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Old 09-01-2011, 08:36 PM   #136
pilo OP
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Exercise

Mike,

Thanks for the kind words and support. I think my racing "career" faded as soon as it began. I really look forward to the days ahead spent with the kids out in the desert or the mountains. Lots to look forward to doing.

A couple of quick notes on exercise. I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned along the way. I am not in any way an expert in training, but I've researched a lot and tried a few different things, so I may be a step or twp ahead of someone else just starting out. My goal for this was not to get ripped and certainly not to get big. I wanted to have enough endurance to finish these long distance races and not be killed at the end AND I wanted to be strong enough to keep as injury free as possible in a crash. So far it seems to be working.

1) Make a decision to start exercising seriously and stick to it. Tell yourself you are going to exercise 5 days a week and make it happen. Get up early or run during lunch or whatever it takes. Let your significant other know your plan and likely you'll get their support, especially if you try not to have your exercising infringe too much on the time you spend together.

1a) Don't plan to start on Jan 1, 2 or 10. Bad idea. For some reason New Year's resolutions don't stick. Start over Thanksgiving. Thats a good reason to enjoy a bit less bad food.

2) Run - I've done a lot of cardio. In the winter I ran on the treadmill and in more different countries then I can remember. If you have access to a eliptical machine, do that too. Change stuff up. Make it hard but not so hard that you can't keep going for 30-45 minutes. The goal is to build stamina

2a) I got to the point where I enjoyed the cardio of running 5 miles, but I didn't feel like it was helping with anything associated with riding. I now run with 5 pound dumbbells in each hand. Try running 3 miles with the weights in each hand and don't bring a backpack to throw them in when you get tired. Let your hand drop when the weights get heavy or if you need to walk, do a 'speed-walk' move and swing your arms. You'll feel the burn. The next day you'll feel it in your arms and shoulders and you'll feel like you are getting some riding cross-training.

3) P90x - You've probably read all of the hype and perhaps even tried it yourself. In 2007 I did the full P90x monty while we were living overseas. The only place I had to exercise was an old, unheated barn and I ended up getting Pneumonia about 70 days in. I think it was less about the cold work-outs and more about me not eating enough. Anyway, I've tried it on and off since then, but since I've been training for these shenanigans I've just used a few of the videos and some of the nutrition tips. It wouldn't be a bad thing to do the whole system, but I would not stick to the diet unless you are planning on hitting the beach. Ultra-low body fat looks cool on the beach for for endurance events for us amateurs, it's not always the best way to have your body prepared.

Cardio X is good. My favorite exercise on there is the steam engine. Stretch X is also good. Try the different videos, you'll find what you like.

4) Rowing Machine - When I started using a rower at home my fitness for riding immediately got focused and started paying off. I change things up a lot doing 5Ks with a run, 10Ks and even on weekends going for a multi-hour row. Sometimes I do 1 or 2Ks mixed with sit-ups and pushups in between and at the end I'll have done 4 - 6K of rowing and maybe 100 or more pushups and sit ups. The only muscles the rower doesn't hit are the pecs and a bit of the biceps. Unless you need to flex for the ladies you don't need the biceps for riding nearly as much as triceps, lats, shoulders and back. Your upper and lower back, lats and shoulders will show strength and definition you've never seen. Seriously, the rowing machine plus sit-ups pushups and running with weights is an awesome baseline for training for me for riding. I can't believe how much stronger I feel when I ride and afterwards. I had very little soreness after Vegas to Reno.

My 'gripless' Concept 2 setup. I like this calluses it gives me!


5) Schedule - I try to exercise at least 30 minutes 5 times a week and certainly prefer if one or two of those days I'm on my motorcycle or my mountain bike. I rarely exercise more than 30 min - hour during the week though sometimes on the weekend I try to build some endurance and go for 90 minutes or more.

