Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The hardest thing is.

The hardest things to do on a bike are
1) Wrap handlebar tap
2) adjust a front derailleur.

I've been having a time setting up my front der. with the new crankset. Thankfully I had a chapter from Barnett's Manual.

24 pages of how the front derailleur works and step by step for setting it up. It seems to be much better though still slow to go to the big ring.

Review Performance Triflex Tights

I'm prompted to write this review given the fact that these tights are on sale right now for 1/2 price.

When it's cold and especially on the road bike. Windproofing is just key. For cycling the windproofing needs to be primarily on the front with more breathable material on the rear.

There are plenty of wind proof tights to choose from including PI, Giordana, Adidas, Assos, etc. And they are also expensive with prices ranging from $150-$300+ From a value perspective the Performance Triflex's (even at full price) are very good, and at 1/2 price ($35) it's just amazing.

The front material is windproof and it's thick. The rear is more breathable material. This front material (whatever it is) does NOT stretch much. So putting on the tights initially is difficult. Especially if you have hulkamania quads like I do. I imagine the process is quite like putting on women's fashion jeans.

Once I get them on, they do feel pretty tight intially . However, on the bike this feeling goes away quickly. The front fabric is also noisy when you are walking around the house getting ready.

I like no chamois for tights so I can wear them several times before washing and cause you never know what the chamois is going to be like. You can get these with or without a pad. There is an ankle zipper. Some people like them some don't.

These are warm. Very warm. Maybe too warm for mountain biking unless it is 35 or less. Or it's really windy. For the road, I'll wear them if it is sub 40. And they've been great into the 20s. I'm, sure they could go lower but my fingers and toes can't. If it's windy at all I'll pull them out.

Before these tights, the whole front of my body would be lobster red after a ride. I've layered other tights with knee warmers before but that didn't help the crown jewels or the front of the legs at all.

They may not be the most comfortable compared to the high end brands. But at this price that's ok. They work very well for those cold/windy days (Yes I know 'cold is relative' for you midwesterners and northerners who laugh at our 'cold'). I'm all about the value!


Started on the SMSP intervals today. The SMSP intervals are of shorter duration but very high power output.

The idea is to first create the 'capability' to work at high outputs. The next step will be to develop the ability for sustainable efforts. I like the quote from Dean Golich, " If you never go 30, you'll never go 30". The context of this quote is in regards to timetrialing. If you never go 30mph in training you'll never go 30mph in your time trial.

Intervals provide a quantifiable way of look at training. There are a few metrics I'm tracking.

Total work time

The format for an interval is:
Time On at XXX power
Time Off

For example. 3 sets of 7 x 1 ON (at XXX power) / 1 OFF with 3 minutes rest/set
The total work time is the amount of time spent ON.

So the total work time of this workout is 3x7x1min = 21 minutes.

The other metrics that are important are the Power setting that I do the intervals at. I strive to chose the highest power level that I can do the ENTIRE workout at. Not just the first set, but all of them. Usually this means that the first ones feel a little easy and the last ones are just barely doable.

Also important is the work/rest ratio. For now I'm at 1:1 for SMSP (MSP will be 1:.5). Later in the year I'll be doing som SMSP at 1:.5. Like 1min on 0:30sec off. This is a great simulation of what actually happens in mountain biking. Hard effort separated by inadequate rest.

Later in this phase I'll deliberaltely chose a power setting that is too high to force a blow up.

Here is a chart of the progression I'm 'planning' to follow with regards to total work:
smsp 2007

The idea behind all this is to consider how much of a race is actually spent at very high power outputs. So for the course of a 2hr race, how much of the time are you truly above your sustainable power. This is where having a power meter on your bike would allow you to map out a race course, and then design your training around that.

So my goal is to work up to the capability to perform 45mins of work.

This is a question I want to ask Dave about. For a Vet expert XC racer, what should the total work time be that I should be striving for.

The other thing is to try to bump up the power level at which I do these intervals compared to last year.

