikshank to join us as we all met early that morning and rode out to there together but I think just the whole “triathlete” thing freaked them out, haha! I think the four of us agreed that the race simulation was awesome training and the sore legs, sore arms and overall fatigue associated with it meant we had a solid day. I have done two of these race simulation efforts in the past two weeks which means I can compare lap times on my Fourstroke to my new Team Elite 01 and gauge my efficiency on each bike. So cool.
Why did I not go to the mountain bike races down south? First off, I wanted to make sure my bike setup this year is 100% right. Moving to a new bike took me a bit of time to get dialed in and the new hardtail just reached North America so I needed some time to get used to it. All part of a new bike, I guess and now we have the money set up. By staying home I could evaluate how I feel on the bikes under familiar circumstances at home… rather than going to a race and feeling terrible and not knowing whether it was bad legs on the weekend or an error in my setup, which was an error I made earlier this season. I stand by this decision now. Without travel and taper for big races I managed to fit another two weeks of hard running and swimming in with my mock “races” on the mountain bike. Pretty intense training and Ross has even been complaining of fatigue having only done the weekend portion of the schedule but he did awesome in our race regardless… so more on that….