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Day Five: Final Report on the Week

Friday, May 27, 2011

At this time of year my training is 100% focused on The Ride Across Minnesota, a 5-day, 300-mile ride that benefits MS research. This year I decided to train by mimicking the event, albeit with shorter distances since I don't have the time to ride 300 miles every week--I wish I did! So this week was the first of those, 20+ mile rides (total of 116 miles) at race pace. The idea was to ride like there's no tomorrow, recover well, and do it again the next day. The goal was to come in at an average speed of no less than 18.0 mph.

So below I will (1) briefly report on each ride, (2) briefly describe my recovery process and how that went, and (3) preview the next few weeks of training.

Ride Report
Day One: The route was a 25 mile out and back with 11 or 12 climbs along the way, several of which were 1.5-2.0 miles. I came in at an average speed of 18.6 mph and felt very good about the ride.

Day Two: The route was a 21.5 mile loop with 6 climbs, two of which were very steep, relatively long, and difficult. I came in at average speed of 18.0 mph and felt very good about the ride.

Day Three: The route was a 27 mile loop with 6 climbs, one of which is long and steep in sections. The wind was not favorable, and it was only 46 degrees which makes it hard for the muscles to warm up and stay warm, but I still managed to come in at 17.7 and given the circumstances and difficulty of the route I was pleased with that.

Day Four: The route was a 21.7 mile loop with rolling hills, several of which are fairly steep but not too long. There are 13 are so total climbs on this route. I felt very good out there today, better than I have all week in fact, and came in at an average speed of 18.6 mph. My previous best on this course was 18.3 so I am very pleased with that.

Day Five: Today's route was a 22 mile out and back. It was fairly flat with several small rollers, only two of which were substantial. The wind was not favorable today but I still managed to come in at 18.9 mph, my third fastest time on this route, and I feel great about that.

Overall, I rode a total of 116.01 miles this week in 06:18:27 at a total average speed of 18.39 mph. I was secretly hoping to come in at 18.5 or higher but since this is .39 over target I'll take it, and I'm happy!


My Recovery Process
In addition to taking vitamins every day (multi, C, D, and E), eating well throughout the day, managing stress as well as I can, and getting plenty of sleep, here are the ride-specific things I did to fuel and recover from each ride.

1. Since all my rides were morning rides, I drank a bottle of Gatorade with 2 teaspoons of glutamine every morning along with breakfast.

2. On the bike I drank one 24 ounce bottle of Gatorade per hour of riding, as well as one mini Clif Bar or Clif shot per half hour of riding. I consumed about 400 cals per hour on the bike and did so at regular intervals (drink every 15 minutes, eat every 30).

3. As soon as the ride was over I did five things:

(a) I drank 1 serving of milk with 1 scoop of Body Fortress Whey Protein and 2 teaspoons of glutamine;

(b) I stretched for about 15-20 minutes from head to toe, being sure to breathe deeply along the way and drink one more bottle of Gatorade;

(c) I massaged my legs with a rolling pin and with my hands for another 10 minutes [I start at the bottom of my calves and roll the pin up in long strokes toward my heart, then roll the glut and thigh again toward the heart, then repeat with the other leg];

(d) I took a hot shower, enjoyed the water, and massaged my legs again. Some days I laid down after my shower for a few minutes and either napped or just rested my eyes. This is very good for the body as it releases certain things into the body that help with recovery.

(e) I ate a recovery meal of one sort or another, along with one serving of Body Fortress Creatine.

I don't have the time to go into the details of why I use Gatorade, Clif products, glutamine, whey protein, and creatine but suffice it to say that I carefully put this plan together based on a fair amount of reading on the subject. Perhaps I'll blog about that another time. The one thing I will say is that vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutamine are rich with anitoxidants and help to clear the system of lactic acid, thus reducing muscle soreness and fatigue.

I haven't had a lot of time to think about it today, but my gut reaction to how this recovery plan went is to say it was flawless. I really enjoyed the cool down time each day--it helped me in all aspects of my life--I never had any soreness at all this week, and I had plenty of fire power on the bike each day. I never even came close to bonking. In fact, after my final ride today I thought, "I feel as though I haven't biked much this week. I have a couple of days of recovery scheduled next but I don't feel like I need them."

I still feel that way now, but I'm going to take the recovery days anyway. I know that doing so will prepare me for the rigors of the coming weeks. And yet I'm very glad to report that my recovery plan worked!


Preview of the Next Three Weeks
The next two weeks will be dedicated to recovery, cross-training in the gym, and working on three cycling skills: cadence, strength, and body position. The following week will be another Mock-TRAM week wherein I'll ride 5 30+-mile rides in a row at race pace. My goal will be to come in at an average speed of 18.5 mph but given all the climbing I'm going to do that week, that will be a tall order!

Thanks for reading this massively long blog, hope you have a great day!

  


Days Three & Four: Report and Preview

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Several blogs ago I explained the phase of training that I'm in now so I won't repeat that here except to say that this week is a big one for me--I'm doing 5 20+ mile rides in a row at race pace. The goal is to develop the ability to ride like there's no tomorrow, recover well, and ride like that again 5 days in a row. Here's how it's gone so far and what's in store for tomorrow, the final day:

Day One: The route was a 25 mile out and back with 11 or 12 climbs along the way, several of which were 1.5-2.0 miles. I came in at an average speed of 18.6 mph and felt very good about the ride.

