Saturday, September 25, 2010

Adairsville to Horn Mountain

 (Gary, Peter and Derek)

Garmin Connect Ride Data
Garmin Ride Summary:
Distance: 55.25 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,683 ft
Moving Time: 03:23:52
Avg Speed: 16.3 mph
Max Speed: 32.6 mph

Group: Gary, Derek, Peter and me

The Ride: Sweet ride because I got to ride with the guys for the full course of miles or should I say they rode down at my new Saturday pace today. The route was also a nice change from weeks of riding at the brewery and today we enjoyed cycling out to Horn Mountain where we each did the ascent at our own climbing pace. The climb is rather short, but it does have some spots at 15% gradient that brought me off the saddle while using my 34 ring/28 cog ratio. Although it was still warm today at least it was not as hot a few weeks ago, but I still unzipped my jersey to let the heat out on the climb up. Gary and Peter were waiting for me and Derek at the top and on the fun descent I did my usual conservative pace down the hill, but still had a good time. Down at the bottom from there until the store stop along Everett Springs Road is a fabulous stretch of road partially through the state park and with a downward trend. The three of us had our turns at the front, but it was one section that paralleled a creek on one side that had slight curves left and right that to me had such an incredible view. It was a cycling thing that I noticed. Gary, Peter and Derek were in a moment of speeding through the curves and me just slightly at the back I noticed how they had they were in perfect unison with how they leaned in the curve, their cadence was the same with their legs in sync. They looked like a team that had worked years together. Oh well it is hard to describe something like this and only a cycling addict could appreciate how great it is to ride with others that know how to control their bikes well.

After the store stop and the weather still feeling great we headed out on a long highway stretch heading back to the cars. As we were just a few miles outside of Adairsville, I was at the front and I noticed a long way in the distance what looked to be a guy walking toward us on the opposite side of the road in a house robe. As we got a little closer I noticed the robe was open and it looked like he had a speedo suit on. As we got a little closer we unfortunately noticed that he was not wearing a speedo at all. Not sure if he had been working in the meth lab all night and needed to get out for some fresh air or if he was in some sort of religious ceremony in his birthday suit and clean white robe. Anyway you just never know what you might encounter out on the back roads of rural Georgia.

This was a very nice ride today. I am glad to have had these guys to ride with and for the past couple months or more I have been off the back of the group riding solo, but today I had company for the whole route and though it may have been conversation paced I still racked up a good bit of time in Level 3, Level 4 and one little sprint (not a full effort sprint - just a fun sprint) with Gary toward the end.

Horn Mountain Climb: A 2+ mile climb with a couple 15% gradient sections that brought me off the saddle.
    Duration:      21:33
    Work:          220 kJ
    TSS:           31.9 (intensity factor 0.942)
    Norm Power:    179
    VI:            1.05
    Distance:      2.542 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           38    308    171     watts
    Cadence:         41    152    62     rpm
    Speed:           4    17.6    7.1     mph
    Pace             3:25    15:05    8:29     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      17    411    189     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    23    494    247     lb-in

Sprint with Gary: Just a fun moment toward the end on a straight hill section.
    Duration:      0:20
    Distance:      832 ft
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           402    841    701     watts
    Speed:           25.4    29.1    27.9     mph
    Hub Torque:      104    191    165     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    409    879    645     lb-in

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:(2) 24 oz. bottle of water with Hammer Heed,BCAA and Glutamine, (1) Cliff bar (2) Acel gels (1) 20 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink

The Weather:  Partly cloudy, 89 (feels like 94 according the Weather Channel), humidity 52%, winds SW 6 mph

Bike: Look 585

Power Summary: (Based on Coogan's Levels)
Summary Table of Minutes of Duration in Each Training Zone
  Level   Minutes       TSS
      1      2.65      0.37
      2     76.17     47.50
      3     81.84     95.58
      4     33.26     41.56

      5      0.00      0.00
      6      1.95      6.97
      7      6.38     42.89

Overall Power Data:
Entire workout (114 watts):
    Duration:      3:23:47 (3:49:51)
    Work:          1388 kJ
    TSS:           235.8 (intensity factor 0.842)
    Norm Power:    160
    VI:            1.4
    Distance:      55.25 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    841    114     watts
    Speed:           0    33.2    16.1     mph
    Pace             1:48    0:00    3:43     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    411    62     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    879    137     lb-in

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Comet - Out and Back

Garmin Connect Ride Data:
Garmin Ride Summary:
Distance: 37.24 mi
Elevation Gain: 831 ft
Moving Time: 02:02:13
Avg Speed: 18.2 mph
Max Speed: 25.7 mph

Group: just me
Training Goal: 2 x 60 minute intervals, try to hold level 4 as long as possible. (too tired today)

The Ride: Tired and a little sore from the 67 mile BBC ride yesterday. Not a bad effort considering and it was nice to get out for a ride.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:(2) 24 oz. bottle of water with Hammer Heed, (1) Accel gel (1) 20 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink

The Weather:  90 degrees, Partly Cloudy, winds calm.

