Building for Old Pueblo

It's December 13 and Durango finally got some of the white stuff.  It's been the first year I recall that you could ride your MTB all the way to December.  It's been great, but oh man the Nordic and Alpine folks are jonesin.

According to my training plan, the build up for Old Pueblo begins today.  It might sound odd, given that I've done 4 White Rim rides in 2 weeks, that I consider today as the beginning of the build...it's more of a seasonal attitude thing.  Growing up in Michigan, I was programmed at an early age to put on winter fat in the fall, and no matter where I live it happens every year.  Late October to Jan 1 is typically a time of weight gain, regardless of training volume.  Gimme some pie dammit!  This year seems to be different.  I'm super excited for what's to come in '06 and feeling fresh as a daisy at a CTL of 124.

The trainer is no way to start this build, so I opted for some interval work up Junction Creek road in the snow. 

Riding MTB in general reduces power output.  Combine that with snow and it becomes a judgement call whether to call it a skills ride or L5...it often required quite smooth form to avoid slippage, and going down was a real treat!

In between intervals 4 and 5 the shifting took a nap.  I have no idea why :)

Riding in the snow turned out to be a ton of fun, and I think I just discovered another strong point of these 29er wheels.  Hmmm....

Here's how it all turned out:

If you've seen my rants on wattage, you know why I'm doing this kind of stuff in December...but for the benefit of everyone else:  the short answer is that after a long season of long events (feb-oct), my power duration curve gets very, very flat.  That means top end power declines while long term power rises.  I view the winter as the time to rebuild top end power - a rather different take than most, but it works for me.  For MTB ultras, the trick is to have plenty of top end, and great long term power.  It's a difficult balance to achieve...but hell, riding a lot can make up for a lot training mistakes;)