The workouts now are very short compared to the 3-4 hrs rides I've done recently. It's all over in 50mins. Maybe 1hr+ a few times. But boy does it hurt.

This morning I was a little nervous. I didn't feel that good. Maybe a slight cold coming on. But at the same time there was a measure of resolve walking down to the basement. This is what I have to do in order to meet my goals. That's pretty simple in the general scheme of things. Do or do not. Not a whole lot of hemming/hawing.

I imagine that this is how the pros approach things. They know what they have to do and they do it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

On deck

It's almost February. Race #1 is on April 1st.

It's time to get on with the program and move into the SMSP intervals. Once again my endurance phase is shorter than planned. However, this year has been different in that in early fall and throughout the weight training we've done some really good rides due to the wonderful weather.

Some of these rides included intensity too. I'm definitely pleased with my conditioning at this point in the year. Even though I didn't do a 3 week true base phase I think those rides have helped set me up well to go into the intervals. A little bit of intensity seemed to be a good ticket.

I'll say this now and hopefully someone will remind me come October. I'm not making this mistake again. Come mid October, some riding will get cut back, and the easy transition lifting will begin. I don't think the late October races will be affected given that I rode well at the start of the strength training phase this year.

Then there will be 2weeks Hyp, 2 weeks strength, 2 weeks power. Base riding will begin as part of the power phase. Ideally this will put me in base mode in November/December instead of the end of January.

I'm thinking of starting the SMSP intervals on Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. Typcially the program calls for 3 weeks of SMSP intervals followed by a recovery week then 3 weeks of MSP.

From experience I've noticed that I don't do well in 3 week cycles. I seem to do better with 2 week cycles. 2 weeks followed by a protracted recovery period of 4-5 days (instead of 7 as in the book).

So the plan is to go right into the SMSP next week for 2 weeks, the take a 5 day recovery period (**NOTE Morris Recovery periods are not just 5 days on the couch. There are easy rides and some intervals to keep from getting stale)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

What's old is new again

Had an interesting ride on Brush Mtn this morning. We head out early in the hopes of hitting the ground while it was frozen before it thawed into a soupy mess. It was frozen all right. But with ice.

Some light snow had melted then refrozen into ice patches. In some spots there was a light dusting of snow on top of hard ice. It made for some interesting riding. You had to push a bigger gear to keep the rear from sliding out which was along the lines of Muscle Endurance work.

It made those old trails brand new. I love Brush. Been riding here for almost 15 years. It never gets old. It's fun to just mix it up and change routes and even create little circuits or just do repeats up certain trails.

And you had to be really loose on the bike. You had to let the bike move underneath you and use all the cockpit. This was great practice for Dragon's Back's rock gardens. In fact, we did a route today that was designed to simulate parts of Dragon's Back

Dragon's Back is a lethal combination of single track climbing, technical rock gardens, and benign looking fire road that just puts the nails in the coffins. We ran up sidewinder and down beauty to get some single track climbing, then headed over to the gaps for some rocky trails. Then we went up Grizzly to get some hike-a-bike. Then added some fire road to 460 for the death dealing to the legs.

Of course what we did was just a fraction of what's in store at D.Back. Definitely, Definitely have got to really get some rides in that simulate that course if not get out there at least one more time to race sim on it.

Amazingly the icy patches from the morning had turned to slush by the time we were done.

I'm quite happy with my riding given where we are in the year. There is definitely some good power there especially when I've got some momentum behind me. The deficiences right now are in climbing. The legs just don't want to turn over. This is to be expected and the next phase of training is going to fix that.

I also ate properly which has prooven to be a requirement for me to have a good ride.
Got up at 6am and started eating for a 9am ride time:

Frozen Wafflesx2=29g

Stoneyfield Farms Vanilla Yogurt=34g
Combined with Grape Nuts Trail Mix=37g

Then some Optimum power something or other oatmeal =29g
with some more syrup=53g

Then topped of with some Power bar drink =30g
-This was a mistake. That stuff doesn't taste good unless I'm riding. Ensure would have been better.

