Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hills and Headwinds!

So for the next 4 weeks I am working on strength, therefore I am riding lots of hills.  Now my back is starting to hurt a bit and my legs are sore to the touch.  But my weight is dropping, and the climbing is just a little bit easier.

For those of you who did not believe me, the picture to the left is very common place in Pembrokshire where I am riding.  I can't wait for June, when I hit Spain for the real climbing (OMG my aching legs).  Today was cold and windy, I thought that I felt cold winds in Canada, but there is nothing like a cold north wind off the ocean right into your teeth.  As days would have it, climbing a 16% grade with a cold headwind is not fun, especially at 235lb and a power to weight ratio of 0.78!  Which means that I climb the hill in 39x27 with a CAD of 12rpm.  Yes it is possible to pedal that slow.

All my work today was rewarded with some beautiful scenery of the Southern Wales coastline.   Overall, it was a great strength day, and I feel like I am getting stronger and stronger.  As my weight drops, I will just get faster and faster.  I had a wonderful accident today with my handle bars coming loose as I was screaming down a hill at 60 km/hour, my chin was inches away from the stem.  The roads are so rough here because they use chipped asphalt so that the car tires still have a lot of grip when it rains, and boy does it
rain a lot here!!!  The road sucks up lots of energy in your legs because of the increased resistance, and I think all the bouncing loosen the screws.  Now I check everything before I leave the house.

It is starting to get colder and colder so I think I will do some interval training on the trainer.

I have to hit the gym and still keep working on strength as my weight drops.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hills! Hills! Hills! I love Wales!

Well I asked the people that live here to give me a hilly route.  I suck at climbing, the main reason is that I am 6 feet 3 inches big, like linebacker big!  No I am not going to post any pictures yet, I have another 5 months to lose about 35lbs.  Now mind you I used to be 360lbs and I am down to 235.  Looking at the cyclists in the Giro and Tour of California, where you can see their hip bones through their cycling clothes, I have a long way to go.

Wales is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been, the coast line is stunning and hilly.  Dragging my body up 12% - 17% hills really hurt.  They never warn you that you are about to climb 12%, they just warn you going down.  It was relentless, up-hill, down hill, followed by up-hill, each hill averaging form 8%-17%, from 400m - 5km.  After about 100km of this, I had enough.  It was like doing leg presses for over four hours.  The down hills were fast (65km/hr), which was just enough time to catch your breath and start climbing again.  I get the feeling that the people here had a good laugh when they gave me this route.  Some of the houses were just beautiful, and I just had to stop to take come pictures (at least that is how I am justifying to my self, basically I could not breathe.  :0) )

I had a wonderful experience of swallowing a bug, it went right down the old pie hole.  I grabbed a handful of brakes and started vomiting, for a few minutes.  I think I could still feel it wriggling in my throat.  Damn!

There is this down call Fishguard, really beautiful, except when you try to leave, 15 minutes, 10%, 12%, followed by 17%, then 20%.  All this spinning crap I coach my athletes, let them try it with 40lbs of bricks on their back, see how fast they spin. Hah!! :0)

The secret to climbing, is to lightest you can be and still be healthy.   That old strength to weight ratio.  Today, I will do a small 3 hour ride on the trainer, doing some technique work, and go to the gym and do some leg presses for 6 hours.  That should help my climbing.  :0)

For me right now, the challenge is to cut enough calories to lose weight, but still eat enough to support the training.  I am getting a bit concerned that I have not been able to do a 15hour ride yet.  This weekend I think I will be planning an epic ride!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Break Through Workout!!!

WOW!!  What a great work out today.  Short but intense!!  Those tuna muffins my wife made are really paying dividends.   I must admit when I eat one (320 calories, fat, carbs, and protein), I feel a little hit, as my body starts digesting but in about 15 minutes, a fire starts burning.

So this is the work out:

1. Warm-up
2. 8x18min at LT with 12 min rest interval
    - 2 min 110% FTP
    - 4 min take 10 watts off every 2 min
    - 2 min add 10 watts every minute
    - 10 minutes hold at 105% FTP
3. cool down

Whopping 144minutes at threshold!  My legs now hurt like crap, and I can't walk around that much, but I will be using the stick to try to help my legs recover.  I am not sponsored yet, so I can't afford a massage every day.  I feel bad asking my wife for one after a hard days work.  Its like "Hey honey, I know that you have been working hard all day, but after you cook dinner, could you give my legs an hour massage?"  For those of you who are married, especially to a professional woman, you will understand when I say that sleeping outside in the cold and a concussion is not an option for me, it affects my training.  :0)

However, the chinese have a great proverb for these situations.  :0)  Thank God my wife never reads my blogs, or I will be tied up in the doghouse.  :0)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day Off

Well today is a day off, and I am spending it in London.  So I will be walking all day, that is my cross training.  I will be doing my strength workout first thing in the morning.

