Friday, February 19, 2010

The inside grind

It has been too long again. I just can’t seem to find time to update lately.
I have been stuck inside on the trainer and rollers. This is the first year I have tried rollers. They are quite an eye opener. I usually use them for my warm up then do the hard work and intervals on my trainer. I did have to upgrade my trainer. I had a Blackburn Ultra TrakStand. It started giving me problems and Blackburn was NO help at all. RUN from that trainer. Don’t buy one. DO, however, buy a Kurt Kinetic trainer. I got the Rock n Roll through the bike shop wher I work. This trainer allows the side to side motion that most trainers don’t. It is very smooth and challenges me much more than any other trainer I’ve owned. I upgraded to the Pro model which has an additional 12 pound fly wheel making it turn a total of 18 pounds. This is the best fluid trainer I have ever used. My last fluid was a CycleOps. There is just no comparison in the quality and smoothness. Get a Kinetic.
See the Kinetic Rock and Roll in action:

I have been doing a 12 week off season plan and will be heading into the 10th week on Monday. I have dropped a couple of pounds, but I have to really get more serious about my nutrition and drop another 8-10 lbs.
I have held my fastest time in the roller races. No one has threatened the time yet. I am going back next week to see if I can get a little better time.
The weather this weekend looks promising for a long ride outside Saturday afternoon. We haven’t seen 50 degrees in forever. I can’t wait to get out on the road.
I will give a ride report over the weekend.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Road Ride, Really?

Really! I finally got out on the road Saturday afternoon beneath threatening rain clouds and 51 degrees. It was nice, yet an awakening. It's been almost 6 weeks since I got in a real ride on the roads. I am pretty sore from the ride, the roller races and from strength training on Sunday. I just got in 28 miles, but I put in a good effort and, of course, went far harder than I'd intended. It just felt good to be on my bike, on the road and not on the trainer with a fan blowing on me. I was dressed for the weather and the only parts that got a little cold were my feet. That was my fault for not using chemical heat packs inside my shoes. I did a familiar route from the bike shop to a one lane bridge, out and back. An hour and 35 minutes for a 28 mile ride is not too bad for a winter outing. The temps are supposed to be in the 50s again this week, but there is a chance of rain almost every day. i will probably still be confined to the trainer most of the week. Hopefully I can get in a long ride Saturday. 3 hours would be a nice start.
Until next tim, keep spinning your wheels.
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Roller Racing, OMG!

I did my first roller races last night at the bike shop where I work part time. It was very different than anything I've ever done on the road. Power and strength are not factors in this type of racing, only leg speed and control matter. The 2 bikes are fixed gear bikes with the same gearing. They are connected to a computer that tracks the progress of each rider on a virtual 500 meter sprint. Riders start from a dead stop to all out dprint. Speeds can reach over 50 mph per the computer program. I have only reached those speeds once on the road in real world conditions. I am proud to say I won all my heats and took the overall win. My best time was 21.57 seconds. I got this time in my second heat. Funny thing is, in that race, my saddle was not tightened properly and was slowly sliding down, getting lower and lower as the race progressed. Strange that I got my best time under those conditions. My other times were very close to this, none the less. I am posting a video of the "best time" race. I am the rider on the left. Not really a "pretty" race, but no matter I still won. This race was a preliminary test fo the system before we kick off the series next week. My prize was a pink glass with the shop's logo and, of course, bragging rights. Surprisingly, I am very sore this morning from those heats. Walking a little funny. It was all worth it though. Looking forward to next week's racing and hopfully a real ride outside today as the weather is finally nice and not blistering cold with snow on the ground. You can see more of the races on YouTube.

Until next time...

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back at Last!

It has been quite a while since I posted here. I apologize for the laspe. It has been a challenging winter so far. My holiday schedule at work was just not condusive to blogging, training, or much of anything else. I have spent lots of time on the trainer and doing Cyclo-Core training. I will be updating more often now and hope I can keep up with the posts.
If you are looking for some core training and indoor workouts both on and off the bike, visit Cylo-Club. I am posting a banner/link to get a free cycling e-book if you are interested. There is no obligation to join the club, but I think you will see the benefits once you check out the book and the site.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Sweet shifts and time in the saddle

