Saturday, January 2, 2010

BILL's Choo-Choo Trainin'

Well, to kick off the new year, I decided to go down to Richmond to do their huge ride. Jinks and I were just two of more than 60 riders to head out for the slug-fest. The temps were quite chilly, but that did not hamper the turn-out. Some of the names most would recognize-Jeff Brandon(Kelley Benefits), Ben King(Trek-LiveStrong), Richmond Pro?, Dan King, Chip Goble, Mark King, and the list goes on.

The ride began pretty quickly with the yellow-line in effect and a double paceline. It grew in speed and shrunk in participants all the time. Only about 16 riders were rotating the front with about 25 gate-keeping. Jinks and I were pulling. The speeds just kept increasing and at the 20 mile mark, I looked over my shoulder and only about 15 riders remained. This is where I lost sight of Jinksy. The group kept shrinking and I had no idea where the heck we were. I fought to stay on so I would know the way home(fear driven legs). Finally, the group was only 9 and I would stay in right up to the finish.

The 27 mph average was a bit misleading. If we were rotating and not surging, 27 seems doable. However, what was really punishing me was the constant jacking and surging up over 30mph and then back down to 24. I do not have the repeats(in my legs) to do that every two minutes for 2+ hours. Over/Under intervals for a few months would have made that kind of riding a bit more comfortable. As it was, I was happy just come to the finish with that group. Back to the more structured training.

Today I woke up early with the girls(fed and played), cleaned the kitchen, and saw my wife out so she could go out for coffee w/ friends. This freed up two hours of easy spinning for me, followed by total leg burn workout. The light spin really opened up the legs and the weighted exercise-ball squats etc. closed them right up. I'm quite happy to begin the new training month.

Arms/core-and nothing more

Tonight I had one of my more difficult workouts thus far since Oct. I did 5x6min LT intervals with a 10min tempo rep to warm up appropriately. I've been building to these quite conservatively and the PE3s were no problem. Today, however, I struggled through and completed the workout without opening the recovery between(3min). DURING each rep was another story. I completely think it a mental thing, but riding outside was not going to happen. Certainly there is a drop in my wattage while riding on the trainer, but I accounted for that a few watts. Anything longer than 3min indoors is "murder on a stick" for me and with the current weather pattern the way it is, I had better just HTFU. The eating has been fantastic and sleep...below average as usual. The odd thing here as I write this(1 hour after completion) is that I really feel no stress in the legs AT ALL, which means that it absorbed the load quite nicely.?! Now to finish my novel by Cormac MacCarthy!!!

I went to the gym to do a robust lower-body workout today. In my new book, Cycling Anatomy, the author recommends that you do the isolated muscles first and then move to the major movers after there is some exhaustion/warming of the muscle. This worked well and was different. For the squats, I did not need to do the 305lbs, but could get the same difficulty with only 225lbs on the bar. This, translated, means that I have less of a chance to hurt myself with massively heavy weights-safer. Me likes that! After 1:15 min of lifting, I hopped on the Gym exercise bike and destroyed it! No, really! I tried the five sprints and on the second effort the toe-clip fell of, the magazine rack fell off, and the seat post fell down. I "fixed" everything and tried once more and the reverse threading on the drive pedal could not keep the entire pedal from falling off. "Watts going on?!" I think three is enough. Good and hearty workout.

I finally got outside to get my ride on. Although the temps read 39 degrees, in the park you drop the feel temp 10 degrees for the moisture, total lack of sun, and snow piled up on both sides of the road. I thought I had over dressed, but by 4:30, was plenty happy(especially the with the new LG gloves). I did my three LT intervals after a 10 min tempo warm-up. The reps were very bearable, but the speeds were not very impressive. To note, my finishing spot for these reps last year was about 250 meters up the road, but that's that. After the two tough days beforehand, I was quite interested to see how my body would react to this huge block of training. Answer-nicely, but certainly ready for a recovery day tomorrow. The pic above was me leaving the park at dusk. Notice the chapped nostrils, crooked glasses, and state of unawareness. It MUST have been a good workout! What's in store for us this weekend??? Asia-Only Time Will Tell(for all you...over 30 boys)"You're leaving now..."

