From: David Forsberg (Premium Plus Member)
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Subject: Cycling History/Results from Hotter 'n Hell Hundred
I meant to get this letter off to you much sooner but wasn't able to find the time until now. I'll make this as concise as possible, but I have a lot to tell you about. I hope this will be clear.
I'll be 60 in December and I was a runner most of my life until December 2004. A former injury (38 years ago) to my ACL from a contact sport took me off the road for about a year. I was pretty frustrated most of 2005 trying to rehab my knee and get back to a running regimen that kept me in what I thought was the best shape of my life. The meniscus in my knee was wearing out because of the instability the formerly torn ACL had created and it finally caught up with me. The Doctor said that it was time to retire from running and he suggested cycling.
With his suggestion, and with a borrowed bike, I started riding in January 2006. I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to do on the bike as I could only ride for about 20 minutes before having so much discomfort in my back I was forced to stop. I knew that I was going to have to resolve my lower back problem if I was going to be able to continue doing this sport that would keep me in shape aerobically.
Soon after this realization I found your web site, "Cyclo-core", and contacted you. I got the Cyclo-core/Zen DVDs but admittedly I just dabbled with them and didn't get serious about using them until almost 6 months later. Even though I wasn't very consistent for the first 6 months or so, the workouts of course helped tremendously, but it wasn't until I took your advice seriously that I started to notice huge gains in my physical condition.
I'm 5'10 1/2" and when I started riding I weighed 162 pounds. I wasn't "fat" and didn't appear overweight, but I had a "spare-tire" around my midsection that I just couldn't seem to get rid of. Even when I was running full time and training for races, I never got below 158 pounds and still had the fat around my midsection.
Back to the main point; when I started getting serious about Cyclo-core and Zen, I was able to strengthen my back, legs, hips and overall physique, to a point that I really didn't think I was capable of doing, since I wasn't getting any younger. It's amazing to me, how the human body can continue building muscle as we age, if we follow a good nutritional plan and exercise properly, as you've pointed out. Currently I weigh 148-150 pounds, and I have less body fat now than I did when I was in my early 50's, and I have more lean muscle as well.
Importance of good nutrition:
I've always tried to eat right. I stopped eating "junk" food many years ago and I felt that I was on the right track nutritionally. A year or so later I finally got your "Cyclo-fuel" program and this was another step in helping me to take my training and cycling to the next level. With Cyclo-fuel and incorporating the tips and suggestions that you give I was able to drop fat weight, without compromising one of my joys in life, eating. Doing the "Cyclo-fuel fat-loss boot-camp" was the first step in helping me to achieve my first goal to drop as many fat pounds as I could. My first time doing the boot-camp I was able to drop 5 pounds. Then using Cyclo-fuel maintenance phase, I was able to not only keep off the fat, but I continued to drop the fat until I got to where I'm at now, which I feel is my desired and goal weight of 148 lbs. Currently I have less fat and more lean muscle mass. It doesn't have to be said but, I feel better all the way around with more energy and vitality than ever.
This year's training/"The Real Ale Ride":
I had a great off season before heading into this year's training. I had been suffering from bilateral inguinal hernias most of my life and after enduring my 3rd recurring set in 40 years, I finally was scheduled for surgery. My surgery took place this year on March 11th. Up till my surgery I was riding strong. After surgery I had some complications which I won't get into here, which led me to believe that these complications were going to put me behind schedule for the rest of the season. The Doctor originally told me that after a couple of weeks I could do some easy spinning on the trainer, but because of the complications I wasn't able to get on the trainer until April the 10th, which was a month after. I rode the trainer until the Doctor cleared me to get back on the bike on April the 21st.
I live in Blanco, Texas; a beautiful and challenging place to ride. We have a local home town event called, "The Real Ale Ride", which was on the 30th of May this year. By the way, Graeme, our local brewery has some of the best organic beer there is. I try to get some to you as I know you'll really enjoy it. I did this ride last year and I wanted to do this event again, but I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do very well seeing that my training had been interrupted because of my surgery. I basically only had about 4 ? weeks of training to squeeze in but I didn't know how realistic it was going to be for me to attempt a personal best. Because it's challenging, I like the 80 mile course which has nearly 5,000 feet of climbing, with temperatures usually in the triple digits. This year showed no mercy; it was over a hundred degrees.
A short time before this event I wanted to get some advice from you, but as you were "reinventing/redesigning" the club, and also training for the Death Ride, you were pretty busy, so I wasn't able to go directly to the "teacher", you, for the answers I needed. I had to think for myself and use the training that I had already received through the club and prepare accordingly if I wanted to attempt a PR. Basically, I had to go back to the basics and trust in the training that I had already had under my belt.
I knew that you had a lot more to offer in the club, but my work schedule, family life, personal affairs and other responsibilities, just wouldn't allow me a lot of extra time to explore the other training possibilities in the club. So, I went back to the basics of restrengthening my core with "Core/Zen, and doing HITs.
I finished in 4:09:24, averaging 19 miles per hour, cutting 27 minutes off my last year's time. Though my training wasn't what I thought it should be, all the cumulative training over the years came to play in this event.
