Hard Candy

Question:  what do you do when the weather is wet, snowy, and cold and you have a 24 hour race coming up?  The correct answer is of course get outta town, head south for warmer climes.  I’ve been doing that for 2 years, but not this year.  I was  getting soft on that program.  The alternate answer is to dip into the candy jar…

Although I am more patient than I used to be…power has still been a bit slow to return for my liking, so I’ve been on the drillin’ and chillin’ plan the past week.  It’s been an eye-popping week of relentless intensity – and an associated power increase that is beyond my expectations. 

What has the program been like?  Lots of time at VO2max power with short rests, and lots of time at about 85% VO2max (longer ints) and short rests.  The inspiration for the workouts is courtesy of Michael Ross’ book.  He really nails protocols on determining optimal intensity and duration for HIT interval work wrt studies on which I’ve been basing my HIT workouts for 3 years already.  Great book, it really resonates and I recommend it highly.  Slow base fans eat your heart out.

Ah, heck…don’t get me wrong – this is my preferred plan.  Sometimes ya gotta make do.

This weekend has been a study in light building.  I’ve considered the LED permutations from a lot of angles and have settled on building 3 x 4 Cree LED units.  With more LEDs, I can run them at lower currents, get better runtimes for a comparable light output to a system with fewer LEDs, and incur a very small weight penalty for additional LEDs – about 20g/LED added.  Look for the guy with a big ol’ bar of blinding light on his head at OP and that’ll be me ;)

For the tech heads, here is some beta on the design considerations.

This plot shows the general performance characterstics for a Cree P3 based Quad light.  Most relevant details are in the chart; the one left out is the driver.  I’m using a bFlex from http://taskled.com.  The bFlex offers a dizzying array of setup options, drive currents (brightness settings), low battery warnings etc, etc.

This one illustrates why I chose to go with 4 rather than 3 (sorry for the bass-ackwards chart…doh!).  The drop down green lines, for example, show that at 450 lumens the triple gets about 7.5 hours runtime while the quad gets almost 9 hours. 

Dinotte has a super bright LED system in the works for about $500.  Early reports are very good.  I’ll have 3 systems that are a bit brighter for about the same price, but they won’t look as dope as Dinottes.  Who cares in the dark though?

Don’t leave home without booties and ear protection!  -10F this am, yowza!