Total Approx. 265g of carbs.

The above has prooven to go down easy and not cause stomach distress.

Then I lay comatose on the sofa for an hour. Had some coffee then got ready to go. I felt a little light headed on the way out there but once we started riding, felt great. On the ride I had power bar drink and had a little of this Genisoy bar.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Muscle Endurance Intervals today.

Just couldn't get myself to go outside on the road today though. sub 30s 10-30mph winds. Snow flurries.

So 3x10mins muscle endurance on the trainer. They don't really hurt that much. But man my lower back is hurting right now.

I'm thinking one more good long ride this weekend then it's down to some serious business of intervals next week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Getting out in the cold

Last week with some motivation from a friend we did 3 1/4 hours on the mountain bikes. I don't think it ever got above freezing and the wind chill was around 12-20.

And it actually wasn't all that bad.

My new best friends:

I use one pair on my wrists/lower palm, and one pair on top of my toes. They seem to make things bearable for about 3 hrs. After that it's just toughness training.

Today, I suprised myself and did 4hrs on the road bike in 35degree weather with a howling wind on the way back. Bonking in and out the last 2 hrs. This was tough. The legs just didn't want to turn on the hills.

I didn't prepare properly eating wise before hand. Hit a convenience store midway and restocked Gatorade and for the first time in months grabbed crap food. Doughnuts even.

I was a little worried my stomach would rebel. It did a little, but the doughnuts worked well actually. Cake type foods don't bug me as much as other sweets. Now if there was a lot of glazing or jelly filling I'd be writhing in a ditch somewhere.

But it was a good reminder to carry more food that I'm used to.

Just getting out the door was the training. I am supposed to do some sprints first then a long ride, and the next day do a long ride and end with Muscle Endurance intervals.

But I just couldn't do any sprints. Just turning the pedals in the cold and going from A to B was all I could muster. And barely at that. Crawling up the last hill. And I've been a wreck since the ride finished.

Road riding is definitely harder than mountain biking...You pedal more.

One of the traps I fall into now and then is thinking in terms of the training I'm gonna do. Next month I'm gonna do thes. Next season I'm gonna do this. Instead of right now I am doing this. When the time comes to do it, ofen times it's much slacker than what you were gonna do.

I'm trying to get away from gonna dos and just do. Today I did.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sprint interval mistake

I did some sprints the other day. Turns out I did them wrong, thanks to a friend for pointing this out.

I did 4 sets of 4 reps of :15on :15off with 1 min rest per set.

The sprints called for in the book have a work:rest ratio of 1:6-9. So it's no wonder the first one of each set was strong but every other one was terrible.

Next time I'm doing :15on 1:30 off.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Compact crankset vs mountain cassette for road bike

As is customary for this BLOG below is an over-analyzed thought process on gearing for road bikes. I'm the quintessential princess as in princess and the pea. The tiniest issues bug me. So much of this can be ignored for those of you that probably won't be bothered by half these issues.

Around here we have some pretty decent steep hills. We also have some rolling terrain as well. I've been using a standard crankset 39/53 paired with a 12-27 9 speed road cassette ok.

However it can get difficult sometimes to find the sweet gear on the steeper or longer climbs. To me, the sweet gear is the biggest one that I can spin. Spin is an ambiguous term that means different things to different people. For me it means a comfortable cadence but also some resistance push against. The 39/27 is still just a hair to high in some situations.

I've often thought that it's just good training to struggle on steeper hills. But there just seems to be a certain point where not having the right gear just works against me and I go slower.

The other problem is this. I did this thing in its first two years and it was not pretty. My wife has been doing it for the past two years and has convinced me to do it again. I'm well beyond that stage of doing something super difficult and go through agony upon agony in order to complete it. I am NOT going to do this thing again without some serious climbing gearing combined with some serious riding.

