Posts Tagged ‘bike’

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Dodging snails in the fog

February 15, 2017

This morning was a foggy, misty morning to ride out in the dark – I kept noticing these little things that looked like rocks in the road and wondered where they all could have come from in just one day – then relaized they were snails out for a stroll in the wet conditions. So my morning was spent dodging them which sounds easy but at 25mph sometimes it can be a challenge. LOL Yes I am one of those vegan guys who really tries not to do harm to animals – no matter how small they are.

The goal today was to be solid – solidly riding for 90 minutes at an endurance pace throughout the ride. It keeps amazing me how high of a power output I am able to do now with a low HR. It has to be all the time spent training at tempo and below pace. I did throw in just one sprint but was only able to get 802W for the 10 seconds. I was on the tank again in the wet so not sure if that has anything to do with it but I’ll keep trying.

Lastly – I had a bit of a binge on thin mints last night – Ha! But they were so good and I hadn’t eaten enough yesterday (at least that is how I justified it). But my message on that is to do what you need to do to be happy. It might be to work really hard – it might be to have the 6 pack abs and the beach body – just do you and be happy!

Ride safe and be well

Jon-

 

 

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Vegan – let’s get long

February 14, 2017

I want to ride long, like ultra-distances long.

I really want to get out and just ride for hours …. and then days!

But……. I’m stuck. Right now I’m stuck with about 3.5 hours at my top end. Ok to come completely clean, it’s 3.5 hours on a bike that weighs 29lbs. before I put on bottles and my gear bag. It’s a tank – but it’s pretty comfortable. I guess dragging the tank up and down the hills, even the small ones takes a toll. See, this is why we talk/type it out sometimes. I never really understood why I was getting burned by the end of a ride of the tank until just now. Soon I’m going to get back on my 16lbs. aero road bike and see how easy this same mileage feels – or maybe I’ll just go out for 3.5+ hours and see how far I go. That sounds like fun.

So training overall has been going well – I have gotten in 35 hours of riding in over the last 4 weeks. That beats all of my 4 week blocks from last year. So what’s the difference – more time spent in the lower zones compared to previous years. It used to be that I would go out and hammer away then I would get super tired and not ride long or hard for a few days. This year the goal is to increase my mileage and thus my fitness before my first big event Deathridetour.com – 235 miles w/ 16,500 ft of climbing in 3 days. So 4 times or so a week I get 1.5hrs in at a lower zone than I previously would.

So what are you getting from training like that?? I am seeing my times on strava.com segment decrease while seeing my mileage increase. my highest yearly mileage was 5200 miles in 2015. If I keep up at just the same pace I am on so far in 2017 I’ll be looking at clocking over 7100 miles in 2017 – But are you getting faster? So far the answer to that is close – but it is only February. Again strava.com is a great place to track progress. How fast was I last year when I felt like I was in shape compared to this year so far on those same segments? So far my times are close to my best times from the middle of summer last year – since it is February, I’ll take that as a win. Plus I have yet to start doing any real speed work at all except a few small sections 1-2 times per week. Mostly just endurance riding.

I can’t say if it’s right for you – but so far, it feels right to me – stay tuned!!

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Rolling along

December 7, 2016

Image result for roll on meme

Another day of Z2 was planned today. For those that may not know, Z2 is riding at below 75% of my FTP – in my case I’m able to ride at 210 watts and stay in my Z2 – unfortunately today I went outside of that number and was closer to 220 watts for my ride today. Couple that with an extra 20 minutes (110 minutes total today) and I could possibly be a bit tired tomorrow but we will see. My goal still remains to be to improve the base of time and miles that I am riding. Then as the weather warms I will be able to add shorter more intense workouts back into the mix to build speed. As I build the base I will start with 1 minute efforts and then build them a minute at a time until they reach a 5-10 minute mark. Once I reach those times then I can continue to increase the intensity of those intervals. All while still riding a higher base set of miles each week. At least that is my goal.

