Posts Tagged ‘work hard’

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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!

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training smarter

December 28, 2015

In today’s post I try to communicate my progress and how I truly believe I am cycling better because of the changes I am making.

Here is a list of what I’m doing now that I wasn’t previously:

  • Planning
  • Tracking
  • Eating
  • Logging
  • Supporting myself
  1. Planning – I am now spending time planning out a week in advance what my workouts will look like. How much time I will spend on the bike and in the gym. There is still a lot of room for improvement here but I am getting the basics planned ahead of time. I know when and why my rest days are where they are (as tough as they are to take some days). I know what the next workout is each day so I can start looking forward to them.
  2. Tracking – I am tracking my food again. I’ve done this before but am being very serious about it this time – everything goes into myfitnesspal.com now. This can sound daunting but in truth doesn’t end up being too bad at all since I make it log it and then eat it – easy as pie – (no pie, sorry)
  3. Eating – I am eating more than I have in years. But not crappy foods bogged down with terrible ingredient lists. I eat a vegan diet and have increased my protein and fat goals while also bringing my carb number down a bit (quite a bit). I was usually around 100 grams of protein and under 50 grams of fat daily now I am up to 175 for protein and 100g for fats. It’s a whole new world of eating – It’s not been long (3 weeeks) but I can already see differences in my reflection. I’ve not gained a pound yet but I am stronger both during my bike workouts and my gym workouts. It’s kind of fun seeing these things happen although to be totally honest some days I have to do some math to make sure I’m eating the right combinations at the right times. I’m still learning.
  4. Logging – different than tracking in that I am logging every workout in my training peaks account – both bike and gym time – I am watching my training loads and starting to see my fitness coming back up albeit gradually so far – improvement is a positive thing and I will stay with that!
  5. Supporting myself – this has been the tough part at times. It’s hard to keep pushing along when you don’t get much in the way of support in these areas. Instead there is a lot of “you’re going to get fat”, “why are you wasting time on this?” etc. this is where what we want needs to be important to us and be made time for – be strong everyone. You can be great but it’s not easy – it takes work. I’m doing all I can to be great and strong this year. If you every want help – let me know I’ll be support for you.

These are a few major points I’ve learned and am doing. I hope they help you in some way as you working to be a better cyclist.

Ride safe my friends

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Christmas party navigation fail

December 19, 2015

This is how I feel right now. Of course I don’t look this good and I’m not a woman but hopefully you get the idea. LOL

I didn’t have a fail because I drank too much or ate too much crappy food – maybe a little bit. But mostly a fail because for the second week in a row I stayed out late on the night before my long ride and now I’m too tired. I’m also a bit sore, you see – the prior three days I’ve had really solid workouts in a row, with two of them being weight training with spin bike time and another being a tough interval workout. This morning on the day of my long ride – I’m tired. My mind and my body are both tired so I’ve going to relax a bit and see how I feel.

Cycling better is not all about pushing no matter what it’s also allowing yourself to reflect on how you feel and make decisions that will lead to long term happiness and success. I’m hoping I rebound a bit and at least get 30 minutes of time on the bike today, but if not I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Last I checked my bank account I didn’t get paid to ride or train (if you’d like to sponsor me please let me know)

Ride safe my friends

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Get Better – how?

August 25, 2015

This is the silver bullet question everyone wants to know. What makes me an expert or even someone with enough knowledge to write a blog on how to get better? What have you done? Good question!

When I started cycling I had no idea about HR zones or power meters, watts were something that I looked at when choosing a lightbulb. But over the years I’ve learned enough that I feel like I can help other newer cyclists or even cyclists looking for an edge to jump up to the podium.

My results – when I first got my power meter and started testing myself I was not able to ride with most groups for very long. I’d get dropped after the warm-up when I was already red-lining. My functional threshold power was under 200 (for newbies – that’s pretty low for a guy who weighed 225). Now I’m down to 195 in weight and up to 297 for an FTP – this change allows me to now not only ride with the groups but also dish out small portions of pain along the route. I’m not quite at the point to break away from them and ride off alone but when I hit the front it’s definitely game on.

So that is a quick bit on me – I’ll talk more as this goes along on how I’ve made these changes and seen the results. What I tried that didn’t work and some of my best advice and workouts.

I hope to just help those who are looking for way to Cycle Better