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Power Up, Weight Down = New Personal Best on Old La Honda Road

Old La Honda Rd is a local favorite in Portola Valley, CA, with a ~1270 foot ascent averaging about 7% grade.

As reported in my latest DEXA scan, my legs put on 4 pounds of muscle since June, and since my weight has dropped to 169, the combination raises the power to weight ratio significantly.

So today I blew away my 2006 personal best of 19:09, and turned in an all-time personal best of 18:31— and that’s forgetting to remove the 1 pound seat pack and my 1/2 pound bike light (by calculation, carrying those two items cost me 9 seconds so in theory I could have done an 18:22— next time).

My goal for this October is to break into the 17 minute range later this fall, but all hard efforts are deferred while I taper off for the Everest Challenge— I am ready for it.

I discuss the relationship between weight and power in Faster Ascents By Reducing TOTAL Riding Weight, and Predicting Ascent Times From Total Riding Weight.

Visually confusing graph from SRM software showing 4 Old La Honda ascents


Recovery — legs

After a maximal effort like this, my legs can be somewhat tight and achy. I find that using a foam roller on muscles is very helpful in calming all that down, and producing a relaxing feel in the afflicted muscles, while also forcing out latent by-products of hard exertion. Use it right after the workout, then again an hour or two later, then again before bed. It helps— big time.

Recovery — food

I also have found that Hammer Nutrition Recoverite is working very well for me and I do believe it is helping my recovery better than any other product I’ve tried. It has a mild flavor, is only slightly sweet, and has no artificial colorings or useless ingredients as in some other sports drinks. Try it. After 45 minutes I also take whey protein powder and my favorite oatmeal (protein + glucose for recovery) and also 30 grams or so of pistachios.

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