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Cycling: Cadence Workout on the Road

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It was another warm day in Minnesota yesterday, 45 degrees or so, and thus I was able to get out on the road and complete my first "on the road" cadence exercise of the year. These kinds of exercises are very different on the road than on the trainer because there are so many more variables to deal with like gradient, wind, road condition, traffic, having to drive the bike, etc. But as difficult as it can be to control cadence due to all these conditions, I think it's important to include these kinds of exercises in one's training plan, that is, if you want to improve as a cyclist. If you ride just for the joy of riding, then amen to that--no big deal. But if you want to get better and go faster cadence workouts are a must.

So, here's the workout I did:

Cadence Intervals: within and aerobic ride, and after a good warm-up, hold your cadence for 1 minute at 100+ and then 1 minute at 90+; 2 minutes at 100+ and 2 minutes at 90+; 3 minutes at 100+ and 3 minutes at 90+; 4 minutes at 100+ and 4 minutes at 90+; and 5 minutes at 100+ and 5 minutes at 90+. Cool down for at least 5 minutes. Option: go into the drops each time you ramp up the cadence.

This workout takes about 30-40 minutes depending on how much you warm up and cool down and I was able to get through two cycles of it yesterday. I recently bought a new stem for my handlebars so that I could lower them a bit but I discovered yesterday that it's hard for me to produce high cadences when I go down into the drops. So I decided to go into the drops when my cadence was supposed to be at 90 and then sit up when it was supposed to go to 100+. This worked out very well as that lower cadence feels very comfortable for me in that body position.

Anyhow, it was a great workout and I'm grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to do it! Today is supposed to be even warmer and so I'm going to get back on the road again. I really should take a rest day, I can feel the last few days in my legs, but I just can't pass up 50+ degrees in February in Minnesota!

Thanks so much for reading, hope you have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKABABY 2/17/2011 9:38AM

    keep up the good work!!!

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So you say it's my birthday? Yep, it is!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm not one to make a big deal about my birthday, but I am very grateful to God for the gift of life and I hope to use it today for His glory and the good of others. So what am I going to do to celebrate?

First, I got a free drink at Dunn Brothers Coffee this morning--a wonderful cup of African Nectar Herbal Tea. Second, I indulged a bit and also got a free Grand Slam at Denny's which, along with my large milk, came to a little over 800 cals. But third, it's another warm day in Minnesota (40 degrees now and supposed to climb to 44) so I'm going to take a couple of hours and go for a long bike ride, stopping at the gym about half way to do some upper body strength training. So number three helps to justify number two!

Otherwise, I'll be using my time to seek the Lord and serve Him and others, knowing that my highest joy is found in loving submission to His will.

Hope you all have a great "my birthday" today!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEGASLADY24 2/17/2011 6:32PM

    emoticonHope you had a Great Birthday!! Enjoy your "warm" weather!! emoticon

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TINYC887 2/16/2011 9:46PM

    Happy Birthday, I'm jealous. I got a new bike and can't even ride it and no gym for me. Hope you had a great day

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MNNICE 2/16/2011 5:33PM

    Happy Birthday, and enjoy the mild weather -- you may have to put your "snow tires" back on your bike before long!!

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Runner's World: if that's what you mean by beginner...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I really can't believe I'm even reading Runner's World or spending time on their website, and enjoying it, because I've always HATED running with a passion. But lately, thanks to CP25K I've actually started to enjoy running.

So I spent a little time yesterday poking around their website and found a whole bunch of helpful articles for what they call "beginners." But they defined a beginner as one who's been running 15-20 miles per week for however long, a lot longer than me, and gave some other criteria I can't remember right now that made me think, "If that's what you mean by beginner than what am I?" A pre-beginner?

I don't know but I feel like even more of a beginner now than I did before yesterday. That's just fine with me, though, I'm glad to be running at all much less enjoying it. And I'm eager for the day when I'll look back at this day and say, "Wow, I really was a pre-beginner back then!"

I remember when I first started cycling how riding for 1 or 2 or 5 miles just seemed so far and almost beyond reach, and now I ride 2500-3000 miles per year, I've ridden many centuries, one double-century, many multi-day multi-hundred mile events, etc. When I look back to the beginning and remember the fear I had at riding for so few miles I giggle at myself. I'm sure someday, as I become a better runner, I'll look back to today and giggle again, but that's okay. I don't mind being in the "oh isn't that cute" phase!

