Friday, November 30, 2007

Sunday we head to the mountains for Perry's CX course. I am very excited. It may even be wet. I would love for a result higher than 6th. After a long break it will be interesting to see what shape everyone is in. These last two races will be a great lead-in to nationals.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This week I am excited to get back to racing and tackle the Blue Ridge race.

Monday: easy 60 minutes (~200w)
Tuesday: 2 sets of 8x45 sec (1 minute recovery) back to back L6 efforts at ~/+400W
Wednesday: 60-90 minutes easy
Thursday: 5x4(3) VO2 max efforts (318-368w)
Friday: 60 easy (~200w)
Saturday: 2 sprints and 3x2(2) VO2 max efforts as an opening up workout
Sunday: Blue Ridge masters 35+

The KC weather looks very cold for nationals and maybe we will get some mud this weekend in BR.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Trying to Keep Up

I feel a bit like the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland this week. Here is what I did/will do:

Monday: 30 minute TT from school to bank and back as punishment for Sunday.
Tuesday: easy 60 minutes (200w)
Wednesday: 3 sets of 8x45 seconds (1 minute recovery); 1 set of them were hill efforts; L6-over 400w
Thursday: easy-steady 2 hours on road
Friday: 5x5 minute VO2 max efforts (318-363w)
Saturday: 2+ hour ride with GTC
Sunday: Chill, watch football as it rains

It would be nice to get in a >500 tss week to boost my chronic training load. I am sitting at a CTL of 64 right now and would love to see it get close to 70 by nationals. I am planning for a +20 TSB peak or so around then. TSB is only around -2 by now and should be -2 to -10 by the middle of next week. I'll be sitting at a TSB of 0 for the Blue Ridge Race.

Anyway, numbers, trust the numbers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Secrets Revealed Part 1

Having raced cyclocross since 2000, I accumulated some knowledge that I kept secret (mainly because no one asked). In a multi-part series, I reveal all. Maybe I'll make TMZ.

Part 1: The Support Team

Over the years, besides an understanding wife, I have counted on a number of people to get me in good shape, keep me there, and keep my bikes tuned up and dialed in. Here are these people...


Early on I used Cycle-Smart coaching to formulate seasonal training plans. Adam Myerson is a champion and a huge 'cross patron in the northeast so I worked with his company to get prepared. I basically worked with John Verheul who has since branched off to form his own coaching group. His experience with cyclocross and racing, as well as his extensive knowledge of training with power have translated into big improvements and championships by many a road racer and cyclocross rider, last year capped it off with a world silver medal by his client Danny Summerhill. John works with me on a consultation basis and develops training plans and is available to answer my questions. I would recommend his to anyone looking to improve and get maximum benefit from their training time. In fact, that is my main reason for getting a PowerTap two years ago. When training time decreases, the importance of each workout increases and with power you can really reap the benefits. John knows that and is very good at working around daily life.


A few years ago I was having a lot of trouble with calf injuries in cyclocross, some so bad I had to stop in the middle of the season. The culprit was age and trigger point formation in the calf. I played soccer for 20 years without a single claf issue, but with the inflexible soles of MTB shoes, I was having a bunch of trouble. I was trying to run in the spring/summer and basically I would get injured doing that too. So I decided not not run for cyclocross at all. If I did not run, I would not get injured and with little running in 'cross, I could suck it up by getting better on the bike. I would also compensate for this during the seasonby getting weekly 30 minute massages on the calves to work out any problems.

I started this 4 years ago and it has worked. But, my massage therapists have also been miracle workers at times too. I had a friend in my neighborhood work on me for the first 2 years and when she moved away I started going to Nan Webb who I met years before. Daryl, Kim and some others work with her as well. She is really fantastic. She understand anatomy, has years of experience working with elite athletes and is incredibly friendly and peresonable. I would recommend her to anyone. She also works on Arthur Blank (owner of our Falcons) the night after games, which lately must leave her hands sore from working out his knots.