6) Food - Something that is important for me...I need to eat, all of the time. I usually eat smaller portions and it's not always Richard Simmons approved food, but I try to eat as much good stuff as possible and I don't starve myself ever. If you do much research you find that when you start to consume less food your body actually changes your metabolism and slows you down. Exactly the opposite of what you want to happen. If you do P90x you'll find out that you actually have to UP the amount of food you eat to lose weight and drop fat. Of course in the P90X world all of the food has no fat, but I only lived in that world for about 70 days...

Eat a lot of good food when you are exercising a lot. That is the best thing you can do for your body.

6a) Recovery drink - This is pretty important. Within an hour after you exercise hard your body needs all of the right protein for rebuilding your muscles. Beyond that the body tries to find it from other sources. Recover drinks taste awesome and make a huge difference in getting your muscles to rebuild quickly and better. They are expensive and after some research I found that skim milk and Hershey's syrup have about the same nutritional profile as the expensive mixes. Now I just drink chocolate milk. If I've worked out hard I'll put a scoop of protein powder (you know, the hulk o matic drums in the nutrition aisle) in the shake. Like I said, you need the protein if you are exercising hard. Don't skimp on food for your body.

7) Mix it up - I've gone hiking, snowshoeing, and even on ultra-long walks. Motivation is key for me and variety in the activities keeps me interested. I'm not trying to be on an olympic team or win first place anywhere. I just want to be strong and be able to go the distance. Variety is good.

That's it. I keep it pretty simple. I'm not a pro and have no aspirations as such. I'm just a guy trying to fit it all in to short days and this is the approach I've taken. I hope this helps someone who might be trying to do something similar. Good luck.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:07 PM   #137
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Stuff that worked

Here is a list of things that I think helped me finish V2R better than I would have without them.

Highway dirt bikes switches - I used these to replace the starter and kill switches and I'm convinced they are more burly than the stock stuff. I paid full price for these parts and would do it again.

Roll Chart - All of the danger info on my roll chart turned out to be mostly useless, but having the mileage to the next pit was perfect for helping me focus on the next stop.

Cheapo Scott Goggles - I bought two new pairs of the cheapest Scott goggles for this event. I've had much more expensive goggles in the past and now I see no reason to ever buy them again. These worked perfectly with the tear offs.

MSR Pants and gloves - The pants were mostly new before the race and fit perfectly. All gloves seem to be the same but for some reason the MSR gloves I rode were perfect. I loved them and didn't switch to fresh gloves even though I could.

Konflict Motorsports Suspension - Full disclosure...I bought my race van from Alex who is the man at Konflict. In the process of negotiation we talked about what I was doing and he offered to help me get the suspension on the 450x dialed in. He even offered to go through my 950 Adventure forks as well. Alex is a really good listener and made just some subtle changes to my race bike suspension that helped me keep the bike on two wheels, especially with all of the square edges I hit in the race. It never deflected harshly and the one time I got in trouble after hitting a rock was my fault, not the suspension. I still have yet to test my 950 forks, but I hope to get it out in the next week or so.

Wolfsnout - Tim at Wolfsnout contacted me and offered to help me out with my racing efforts. When the product first arrived in the mail I admit I thought it was a pretty goofy looking setup. When I first tested it I couldn't get the fit right with my helmet and Tim went back to the R&D room and built a shorter version for me to try out. It fit perfectly and was in fact the version I ran in the race. In the last picture of my report you can see it hanging in front and you can also see how dirty it is. I was able to breath wide mouth open the whole race and I'm sure I sucked little if any dirt though I rode through a ton of it. It was super hot mid-day and I barely even noticed the mask. I got the system down with my hydration and it was just excellent. I'm keeping it in my gear bag for sure. I never even knew about it before.

Scotts- This is no surprise to anyone that uses a stabilizer, but it saved my bacon more than once. Young guys probably don't get scared, but I'd weep if I had to race a bike without some kind of stabilizer.