Delayed opening! Today is a well needed rest day. The only thing I really did was abs and lifted upper-body. When will "ripped" again touch my lips? I've finally detoxed from all the gluttony over the holiday. I'm really eating well and that has made been a significant change in how I feel. In another few weeks, my metabolic changes will come in the form of actual weight loss(bodyfat%). I thought of two great ride ideas for the weekend-safe and important!

I met up with Twister and after about 30 min, Dre had his bike again working smoothly. We got to the Quarry trails in short time, only to feel the ground with our backsides. The old snow was still there, compacted and frozen with block ice under and a fresh skiff from Friday on top. All of the million ruts were frozen erect and completely impossible to ride upright. However, once we got to the single-track, it was only snow. This provided three problems-running the bike up the slopes 50% of the time, no idea where the trails were, and not being able to clip into your pedals on the way down. We had a blast and got a serious workout over the 2:45min. It was great being outside without much wind and just riding at our pace up the river. That ride was epic! Enjoy the photos, as we earned our way to those locations.

As "2-To-Go" Steve stated on his blog, it sure was nice to ride with a group. There was plenty of room for more. Big TV, DVD, conversations with teammates, and nice air flow made it completely bearable. I was able to do the BodyRock workouts every 15 min, which kept it fun for me. Great to accomplish two hours without much thought. We even had out team historian there(Jose's wife) snapping pics.

Upper-body workout! Let's call it the Buff-Meister 3000.

Finally got home after faculty meeting and play practice for girls. I quickly made an awesome dinner(roast chick, brown rice in a sweet red pepper/garlic sauce, peas, and olives). To the dungeon with you! I watched the final stage of the Tour of Ephrata(crashes and all). My workout was 3x15 min high tempo reps on the TT bike. OK warm-up and only my 5th ride in the new TT position. The position on the trainer is downright different from being outside no matter what I do to level it out. Anywho, The wattage hung in around 240watts at 22.4mph(a bit encouraging even though I struggled to keep the shifts to 4 per 15min chunk).

My PowerTap turned to all dashes in the three readouts-Hub batteries need replacing, Dre? I find that I have good explosiveness now, which does jack for a 40k TT. Nice workout, but mental agony for sure.To quote the BEASTIE Boys "Slow and low, that is the Tempo!"

The lower body workout was a bit rushed as I had to render first aid to a drama student who took a fall this afternoon. I was still able to get most of the work done and the sore knee is feeling much better with the lighter weight/higher reps. I spun for 55 min and threw in 5 sprints to activate the muscles I just "gymmed" to an on the bike firing. I'm a tad sore and that not a bad thing. I say that now, but tomorrow I'm adding a rep to my LT work and I'm sure the muscles will tell me otherwise. I'm trying not to focus all of my attention to the goings-on in Haiti. I feel like my posting is just petty at this point in comparison. Pray

It was one of the best training rides I've had this year. There were several reasons for THAT remark. First, "2-2Go" Steve met me and it made such a difference on the workout. It was the typical scenario the two of us go through many times each year over almost the last decade. "What are you trying to do?" "Whatever!?" "Let's do 4x10 min LTs.?!" "OK.?!" And away we go, chasing the watts and each other. Personally, I did see the power drop a bit on the 3rd rep and in parts of the 4th. 2-2Go comes up in his robotic stroke, and says "upupup". Away we go again. Now I broke my PowerTap and went by HR(totally archaic technology by the way and stupid for training period). Next, I broke my 7 year old Aireon saddle. It was such a shock, what with all that duct-tape holding it together. That dropped me down about 2 cm into the hammock, which was not my best position on the bike. BUT, we got it done and Steve did it all!. That's our 2-2Go! What fun and hard work.