2x25 olympic cleans with squats
2x25 dead-lifts with push-ups
2x25 single leg presses
2x25 hammer curls
2x25 Stability Ball Dumbbell Pullovers.

I am toast after this.  Working with very light weights and high reps.  Working on strength endurance, increase that mitochondrial density and those slow twitch babies.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Soaring Across The Sky!

So officially I start my strength block of about 6 weeks.  So 3 times a week, I plan to climb, go vertical.  Each week the intensity increases, with the last week being a recovery week.  I am still indoors, since Welsh weather is cold and rainy, but I will be heading outside next week.  As they say, a Watt is a Watt.  However, I was reading some research that said, cyclists use more torque putting out the same watts while climbing.  This is one thing I also notice, training inside, really helps with the flats and slight inclines, but somehow climbing outside seems way harder!!! :0)
The picture that I have, was taken in the Welsh countryside, yes, I actually saw this happening. Those damn dogs.  :0)  It could be because of lack of oxygen.  I am kidding, this web-siste has some interesting pictures.  Well enough chit-chat.

My work out consisted today of:

  1. Warm-up [4x1min spin-up, last 5 minutes hard [LT power]] - 30 minutes
  2. 5x25 min climbing pyramid, RI=10min,  CAD 65-75rpm, Power=LT Watts, seated (just like Kloden, he never stands)
  3. Cool-down
I have been using Perpetium, but I notice that when I take it, I feel more and more tired as I take more of it.  This usually happens when I have an allergy to some food.  I also get bloating, people out there in Blog Land, have you experienced this at all?

I think I am just going to switch to First Endurance products.  However, I am going to order Going Long by Joe Friel and see if that helps at all.  Well Sunday is a rest day for me, then the insanity starts again.

Completed the Ride!!

I must admit the last few hours on the trainer was pure hell!  I realize that I can't watch television or movies for too long, so I spent most of my time looking at the bike computer, watching the watts and time in 5 minute increments.  I know it sounds maddening and it is, but the price I have to pay for not wanting to spend 8 hours in the cold damp air.

It was a good start for me to get back into shape, and I realize that I have lost a bit of fitness.  Saturday will be fun, because my legs are aching already.

Hopefully I will have a picture of me and a puddle of sweat under my bike!!  I know you are all waiting to see that.  :0)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Half Way There!!

I have just done my first 4 hours and I am feeling good, just as planned.  I am taking a 5 minute break to refill some water and stuff, and away we go to the last 4 hours.  This is the bike that I am riding, an old Giant! Very faithful bike, never lets me down, especially indoors!  :0)  When my wife gets back from work I will ask her to take a picture of me on the bike.  I am dressed in Pink today, in honour of the great big man himself, the Keiser, Jan Ulric.  I love Jan, and this video does not do him justice, he would have been the greatest, except for one man who was even greater than the greatest.  He is a one in a million the amazing Lance Armstrong.  I have added a video that is a tribute to Jan, but the first one is funny.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sick Like a Dog

Ok Guys,
I was like really sick, could not do my Saturday ride, and I have surfaced for the first time.  I have 5 months to go, 690km in 25 hours.  My whole body hurts and ye olde knee is starting to act up again.  Since I don't do drugs, I am pretending that pain is weakness leaving the body.  It seems like a lot of weakness has been leaving lately.  :0)

I am in Wales, where there is no such thing as a flat road.  However, I feel them calling me.  A 200km ride here is way tougher than riding from Richmond Hill, Ontario Canada to Niagra Falls (one of my favourite rides to do, nice and flat).

The good thing about being sick, is that I lost some weight, the bad thing, is that I lost some watts.  :0(

My next ride is going to be on the trainer, I don't have the courage to venture outside, plus it is cold, and my delicate state I might be psychologically damaged.  However, first thing in the morning, 8 hour ride on the trainer, starting to build again.  This will be my workout:

1. Warm-up (4x1min single leg, 4x1min spin-ups) [30 minutes]
2. Main Set 1 4x60min endurance with 5 min tempo every 15 minutes
3. Main Set 2 3x 60min endurance with 10x30sec stomps
4. Main Set 3 3x5min hill
5. Cool down.

I will tell you how it goes.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Saturday 12 Hour Ride Indoors

Ok, so I am a wimp, it is going to be cool again.  It is just that at temperatures that are under 15 degrees C, my knees begin to hurt and I hate that.  At my age the old arthritis in the knees bother me.  So out come the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Extended Edition, Blue Ray, yada, yada, yada.

