Saturday, December 15, 2007

Soar throat

I knew it has been too good to last. For weeks people all around me were sick, kids, co-workers, and so many others around. Surprisingly, I hadn't succumbed and had been training pretty well.

Lifting and the small amount of riding I've been doing have been moving forward without a hitch. However, I had a hunch this might happen, as I stepped outside the boundaries of my training just a little too much. I've seen this pattern happen several times before.

I had to travel for a day and 1/2 so I wanted to get in an extra ride before sitting in the car. Lifting has been going well and it actually feels almost easy when doing it. However, I have to remind myself that the lifting still takes a toll on the body. In addition, the riding I've been doing, while considered easy on a relative scale to typical training, has felt difficult. One mountain bike ride we did on some soft ground felt as hard as any race. The ground sucked energy away and the wet leaves/rocks forced total concentration the entire ride.

Regardless, I think I overreached ever so little. At this time of year, so early in the season, that is something I should have been more careful with. My body is still in transition. Transitioning from lifting to riding, transitioning from cold to hot to cold weather. It's always during transitions like this that my body just a tad on the edge and susceptible to whatever sickness has been at bay for the past few weeks.

It's not bad, soar throat right now, enough to feel off and not wanting to ride.


At 10:29 AM, Blogger Bruce Brown said...

Well, you may have gotten sick even if you weren't training. I'm in the same boat with a house full of sick kids and wife - so my day is coming.

I have a question for you concerning the power phase. On your October 16th, 2005 post "Off Season Training Pt3: Strength Training" you had referenced a very interesting 8 part article at which states in part 5 of that article that during the power phase:

"The most specific method of power training for cyclists is training specific movements mimicking the pedal stroke as close as possible. This means single leg exercises through an identical range of motion at the knee and hip joint as when mounted on your bike. Also keeping foot stance equal to axle width, and foot angle (heel pointed in or out) the same as when clipped in. Don't be afraid to get specific and actually measure these things with tape and a goniometer for the joint angles."

I finally do own the Dave Morris Performance Cycling Book thanks to the publisher printing more copies and making them available on Amazon. However, Dave doesn't talk about single leg resistance training with weights, so I wondered if you personally do any single leg training during the power phase?

My thoughts would be to do on the bike (or trainer actually) resistance single leg pedaling (low cadence, high resistance). But I wondered about single leg leg presses, single leg hamstring curls, etc... . I guess even single leg squats using a Smith Machine. As this is my first season doing the full resistance training phases - I don't want to muck it up. The article certainly has a much longer weight training cycle (6 months), but I like some of the ideas contained within that article.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger ashwinearl said...

I'm not sure about single leg stuff. Dave seems to prescribe sprints, and ME intervals for the on bike transitioning to cycling power.

For the weight room transition it just seems to be squats and hamstring curls. And both these the speed of the contraction is what is emphasized. I think it might be hard to do a single leg excercise as fast as you can do a double leg (except the ham curl)

I like single leg pedaling sometimes from a technique perspective but am not so sure from a power development perspective.

I think the most important thing about the weight work in the power phase is to make it explosive. For on bike, sprints help develop explosiveness and leg speed, while the ME intervals help transition weight room strength to cycling strength by performing the work at a speed that is faster than the weight room, but still slower than what is normal.

Grinding up a hill in a gear that is 2-3 higher than you would normally do at a cadence 20-30rpm slower than normal helps transition the weight room to cycling. I've noticed that at this time of year it is actually easier for me to ride at low cadence/high gearing than it is to ride at my typical cadence.

I can go decently fast but there is no acceleration at these cadences and it's not a dynamic kind of pedaling like really being on it when on the mountain bike

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Bruce Brown said...

Yes, that all makes sense. One legged stuff at "speed" sounds to me almost like a recipe for an injury if form is not perfect. And of course, the best training of all would be the actual pedal stroke on the bike which the ME at low cadence cover.

Another question for you since you've been through all of this before. What about training for both staying on the saddle and out of saddle climbing? Have you found in your racing in the expert category that you stay seated all the time, or do you stand and grind on some climbs?

The last two years, I utilized a lot of out of the saddle on climbs and sprints mainly due to my bird legs and lower back not being in the best of shape to produce as much power in those situations. I can feel that all of this resistance work is improving my back and leg strength and I spent the month of October doing my fall rides staying seated for everything. I guess I have a goal of training and working for more seated power work in races for next season so I don't have to rely on standing to grind out climbs. Does that sound like a misplaced goal to you, or should I train for both seated and standing climbs?

Thanks for all the help. This hypertrophy phase has me starving, but I am trying not to give in and eat myself into oblivion...


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