Guest Chef

writ­ten by Chris Carmichael and Jim Rut­berg pub­lished by Velo­press re­viewed by Matthew Pioro

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Matthew Pioro

Side Launch Brew­ing Com­pany’s pulled pork with cab­bage slaw

When Thet ime-crunched-cy­clist de­buted in 2009, Chris Carmichael was on the cover along with a blurb from Lance Arm­strong. The sec­ond edi­tion came out in 2012 not long af­ter usada’s Rea­soned De­ci­sion against Arm­strong and the star rider’s col­lapse as a mar­ketable fig­ure. Carmichael’s brand soon suf­fered be­cause of his Arm­strong con­nec­tions. With the lat­est edi­tion of The Time-crunched-cy­clist, Carmichael’s name is still on the cover, while his pic­ture is gone and his pres­ence in the book’s pages is low-key.

While Carmichael may have re­ceded, the book has grown. It has about 220 more pages than the first edi­tion, which was 213 pages. Ad­di­tions in­clude recipes and new train­ing plans for gravel rides and ul­tra-en­durance moun­tain bike races. Of course, Jim Rut­berg and Carmichael ac­knowl­edge the lim­its of their meth­ods for big rides: you can only do so much for long events with lit­tle time. Build­ing en­durance sim­ply takes time.

As with the pre­vi­ous edi­tions of Time-crunched, there are sec­tions of the book that are mere pro­mo­tion for the time-crunched meth­ods. With the first edi­tion, those hype sec­tions were prob­a­bly nec­es­sary. In 2009, a busy am­a­teur cy­clist likely needed a bit of con­vinc­ing for Rut­berg and Carmichael’s al­most-too-good-to-be-true propo­si­tion: roughly six hours a week of train­ing through­out 12 weeks brings qual­ity fit­ness for a nice peak. To­day, I feel many rid­ers un­der­stand how in­ter­val work­outs can boost a body’s en­durance sys­tems. The hype for the time-crunched meth­ods now seems un­nec­es­sary. We al­most need more of a cor­rec­tive in the other di­rec­tion: yes, do short, hard work­outs if you are strapped for time, but re­mem­ber to get enough rest and re­cov­ery. Also, grab ev­ery chance you can get to ride long. (To be fair, the au­thors have al­ways ad­vo­cated do­ing en­durance blocks when you can.)

Strava, that ubiq­ui­tous so­cial me­dia tool for ath­letes, has been brought into the time-crunched fold. Frankly, I was sus­pi­cious when I saw “pow­ered by Strava” on the cover. Chas­ing koms for seg­ments dur­ing a Zone 2 ride can be just as coun­ter­pro­duc­tive as drilling it with the fast pack when you should be re­cov­er­ing. Still, if you are like many cy­clists, Strava has a lot of your data. Rut­berg and Carmichael do give you some good ideas for in­ter­pret­ing it. As with all their ad­vice, you have to ap­ply it prop­erly to get the most out of it.

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