My second goal of the year?--"The Hotter 'n Hell Hundred":
I've always wanted to do this ride. If you live in Texas, then this is one of those epic events that you're going to want to eventually do.
After the "Real Ale Ride" I continued to ride but wasn't doing any serious training. I continued to focus on Core/Zen and Cyclo-fuel. Again, work, family and personal matters kept me quite busy so I didn't feel that I had enough time to train as I really wanted to. I had planned on riding the Hotter 'n Hell this year but time was slipping by and I realized that I really didn't have enough miles under my belt, or what I would have thought to be proper or sufficient training to finish the event with a sub-5 hour time that I was originally hoping for. In fact, I hadn't even ridden a hundred miles in over 2 years and the furthest distance I had done this year was on May the 30th with the "Real Ale" 80 miler.
Another factor on top of that is that I was due to go on vacation with my wife and granddaughter, traveling from Texas to the East Coast in an RV. That's when I called you, Graeme, to get your advice as I was already registered for the event and basically destined to do it whether I did well or not. I can tell you, from my own personal experience, that training and vacationing isn't always a good mix. Ha! Not counting the taper, I basically only had a 3 ? to 4 week time period to train. So in light of the limited time I had to train you mentioned that I would need to work on muscular endurance if I wanted to do well at this event. With that in mind you coached me to do 2 back-to-back, "Go longerClimb Stronger" modules with a 3 day rest in between.
Doing the "Go longerClimb Stronger" back-to-back modules was probably the toughest training regimen that I have ever done in my life. I was entering this event about 3 pounds heavier than usual; probably because of too much pizza that my granddaughter likes to eat. Anyway, in my mind, things weren't looking real good, but I knew that I had a good foundation from doing Cyclo-core/Zen, and other work outs in the club consistently and usually on a daily basis. I also had developed a lot of mental toughness to push myself when I knew I had to.
The ride went better than I expected and if I wouldn't have had a flat at mile 88 I would have finished in less than 5 hours. Getting off the bike at mile 88 and trying to fix a flat as fast as I could wasn't as easy as I thought. My legs were feeling the miles, my back was feeling a bit tired, and my hands just didn't move like I wanted them to. It took me about 15 minutes to change that flat, but then I made the mistake by hitting it too hard when I got back on the bike, to try and make up the time lost, and I started to bonk at mile 90. I was hurting pretty badly then and cramping like never before. I had followed what I thought was a pretty finely tuned, in-ride nutritional plan, using Hammer Sustained energy along with "Anti-fatigue" caps, "Endurance Aminos" and of course "e-caps".
|image6|I've been using Hammer products for over 2 years and have found them to be the best by far of any other product that I've used. In talking with you briefly, Graeme, a few days after the event, I was explaining to you how I felt during and after the event with cramping etc., and you thought that maybe I showed signs of hypotranemia. I retraced my in-ride fueling strategy and after talking with Hammer as well, I now believe that I must have lost track of my water intake and during one of my 3 stops to get water, I must have drank too much. My last stop, besides changing the flat, was at mile 65 or so, and both of my bottles needed some water added even though they weren't empty. This is where I must have lost track of my water intake and drank too much because it was shortly after this that I started to feel the cramping.
I was finally able to catch the back wheel of 2 guys riding together and I was able to hang with them to the finish. I finished the last 12 miles or so pretty strongly, 20-21mph, but hurting like never before and I was never so happy to see a finish line in my life. My wife and granddaughter were waiting for me, which was good, as my wife had to help me off the bike as my legs were so cramped I could hardly move. For my next event I'm going to need to find out exactly what the problem is as I seem to be predisposed to cramping on a major scale. I'd appreciate any suggestions that you may have.
My official finishing time, after 3 water stops and fixing a flat was: 5:15:08.929. My time according to my bike computer was: 4:59:06.83. I finished 10th in my age group and 299th overall.
I wanted to thank you, Graeme, for all your help, counsel, advice and encouragement over the last 3 years, since I've been a part of the club. I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing next, as far as the next event is concerned, but as soon as I decide I'll let you know. I'm going to be 60 in December and I'd like to do some special event sometime shortly after my birthday, or sometime next year after when the new season starts.
I'm including a few pictures, to show you what Cyclo-core/Zen and the other training tips have done for me. I don't have any "before" pictures handy, but I can assure you that I didn't have the defined muscle 30 years ago that I have now. My legs aren't lean and defined just because of riding, but they've become stronger because of the hindu squats, lateral lunges, etc., and many other exercises that you have in your programs. I'm still battling a bit of the midriff bulge/fat, but not like before, and I also have more defined stomach muscles as well, and for the first time since I was in my 40's, I can see my six-pack. I'm proof that you can still build and maintain healthy muscle mass as you grow older; if you are consistent.
I believe in the training and counsel that you have provided, and as I said, in the beginning I dabbled, but it wasn't until I made a commitment and lifestyle change that I saw greater results. Anyone who does some of the training and exercises is going to see results. But those who commits to lifestyle changes and consistent training over the long term, will see greater, positive and impressive results that will make a difference in their performance. I did and I'm happy with the club.
Thanks again, Graeme.
David Forsberg (Premium Plus Member)