The surge ride today was fantastic training. There were five teammates and we treated it like a 5 man break away. The full-on ride was to last about two hours and with the exception of a few rally points, was all that. Some of the guys were taking faster or longer pulls, so it kept the tempo fluctuating, which is exactly what happens in races. I played the first hour a bit conservatively so I could have a strong last half-hour(might just be the biggest weakness last year). The speeds only increased when we went to a straight up and off rotation. That is how the big-boys would be doing it for sure! I don't think anyone was holding back. We passed about 10 riders back to Route 2 and I wonder what they thought of our flawless rotation as it swooped past them. The uniforms are beautiful in motion! The end result was about 45 hilly miles. I was able to do that on 1600kjs. Did I mention the steady 6-10 mph headwind the first half? Boy was I hungry upon return. I had to explain to the wife why there was a new living room arrangement, 'cause I ate the couch.

I did 1.5 hour recovery ride today in the TT position and lifted arms. My knee hurts and so does my "sit-junk".

With the day off and crappy weather heading our way for the latter parts of the week, I went out for a great ride. I met up with YoungGun and 2-2Go for some E work and my prescribed hill workout for tomorrow. We went all the way out to Belle Plains and I found a hill that was exactly 2 minutes of climbing at LT. Those two headed back to town and I did 15 repeats and then strolled back to the town the long way. It was great to see so many cyclists out and about. I finished with 3.5 hours and never felt sore in the knee or empty in the belly! I taking tomorrow totally off for faculty meetings and let my legs heal up before the indoor ride Wed/Thurs.

Dre helped me change out my batteries in my hub and was back in business tonight! First I went to the gym for a 10min elliptical warmup(sounds like something an astronomer would say). I did the upper side of the body, with some additional dead-lifts, because my frakin knee is still a tad uncomfortable. No vein action yet. I went to the dungeon after a quality supper and rode for 1.5 hours on both the TT bike and road bike. I had the TT bike set on the trainer and would ride the new position for 20 min spurts and jump over to the rollers on the road bike for 10 min to change up the burn pattern on my under-carriage. Yup, all this indoor time is killing my shorts and my saddle sores. Are you serious? Snow Friday? As a teacher, I'm more excited about snow days than the kids. Enough to shut down school, but still allow a ride come Saturday.

What's the term that's being thrown around MABRA blogs this winter...Trainer Fail! That's it. It is a wonderful term that comes from failing to complete a prescribed workout either by mental or physical exhaustion(or both). Yup, I had a bit of Trainer Fail tonight as I attempted my over/under intervals. I have built up to this workout and can accomplish 5x10min intervals at LT(my last reps are always shaky but doable). So what happened to me tonight? Each set is 12 total minutes with 2 min at LT and 2 at VO2 x 3. It's great to be recovering dropping down to LT. My 1st set of three was beautiful and I hit all of my marks(while listening to The Prodigy). The second set was a bit more difficult and I could not hit the last 2min rep no matter what gear. The 3rd rep began difficult and only got worse.

On the downloaded file, the 3rd rep looks like the stock market two years ago. I really tried to get the numbers, but kept falling apart after a minute at each, so I ground down my teeth and pushed until about the 10 min mark before opting to fight another day. I think 910kjs in less than an hour will have to do. Regardless, it's still Trainer Fail!

The day of the dog. Twister, YoungGun, and I met to do a nice long E ride. The chill was not so bad, but the black ice was a bit hairy in places. I've never seen so many dogs willing to play "Eat the Scantily-clad Human". My crotch is still giving me a world of hurt, but we still did more than 3 hours of quality riding.