Bike: LOOK 585

Power Summary: (Based on Coogan's Levels)
Total Ride Minutes: 132.44
  Level   Minutes       TSS
      1      2.02      0.58
      2      2.96      1.91
      3    113.11    125.03
      4      0.00      0.00
      5      0.00      0.00
      6      1.15      3.44
      7      0.86      1.46

Power Data:
Interval 1:
    Duration:      59:33
    Work:          538 kJ
    TSS:           71.1 (intensity factor 0.849)
    Norm Power:    161
    VI:            1.07
    Distance:      17.585 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    466    151     watts
    Speed:           0    24.4    17.7     mph
    Pace             2:27    0:00    3:23     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    305    58     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    760    170     lb-in

 Interval 2:
    Duration:      58:43 (58:47)
    Work:          476 kJ
    TSS:           58.7 (intensity factor 0.785)
    Norm Power:    149
    VI:            1.09
    Distance:      17.573 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    412    136     watts
    Speed:           0    24.8    17.9     mph
    Pace             2:25    0:00    3:21     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    308    51     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    597    154     lb-in

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 BBC Metric

Garmin Connect Ride Data:
Garmin Ride Summary:
Distance: 67.10 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,923 ft
Moving Time: 03:44:17
Avg Speed: 18.0 mph
Max Speed: 34 mph

Group: David, Paula, Edgar, Gary, Rick and me

The Ride: I got to start the ride today with some friends that I have not seen in a while. It feels like weeks since I rode with Gary and Edgar and I have not been on a ride with David, Paula and Rick in a long time. We were supposed to meet Claire and Doug as well, but in the mix of a lot of business going on at the 2010 Beautiful Back Roads event we missed rolling out with them. Like usual, this event draws hundreds of cyclists from all over the Atlanta area and probably other states. This is our NARC club sponsored event we had our entry and meal at the end, but these are also our typical stomping ground where we do most of our training or riding. Because it is our usual area none of us are really interested in the full century and we normally opt for the metric (67 mile route).

Our pace started out somewhat normal, but I could tell Rick, Gary and Edgar were wanting to up the speed a bit. David, Paula and I sat in the back with a calmer pace up some of the rolling hills. I was concerned about getting out of my training zones so I wanted to stay seated and spin light up the hills, but some faster riders passed us, David passed me as if to say lets pick it up a little and from that point forward I forgot about everything and just went with the flow. Gary, Rick and Edgar went ahead with a group of faster riders and I went on my own for a fairly solid pace to the end.
 I do appreciate everyone that contributed as workers during the event. Nice to sit under the tent and talk to my friends following the ride. Thanks to the Budweiser plant for not only allowing this event to be hosted on their property, but allowing us to park and ride from their plant through the years.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:(2) 24 oz. bottle of water with Hammer Heed,BCAA and Glutamine, (1) Cliff bar (2) Hammer gels (1) 20 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink,
post ride event meal: roasted chicken, salad, roll, two cookies, several glasses of lemonade and tea.

The Weather:  Partly cloudy, 89 (feels like 94 according the Weather Channel), humidity 52%, winds SW 6 mph

Bike: Look 585

Power Summary: (Based on Coogan's Levels)
Total Ride Minutes: 229.88
Summary Table
  Level   Minutes       TSS
      1      3.42      0.27
      2     25.39     18.20
      3     29.97     35.67
      4    146.81    170.50

      5      1.74      2.13
      6      2.96      8.85
      7     14.59     48.39

Power Data:
 Entire workout (130 watts):
    Duration:      3:46:53 (3:52:32)
    Work:          1754 kJ
    TSS:           284.4 (intensity factor 0.876)
    Norm Power:    166
    VI:            1.28
    Distance:      67.459 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    676    130     watts
    Speed:           0    34.5    17.8     mph
    Pace             1:44    0:00    3:22     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    344    53     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    780    137     lb-in

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Training Evolution - Part 1

For more than a year I have been reading text concerning concepts and principles of training with a power meter, but I had yet to really apply those principles. In June I came to a crossroad of decision because I had previously purchased a power meter and had only slightly applied those principles because I hated to give up parts of cycling that I was enjoying. Yet those enjoyments became frustrations when I understood that I was not improving in performance and I began to feel as if I was slipping instead of progressing. Two of those things were attending a spin class and the other was participating in group rides. Now both of those things can be beneficial, but my schedule had no rhyme or reason to it. It was haphazard and as someone who used to be a successful competitor in a different sport I do know that two of the most important aspects of training is a sound plan (schedule) and consistency. So in June I made the hard choice to break away from my typical recreational style of cycling and really apply these training principles.