Food was excellent yesterday with a 300 calorie deficit at the end of the day. Keeping calories up while in the build phase is helping to not be sore the next day. Plus I am timing the carbs later at night which has helped me ride all of these rides during the week in a fasted state. Then on my weekend rides I am sure to fuel up before and during the rides. I believe this was a key ingredient to the improvement I saw on my 40+ miles on Saturday. I kept checking my Garmin bcz my power was so high compared to what I was expecting it to be. aaaahhhhh the power of carbs!!

Food today so far is going well – lots of fresh fruits and then beans and a potato for lunch. I’m kind of a sucker for beans with potatoes – I throw some hot sauce on them and bam – high protein, high carbs and low fats. Plus I get a ton of fiber from it as well, which helps for feeling full. Still holding steady on weight even with the increased time on the bike – but I did eat almost 3500 calories yesterday and almost 4000 the day before – yum!!!

Ride safe all

Jon

 

 

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Spin away!

December 6, 2016

Image result for just keep spinning

This was the mantra today over and over in my head, just keep spinning along. I was trying to stay down in Z2 for the ride but after two days off my legs were itching to stretch out and blast a bit. I was able to reign myself back in a few times and I never really opened it up today. 90 minutes of Z2 with a few moments of Z3 thrown in.

It was a warm morning today, near 54 degrees and after my warm-up I was ready to go but after digging myself into a deep hole over the weekend with 2 1/2 hours most all of it at a tempo pace. I might want to explain what I mean by deep hole – I use training peaks to track my accumulated training loads each week. It does a pretty good job of tracking and letting me know when I have pushed myself for too long a period without enough rest. This weekend topped off a higher volume week last week than I normally ride. So I took a couple days off to recuperate. Today I had some fresher legs and was ready to go – hold on there big guy, there is a number of training days still to come this week.

Nutrition wise – yesterday was a disaster! Work travel days tend to be tough but I was doing well all the way until dinner time then I just started eating too much – the dinner was healthy but the vegan cookie with peanut butter smeared on top just wasn’t at all. Ugh – I was super tired and very hungry when I started dinner then I just gave in! I find myself doing this once in a while when I am really tired. Yesterday was that day. But back on the mend today. Luckily my weight wasn’t too effected other than having too much sodium last night and retaining water my weight was stable this morning – down 9lbs. from my high back in June.

So my warning to all is to keep hunger in check when possible by realizing what your trigger times are and trying to manage them as best you can – without bashing down a peanut butter smeared vegan cookie!! Sheesh!!

Ride safe all,

Jon

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Don’t starve yourself!!

January 8, 2016

What does Skinny feel like? It feels hungry, very hungry most times. I don’t know about you but this is not the type of feeling I enjoy at all. So I made a change – and no it was not at New Year’s.

My change was I was going to eat – and i mean a lot!!

I’ve always been a good eater (LOL yes picture a round guy). Then I started dieting to lose weight so I could climb better. Now I know what you’re thinking – that’s exactly what you should be doing. except for one thing, my energy levels weren’t normally very good on training days. Yes I completed my workouts and yes I progressed a bit, ok a good bit (15% increase in FTP). But I always felt like there was so much more waiting inside my body that I just couldn’t tap into. Thus the change – I started eating more – more protein and fats and some extra carbs but not a lot of extra.

So here I am in week 5 and how’s it going?

This week I’ve had a number of interval sessions already with another scheduled for tomorrow. They have been amazing – I tested myself and am already at 97% of my best 1 minute, 93% of my best 5 minute and 91% of my best 20 minute power numbers. A reminder – it’s January 8th!!

but wait what about you weight – it’s gone up a bit 2lbs. (1kg) in these 5 weeks so far – this is a trade-off I am willing to make. Since I am more of a criterium racer and not a straight climber I need more power!! This is a year where I go seek out the pain cave and crawl inside it. So far my interval sessions have been tough and at times feel brutal, but guess what?? I have more inside me – I’m not sore afterwards but I am dying during. That’s ok though, bcz then the next day comes and I’m able to go right back to doing another solid, strong, hard workout. Eating makes a huge difference. So no more starving for me – I’m going to eat and look for me toward the front of the pack in this year’s crit races. Hopefully I’ll be the guy ripping legs off at the end – we’ll see.