Day Two: The route was a 21.5 mile loop with 6 climbs, two of which were very steep, relatively long, and difficult. I came in at average speed of 18.0 mph and felt very good about the ride.

Day Three: The route was a 27 mile loop with 6 climbs, one of which is long and steep in sections. The wind was not favorable, and it was only 46 degrees which makes it hard for the muscles to warm up and stay warm, but I still managed to come in at 17.7 and given the circumstances and difficulty of the route I was pleased with that.

Day Four: Today's route was a 21.7 mile loop with rolling hills, several of which are fairly steep but not too long. There are 13 are so total climbs on this route. I felt very good out there today, better than I have all week in fact, and came in at an average speed of 18.6 mph. My previous best on this course was 18.3 so I am very pleased with that. This means that to date my overall average for these four days of riding is 18.25 which is above my target--so I'm happy!

Day Five: Tomorrow's route is a 22 mile out and back. It's fairly flat with several small rollers, only two of which are substantial. I've come in at 19.2 twice on this route this year so I hope to do pretty well tomorrow too and increase my overall average speed by 1-3 tenths of a mile.

Thanks for reading, hope you have a great day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LILPAT3 5/26/2011 10:11PM

    Delightful, and I am pleased that you are making good progress! What do you have in your water bottle? I really started making progress when I started using Cytomax...it talks about working well with red blood cells to make it easier to breathe. I thought it was "bologney" until I started using it. emoticon emoticon

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TBRANTNER3 5/26/2011 3:37PM

  sounds like a great adventure and you are very dedicated!

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Day Two: Report and Preview

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A couple of blogs ago I explained the phase of training that I'm in now so I won't repeat all of that, except to say that this week is a big one for me--I'm doing 5 20+ mile rides in a row at race pace. Here's how it's gone and what's in store for today:

Day One: The route was a 25 mile out and back with 11 or 12 climbs along the way, several of which were 1.5-2.0 miles. I came in at an average speed of 18.6 mph and felt very good about the ride.

Day Two: The route was a 21.5 mile loop with 6 climbs, two of which were very steep, relatively long, and difficult. I came in at average speed of 18.0 mph and felt very good about the ride.

Day Three: Today's route is a 27 mile loop with 6 climbs, one of which is long and steep in sections. I hope to come in at no less than 18.0 mph, we'll see how it goes. I don't climb well and there's quite a bit of it on this route (6 miles) but I can really bomb the downhills so we'll see if I can make it up on the way down!

Hope you have a great day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAVEINSEOUL 5/26/2011 3:09AM

    Nice that you have some hills to train on - it's pretty much all flat where I ride - press on!

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NERDGIRL23 5/25/2011 7:46AM

    Good luck with the rest of this week's training!
emoticon

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Day One: Preview of the Route

Monday, May 23, 2011

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, I'm beginning 9 weeks of specific training for my major, annual cycling event. Over the last couple of years I've learned that in order to have success at a particular event the training must mirror that event.
Therefore, since the TRAM (The Ride Across Minnesota) is a 5-day, 300-mile event, I have designed a training scheme that will train me ride to hard and recover well 5 days in a row. See yesterday's blog for the details.

This week I'm taking five 20+ mile rides at race pace with about 45-60 minutes of recovery after each ride: post-ride snack, stretching, massage, shower, post-ride meal. My hope is to come in at a total average speed of 18.5 mph or more, though I would settle for anything over 18.0.

Today's route is a 25 mile west-then-east out and back. It's mostly flat but there are 11 or 12 climbs along the way, several of which are 1.5 or more miles. The wind is coming out of northwest at 10-15 mph so it will slow going and fast coming, just the way I like it! I'm hoping to come in at an average speed of 18.8 or higher but we'll have to see how the legs are feeling after two days of rest.

Can't wait to hit the road, I'll blog about the ride tomorrow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAVEINSEOUL 5/26/2011 3:14AM

    Great philosophy! I need to start training for next year's "bucket list" event - RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Accross Iowa) 2012 - that's a 7 day, 500 mile event.

Good luck on the your training for the ride across Minnesota. Keep us posted.

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FRENCHIFAL 5/23/2011 9:52AM

    Very nice! I'm still trying to get past the 15 mph mark myself, I'll have to try training like you!!

Good luck! emoticon

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Big Week: Let the TRAM Specific Training Begin!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Ride Across Minnesota, or TRAM, is a 5-day, 300-mile bike ride that benefits MS research. My wife has MS so we take the ride every year, this will be our ninth--her fifth as a rider!

The TRAM commences exactly 10 weeks from now, and my TRAM specific training commences tomorrow. Here's the plan:

Week 1: Mock TRAM, 20+ mile rides at race pace 5 days in a row
Week 2: Recovery, cross-training, cycling skills
Week 3: Cross-training and cycling skills
Week 4: Mock TRAM, 30+ mile rides at race pace 5 days in a row
Week 5: Recovery, cross-training, cycling skills
Week 6: Cross-training and cycling skills
Week 7: Mock TRAM, 30+ mile rides at race pace 5 days in a row
Week 8: Recovery, cross-training, cycling skills
Week 9: Recovery rides only, ensure good rest and nutrition
Week 10: The TRAM, 60+ mile rides at race pace 5 days in a row

My goal is to complete the TRAM at an average speed of no less than 18.0 mph. I would set my goal higher but we have a lot of climbing to do this year and that is a major weakness for me, however, I think I can reach the goal I've set if I work hard, recover well, and trust my training.

Can't wait to hit the road in the morning! Hope you have a great evening.

  


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