Bib Mousse - I ran them front and rear. Super fast guys would likely melt the rear, but for me both ends were fine (I guess that clarifies my speed status). I've pulled out the rear already and it's ready for another race...it looks brand new. The front feels a little soft but I haven't dared to open it up yet. I wouldn't race without them though. Amazing peace of mind.

Maxxis IT Rear - I'm not picky, but this tire gives good feel even when worn and seems to last well. Oh and it is a little cheaper than other options. I'll run it again.

I'm sure I missed something...

Next post - "Stuff that didn't work" - I had a bit of that too....
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:24 AM   #138
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Great thread - Well done!
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:19 AM   #139
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Fitness

Glad you are taking the time to detail some of your prep work Phil.

After fighting wildland fires for 7 years in my previous life, I can absolutely agree with your approach. Eating the right amount for your body and your activity level is truly important. I have never done a diet nor ever plan to. Proper nutrition however is just plain smart. No Atkins diet nor detox purge diets will ever be a part of my lifestyle.

I enjoy your workout regiment and the consistancy/commitment of your workouts, it has obviously paid off. Thanks Phil!!

(note to self: commit to better cardio to avoid the mid race "crash" )
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:03 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by pilo View Post
Of course in the P90X world all of the food has no fat, but I only lived in that world for about 70 days...




.
Nice write up Phil. I was hoping it would have been longer. I usually don't read RR, just look at photos, but this one was good. A little bit afraid to ride with you next week.

On the nutrition note: Low fat diets are stupid. Your body depends on saturated fat and cholesterol (precursor to testosterone) to develop testosterone. Low fat diets=poor recovery, poor muscle growth, depression, and man boobs. Eat fat, eat cholesterol, be happy. Don't listen to unfounded, simpleton diet advice from the 1980's that remains pervasive to this day.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:29 AM   #141
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Nutrition and P90X

Quote:
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On the nutrition note: Low fat diets are stupid. Your body depends on saturated fat and cholesterol (precursor to testosterone) to develop testosterone. Low fat diets=poor recovery, poor muscle growth, depression, and man boobs. Eat fat, eat cholesterol, be happy. Don't listen to unfounded, simpleton diet advice from the 1980's that remains pervasive to this day.
T- I actually did oversimplify the P90x diet by saying it has no fat. The truth is that if you are looking for a six-pack for the beach (the kind with no alcohol) the food in P90x is a good start and they only go really low fat for the first few weeks. After that the diet expands quite a bit but the food is still all really healthy. For me I still like enough foods like pizza and awesome sandwiches that sticking to their diet takes away the fun and as you pointed out above, if you are out doing enough physical activities, unless you are consuming tons of junk food, you body doesn't care quite so much if you have some fatty foods mixed in there.

So I tend to go by the guideline of eating as much 'good' food as possible, but I focus more on eating enough food and try not to deny myself too much of the nasty food since I love it so much. If I were a professional athlete my guidelines would be different and I'd only fill my stomach with the highest quality food with the best balance of nutritional needs....but I far from a professional athlete and am much happier enjoying a mix of food goodness with ice cream and cheese-steaks a crucial part of the combo.

There is a plethora of info on P90X all over the internet. It is easy to find. The thing I liked about it was the simple plan and exercises using just barbells + pullup bar. There was no "secret-special" machine that molded your abs rock hard...just old fashion sweat and hard work.

Oh, and with all of your crazy long-distance rides (I know, I've bee on a few) I'm pretty sure you'd perform well in a race environment. I've spent my whole life practicing (or training in this case) at things just to keep up with people like you who are naturally talented.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:16 PM   #142
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.but I far from a professional athlete and am much happier enjoying a mix of food goodness with ice cream and cheese-steaks a crucial part of the combo.
"Cheat days" when in a caloric deficit are important to reset leptin and encourage your thyroid to not go dormant. But of course, you were strength training, so a caloric deficit has no bearing in this discussion. Another thing I think many people over look is that riding a moto is legit hard work, and hence, you have to eat/drink constantly while going all day or your brain/body will go in the crapper. My wife doesn't believe me that it's actually an athletic event. Pretty much like riding a damn bull all day long.

