Monday, July 28, 2008

You Meet the Nicest People on Bikes

Last Saturday Bill Cofer and I rode the Colorado-Eagle River Ride-100 miles in the Colorado Mountains starting and ending near Vail. At mile 40 a woman passed us and offered some friendly encouragement as we lumbered up a steep hill following an aid station break. We soon caught her on the downhill and quickly dropped her. She caught back on. We dropped her again. And she came back. This went on for a couple of miles. She was so tenacious I finally asked her name.
"Uta" she said with a German accent.
"How often do you ride, Uta?" I asked.
"Only about two times a week," she replied. "But I run also."
"Do you ever do any running races?" I asked since she was obviously in good shape.
"No, but I used to do marathons."
So it finally dawns on me--Uta from Germany, used to run marathons and in great shape. "Is your last name Pippig?" I asked.
We were riding with Uta Pippig, one of the best marathoners of all time (see picture). She ran a 2:21:45, won the Berlin, New York and Boston (3 times) marathons in the 1990s, ran in the Olympics and was ranked #1 in the world in the marathon and half marathon. We rode together and she filled me in on what she does now. (Go to to find out.) What a treat!
She also has a home in Boulder, Colorado where my summer home is so I hope to get together with her on a ride (I certainly can't run with her) some time to pick her brain about training at that level for so many years. This time I won't try to drop her.


At July 28, 2008 11:13 AM , Blogger Sarah said...

THAT is one of the many reasons I love cycling. How cool!!

I also think it's really great that you guys kept trying to drop a woman who kept catching up to you. ;)

Great story!

At July 29, 2008 8:14 AM , Blogger Tim said...

Cool story about Pippig!

I have question regarding periodization and The Training Bible I hope you could help me with... I'm training for IMFL and am looking at the last couple blocks of my training. Currently I have it setup as;

Base 3, Base 3, Build 1, Peak, Race

After looking at the sample IM plan in The Triathlete's Training Bible (p. 123 2ed), I am now questioning whether I'd be better off dropping the Build 1 and inserting another Base 3 phase.

Other info:
- 32yr old male
- My perfect race at IMFL would get me in around not terribly fast but not terribly slow either.
- Have only done one other Build phase all season
- I have also thrown in a couple speed work / track sessions during the last couple weeks (e.g. 4x1200, 400 rec)
- My main focus in the race is a steady bike pace that should hopefully get me in fresh enough to shoot for a sub 4 mary.
- Don't own a PM. Use HR primarily along with some RPE.

I know there probably isn't a simple answer, but just looking for a general answer as to whether one approach is generally more beneficial to the other. If you need any more info, I can certainly provide it. Just let me know.

Thanks in advance,

At July 29, 2008 10:03 AM , Anonymous Leah said...

I love that the whole interaction started with some friendly encouragement! That's one my favorite things about cycling - we're all in it together. :)

At July 29, 2008 3:23 PM , Blogger Joe Friel said...

Tim--If your base fitness is well established then it's certainly ok to do a build period. I use build for nearly all of the IM I coach.

At August 4, 2008 5:40 PM , Blogger Java said...

Wow! Great story!


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