Friday, July 18, 2014

2014 York Can Am Police Fire Games



I have looking forward to the 2014 York Can Am Police Fire Games all year long.  This was the first year in the past 4 seasons in which I felt I could train and gain enough fitness to be competitive.  My back still gives me problems and I have been limited to slightly shorter training rides, but I have been on the bike, running and cross training enough to feel I could be factor in these games.

What are the Can Am Police Fire Games?

The Can Am Police Fire Games are an Olympic style competition for law enforcement and firefighters.  Here is are the rules of who is eligible to compete:

  • All sworn Federal, State/Provincial, County, Municipal and Military law enforcement officers, weight control officers, corrections officers and dispatchers employed by a law enforcement agency (male or female, active or retired) are eligible. Police reservists and cadets who have 180-days of continuous law enforcement service, have received formal training in law enforcement and have powers of arrest are eligible.
  • Eligible fire service personnel includes both paid and volunteer, dispatchers, military fire personnel, (male or female, active or retired) who have received formal training as a firefighter and have 180-days of continuous fire service.
  • Eligible EMS personnel includes E.M.S. personnel employed by a private entity or Governmental Agency (male or female, active or retired) who have received formal training as an EMS provider and have 180 days of continuous service.
  • Eligible law enforcement, fire service and E.M.S. personnel described above from any city, county, state/province, and Country are eligible to compete.
  • A spouse must complete a Registration Form listing the agency information representing the eligible spouse.
NOTE: Eligibility rules will be strictly adhered to.
Agencies specifically included:
  • Municipal Police
  • Municipal Fire
  • County Sheriff
  • County Fire
  • Harbor Police
  • Harbor Fire
  • CII Investigators
  • District Attorney's Investigators
  • Alcohol Beverage Control Officers
  • U.S. Marshal's Office
  • Secret Service
  • Highway Patrol
  • Parole Agents and Officers
  • State Police
  • Gov’t. Employed Corrections Officers
  • Provincial Police
  • Seasonal Smoke jumpers and Firefighters (with at least two years employment)
  • US Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
  • Border Patrol
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • University/Campus Police and Fire Depts.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Customs and Immigration Service
  • Government Employed Dispatchers
  • National/State/Prov. Wardens/ Rangers
  • Attorney General Investigators
  • Tribal Police
  • U.S. Park Service Police
  • Military Police
  • Military Firefighters
  • Bureau of Narcotic's Investigators
Agencies specifically excluded:
  • Private Business Firefighters
  • Pre-employment Police or Fire Science students
  • Private Security Services
  • Civilian Jailers and Corrections Personnel
  • Non governmental Dispatchers
Here is a list of events for the 2014 Games:



VBW Representation for Cycling Events:
John Gray (Suffolk Fire Department) and myself (Virginia Beach Fire Department) represented Hampton Roads and the Virginia Beach Wheelmen in this year's event.  We competed in three races: the TT, the Crit, and the Road Race.  We entered the Senior B category which was an age graded 35-39.  We really did not know what to expect as far as competition.  What we found was small packs that varied in experience.  There were Cat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and even some unlicensed riders.  The courses were also challenging.  Both the TT and the Road Race were on very hilly terrain.  The road race featured a circuit with four laps and each lap had rolling hills and a steady steep 1.5 mile climb.  The Crit was on wide roads through a neighborhood.  The TT was on the same course as the road race but went the other direction.

For the TT, John was doing great but ended up loosing his chain and it got stuck in his bottom bracket.  He lost too much time.  I was able to hold on for third to bring home a bronze medal.

For the Crit, John and I were both in the front separation with two other strong riders.  They ended forming a deal with each other to combat the team work put forth by VBW.  The stronger rider was starting to counter all of our attacks while allowing the other one to just sit in.  Seeing this, I got to the front for the final three laps and set the pace.  The pace was high enough to stop all further attacks and it allowed John to sit in for the sprint.  On the final John was out sprinted but got the Silver medal and I held on for another bronze.