I got in several good rides this week. I did tempo on Wednesday. This was a very good workout. I felt strong and had fresh legs. I did about 25 minutes to warm up then hit it at tempo uphill for 35 minutes in the National Park. The temperatures are definitely much cooler in the Park. I didn’t wear arm or leg warmers, but I needed them, especially on the descent out of the Park. I did a form sprint workout Thursday. This is just a set of 10 short sprints to work on form, not power. I sprint for 10-15 seconds at a high cadence and concentrate on keeping my head up, back flat and pedaling circles. Sounds like a very easy workout, but, if all is done correctly, it can be pretty tough by the end of the session. I have just beaten the sunset each night. It gets dark quickly in the foothills. My narrow road is especially dark as I make my way back home. I am using both a flashing tail and headlight already. Seems too early to start such things, but it has been necessary. I have also been racing against the weather a few times. I got a few sprinkles in the Park Wednesday and this evening I will be very lucky if I can get my ride in before the rain gets here. The forecast says it will be raining by 5:00pm. If that is correct, it will be raining before I can get started. I only have a 1 hour ride of single leg drills planned. If the rain is falling, I’ll probably be on the trainer. I don’t mind getting caught in the rain, but I do hate to start in the rain. My biggest concern, however, is getting sick. I can’t really afford that right now so why take the chance when I don’t HAVE to. I want to get the training in, but if I miss one ride here and there due to bad weather, isn’t that better than missing 2 weeks due to illness and having to rebuild that lost fitness? I think yes.
Now a bit of technical stuff; I recently put new cables, housings and bar tape on the CervĂ©lo. It shifts SO much crisper now. It is really SWEET. My next change is going from a SRAM chain to a Shimano Dura Ace. I have never been happy with the SRAM chain. While cleaning the chain, it just feels rough and “unfinished” ad you back pedal and run the chain through a sponge or rag. My Orbea has a Shimano chain and it is MUCH smoother. The Shimano is also much quieter. I am curious to see if the SRAM setup will be a little quieter after the chain swap. I will post the results of this little experience ASAP.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feeling the Pain

I rode every day last week. I took a well deserved day off Sunday. I put in my time on the bike as well as doing circuit/interval training via DVD every night. I am and have been sore for a solid week now.
I got in a very nice 62 mile group ride Saturday. We had a Pro 1-2 racer show up and, of course, egos flared a few times. It was all in good fun though. I felt very strong the entire ride. I stayed in the front 1/3 of the group most of the time and even went back to pull riders back to the group a couple of times. I did get off course at one point. Nature called and I had to stop. The group was out of sight quickly and I gave chase. I knew of 2 possible routes they would take. I blew by the turn I guessed they could have taken because I knew if they went straight that they would stop at a store on the route. I arrived to find no riders at the store. When I finally caught up to the group, they were stopped at a church. My little detour added about 2.5-3 miles to my ride.
Monday I got in my weight workout and another DVD workout. I didn’t get any time on the bike, but I was only supposed to do an hour of easy spinning.
Today it was pouring rain and I opted to do the weekly Wednesday grocery shopping instead because the weather is supposed to be nicer on Wednesday and I need to put in a solid effort on a tempo ride. I pretty much did nothing today other than walk a mile during a break at work. I was just dragging and tired all day. I hope to get up early and do a DVD workout before work tomorrow, get in the ride after work and do another post ride DVD session. A busy day ahead for sure.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Turning the pedals

Wow, it has been a while. Last week was a RAINY one. I got in only a couple of rides. The one I remember clearly was a tempo ride I did in the National Park. A 30 minute warm up followed by 45 painfully hard minutes at the top of my tempo power range. I was COMPLETELY spent by the time my cool down came around. I could not stand on the pedals. My legs were literally like limp pasta. I’d try to stand and nearly fall over. My only thought was “how am I going to climb the hill on the way home?” Somehow, I recovered before I got to the hill of truth. I came close to pulling off the road and calling for a ride to get me back home. I can’t remember being so wasted on the bike in quite some time.
This week started with an easy 20 mile spin on Monday followed by a full body weight circuit and a fitness test for a video workout series I am starting. It is called INSANITY and from the fit test, I’d say it will be. I know I was already tired going into the test, but it kicked my butt. I am supposed to take the test every 2 weeks to monitor my progress. This is a 60 day program that I am doing as a supplement to my cycle training to kick my cardio/endurance up a few levels. I have the first real workout tonight after I do 2 hours on the bike. The downfall is that I have a killer headache today that I can’t seem to shake. I will have to push through it and get it all done.
I did the first Insanity workout Tuesday night and it kicked my butt. Today I did another tempo ride. What a difference a week makes. I was supposed to do a 30 minute warm up, 30 minutes of tempo and cool down for 30 minutes. My 30 minutes of tempo turned into 50 minute. I felt great, very strong. The temperature along the river was pretty chilly. I had arm warmers, knee warmers and a wind vest. My feet got pretty cold, but I was okay other than that. Shoe covers next time for sure. I have to make up my Insanity workout in the morning. I got finished with my ride too late to do it tonight. I’ll either be in great shape in 60 days or this will continue to wear me out!