Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Are You Reading?

I realize that many of the Alaska brevet rides are dedicated, serious athletes with their sights set on high-profile competitive events such as the Fireweed 400 or RAAM. That's great, and I'm delighted they ride the brevets. I believe they bring a lot to randonneuring that's important. As they say, randonneuring is a big tent, and there's plenty of room for all sorts of riders. To be sure though, I'm not ignoring the dedication and training necessary to finish the longer brevets or any of the big 1200s. It's just that there are a lot of other brevet riders up here who are just out for a personal challenge and a fine adventure. And they may find that challenge and adventure in the shorter rides, just as many others do in the longer ones.

For many of the latter type of riders, questions regarding training and preparation, especially when you're just starting out, can be pretty confusing. Where do you begin?! What's Chris Charmichael's phone number? Do I need that carbon fiber dog dish?

There's a whole sag wagon of information out there in the way of books, websites, forums, magazines, etc. And adopting any one of the sophisticated training and nutrition programs many of these sources offer can be, for many of us, more challenging than the rides themselves.

Listen...I'm going to make it simple for you; bordering on too simple. Maybe 'streamlined' is a better term. For the most part, you can ignore all of that stuff. Cancel that appointment to have your VO2Max tested. Stop worrying about what your composition of fast-twitch vs. low-twitch is. If you're looking for a solid place to start, something really digestible, get yourself the two booklets in the photo: Randonneurs USA Members' Handbook and the UMCA's Preparing for Long Rides. These two will get you as far as you wish to go in randonneuring. They'll provide you with an excellent base of realistic, distilled training principles, nutrition advice, and equipment choices. Read 'em. Then...if you find you still need more, or you want to put yourself on one of those programs, then you'll know just that much more when you go out and collect all those other books.


Anonymous said...

Need for the Bike (Paul Fournel) is highly recommended.

Mike / Research Trailer Park

Kevin T said...

Thanks for the tip, Mike. I just put it on my Amazon list.

CurioRando said...

Great little library there!

My Schwinn was the Continental. That ugly brown; don't know what got into me then.

Those were some sturdy bicycles!