In the Road Race, I was concerned about the hills.  The mixed several categories for a little bit larger pack.  We had about 10 riders in our category we needed to fend off.  Not really knowing their ability, I got to the front immediately.  The race started with pretty steady climbing for the first 3 miles.  I set a tempo early on that got rid of half the pack.  Then the strong rider from the crit got to the front (he was actually in an age category lower than us) and John got on his wheel.  I allowed a gap to form while everyone else sat on my wheel.  A few riders noticed this and sprinted up to close the gap.  This acceleration depleted more of the original pack.  I sat on for a little bit but then settled into my own climbing pace.  John and the other rider was able to create separation from everyone else and I slowly started to pick off other dropped riders.  In the Senior B race, John ended up Gold and I got another Bronze.

The Best Part of the Games:

By far one of the best things about these games is meeting people from around the country. Public safety jobs are unique and offer challenges to being an athlete. Our jobs require a certain level of fitness but with sleepless nights, shift work and odd eating schedule, often it could be difficult to maintain this fitness. These games gives us the chance to promote our sport, competition, fitness and learn from each other.  It becomes easy to make new friends, even if some of them are cops.

2018 They Will Be in Hampton Roads:

Hampton Roads has won the bid to host these games in 2018.  Check out their latest banner:
  
The Next Focus:

In 2015, the World Police Fire Games will be in Fairfax, VA.  The cycling events bring many European competitors and are always very tough.  VBW will be looking to bring a full team and try to bring back some medals to Hampton Roads. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Interval Training Versus Repetition Training

All cyclists understand the importance and suffering that comes with interval training.  Over the past many years there has been an even greater understanding of how to pinpoint this training by using power as opposed to heart rate as the gauge of performance.  For most of us we perform a power test on a regular basis.  The primary focus of this test is to determine or estimate your functional threshold power (FTP).  From your FTP you can determine your other zones and where you should be training.  In addition, you may even test the other zones by doing max efforts at 5:00, 1:00, and 15 second sprints.  I use the seven zone method found in Hunter Allen's book Training and Racing with a Power Meter to divide my power/heart rate zones.  These include:
Zone 1:  Recovery- less than 55% of FTP
Zone 2:  Endurance- 56-75% of FTP
Zone 3:  Tempo- 76-90% of FTP
Zone 4:  Lactate Threshold- 91-105% of FTP
Zone 5:  VO2max- 106-120% of FTP
Zone 6:  Anaerobic Capacity- 121-150% of FTP
Zone 7:  Neuromuscular Power- Over 151% of FTP
Since you don't train for "Recovery", there are six zones to train in order to be a well rounded racer.  Endurance and Tempo zones are typically trained on your long days or group rides.  For the threshold and anaerobic zones, interval or repetition training is the best way to improve.  The real question is do you know the difference and when to use interval or repetition?

Interval training is primarily designed to increase your VO2max levels.  Lets say you wanted to do a VO2max interval that would last 8 minutes.  How long will it take your heart rate to get into the zone and how long will it take for the goal power numbers to be challenging?  If your goal power for the interval is 280 watts, it might take two minutes for that to feel challenging and for your heart rate to start rising.  This means your 8-minute effort is only 6 minutes at your goal.  The following is 8 minute intervals as shown with power and heart rate:

  Obviously it is important to practice these long intervals to improve muscular endurance at the higher power ranges.  Next take a look at an interval set designed to improve VO2max also.  These are actually listed as anaerobic capacity intervals because they are done at a higher power level.  These intervals have an equal rest as they do work, but the rest could be less for these types of intervals.  They train you using a higher power level, but your heart rate responds like a VO2max level.  As these intervals increase in numbers, you can see the power is decreasing, it is alright.  The heart rate is also not coming down as quickly between intervals and climbing quicker.  The real training occurs as this workout progresses.
 

