Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tour de Moore

Here's my file from the 81 mile Tour de Moore pro/1/2/3 race a week ago.  This race was a good test  of my less is more training plan.  I have done virtually no distance riding lately.  I have done plenty of threshold work lately, usually in rides that are about 1 hour total, and I've done our local TNCWC ride a few times.  The TdM race was the longest ride I have done since last summer.

LL and I left at 4:20 am to make the 8 am start time in Southern Pines, NC.  In the race I felt pretty good and tried to get in breaks a few times.  I was solo off the front for about 1 mile with 10 miles to go, burning some energy.  About 5 miles from the finish I was in the back, when a crash near the front took out LL.  He was unhurt, but his shifter was turned and he didn't get back on.  Approaching the long uphill drag to the finish there was one rider off the front but he still appeared to be possibly within reach.  I was getting antsy approaching the 1 K and launched an attack on the left side from about 12 places back.  I got a good gap, but pretty much died after making that initial 15 second burst, and got passed by several riders over the last 200 meters.  Final 1:33 was 554 watts, getting me 10th, but not even close to enough to hold off a pro/1/2 field.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Two Ride Tuesday

I haven't raced in about a month, but have been able to consistently train during that time.  I've been busy (or maybe just too lazy to wake up super early like LL and Robert), so most of my workouts are about an hour or less.  I've done a lot of threshold work with a touch of L6/L7 thrown in the mix from time to time.  On days when I can make it to the TNCWC, I'm going to do a morning workout on the same day.  That's what I did yesterday - 45 minutes on the trainer at 6:45 am with 32 minutes around threshold, followed by the crit at 6:30 pm, with 8 hours of office time in between.

 The TNCWC was pretty fast tonight, averaging over 26 mph.  I got in a few moves, one solo for a couple of laps, but everything came back.  After RW, Karl, and Nick were caught, I got away with exactly 2 laps to go and got a good gap that held up to the finish, just barely.  Last 5 minutes were 376 watts, 26.6 mph.  Also I set a season best 5 second power of 1160 early on in an attack that Marc W followed with ease.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

SST On a Cold Day

This morning it was 18 degrees and trees were coated with ice, so I didn't really plan to ride outside, but due to lack of motivation I piddled around the house and put off the trainer ride.  Once it got close to noon, it was sunny and about 32, so I decided to ride outside.  After a 9 minute warm-up I settled into a pace in the 280-290 watt range and was feeling comfortable.  I felt better as I went along, ramped up the pace a little, and ended up doing 294 watts for an 85 minute stretch.  It was one of my best efforts this year, and I even finished feeling like I could've kept going.

Except for the long ride on MLK day, I haven't done any long rides.  That's partly due to the cold weather, but mostly because I just feel like trying a different approach.  Who says you have to ride lots of 4 or 5 hour rides to build up endurance to prepare for road racing?...Well most people would say that.  I'm just not going to do it this year.   I don't think missing all those long rides is going to matter at all.  In fact, based on how I'm progressing so far, I think I'll be better off.  But in the end, if I'm wrong, and I suck when it comes time to race, I can deal with that.  The reality is that I'm a 40 year old amateur who does this for fun.  I'm just going to keep experimenting with my less is more training plan and see where it takes me.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day Ride

TGIM. What better way to start off a week, than doing a 75 mile ride with a bunch of friends on a sunny 60+ degree day in January, and capping it off with large quantities of Mexican food.  LL organized the ride and started us out riding a lap of the 6 mile course that will be used in the upcoming Blythewood RR.  I'm not sure if that course is really what the race will use though.  It includes 1 mile of dirt, plus two short steep climbs. 

After the race loop, we headed out into the country and went through Ridgeway, Winnsboro, Cedar Creek, and back to Blythewood.  The group was 11, including Nathan from Charleston, and Robert from Rock Hill.  The ride was pretty damn fast for so early in the year.  We averaged 21.5 mph on a hilly route.  My NP was 242 watts, despite trying to conserve energy.  Apparently everyone is training a lot even though we've had unusually cold weather since Christmas. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back to Training

It's been a long while since my last post.  During the last couple of months I took somewhat of a break from cycling.  I kept riding, but only about 4 days a week, mostly SST, with some weight lifting, and tennis thrown in for some cross-training.  For a mental break, I just let cycling take a back seat for a while.  I rode when it was convenient and didn't think about cycling as much.  I rarely rode more than 1.5 hours at a time, and my longest ride since Thanksgiving was 2.5 hours. 

About 3 1/2 weeks ago I ramped up the training some by adding even more SST, and throwing in some sprints and occasional 30 second intervals in level 6. 