There are several options available for combating these problems:
1) Use a mountain bike cassette with a bigger big cog. Such as an 11-32.
2) Get a triple
3) Use a compact crankset

Issues with these options
1) A mountain bike cassette actually works pretty well. There are some potential issues about running too big a cassette with a short cage road rear derailleur. Using a longer cage rear derailleur solves this if you're worried about damage to the rear derailleur (as in explosion if you mistakenly get into the big/big combo)

The bigger problem with a wide range cassette to me is the larger steps between cogs as compared to a road cassette.

I like to shift a lot to suit the changing terrain. Big steps between cogs can cause too much change in gearing for princesses. This is one reason why I liked the change to 9speed in mountain bikes (even though the can have more technical issues than 8speed)

An 11-32 cassette has larger gaps between some of the cogs than a 12-27.

2)Issues with triples
-I've never used a triple on a road bike, but I think it's a safe thing to say that each shift on the front can be an opportunity for problems. So the less the better.
-triples have a stigma.
-triples are heavier than a double. Weight weenies understand.

-may require a special compact front derailleur. Most front derailleurs have a capacity (Big ring teeth-small ring teeth) of 15t. So a typical 53/39 has needs a front derailleur with a capacity greater than 14t. But a compact crankset like a 50/34 needs a capacity of 16t.
-higher chance of dropping the chain when going from the big to the small when you have a big jump like from a 50-->34
-When you shift from the big ring to the little you need more shifts in the rear so you don't all of a sudden spin out, as compared to if you went from a 53 to a 39.
-You lose some of your top end by going to a big ring with less teeth.

I've decided to go with a Compact crankset, but with a 36t small ring. This will ideally let me use my current front derailleur. And the jump from the big to the small won't be as drastic, hopefully reducing the risk of dropping a chain and reducing the # of gears I need to grab in the back when dropping from the big chainring to the small.

I am also hoping that the 50t big ring will allow me to stay in my big ring longer and be able to run it up and over some grunt rollers that may have required me to downshift to the small ring (especially when fatigued)

I'll stick with my 12-27 cassette in the back to give me a very nice 36/27 climbing gear for the steep hills. The big downside is the change to a 50/12 for my biggest gear. I think I'll be loving the 36/27 more than I'll be missing the 53/12.

The best value, imho is the Ritchey Pro compact crankset

Under $80 ebay. Only 10-20 grams heavier than the more expensive WCS. Tested to have some very good stiffness at this review.

There are some cheaper ones out there that take an ISIS BB. This one takes an Octalink BB. . Octalinks have a much better reputation than ISIS does. Note *Ultegra Octalinks have a better rep than Durace ones**

Ultegra Octalinks are are obsolete according to Shimano. But they are plentiful and relatively cheap.

The rage these days is the External style Bottom brackets. Some say the additional stiffness is noticeable. At my weight/power I don't think I could tell. There is also the speculation of increased stiction from the larger seals/bearings on the external crankset. And the speculation of a change in Q factor.

All speculations of course.

So under a $100 (provided I don't need a special compact front der.) Which hopefully I can put a dent in by selling my current crankset. Not bad considering that a lot of cranksets go for $300+. Of course, I won't sell my other one until I figure out if this works, which I'm sure you'll hear about here.

Didn't I say that I wasn't goint to obesses over crap again and was just going to put my energy into training? Just can't help it. It's part of my personality that you all love, my wife especially.

Friday, January 12, 2007

From Famine to Feast

XC Racing in Virginia is ON FIRE for 2007.

Not 1, Not 2. Wait there's more... but 3 count them 3 race series. And a Ginsu knife set and bamboo steamer.

-The return of the classic VA State Series. Now known as the
Virginia Series
-Dragon's Back
-Middle Mountain Momma-Douthat State Park

-A New series with some seriously kick as races.
Series 5 Mountain Bike Series
The series 5 race kicks off with the Dirty Dawg on April 1st at Mountain Lake.
-The Carvin's cove Commonwealth Games and the Hillclimb Timetrial

-And the Virginia Derailer Series
-This series includes some very fun races with lots of great positive mtb energy. Super for developing racers and painfully fast for advanced riders.
-Top of my list is the Poor Mountain HillClimb
-If I could only do ONE event this year, this would be it.

