Thursday, January 31, 2008

Visit from Denmark, vol. 2: Pro Bro Pete

So after a little dose of solitude, most of it spend sleeping, it's about time to pick up my younger brother Peter Bech. I have an almost 10 years headstart on Peter, so although he's turned 31 years, I still consider him my very young brother. Funny, how well established roles are so hard to get rid of, like when I meet some of my former teachers as colleagues now or have my former students as partners or teachers. 
Peter has hopefully gotten rid of his nagging knee injury (happened at work - another reason not to work) and his training log and work ethics seems as good as ever before.
Peter, cleverly, avoided the mandatory soccermania in Denmark (it seems that every fathers wet dream is to see their sons achieve what they couldn't themselves on the soccer field... or simply  because it's arguably one of the best sports ever - even better for your health than running...(see studies from University of Copenhagen by Peter Krustrup for the full story)) and started doing sports gymnastics at the age of 12. When he was about 13 we were able to jog together and it soon became evident that he's blessed with an endurance talent far greater than mine, thanks Mom... Running 36.10 in his first 10 km road race at the age of 15 gave an indication of things to come. He picked up swimming and cycling pretty easy and represented the Danish National Triathlon Team in European/World Championships in triathlon as a junior. Denmark had a great mass of young talent at the time and one of the late bloomers is a guy called Torbjoern Sindballe,, who's developed his skilled continuously for years now, ending up being one of the strongest cyclists in the elite triathlon field.
Anyway, Peter gave up running, swimming and multisports at the Milennium and turned into a mountain biker. Despite its small size, Denmark has had a proud history in the relatively short history of MTB, four WC victories: Henrik Djernis(3 consecutive years!), Michael Rasmussen    (recently wearer of the yellow jersey in TdF) and most recently Jacob Fuglsang who won the U23 WC last year - hopefully a sign of things to come.
But perhaps the most admirable aspect of Danish MTB is the unique commaraderie at the elite level. Being a kind of TT effort, the outcome of race is more determined by individual performance than a roadrace, where you'll have drafting tactics playing a major role and affecting the inter personel relationships in a negative way, I think.
I've never witnessed a greater deal of sharing knowledge, facilities and friendship than in the 8 years I've followed Peter's carreer in mountainbiking and that's probably a great reason why he's stuck with this sport for such a long time. (perhaps the orienteering community offers even more sharing, but that's a weird sport and I don't know it very well at the elite level!!!
Peter has been been a part of the Danish MTB team "Rivette" for a few years. In spring 2006 he had a long term winter training camp in Spain and Tucson and I had the pleasure of joining him in the latter. I ran a few times, besides the daily cycling training, and he kind of got hooked on running again. Running offers you a great workout for a limited time, compared to cycling that's very time consuming. So he decided to start up his running very carefully, by running twice a week for 20 minutes at a time. After a year of gradual build up he's now up to 60 km/week in addition to his bike training. He's following a training program is made by Michael Kruger, Danish Triathlon Head Coach, and the long term goal is podium finishes at WC, PowerMan Series or the Zofingen Duathlon - an ambitious goal indeed . Peter finished 6th in PowerMan Belgium (10km run-60km bike-10km run) last year, so with a bit faster running on the first 10 km he should be in contention. 
So, after this brief introduction, I'll look forward to some great bike rides and a lot of talking in the next couple of weeks.
One of the truly greatest joys of my life is the opportunity to share these experiences with other people and most of all my beloved brother - catch up later.
Hey man, later has gone and now is here and things have been going on.
My supposedly short post run recovery turned into a internet galore and it was almost 2 pm before I sat on my bike. I had no motivation at all and I just wanted to turn around for the first hour. Then I turned on AC/DC on the Ipod and the world changed colours, birds were singing, legs started spinning and smiles were a plenty - well and so was the labored breathing.
I then powered along for a good 45 minutes at 145-160 bpm and PowerCranking felt strong and fluid. I ended up doing 3.15/96km of fluid PowerCranking and a good lesson learned: push through that lethargic parasympathetic daze and kick it into sympathetic drive with a few hard surges to open up the engine.
Oh, this morning I lost my Ichat virginity to Skiles, whose uncombed/shaved face turned up live on my computer screen. Him and Curtis are in California doing some Missing Saddle stuff. 

1 comment:

tommy-drengen said...

Hej claus-drengen.
"a good lesson learned: push through that lethargic parasympathetic daze and kick it into sympathetic drive with a few hard surges to open up the engine."
Ha ha, jeg rammer citatet ind, kigger på det, når det nu pis regner, er mega koldt, blæser hård vind, er mørkt, kort sagt et bæ vejr i DK, og jeg skal ud og løbe, håber det hjælper!! (har dog ikke AC/DC, men mon ikke Tenacious D can do the trick!!)

God træning med peter!
Mvh tommy-drengen