Today I had the opportunity to get out in the awesome weather, and my legs were feeling good.  This was my first ride at over 50 degrees in many weeks.  I was going to do a long 90% FTP interval, but I decided during the warm-up to do a 20 minute test instead.  I've been wanting to do that but haven't been motivated to try it at 35 degrees or indoors.  Really I was looking at this as a pre-test, since I'm in the very early stages of my training, but once I got going I felt good and put out a much better effort than I expected.  I rode the first 10 minutes at 337 watts, and wasn't feeling all that bad, so I ramped up the pace and got the average all the way up to 343 by the 20 minute mark. 

It's really amazing the affect that sub-threshold training seems to have.  Even though I've been training in the 280 to 290 watt range mostly, I was a able to knock out 20 minutes over 50 watts above that today. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bike for sale

If anyone is interested, we are selling my wife's Felt F55 on ebay, as well as a set of ultegra pedals.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday Sprints

Saturday morning the weather was awesome, so I rolled out at about 9:15 to ride a couple of hours. I threw in four sprints to break up the monotony and give the ride some sort of purpose, since I didn't want to do yet another tempo or SST ride. The first two sprints sucked, but I got a good jump on the third one and hit 1200 watts for the only time this whole year and set a 5 second season best of 1119. As those numbers show, I am by no means a sprinter. However, I will do more sprint workouts in the future and hopefully make some improvement.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday SST Ride

I felt really great on my ride today. I rode my 34 mile loop with the modest goal of doing at least 45 minutes at 90%. Pretty much right out of the driveway my legs had really good sensations. The nice thing about my current schedule is that I'm only riding 4 days a week, so there isn't much fatigue. I cruised along for the first 25 minutes, then started my workout by riding about 30 sec at 120% of FTP, before settling back into 90%. About every 5 minutes I did a 30 sec or so effort. I felt good enough to stretch the workout to 1 hour, with an IF of .94, which was great, since my RPE was much lower. It feels like I've done plenty for the week (3 SST rides), so tomorrow I'm gonna chill and ride a couple hours easy. Then Sunday I'll do my cross training workout(tennis).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Ride

I did a fun group ride on Saturday morning here in Blythewood. 14 of us rolled out in foggy, damp conditions and rode a nice steady 20 mph pace. We kept it mostly double file, and there was plenty of opportunity to chat, which was in stark contrast to our summer hammerfests.

I just took it easy, and didn't even push it when I occasionally found my way to the front. My peak 2 minute watts was only 278, and peak 5 minutes was 264. Still the VI was really high, as often is the case on group rides, where there is a lot of coasting, driving up the IF to .66. I was tired and feeling some of the hills after mile 50 nonetheless.

I need to do more rides like this. The time flew by quicker than some of the much shorter solo rides I've done lately.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Speed & Power in Italy DVD Review

Over the past several years I've trained a lot indoors. I've tried watching training videos, but never got much out of them. I don't want to watch a video showing people riding on trainers, with someone barking out instructions like I'm in a spin class. I'd much rather watch something that tries to get my mind away from the fact that I'm sitting in my basement. I always watch something while I'm riding indoors: TV shows, news, sports, movies, bike races. All those things serve to keep my mind from dwelling on the mundane and sometimes painful workout I am trying to complete.

Recently, for a change of pace I decided to watch a DVD called "Speed & Power in Italy" by Global Ride. From the description I could see that this would be a simulated hour or so fast ride through Italy finishing with a 10 minute climb. Perfect. I usually ride about an hour, with tempo and threshold being my bread and butter. I started up the DVD in my laptop, cranked up the volume to 50 and put the ear buds in place. Some day I'll have a big wide screen down in the man hole, but not yet.

The video starts out in Venice floating through water with coach Matty Reed starting you on a brief warm-up, while Vivaldi plays in the background. After a couple of minutes the road ride begins as you ride with a couple of riders on some narrow Italian roads. The classical music was only for the brief warm-up and is replaced by some more upbeat instrumental stuff. I pedaled along watching the two riders as they cruised along through picturesque country side, passing through villages, with plenty of pedestrians, cars and other cyclists to make it interesting. The picture quality was excellent, by the way. The coach gave instructions, occasionally asking you to increase your speed or heart rate. One thing I liked was that the coach encouraged you to react to changes in terrain, as if you were in the group on the screen, so if there was a short steep hill, you were encouraged to stand. Too bad there were no stops.

The pace was never slow once the warm-up was done. I rode mostly hard tempo at 270 to 290 watts. At about the 45 minute mark, we hit the final 10 minute climb on a twisty narrow road, with zero car traffic, but several other cyclists. My virtual group ride passed several riders on the climb, which helped motivate me to stay near my threshold all the way to the end. I rode that final 10 minutes at 308 watts.

I’ve watched this DVD twice now, and could see myself watching it several more times this off season, especially during sweet spot workouts. It was fun and engaging to watch during my workout and enhanced the indoor riding experience. I was able to stay mentally focused on riding, without being bored at all. This is very different than watching something like a movie, which makes the workout tolerable by causing you to mentally disconnect from your workout.