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McCarthy Cup Preview: Getting a Drubbing from the Bro
By:  Tom McCarthy   (2007/10/31)


I know everyone is itching to know about how the McCarthy Cup looks to be shaping up for this coming season. Especially given that we live together now, in Vancouver. Well, we have been doing quite a bit of training together - in particular the interval workouts, which gives us a good sense of who’s going well. And I hate to say that, after today’s effort and if I was a betting man, I might put the odds on Ed for this season.

We’ve done 5 intensity workouts together since we got to BC, I think. The first one was short 1:30 intervals on skate rollerskis, soon after we arrived. I was going well that day and had gaps on Ed – but they weren’t the hardest intervals, and I think my quiker acceleration was a big advantage. Then we did super-long classic rollerski uphill intervals on Cypress Mountain Road. I was ahead of Ed on those, but my skis are a lot faster – they weren’t max intervals, but solid threshold ones. Then we did a set of skate rollerski intervals in the evening, and I had the jump on Ed again. But then we started doing ski-striding intervals – and in my opinion, these are a better judge of aerobic capacity. Last week, we did 5-minute intervals up an endless trail on the North Shore. It was tough, and Ed had pretty good leads on me.

Today, though. Today we did super-tough, painful, put-it-all-out-there-and-hurt, max HR ski-striding intervals. We did it on a hill I used to use as a bit of a test hill. It’s a 2-minute hill, and that was how long we wanted to go for. It’s called Homestead Trail. The section we did kicks up really steep almost right away, and stays steep for about 100 metres. Just enough to go too hard, and pick up lots of lactic acid. Then the hill settles into a medium-steepness hill that is great for skistriding, for about 200 metres. Then a really short flat for a few strides, then a gradual uphill to finish the last 100 metres. Anyway, it’s a tough hill.

And, I got a serious schmucking. The first one we decided to ‘start easier’ – which meant we probably went at a reasonable hard pace up the first hill. We finished together, at 1:57, which I believe is faster than any time up there 3 years ago, for me. The second one was down at 1:54 for me, 1:53 for Ed. But I was maxed out, holding on by a thread, and hurting, HR at 192. The third one, I was spent, and went backwards to a 2:03 finish – a sure sign to stop, and a 190 heartrate. Ed ran another 1:53. The fourth one I shouldn’t even have done, but only doing 3 seems wussy. So I pulled off a 2:16, heartrate up to only 185. It was slow and I was dead. Ed did a 1:57 – not bad. Then Ed did a fifth one in 2:00 flat – again, not bad, reasonably consistent. I did NOT do a fifth one.

It was a good session, but it reminded me that he’s in better aerobic shape than me. I’ll have to rely on superior strength and technical differences if I’m to have a chance. Should be an interesting Cup chase.Stay tuned….

Interesting Reading. . .
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