My plan for Saturday, after a warm-up on the compu-trainer, is to do the following:

4x60min endurance watts (with 2 min hill LT, every 10 minutes) CAD:95rpm
5x20min temp watts with 10 minutes rest

Do the whole thing again.  My goal here is to focus on nutrition and fuelling, I want to finish strong not with legs of lead.  I am also going to add some extra BCAA to my fuel mix.  If I were outside, I will be averaging around 22km/hr.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Four Corners Headwind: Bring It On

Did you ever have a ride where, every direction that you turned, the wind is blowing in your face?  Well this is the way it was today.  When a cross-wind finally blew me into the middle of the road, I started praying for an echelon!! God please send one!!!   I really miss the peleton, at times like these I forget how much protection you get.  Now mind you, being a big guy,  I am used to being wind-fodder in the peleton, to be discarded when the genetic lottery winners, take off.  Hence, in my old age, doing RAAM feels like my last kick at the can. :0)  I have been dieting a lot (restricting calories), to get my height weight ratio to be under 3, but I know I am losing strength.  I need to start hitting the weights again.  Anyways, I digress.   So my goal today was to do the following during a 4 hour ride:
3x20min LT  intervals
8x3min Intervals VO2 Max power
8x1min Intervals  135% FTP

I head outside, it is a beautiful day, my type of weather.  Except for a monstrous headwind.  I have never felt one this strong.  I had a nice warm up, and the legs were just tapping out 33km/hr easy.  I was feeling good.  I got to the flat section where I was going to do my intervals.  Into a headwind 3min @ 37km/hr.  The old legs are starting to fire again.  The 1 minute intervals I held 42km/hr, again into a headwind.

Because I had to ride in the drops pushing a big gear, my lower back started hurting and is a bit sore after today's ride.  This is one of my key workouts, and it went really well.

My next key workout is a 12 hour ride, really slow, working on nutrition.  I am still trying to figure out how to eat 670 calories an hour.  Now Joe Friel has a product that I want to try,  Going Long.  If anyone has tried this and found it useful let me know.   I really like First Endurance products, they are research based and really work.  Well I am off to take a shower, eat some grub, and get some work done.  I have a clients logs to review and training programs to write.  Till the next time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Worse Ride Ever

Ok so my goal was to go for an easy ride averaging about 25km/hr for 3 hours.  I started off exhausted, so I thought this would be a pleasant ride.  I warmed up with 20minutes at 20km/hr, then I did 3 1 minute spin-ups (speed went up to 30km/hr), by then I was sweating.  I slipped into the big ring and tried to tap out an easy 25km/hr.  The old right knee immediately starting hurting, I said good, this one will hurt 30 minutes and already pain.  Then my left knee started, the pain from the hip to the ankle, excruciating pain.

I should have guessed that something was seriously wrong, but I thought I was just being a wuss, and maybe the new asthma meds were screwing with me a bit.  Gone was the high of riding to Niagra Falls averaging over 32km/hr!  Now I felt like a 400lb, 65 year old man.  But you have to be tough!!! RIGHT!!

After the 70 year old guy on the the mountain bike passed me, I stopped!  I had to check if my brakes were on or something. (This is now 1 hour 30 into the ride)  Damn!  It was fine, I phone my friend (he did not know but I wanted to beg for a ride home).  After talking to him (he said I should modify my goals, and maybe not try to qualify for RAAM).  That reverse psychology crap really worked.

I check my saddle, for some reason it was too low (i have been averaging at this point 20.7km/hr), so I raised it and then my legs felt great!!!  Yeah!  It then started to rain, and the wind blew like a monsoon, but I had new life, I pictured myself like Jure Robic, in 2009 when they asked him how he does it and he said "I just do my job!".

I went into the drops, and started tapping out 35 km/hr into a head wind.  My legs started burning, not hurting, but the old cyclist pain that I love, that fire that warms up the whole body.  I started counting (1-2-3-4), keeping a CAD of 95, I kept it up and saved the ride.

3 hours/average 25km/hr/75km.  I am still not sure what caused the initial suffering!  I think I have to reset, and start building again.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Easy Ride on Sunday

I decided that I will do a nice easy 100km ride, and a gently 25km average pace.  I hope I don't passed by another cyclist, because being a man, I have to keep up.  So maybe I will choose a route that no-one else rides.  :0)

Struggling with Eating

For those of you who don't know,  RAAM is the race across America, it is a gruelling 6000km race.  In order to enter it solo, you have to qualify.  Now there are many ways to qualify, the one I choose is to do a 24hr race and ride 690km in that time.  This is so daunting.  My first attempt is the Midwest 24 on Labour Day weekend.  I have been training since November for this race.  I live in Canada so most of the training has been indoors (I know crazy!).
I am going crazy, trying to figure out what to eat.  I am a big guy, and I need over 600 calories an hour!!  I have tried less, but I tend to bonk after about 7 hours of riding.  How do I carry that much food with me, when I am riding mostly alone?

I am open to suggestions?