One aspect of my genetics is that I am very capable on the anaerobic side because I have been training with weights for over 27 years and that is where I flourish. I have never been one for endurance sport. My build is stocky and though I have slimmed down some from my former competitive bodybuilding days, I still carry a lot of lean mass, which impedes in endurance sports. That being said I can generate decent power and speed for a short distance, but I have been lacking on aerobic endurance since I started cycling in 2004. I have improved over the years to the point a 60 mile ride is a typical ride, but now I want to build and train to the point I could do a century at a good pace at any given point in time of the year without any specialized focus on an event or do any local moutain climb at any given point. Both of these and most of what I would like to achieve in cycling will require sustainable power output or improved aerobic condtioning.

Focus One: Aerobic Conditioning (Sustainable Power Output)

In order to get this I was very fortunate to be involved with the right people at the right time of this desire to change. I cannot go into the story or the timeline of how the events, conversations and emails played out, but I will say it all unfolded at the perfect time in order to break away from my stubbornness and desire to hold on to those haphazard ways of cycling.

The first step was to get my FT (function threshold) set to begin the journey and once that was established I started at with Training with Power-101 (the basics) of building sustainable power output through intervals at 85 to 100% of my FT. The key words that were given to me in guidance were training time at level for the biggest bang for the buck metabolic adaptations. My schedule for lifting was changed and believe me that was another hard decision to make, but Tuesday and Thursday I am focusing on the typical 2 (sets) x 20 (minutes) of Coogan’s Level 4 (L4) as my foundation and on Sundays I try to get out for 2 x 60 for L4 or at least L3. On Saturday I still have my long endurance ride with at least 3 hours of saddle time with various levels, but trying not to exceed L4. This is just a small picture of my training week and for now I will not expose all of it, but I will say that I am very focused on the basics of building sustainable power. I have had to drop out of the spirited group rides because those were either too low at times or for much of the ride be above L4.

The first number of weeks as I began to shift my focus and effort back to training indoors on the trainer using a power meter as my guide, it was a hard adjustment. Most who train indoors on a fluid trainer know that it feels more difficult than riding outdoors. Not only is it more discomforting, but it also takes a lot of focus and especially when trying to hold a in a small range of power output. The first couple of weeks I struggled to hold L3 and then the third week as my legs begin to adjust to the feel of the trainer I began to see my time creep up into L4. By the fourth week I was holding most of my time in L4 and the effort became much more refined. Meaning it was becoming easier for me to hold a constant cadence compared those first couple of weeks where my power output was jumping to extremes.

Now for those who do not know what training near functional threshold means here is one good place of explanation at Flamme Rouge.

I will be honest with you that pushing at this level will become discomforting after a few minutes. The core temperature will rise and require a good cooling fan and the legs will begin to sting. It is at that time focus is important to keep in the zone and to endure the discomfort. As your body adapts and conditioning improves it will feel easier, but that only means that bar must be raised again and the threshold number be reset for next training period of weeks.

My plan is to continue with this basic principle until next spring at the minimum and I have no plans to get fancy with the program by adding sprints or any other tricky intervals. This brings me to Focus Two.

Focus Two: Consistency

One thing that made me a successful bodybuilding competitor with crappy genetics, was the desire and determination to succeed despite the obstacles and hurdles like the ever important genetics. But a good thing about desire and determination applied is consistency. Many people desire to accomplish things, but not that many apply their desire and determination. If one crosses the line of changing from thinking to doing a plan results will occur. Seems simple enough, but most do not make the effort to step into the application phase. Performance or achievement does not occur when we want it and most of us want instant results, but most of us do not have genetic gifted body that it comes so easily. I have trained alongside professional athletes and though it looks easy to them it is not easy at their higher level with equal to or better genetic gifted competitors.

To be successful one will more than likely have to trust in the plan or training schedule assigned and hopefully the training plan is based on sports science evidence and not some opinion based methodology. Now on one side there is hopefully evidence to support the plan, but it does take faith on the end user or the athlete applying the principles to stay consistent through the periodization. I can say that even though I saw very slight incremental improvements over the past weeks my natural view was it ain’t happening fast enough, but my years of experience in training have overcome this thought to stick with it and trust that it will work.