Finally I wanted to show you repetition training.  These are efforts that have much longer rest intervals than they do work intervals.  The goal is to be near full recovery before starting the next effort.  These are specifically designed to improve power output at a specific zone or time period.  The design here was a specific power to hold until he hit fatigue.  Then he rested for at least 2x the work interval and repeated.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014 William and Mary Tidewater Winter Classic

The Virginia Beach Wheelmen took four riders to compete in the Cat 3 race.  All of them had goals to accomplish and something to prove to themselves.  For John Gray and Tim Shockley it was a chance to test some early season fitness and see if they could get into a break a do some work at the front of the pack.  Mike Tamayo has spent the winter attached to a trainer trying to get rides snuck in between work, a two year old and a brand new baby who arrived earlier this month.  Joshua Goyet has been building fitness back for the last several months after returning to the bike following a back injury.  The distance was going to be the challenge for both Mike and Joshua.

All four Wheelmen finished the race and felt good about their accomplishments.  They mixed it up in the breaks, assisted with the chase and even had parts in the final lead out.  When it was all over, although not on the podium, the Wheelmen were thrilled with the start of the 2014 racing season.

John Gray 11th
Tim Shockley. 15th
Mike Tamayo. 32nd
Joshua Goyet 35th



On a personal note for me, this race was big.  On the third of 5 laps I decided I was going to pull out the next lap.  My back was a little sore and I had not trained the distance. Really I was using a built in excuse.  I rode up to Tim and let him know my intentions.  When we came through again and I heard the bell, I changed my mind.  I am making a comeback to the sport after taking off last year and really fighting this back injury for the past 3 years.  It is not a comeback if I had dropped out of the first race of the season.  I ended up finishing strong on the front for the lead out in an attempt to keep it safe for my teammates.  That was my victory.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

BCCX 2013 Results

Here are the results for the 2013 Bennett's Creek CX race.  I will also post some pictures later.

2013 BCCX results

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thanks Kurt Kinetic!

On Saturday my trainer felt odd. 

Two cracks on my Rock n Roll trainer. One on each side of the weld on the top frame. 

Two emails later here it is Wednesday. 

Brand new top frame. If you are in the market for a new trainer take a serious look at Kurt Kinetic. Great trainers and excellent support. 


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Progress Mixed With Setback

One hour prior to my first session of Rolfing, my back started to ache after picking up a heavy object.  Not hurt, but not comfortable. I went ahead with the session.  My first impression of Rolfing is pretty good.  I really felt like she was making positive changes in my posture. However, due to the soreness in my back from lifting the object, I can't feel a difference. Actually I feel like I have taken a step back. 

Two days later I'm feeling better but not where I was.  My next session is next Sunday. My thought is to take a picture BEFORE each session. If my posture changes after each session but goes to crap in the following week than it probably was not worth it.  I did take a picture a couple of weeks again and the focused on changing my posture myself. 


The one on the right was my posture two weeks ago.  The one on the left was my posture just before going to my first Rolfing session.  Next week I will take another and compare it to the most recent and the first one to see if any changes are noted.  Of course I want physical changes to be noted, but I am primarily concerned with reduction of back pain.  


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Next Stage to Fix My Back

For me, this year, I have more or less given up on the racing season. My back continues to be a problem. This injury has gone on for more than two years. I guess by definition, it is now chronic back pain. I have not given up hope and I am still seeking treatment with the hopes if correcting this problem.

What is my problem?

First: if I were not a cyclist then I really would not have much of a problem. My primary issue is numbness in my left foot while riding. This occurs about 30-40 minutes into every ride.

Second: at times my foot will go numb while standing or walking. Not very often any more, but it still happens.

Third: occasional back pain.

This injury does not effect work or everyday living. It really only effects working out. Cycling, running, strength training and other workouts are hard to do for the length I want to do them.

The reason for this post is to set up a diary for my next treatment endeavor. Tomorrow I start with a massage technique called Rolfing. Rolfing is specifically designed to correct posture due to gravity. My posture is terrible and could easily have been the reason for my back injury. I will post posture pictures of myself though this process along with updates on how I am feeling.