You have no idea how stoked I am. Years and years ago when I came to VA, XC racing was king. Mountain biking was cool. Then mountain biking racing died down and a few years ago it looked pretty bleak here. But now, wow. It's coming back.

Look for lots of posts about the upcoming races. Some of my past history at these events (always a comical read, especially what happened at the last Mountain Lake race), pictorial previews and some training tips for newbies to prepare for these races.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Did my first attemp at sprints this morning.

4 sets of 4x 15 sec on 15 off. 60seconds off between sets

-On my Tacx Flow
-From complete stop
-set to slope mode (Can't do the mode where you set a to a set wattage, because when you stop pedaling, the electro brake maxes out so it's like hitting a wall at the start)
-accelerate to 130-140rpm. Hold as best as I can for 15sec.

Painful and pitiful.

To be expected. It takes me a few weeks to adapt to new workouts. My legs are sore from yesterday's unexpected difficulty. I have to be careful to not overdo it. I'm going to 'try' to go easy tomorrow for a little bit.

Why strength training payoff isn't until later in the year

Someone asked me why I'd written that the benefits of my weight room work won't be realized until April. I'm just parroting what Dave Morris writes in his book but It seems to agree with my experiences.

Strength gains are speed specific. What that means is that the increase in muscular strength you get from workouts is seen only at the speeds (of contractions) that you've been performing. Lifting weights in the gym is done at a significantly slower speed than cycling is performed at.

Part of the key to cycling specific lifting programs is to convert weight room specific strength into cycling specific strength. Just Big legs alone do not make a fast cyclist. Muscle size is one issue but as important is muscle fiber recruitment and the force per fiber contraction.

I've just transitioned into the last phase of my weight room work. The power phase of my workout has me doing lifts as fast as I can at relatively low weights. With the squats I'm actually jumping off the ground.

Even this speed is still much slower than cycling. However the power phase is sort of a gateway to transforming my weight room strength gains into cycling strength. Along with the higher speeds of lifting, I've just started doing sprints on the trainer which require lots of muscle contraction and will soon do Muscle Endurance workouts on the bike. These workouts are where you climb a hill or ride in a big big gear and turn the pedals at very slow cadence (50rpm as compared to a more normal 80-100rpm).

This kind of workout is like weightlifting on a bike.

Converting the weight room strength to cycling strength takes time which is why I don't realize the benefits of the weight room work until later in the year.

There is huge debate in the cycling world regarding whether time spent in the weight room is time well spent. Many feel that sprints and muscle endurance workouts on the bike are sufficient to building cycling power. And many feel that there is too much loss in aerobic capacity when you're in the gym.

The way I look at is in terms of potential. From a baseline my muscle have a potential of X to do work. If I skip the weights and go right into sprints/muscle endurance than I'm taking X and making it cycling specific.

With the cycling specific weight training I'm taking X and making it 2X or whatever. If I then take 2X and do my sprints /muscle endurance I've got more potential to start with and ideally will be able to create more cycling specific strength.

There is definitely a hit to the aerobic conditioning when you are lifting and not riding. However Dave feels that muscular development is key to increasing sustainable power. And that the aerobic conditioning is relatively easy compared to the muscular part.

Truth, fallacy. Don't know. Don't care. Well.. I care, but at the same time I'm trying not to care.

Find something to believe in.

Be consistent, slowly, one foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Over the course of years. (I'm going on 3 years now with consistent training)


In an interview with Dave I asked him what are the characteristics that separate elite athletes from amateur athletes. He said: From a mental standpoint, the pros seem to stay more focused on doing what they need to do to get the job done, while amateurs will often allow themselves to become distracted. They preoccupy themselves with things that don’t really matter and lose site of the big picture.

Changing your training program every 2 months based on the latest article in Bicycling or a forum post (which is what I did for many many years) got me nowhere. My personality of 100% energy diversion to little mini-obsessions (skills, tech bike geek issues) hurts more than it helps, although it's part of the fun.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Dropped the car off this morning for work. Ride into work was chilly but the sun was shining.