The day of the pain-meister. We had Ben, Dre, Jeff, Greg, Jack, Joe, Jinks, and myself vying for coveted KOM points on our ride today. Certainly the team tactics were second to none(learning), as was the quality of attacks and break situations. Everyone was quite impressive for this being Jan. and we all got put in the "hurt locker" at some point. For me, I started the day...ummm...a bit under 100%(DogFish head) and knew my time was limited off the front. I still tried to hide this fact, but Twister and YoungGun made me show my cards all too often. I was playing with Hallmark Cards to their poker cards! Even still, I felt like I did only two things that hurt my chances at all during the many min. and countless decisions.

I misjudged how bad-off a rider was(for that moment) and waited when I should have chased and I chose a tactic with my teammate at the time that did not work. That almost cost us a chance in the final Ks. It was such a great effort by all of the gang and in two weeks, we'll reap the benefits. I really am excited to do a 1,2,3 race with Jinks and Greg and hope we leave our mark(perhaps at RIR? Greg?) Overall, my last two laps were much better than my 1st two. I wished we did another lap to see if I was indeed getting better as suspected. Repeatability is nowhere near where it needs to be, but I like the introduction!

The DR said I need to stay off the bike this week because of the E-B fevers. I did so, reluctantly. Feeling much better and ready to give it a whirl this weekend. 45 min easy spin is all I've done all week, but that's just fine because I'm still able to ride with this disease.

Twister and I met up for about 3 hours of deep snow pedaling. We did stop to see Steve and Dre. Finally, we met Jinksy coming into town. Cold feet and hands, but what fun!

I just butchered myself today with an indoor slugfest. I borrowed a DVD from Dave that was created by Robbie Ventura. It was a 40 min 30+ race at Downer's Grove. I had to duplicate the intensities and do the ride like him. He spends a great deal of time near the front, which was really difficult(Lots of PE in the 8,9 levels). Since today was my loose and most intense day of the training week, I decided to do the entire thing again with 10 minutes of rest between. I got a calf cramp in the finishing sprint and finished the 2nd one as well. At one point I had to do a bridging interval of a min and I knew that this was going to be ugly(not there yet). It was hard settling into the break once I got there though. My total ride time was 2:15min and I had one of the largest kj burns of the year at 1780kjs. I'm clad in my compression gear and trying to get my balance still. Just what I wanted!


  1. Check up from the neck up, and you wonder why you get sick.

  2. Had a Hanibal Lector mask on too before the reps. I'm always sick because I'm a wuss.

  3. Bill - How much sweat did you get on the PT CPU during the TT workout? I have discovered that all the dashes can be caused by sweat messing up the conductivity of the contacts underneath. This happens mostly on my TT bike where I am directly over the CPU when in the aero position. A little grease or petroleum jelly over the contacts on the mount will keep the water out.

  4. My power tap turns to ashes when I smoke a workout.

  5. I'm hoping that you might be willing to ride a few of the 40+ races this year. We've got a good contingent in that age group. That being said, one of my big goals is to try to get the results I need to move up to a 3 so I can race with youse guys!

  6. > "I borrowed a DVD from Dave that was created by Robbie Ventura. It was a 40 min 30+ race at Downer's Grove."

    I'm glad that you like the DVD. That you were able to make it through twice makes me feel like less than a man - trying to get through it even once really hurts me bad! The DVD's very well produced and really helps me with motivation for hard efforts when you can't get out on the road (and Robbie's enthusiasm is pretty infectious).

    I've been doing Robbie's "Power" DVD lately. This one's all about short recovery sprint intervals, first on the track and then on the road. It's a great DVD to help with the motivation for these efforts when you're trapped in the garage. I would so much rather do these sort of efforts out on the road (where the exhilaration of speed makes them much easier) - enough of crappy weather!


  7. 1780 kJ in 2:15 - nice! I burned 1725 in 2:15 yesterday, so I am glad to know that I am working out as hard as you guys are - it's hard to know where your fitness is at when you don't have anyone to ride with/against. I mean, I know what wattages I am putting out, but without knowing where that fits with respect to other racers of similar ability, you can start to get anxious and end up over-training. That's where the early season crits will come in handy for me as a gauge.