Saturday, May 26, 2012
Well I had a good week of TRAM training, better than I expected given the fact that I focused on jogging rather than cycling for most of the year. Today I plan to rest, although if I'm in the mood later, I may take a short and mellow ride around the neighborhood, and then tomorrow I plan to take a brief recovery level ride, around 14-15 mph kind of thing.
The original plan was to take the next two weeks to work on general fitness and cycling skills, followed by another week of TRAM training in which I take five 30-mile rides, five days in a row, at or around race pace. However, two things have led me to modify the plan.
First, I can't give that much time to cycling three weeks from now but I can in two weeks, so I plan to take this next week to recover and train and then take these five rides the following week, so June 4-8.
Second, I aggravated my Achilles again, though not nearly so bad as last year, and thus need to be careful and ensure that I don't seriously injure it. I don't want to go through that for a third time. So we'll see how I feel on June 4 but as of now I'm planning to use that week just to enjoy cycling and to develop endurance rather than pushing as hard as I can day after day. I may push the pace one or two, or maybe even three days, but I think it'll be best to work in some mellower days so as to protect my foot.
But for now, it's all about rest and recovery! I feel great today, and actually want to ride again, but it's best to rest so I will. Hope you all have a great day!
Friday, May 25, 2012
I was hoping to come in today at an average speed of 18.6 because this would bump up my average for this week of training to about 18.0--or so I thought. Turned out I was wrong about that, but that's what I thought. When I woke up this morning I didn't think I could achieve this because I felt tired from this week of training, but I hit the road and gave what I had to give and actually felt good. The wind was in my face at 5-8 mph for the first 11 miles after which I turned back and had it at my back for the next 11 miles. So on the way out I averaged 17.5 mph and then...DRUM ROLL PLEASE...on the way back I averaged 20.5 mph for a total average speed of 19.0 for the day! This means that my average for the week was 18.02, a full 1.0 mph above my goal. Here are the details for the week:
Total Distance: 115.9
Total Time: 06:25:52
Average Speed: 18.02 mph
Praise God, I'm SO happy. Last year I was definitely in better shape but today I beat my time by about 10 seconds--not much but I'll take it! I nipped myself at the line!
One more thing: I did a workout on today's ride designed to build leg strength. After a 10 minute warm-up at a cadence of 95-105, I kick it up into my big chain ring (I have a triple: 52, 42, 30 for those who care) and increase torque so that I can only pedal at about 80-85 rpm. I hold this for three minutes, recover for two minutes, and then repeat. I was able to complete 12 such intervals which was good for me right now.
I don't do this one often, about once per week, as it can be hard on the knees and ankles if you're not careful, but I haven't found a better way to develop cycling specific leg strength that actually serves to increase average speed over time. So all in all, it was a great day for which I'm VERY thankful to the Lord.
Hope you have a great day, too!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Had another good ride today, although I felt kind of tired on the bike. Since I was focusing on the half marathon early in the season, I haven't trained at this intensity all year and I really felt that today. It's all good though.
The course was 21.8 miles long with about 20 rollers. I tried a workout today I've never done before, it's a technique for riding rollers well. As you approach the bottom of the roller and begin the bottom of the climb, stand for 5-10 revolutions to take full advantage or your momentum and then sit down, shift down 1-3 gears and set a nice pace to the top. As you get to the top of the climb, stand up again for 5-10 revolutions to regain momentum and then push over the top of the climb taking full advantage of gravity.
This is a great workout, and a great technique, though it did fatigue me a bit. I decided to take the downhills as recovery time rather than riding hard which suppressed my average speed, but that's okay--I needed the recovery time today! I said yesterday that, given my training to this point of the year, I'd be very happy with an average speed of 17.5 mph on this particular course and I came in at 17.6--so I guess I'm very, very happy! Last year I managed to come in at 18.65 which'll show you how much better shape I was in. That extra 1.0 mph average speed is harder to achieve than it may seem. But again, given how this year has gone, I'm very, very happy!
One more ride at this intensity tomorrow. It's an easier route, the weather and winds looks favorable (it's been raining on my rides for the last two days and the wind has been in the 10-25 mph range), and I'm planning to give everything I have left to give tomorrow. My goal is to come in at 18.6 mph or higher because if I do then my overall average for the week will be around 18.0 mph which would be great. I'm not sure if I can do it, given the fact that I've only gone over 18.5 on this route 3 out of 35 times but we'll see--I'm certainly going to try, that much I can promise you!
Thanks for reading, hope you have a great day!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Great ride today, beyond my expectations. This one was a 25.7 mile ride with six climbs, including the longest and hardest climb in our area. Last year I came in at 17.7 on this ride and didn't think I could touch that as I'm not in as good a shape but I'll be darned: I came in at 17.7 and beat my time from last year by 13 seconds! Couldn't believe it. I felt better on the bike today than I did yesterday, which is good news, and I climbed pretty well for a guy who doesn't climb well. So I couldn't be happier with this ride and I'm looking forward to Week 1, Day 4 tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, it's a 21.7 mile ride with lots of rollers--around 20--some of which are fairly long and steep. The wind doesn't look to be favorable for this particular course so, again, I doubt very seriously that I'll be able to touch my time from last year. Last year I came in at an average speed of 18.65 mph so this year I'd be very happy with 18.0 and just plain old happy with 17.5.
The more important thing is to keep developing form including strength, cadence and body position, as well as ride management skills and joy on the bike. As these things increase, so will average speed!
Thanks for reading, hope you have a great day!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Good ride today. It was 21.4 miles with several decent climbs and one very steep climb. The wind was blowing 15 mph from a SSE direction which means that I faced about 6 miles of headwinds, 10 miles of crosswinds, and 5 miles of tailwinds. My back and right Achilles were feeling a little tender this morning so I decided to back off the intensity just a bit. I ended up coming in at an average speed of 17.3 mph which is fairly good for this particular route. Last year, when I was in very good shape, I came in at 18.0 mph. If my back and Achilles weren't tender today I surely could have ridden faster, so again I'm pleased with today's workout and now it's off to recover and hope that my back and foot will bounce back so I can ride a little harder tomorrow.
And speaking of tomorrow, it's the hardest ride of the week--a 26 mile route with the longest, hardest climb in our area. Last year I came in at an average of 17.7 mph so this year I expect to hit only around 17.2, and wouldn't be surprised with 17.0. That's not my main focus, however, rather my aim tomorrow is to work on climbing technique and then to descend as fast as I can! Oh how I love that speed!
Hope you all have a great day!
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