While at work, snow showers start to move in. Blowing horizontal. But it looks to let up so I head out to go get the car. Again, it's cold and windy but all the cycling gear is working well. Fingers, of course somewhat cold but not unbearable.

Then it starts snowing, then sleeting and I'm going into the wind. Oh my face. A thousand pinpricks with 30 degrees and 20-30+mph wind rivetting the sleet into my face. I was on the hardtail w/knobbies and it just felt sooooo slow.

It seemed like all my energy was hardly making a dent in forward progression. At times my head was completely down just steering by the white line on the road. At one point I found that mind numbing nirvana of just churning the pedals. It struck me that I need to find that spot more often rather than thinking/analyzing all the time while riding.

Finally I made it to the place and pick up the vehicle. 10 minutes later the sun is out. A tiny taste of what the hardmen of cycling deal with regularly.

That little ride just wore me out. I've been tired ever since. And cold.

I did my first workout of the power phase the other day. Short and sweet. But the legs definitely felt it today. Tomorrow is a few sprints. Ugh that is going to hurt.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The key

I've decided that carbohydrate intake is the key to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Legs were loaded hard yesterday with the last day of strength. Today my wife and I got a babysitter so that we could ride. I figured I'd be hurting but good today. My wife is a strong rider too. She gets more competitive with me too.

Decided to eat proper.

2waffles 26g/each
Syrup 53g
Vanilla Yogurt 34g
Mixed with Grape Nuts Trail mix 37g
Bottle of Ensure 40g
216g total (3.8g/kg body weight)

Finished 2hrs before the ride. Got tired, layed down in son's bed and watched them play legos.

Glade to Brooksfield to Price's fork
To Keisters Branch to Lick Run to River To Spruce run and back.

Some small hard climbs and two extended long climbs.

Ride went great. Had 2 bottle Power bar drink and A genisoy bar and some water. Good level energy intake combined with topped off tank before the ride.

I'm riding stronger than ever this time of year. No doubt due to the quality riding that I've done over the last few weeks. Not due to the lifting. The lifting won't pay dividends until April.

And no doubt due to eating properly. It's all individual, but the key is figuring out for youself what combo of food works for you.

Friday, January 05, 2007

strength done moving onto power phase

Finished the last strength workout today.
sets of 5,4,3,2. Though I didn' do the set of 2 on squat. I'm just not that experienced at lifting heavy on squats, and I just picture my whole body exploding. Though with leg press I did do them all.

There was actually one more workout in the strength period but I'm bagging it and moving onto the power phase. Power uses very light weights performed at very high speeds. With squat you basically jump off the ground. It's kinda fun.

It's only squats and hamstring curls. So it goes pretty fast. Just 2 workouts per week. The other days include sprint intervals and easy riding.

In the past, I've skimped on the sprints. But I now understand their importance in the grand scheme of things. Leadout intervals will come later in the year and they are one of the most important workouts in my arsenal. They are so applicable to mountain bike racing.

The next hurdle will be endurance phase. The biggest challenge is time and weather.

My goal is to get a few 3.5-4hr rides in. Also I'll incorporate some sprints at the beginning of some rides, and on other rides finish with Muscle Endurance intervals on some hills. The potential for bad/cold weather is always a black cloud over this phase. My plan only calls for 3weeks of endurance which is nothing compared to those guys that do 3 months of this stuff. But one winter storm would pretty much cut my endurance and force me into the next phases.

Next year I swear I'm not going to do this to myself. I'll skip some later year races, or just do them for fun and start the whole plan several months earlier in order to place the endurance phase in November/early December. When I think about thought, we did some good rides in November/December. So I guess they can count towards my endurance phase.

I will also not do the 2 cycle hypertrophy/strength again. It just didn't work out this year and took way to long due to conflicts and riding for fun. Next year will be a wham bam 3 weeks tranistion (to be started while still in season) 2wks hypertrophy, 2 wks strength (with some riding), 2 wks power (with some riding).