Hope you have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAISYBELL6 2/15/2011 1:01PM

    I'm there with the rest of you "pre beginners" !

emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 2/15/2011 12:27PM

    Cool deal on the running! I'm just a fledgling jogger myself...really don't consider myself a runner and am skeptical that I ever will, but am doing what I can to gear up for a 5K with fellow members of SparkPeople at Just a Short Run at the end of March in Pittsburgh.

I hope I can "catch" the running bug, but am still!


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GRYPHONQUEST 2/15/2011 9:55AM

    If "beginner" is "runs 15-20 miles/week" - then I'm just hatched out of my egg! But hey, I've started, and you gotta start somewhere!

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Cycling: First Road Ride of the Season

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yesterday it was a balmy 45 degrees in the Twin Cities and so I just couldn't resist getting out on the road! There's still snow on the sides of the roads in my development but plenty of room for one car and one bike to pass each other so I went for it.

Every year I do the same first road ride as a way of testing where I am over against where I was a year ago. The ride has eight climbs, 6 of which are 0.5-1.5 miles long, as well as eight nice downhills so I find it both a good test and an encouragement to keep riding because I love going fast!

I won't bore you with the details but I've had a great gym season this year and I'm way ahead of where I was last year. In fact, I beat last year's time by 6 minutes and 2.0 mph average speed, which is a lot. Now the trick for me will be to stay patient, stick to my plan, and trust that if I do I will reach my goal of making 18.0 mph average speed the new norm (for the past 2 years I've consistently ridden at an average speed of 17-17.5 mph).

Oh it was so fun being on the road again and it looks like there'll be at least two more days this week where I can do so again. Spring has fired the first shot over the bow of winter and it will be victorious!

Hope you have a great day--God bless!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEEJAY3 2/15/2011 11:10AM

    Oh, I can't WAIT to get my bike out on one of these warm days. I'm more afraid of the icy slush than you are, thanks to a wicked bike wreck a couple of years ago (my knee and thumb constantly remind me to be more careful now that I'm an old lady!).

Have a FABulous cycling season ... whenever it begins. There's one path out here along the Platte River that I use as a Prayer Ride -- I know you'll certainly understand that.

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CHICKYMOMMAOF2 2/14/2011 6:27PM

    Great job!

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ERANGEL37 2/14/2011 11:59AM

    Good for you! I'm lucky not to get snow here so I can cycle all year round. I'm impressed by your speed, I'm around 14 mph.

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DR1939 2/14/2011 10:17AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 2/14/2011 10:01AM

    Great job! Sounds like you made good use of the off season!

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DDOORN 2/14/2011 9:33AM

    Oooh! I am EVER so jealous! Hoping to kick my bug so that I might enjoy my bike again soon too! Just can't bring myself to do any winter riding...!

Hoping also to really pump it up @ the fitness center I've recently joined to better prep me for the season ahead!


Comment edited on: 2/14/2011 9:34:13 AM

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BDTHOM 2/14/2011 9:30AM

    First ride of the year! Cool!

Got out on my second of the year, but first for my son. It was also about 45, but we called it cold, no sun. It was the hard rain and wind that we rode straight into the second half of the ride. Water running through our clothes; down our backs and on down the legs and arms kind of rain. Set a blazing 8.8 pace. I loved it! Son, not so much.

Good luck getting out again this week. And, with that 18.0 pace.

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Wow--I Jogged for 25 Minutes (CP25K Week 6)!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I know for some of you, jogging for 25 minutes is nothing but for me it's a big deal. In fact, it's the longest period of time I've ever jogged in my life--that's right, in my life! What's more, I've actually been enjoying running which I also can't believe. I've always hated running but now, thanks to the "Couch Potato to 5K" program, I slowly conditioned my body to run--honestly to jog--and now I can't wait for the next time I can do so.

It's so hard to explain how this makes me feel--free, happy, confident, determined, humble.

So, thanks, Lord God, for your mercy in running, and thanks SP and friends for introducing me to the CP25K program and for cheering me on.

Have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRYPHONQUEST 2/14/2011 9:59AM

    Oh, yay, there's hope! I'm re-doing Week 1, but doing much better this time (being indoors and not dodging ice-slicks really helps!). I'm looking forward to when I'll be able to actually jog continuously for *minutes*, plural. Thanks for the inspirational post!

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OLIV0144 2/14/2011 9:23AM

    That's awesome! emoticonI never considered myself a runner until I got into a 5k plan a few years ago, and I was hooked. I feel free when I run as well, and when I run outside it makes me feel more connected to nature and God's design.
Hope you have a good one!

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ROOBEARZ 2/14/2011 1:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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