Ride safe my friends

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I have no time to train – then get faster with less

January 5, 2016

We’ve all said this or felt this or heard someone else say it. I have no time to train! Sometimes this can be true. Let’s face it, we all have lives outside of just training and working out. There are not many people in the this world who get paid to train and race for a living and even those that do have to many times find other forms of income to survive. Money can’t buy happiness but I sure would allow me more time to train and that would make me happy…. But I digress.

Time to train can be tough to find in today’s go, go, go world. With work and family commitments not to mention some semblance of a social life, food, and OH don’t forget that one little thing called sleep. Some days there just doesn’t feel like there is any time to get a workout in.

I felt this way yesterday – It was cold outside in the morning and I wimped out on getting the workout in early, then my work day started and off I went. Making calls, returning calls, send and receiving emails – you know the typical work day for most I imagine. But then it started to creep in on me. I missed my workout. Oh, the guilt – the worry. Am I going to lose my edge? Haha. Then I started feeling really good and wanted to get something in – I had no time I kept telling myself. I have calls scheduled throughout the day and here is only a one hour break in there…. That’s not enough time for a workout, what with changing, getting set-up and then putting everything away and getting food after.

This is when I tell everyone that I am one of the lucky people who gets to work at home a couple of days a week. This allows me more freedom than most people who try to squeeze things in. So during one of my calls I placed myself on mute and went and changed my clothes into my cycling kit, filled my water bottle (this is important to be on mute for or else it sounds like you’re going to the bathroom-not good for clients to hear) and started to prep the bike. Once my call ended (late of course) I had 55 minutes until my next call. I immediately jumped on the bike (rollers) and set off on a hard intervals session. 8 minutes of ramped up warm up and then into the faux meat (I am vegan afterall) – 60 second intervals at 105% of FTP with a 60 second recovery in-between. As I neared the very end of my 30 minute session I did an all-out 60 second interval to see how close I could come to my all-time best. I’m pretty happy to say I was within 10 watts for my best 60 second sustained power output – and it’s only January 4th. This is my best EVER – even after years of training and doing testing on myself and all the heated group rides and races I was only 10 watts away from my best.

How can this be? I haven’t have a ride on the bike longer than 90 minutes in the past 5 months. All I can say is intervals, intervals, intervals. These things make you faster. Short ones, long ones, increasing, decreasing it doesn’t matter they all work as long as you are pushing yourself during them. So when you have time or when you have no time get on the bike and blast away. The short fast work we do now will help us once the days get warmer and we decide to venture outside once again. Don’t just ride along aimlessly – make the time count!!

 

Ride safe my friends

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What do you have there Dad?

December 31, 2015

“What do you have there Dad?”

This is what my 16 year old daughter said to me last night after poking me in the arm. She said “It’s like there’s a muscle in there or something.” LOL

OK not the best compliment but I’LL TAKE IT!!!! – I’ll take it because I’ve been putting in the work. Not only in the gym and on the bike but also in the kitchen. I’ve revamped my eating and it is making a huge difference in so many areas. I’m recovering faster, adding muscle and frankly just blowing away some of my previous best early season numbers. So far I’m already at 95% of my best one minute power output and 95% of my best one hour output as well. These are best ever numbers!! I’m thinking 2016 has the chance to be one of the very best ever.

Yesterday was a gym day – I did deadlifts again (2nd time) and I’m finding my low back to not have a lot of strength when doing this exercise – good to know as I go into 2016 – I’ll be working this area a lot. My squat is terrible – my position is all over the place and I barely have any weight on the bar – another good learning opportunity and one that will get a lot more attention in 2016.

Today was a bike workout – a great one! Here what the protocol was:

  • 10 minute warm-up
  • intervals increasing in time from 1 minute up to 6 then back down 1/2/3/4/5/6/5/4/3/2/1
  • recovery time between intervals of 50% of worked time
  • on the way up stay at 90% of FTP
  • on the way down increase each interval by 5 watts
  • Last minute 110% of FTP

It’s a tough workout (mentally and physically) for sure but totally worth it once it was done! Let’s keep pushing forward into 2016…. I have some very good feeling about what’s coming ahead!

Ride safe my friends!