I think doing long solo races would be fun. It would be awesome to do a 10-15 Dakar style race in the states, but I guess you can do the same with your buddies and your GPS, but those are social events, where as racing isn't. That seems like the appeal, just you and your brain, all day long, day after day. No chit chat.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:17 AM   #143
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"Cheat days" when in a caloric deficit are important to reset leptin and encourage your thyroid to not go dormant. But of course, you were strength training, so a caloric deficit has no bearing in this discussion. Another thing I think many people over look is that riding a moto is legit hard work, and hence, you have to eat/drink constantly while going all day or your brain/body will go in the crapper. My wife doesn't believe me that it's actually an athletic event. Pretty much like riding a damn bull all day long.

I think doing long solo races would be fun. It would be awesome to do a 10-15 Dakar style race in the states, but I guess you can do the same with your buddies and your GPS, but those are social events, where as racing isn't. That seems like the appeal, just you and your brain, all day long, day after day. No chit chat.

This nutrition discussion if very informative for those of us who haven't (or just started) "real" training and exercise. I myself have just started a running regime and have learned loads about how my body works and recovers. As for a multi-day rally event in the US, check out the Kings of the West Rally. Four days of intense (if you desire) riding, all the while navigating and maintaining your own bike. Not quite the pace of a V2R, but no pit crews or course markers, either. Last years event really showed me that riding a bike aggressively all day is a big drain on the body's resources.

Thank you Pilo for your efforts and sharing the results. Hijack over.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:57 PM   #144
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Went Riding

A friend put together a 400 mile dirt day that would have been 520 for me riding from home. I took the 950 and left my house at 4:20 AM with over 10 gallons of fuel (one section was 270 miles between fuel stops, without making any wrong turns)...



Things didn't go exactly to plan




More pics and details here...
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:37 PM   #145
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Baja

Hey Phil! Whats the word on Baja???
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:47 PM   #146
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Hmmm

Besides having the time, money and a viable chase crew, everything is perfect!

Seriously though I'm still trying to figure out my plans. The 450x might need a new crank so I need to get into the engine this week and sort things out. I just got back from Asia over the weekend and brought home some type of nasty swine or bird flu or something so I'm a mess try to rid of the shakes, coughs, sneezes and the like.

I'm still trying to figure out my logistics. It's nothing like V2R. I'm still planning on going for it, though the planning is scarier than the riding.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:09 PM   #147
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What missing from this photo?



I'm finally starting to get over my sickness so I took some time and pulled off the top of the engine. I measured the small end on the rod and it is close to the limit, and has a couple of spots of wear. I'm just going to stop thinking about it and replace the crank.



I hope I can get it all buttoned up with a couple of new intake valves for good measure in the next week or so.

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Old 09-28-2011, 10:32 PM   #148
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Besides having the time, money and a viable chase crew, everything is perfect!

Seriously though I'm still trying to figure out my plans. The 450x might need a new crank so I need to get into the engine this week and sort things out. I just got back from Asia over the weekend and brought home some type of nasty swine or bird flu or something so I'm a mess try to rid of the shakes, coughs, sneezes and the like.

I'm still trying to figure out my logistics. It's nothing like V2R. I'm still planning on going for it, though the planning is scarier than the riding.
Planning is good..........reactions are better..........crisis management experience for the endeavor is critical.......and COMMUNICATION.......a key......IMHO.....

BWTFDIK.........

PS, I'm not a virgin anymore.....
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:23 AM   #149
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so what didn't work?
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:40 PM   #150
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so what didn't work?
Thanks for your writeups on the food/training/riding. I want to know what didn't work also.

I went a bought a wolfsnout to check it out. I sent tim an email to let him know it was on your recommendation!
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