The Bike

The best kept secret in Atlanta for bike repairs is about to be revealed. I would trust no one else to work on my bike than Maxwell Chastain and Alan Smith at REI NE Expressway. I have known Alan since 1995 when I worked at that store and after Nato left, Maxwell began and between them if it is possible to do, they can do it. They work me in when needed and I have counted on them time in, time out and they have never let me down. They understand cycling history, bike mechanics, wheel building, and are both grumpy and hilarous at the same time.

Contact Information

John Verheul (JBV Coaching):

Nan Webb Massage:

Alan and Max at REI: 404-633-6508

Monday, November 19, 2007

A little pissed off from yesterday's 6th place result I decided to ride the 6.2 miles to the bank and back, from my school on Holcomb Bridge to the bank near Kimball Bridge as hard as I could. Trip there: 28 mph average, Trip back (uphill) 25 mph. I think it is out of my system.

Georgia State Championships, Augusta, GA

<-- For Jay W.

First of all Ross and his crew did a very nice job in course design and making the venue great for both spectators and racers.

It is the one you always want to win right? I have come close but never won a state title in 'cross. The best I have ever done is second but usually the results are accurate in terms of the competition. Yesterday I got 6th and that is what I deserved.

A few years ago I was bitching and moaning after a race where I led Tony around the course only to have him attack on the last lap and win. I was envious of his talent to be able to do that and when I asked him about it he simply told me to "train harder". So I did. Since then that advice has paid off many times but never enough to win the big one. The road goes through Tony so you have to do something special. The year I came in second Tony was 4th but Andy Johnson won it. That year I had my worse training and fitness because my daughter was born over the summer and I had no business training. Go figure that this year, in a year where I poured myself into training, I am getting results that don't reflect that preparaton. Other forces are at work.

But, dominance is dominance and you have to give lots of credit. Over the years that envy has turned into admiration.

So, with 4 "serious" races left I hope that at some point it will bear fruit. In the past I have waffled about quitting but I have made decisions and preparations to finally stop training, let the hair grow out and do some other stuff. I'll most likely do some 'cross races next year but without training. I may even set up a frites stand.

But for now, these last 4 races will be special and I will give each one 100%.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The End of the Cyclocross "Specialist"?

When cyclocross first started in Georgia it was pretty fringe and you had various disciplines of cycling taking part. Over time many masters racers decided that cyclocross was a great way to spend a fall because the races were close, lasted 45 minutes, gave them the intensity they needed, and were very fun. Some decided that they would only focus on cyclocross, but not many did because they were still either mountain bike racing or road racing. I decided to give up both of those and focus on cyclocross because I found it to be much more fun on a race-by-race basis than either of those, it took less time, and fit into my lifestyle better. The only true cyclocross specialist I know of who is an American pro is Jonathan Page.

What I have found out is that if you want to compete for top spots in masters you cannot be a cyclcoross specialist.

I start my training for cyclocross in June and although the training is specific and intense, it is different from what the other guys are experiencing. What I have seen this year in cyclocross is a very competitive field composed of experienced road and mountain bike racers. These guys are experiencing training stress from road racing/MTB racing that training cannot duplicate. Race after race of criteriums, road races, mountain bike races, or even track racing gives them the advantage of muscle adaptation that allows them to accelerate better, prepare for race situations better, and for the road races, be able to use the road parts of cyclocross to their advantage.

As the cyclocross season approaches, these guys may have 20-30 races under their belt. They take a week or two off, and then they enter the cyclocross season motivated, refreshed, and with a racing base I simply cannot match.

Some examples: Perry Thomas was a mid-pack masters cyclocross racer three years ago. Over the next year he dedicated himself to racing mountain bikes and when he entered the next cyclocross season he dominated. Brendan Sullivan had the same experience this year. After a nice hard road season, he entered the cyclocross season determined to improve over mid-pack performances last year and is now a dominant rider. In addition, the top 5 riders in masters this year are all road racers of cat 1-3 ability and entered the cyclocross season with a full slate of races experience.

I suggest that you cannot be a cyclocross specialist anymore, at least in the Georgia series. If you want to compete for titles and championships and win races, you must race road or MTB in the "off" season. I am the "best" and only specialist and in the most competitive field the 35+ has ever seen, I rank 6th consistently. Last year in the absence of pure roadie influence, I was winning races.