The whole strength program is debatable but I will stick with it. Several reasons:
1) By October I need the break

2) cycling is a non-weight bearing sport, I am small framed to begin with and am lactose intolerant so my calcium intake can be low. The strength training is important to me for overall health and bone density. The squats and stiff legged dead lift provide payback through out the rest of the year for core stability on the bike.

3) I think it is still working for me. Another 3 or 4 years then the returns might be diminishing.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

circulation issues

Ok, so this morning I decided to ride outside for an 1hr instead of repeating yesterday's agony of trying to ride easy on the trainer.

Hit the road as soon as the sun was up. Sunny but it takes at least an hour for the sun to get high enough to actually be sunny on the road.

My feet were fine until 45mins into it. My fingers hurt from the get go. Even with these new gloves. The model is the Siberian..go figure

I wore a thin liner with them too. Got my wife the same pair and she loves them. They have pretty thick insulation and I think the problem is my fingers are crammed in there too tight. From what I read the key to warmth for toes/fingers is to have some warm air around the digits and if shoes/gloves are too tight than you can't do that.

W/o the liners the skin is against the insulation and then they get slightly sweaty and guessed it: cold.

Just have to accept the poor circulation as one of the many minor ailments (allergies, etc..) to deal with. It beats having anything major wrong.

But I will continue to try ideas for cold digits. Someone recommended placing a chemical warmer at the wrists.

I'm getting worried about the weather. It's 60 today. A guy at work said he read an article that said the 5 worst precipitations in history have been preceeded by uncharacteristically warm/dry periods in the early part of the winter. The article said that the moisture has started to accumulate and all that needs to change is the jet stream and then we are going to get SLAMMED.

Once again my training has placed the endurance phase in the worst part of the year. For potential weather issues as well as work related.

All because I wanted to continue to race into October. You know maybe this year I'll time it differently. Possibly race in October but consider it to be a lower priority. Start lifting earlier so that my base periods will fall in the Mid November-early December when decent weather is more the norm. This year is a freak and can'y be counted on.

But talk about dedication. This pro/cat1 was telling me that he's doing 3-4 rides on his trainer due to a full time job. Woah, now that is answering the question: how bad do you want it?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

trainers are not for going easy

Trying to get some short easy rides in here/there.

Choice: 20degrees or trainer.

I wasn't sure what time it would get light enough to be safe to be out there so I chose trainer this morning. WRONG. Going easy on the trainer, just spinning along is agony. Even with a movie or music time passes at a snail's pace. Tomorrow I'm opting for the cold weather.

Even though it takes just as long to dress as I'll be out at least the time will pass easier.

The trainers are great when you have a structured workout. Intervals with defined ON/OFF periods that are quantified. I've done 50min to 90min workouts on the trainer where the time passed significantly better than 30 min spins.

This morning I also tried Green Tea before the ride and just water on the ride.

I'm not much of a coffee drinker though have been addicted to one cup in the morning 1/2decaf 1/2caf. The green tea tasted good and didn't produce any light headed/buzz that even a tiny bit of coffee can induce in my hypersensitive system.

Monday, January 01, 2007

here's to a great new year

Thankful for family, riding buddies, health and my bikes. Here's to a great new year.

Started it off right with a little bonk ride this AM. 50mins as easy as possible. After the last 3 day mini training camp easy is all that is available.

The other day's mtb ride was pretty amazing considering the hurt on the legs. Totally surprised myself by cleaning the bottom part of the Beast.
Only about the 2nd or 3rd time ever. It was the combination of having an audience and taking sportlegs. (Placebo effect my ass, it's for real like ya read about).

I'd turned the rebound up on the shock and it seemed to change the timing just a hair on the stair steps. The Azure is a awesome bike.

Though of note. With the 5th Element shock, changing rebound settings also affects the sag, so you need to go back and reset sag. When I got home I checked sag again and it was less than 25%. So I took 5 psi out of the main spring.