Monday, December 29, 2008

Randonee Racing: A framework for training

The more you do something, the better you get at it, right? That's what experienced lovers say, isn't it? Then why, when I say "Randonee Training" would you envision scientifically-segmented interval sessions hooked up to heart rate monitors, a breathing tube, and a plastic bodysuit to collect your sweat for later analysis?

While Lance, Wickenhauser, and Benoit might need to do micro-calibrated Lactate Endurance burns in order to gain an extra 0.1% against other elite competitors, you and I can achieve huge gains by focusing on some broader categories. I'll keep the number of training foci to three: speed skills, sport-specific workouts, and weaknesses/limiters. Over the next four posts, let's focus on each of these areas and then, on putting it all together in order to increase number of runs in a day or go faster than your buddies at the local rando race.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Backcountry skiing on crack!

"If you spend time in the backcountry skinning up to ski down, you should definitely check out the sport of randonee racing. It is backcountry skiing on crack and out of control."

The first Rando Races of the season are almost upon us:

If you're in CO, here is a bulletin from series sponsor, CAMP USA, about some clinics that help you "get up to speed" on rando racing:


Bryan Wickenhauser, in conjunction with Boulder Performance Network (physical training professionals in Boulder, CO), will be leading a series of presentations and clinics on the rising sport of randonee ski racing throughout Colorado. Catch up with the tour at one of the following scheduled events.

-12/11/08: Rock & Roll Sports, Gunnison - 6:00p
-12/16/08: Boulder Rock Club, Boulder - 7:30p
-12/18/08: Boulder Nordic Sports, Boulder - 7:00p
-12/20/08: On-Snow Demo, Loveland Ski Resort - 7:30a
-12/27/08: Thin Air Sports, Mount Crested Butte - 5:30p
-1/23/09: REI, Boulder - 7:00p
January 2008 (date to be determined): The Alpineer, Crested Butte

The COSMIC (Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup) Race Series schedule is also online at

This is one of my own adventures when high on Rando Race Crack: COSMIC race-director Pete Swenson and I climbed and skied the Dead Dog Couloir on Torreys Pk in under 3 hours round trip from the bridge -on Rando Racing gear! This isn't a record, I'm sure, as we didn't have perfect conditions, but I bet it could be done under two hours...some day it will! I wasn't trying to prove a point, but just wanted to have more fun with my backcountry adventures. The benefits of racing are: getting fit, getting your system dialed, and having fun with other backcountry crackheads! I'd encourage everyone to try at least one race this winter, amongst all your backcountry touring, and I'm going to post a simple-but-effective training guide for the every-weekend-backcountry skier to get ready for faster racing that adds up to more backcountry runs. Coming in a few days...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

32-year line

Update at 2000 hours Dec. 11th:
Just saw that some of the good mates from Boulder (see blog links at left) entered their own trip report in the same contest as my Earnslaw adventure over at TetonAT. Check it out and leave comments there! Good luck Goonies!

Made it another time around the sun! Housemates made a steak dinner, call from Dad and friends, and we got a little snow...pretty much all I could ask for, but then I got the note from TGR:
Awww Thanks Tetons! I haven't seen you for like, a week. Let's go skiing or something!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Word up to my new home and new employer

Meet the house on No-Name Alley:

View Larger Map
It's me and 5 other jolly souls in that split-level, plus at least one dog. You can see Snow King (the town ski hill) at the right edge of the pic, Cache Creek is directly behind the house, and that old, silver Toyota in the driveway will soon be replaced by an even-older one:
From Driving to SFO
My new job? I'm one of the on-hill photographers with Elevation Imaging. Out there providing professional portrait service to families, tourists, etc. and documenting your best crashes for posterity (examples of which are copyright: Elevation Imaging so I can't show you any -go to the website). It's out on the hill interacting with people all day and getting to exercise creativity while I do a lot of photography :) I'm hoping to improve my own snapping, but also understand and contribute to a really solid family business, as well as catch unsuspecting friends mid-yardsale!
Image hosted by Elevation Imaging