I am really happy that the masters 35+ has become a very competitive group and I feel that the results are as they should be. Today in the state championships I think the results were very accurate: the 6 time cyclocross state champion and multi road/track state champion won again, the next 4 finishers were very dedicated road racers who are also very good at cyclocross, and then there was me.

Others might argue that these guys should move up to A's and leave the masters alone. No way. All across the cyclocross landscape, masters races are not for middle aged slow guys who "really like" cyclocross. They are composed of very competitive racers and a lot of them are current or ex-cat 1/2/3 road racers or expert mountain bikers. Some series have gone the PC route of making the masters field "elite" and "non-elite". In addition, of those 5 guys who beat me today, at least 4 of them ALSO raced A's. Chew on that.

Perhaps someday a 'cross specialist will prove me wrong, but I think they will go the way of the dinosaur.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Sweet Peak

This week will be a nice change from the intervals I have been doing each week since August. All 4 races I have done so far have been at a negative TSB so it will be nice to let that climb a bit into the positive and see what it brings.

Monday: Very easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 Minutes
Wednesday: 2 sets of 8x45 sec (60sec) L6 intervals above 400w
Thursday: 2x15 tempo in a 60 minute ride
Friday: 60 very easy
Saturday: Open up with 2 sprints and then 3x2 (2) VO2 max intervals travel to Augusta
Sunday: Race

After this it is back into the "pain cave" for more work and A races up until nationals.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Macon Cyclocross Race

The mysterious "Cartman" usually posts the week before the Macon 'cross race taunting us that no one will be able to ride "cereal bowl" hill. This year he had the course tape looking like an uphill salom with the most brutal part of the hill straight up at the end. But you know what Cartman? I rode that shit each lap!

Macon is always really hard. I hate euphamisms for US versions of European things to make them sound tougher, but Macon is like our own little Dutch course. It is on the coastal plain of Georgia and falls on the "fall line" which denotes the highest transgression of the ocean in the Mesozoic. Basically, under all that grass is a lot of sand. To add to the experience, there was a nice 50 yard beach run across the reservoir's beach. Nice deep sand that led right into the cereal bowl hill fun. Cartman, I ran the sand so you win there.

My eye issues had cleared to about 90% and I had to wear my glasses which brought back unpleasant memories of the big, clunky plastic frames that would always seem to attract every basketball in gym class, either breaking or falling off. But I had to wear them today in the race and between them and the black uniform I was the epitome of style.

The masters 35+ was stacked with talent. We had a total of 7 time state championships (ok, between 2 people), cat 1/2 riders, career masters riders, and a brevy of guys wanting their shot. We even had a guy with an English accent! (Brendan, he was the series leader).

After Brady got his front wheel turned around the right way, we had a fast start. Let's see, Brady attacked, Nate attacked, Jay attacked, Tony attacked and I countered, who did not atrtack? Brandon. So when we came up the cereal bowl for the third time he attacked and was gone. All of us except for Tony, Brady and Jay had jelly legs then Brady flatted. I chased like I have been all series but could not pull back anyone and took 2 guys with me. I spent the last 2 laps trying to make them throw up, giving it the gas 100%. In the end I took 6th. Brendan

But, I feel very good for next weekend's championships. I will be peaking, I won there last year, and I felt very strong today during the race. The race will be stacked with A-racers racing down and all of the strong guys from the series. Basically a slug fest.

Thank you Macon for another great race.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Through the Wringer

My eye is about 80% normal and hopefully the last 20% will come back eventually. Tuesday will reveal more information.

Here is what I did this week. It was hard but hopefully I can come up for air by next weekend.

Tuesday: 8x30sec(90sec) L6 Intervals- all out sprints
TSS= 97

Wedndesday: 3 sets of 8x45 (60 sec) L6 Intervals-- kept above 400w
TSS= 125

Thursday: 5x4(4) VO2 Max Intervals --318-366w
TSS= 75

I think after Augusta I will switch over to the A races and do them for the last two. The extra 15 minutes will be good for nationals and I am not going to win any series championships this year anyway.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

End of the Line?

Another Update:

The doctor said that my vision has improved 60% since Sunday and that it should be what it was by next Tuesday. I am hopeful and should make it to the start in Macon. I have to wear glasses though which will be interesting. We will see how the rest of the week goes and what I can muster for Sunday. Sounds like after last weekend I'd better eat another bowl of pasta Saturday night.


Went to the doctor today and my compromised vision should return in 2 weeks or so to its original state depending on the course of the infection. If the medicine does not work, I may have some vision loss. I will go back Tuesday for a check-up. So, in the meantime I will do my best to see and in terms of cycling, prepare for the state champs in 2 weeks either on the road or trainer. Here is what I had scheduled this week:

Monday: 60 easy
Tuesday: 4 sprints and 8x30s very hard (L6), 90s recovery
Wednesday: 3 sets of 8x45s very hard (L6), 1M recovery
Thursday: 5x4M VO2 Max w/4M recovery
Friday: 60 easy
Saturday: if I can race Sunday, 45-60M w/2 sprints and 3x2M VO2 Max, 2M recovery if not, then 3x15 threshold
Sunday: Macon race or, 60 tempo if possible


Right now I have an estimated 50-60% vision in my right eye and it may never improve. I will find out Tuesday. Infection of the cornea and possible scaring.

Obviously no cross until the vision is back. So, run a barrier for me in the meantime. I can ride on roads with bike lanes. Until I come back out, it was nice racing with you all. This was the last season anyway.

I'll see you when I see you (pun intended).


Thursday, November 01, 2007

End of the "Cat Up" Line for Cross

Dear Robert Kuhn,

The following request to change your USAC category has been approved and processed by USA
Member: Robert Kuhn
License: Cyclo-cross Racer
Request to change category from Cat 3 to Cat 2

Thanks John!

What got me there?

Cyclocross Palmares

12th Cross #1 (Dallas, GA )

4th Cross #2 (Brimingham, AL)
6th Cross #3 (Athens, GA)
3rd Cross #4 (Stockbridge, GA)
Injured, Broken Rib

4th Cross #1 (Marietta, GA)
6th Cross #2 (Birminham, AL)
3rd,3rd Cross #3 (Norcross, GA)
Injured Calf

3rd Cross #1 11/2/03 Macon
3rd, 2nd, 6th Cross #2 & #3 11/8/9/03 Dallas, 3rd Overall Omnium (CR,TT,CR)
2nd Cross #4, Marietta, 11/16/03
4th Cross #5 Georgia State Championships, Jackson, GA 11/24/03
3rd Cross #6 Covington, 12/7/03
3rd Cross #7 Monroe, 12/8/03
6th Cross #8 Athens SE Championships
B Category Series Champion

2004 (Cross 30+)
2nd Cross #1 Covington, 10/24
3rd Cross #2 Macon, 10/30
1st Cross #3 Monroe, 11/06
6th Cross #5 Marietta, 11/21 GA State Championships
7th Cross #6 Athens, 12/05
4th Cross #7 Dallas, 12/12

2005 (Cross 35+)
2nd Cross #1 Ft. Yargo State Park, 10/16
2nd Cross #2 Macon, 10/23
1st Cross #3 Indian Springs, 10/30
10th Cross #4 Augusta, 11/6
1st Cross #5 Marietta, 11/13
2nd Cross #7 Covington, 11/20
2nd Cross #8 Monroe, 11/26 GA State Championship Silver Medal
2nd Cross #9 Monroe, 11/27
64th US Cyclocross National Championships, Providence, RI, 12/09 (40-44)

2006 (Cross 35+)
1st Cross #1 Conyers, GA
1st Cross #2 Augusta, GA
5th Cross #3 Winder, GA
2nd Cross #4 Monroe, GA
1st Cross #5 Marietta, GA
10th Cross #7 Indian Springs, GA

2007 (Cross 35+)
3rd Oxmoor Cyclocross Race, Birmingham, AL
3rd Cross #1 Conyers Cyclocross Race, Conyers, GA
6th Cross #2 Winder Cyclocross Race, Winder, GA

I have had this for 2 weeks. I hope it starts to get better.