After a few weeks of applying this principle I did see a small physiological bump and I have to cherish that bump because that seems to be the way it occurs as I have been told by more experienced cyclists that have applied the same principles. It almost feel like a step backward in some ways because I have to drop out the spirited group rides and I sometimes now doubt that I can dig deep to hang with them at all now, but I know that I must stayed focused on the principles, be consistent and in time my hope is that the results will be very rewarding.

So for now my focus is training time at level and consistency of applied effort.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Brewery to Calhoun to Fairmont

Garmin Connect Ride Data Link
Garmin Ride Summary:
Distance: 57.32 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,822 ft
Moving Time: 03:39:21
Avg Speed: 15.7 mph
Max Speed: 36 mph

Group: Several of the usual members, but I dropped out of the brisk pace 5 miles into the course.

The Ride: Nothing out of the usual training ride for me. As mentioned I dropped off the back of the group as their pace began to increase around mile 5. Not only am I devoted to staying in my power levels as be possible, but my legs are tired from the intense intervals during the week. I am content with a slower ride with the majority of my time in level 3.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:(1) 24 oz. bottle of water with Hammer Heed,BCAA and Glutamine, (1) 24 oz. bottle of water with Hammer Perpetuem, BCAA and Glutamine (1) Power bar (1) Accel gels (1) 20 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink

The Weather:  Partly cloudy, 89 (feels like 94 according the Weather Channel), humidity 52%, winds SW 6 mph

Bike: Look 585

Power Summary: (Based on Coogan's Levels)
Total Ride Minutes: 219.26

  Level   Minutes       TSS
      1      3.34      0.21
      2     99.77     57.67
      3    114.47    128.73
      4      0.00      0.00
      5      0.00      0.00
      6      0.00      0.00
      7      1.68      3.94

Power Data:
 Entire workout (112 watts):
    Duration:      3:40:55 (3:42:59)
    Work:          1469 kJ
    TSS:           190.8 (intensity factor 0.724)
    Norm Power:    138
    VI:            1.23
    Distance:      57.529 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    560    112     watts
    Speed:           0    36.5    15.6     mph
    Pace             1:39    0:00    3:50     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    396    57     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    734    132     lb-in

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brewery to Barnsley Gardens - Labor Day Ride

Garmin Connect Data Link
Garmin Ride Summary:
Distance: 60.59 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,979 ft
Moving Time: 03:47:04
Avg Speed: 15.9 mph
Max Speed: 35.5 mph

Group: Derek, Mike and me

The Ride: I was surprised that this Labor day there was virtually no email chatter leading up to Labor Day, but I did find out that Mike and Derek were riding from the brewery and were rolling out at 8 am. And so we did roll out early this morning with no pre-planned route and a chill to the air. Mike and I opted for arm warmers, but soon the sun was up and warming us. Our pace was calmer than the larger group ride and I was grateful that we kept a rather calm pace throughout the duration of the course.

 Derek took us out toward Barnsley Gardens going up Rock Fence and then another nice short climb on our return up CCC road. With the low humidity the weather was extremely nice. It was a day that we just wanted to stay out and not stop.

I had a couple days off from my cycling training and enjoyed my trip up to Kentucky to see my family and celebrate my mom's birthday. Today's ride was a really nice introduction back to the bike and a prelude to my normal training schedule tomorrow.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:(2) 24 oz. bottle of water with Hammer Heed,BCAA and Glutamine (1) Cliff bar (1) Accel gels (1) 20 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink

The Weather:  Partly cloudy, 87 (feels like 84 according the Weather Channel), humidity 28%, winds SSE 5 mph

Bike: Look 585

Power Summary: (Based on Coogan's Levels)
Total Ride Minutes: 239.99

  Level   Minutes       TSS
      1      5.75      0.51
      2     69.78     42.86
      3    106.81    133.04
      4     36.75     45.21

      5      0.00      0.00
      6      3.72     13.43
      7      5.94     22.21

Power Data:
 Entire workout (119 watts):
    Duration:      3:50:35 (4:13:14)
    Work:          1630 kJ
    TSS:           257 (intensity factor 0.826)
    Norm Power:    157
    VI:            1.32
    Distance:      61.0 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    611    119     watts
    Speed:           0    35.8    15.9     mph
    Pace             1:41    0:00    3:47     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    354    57     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    837    134     lb-in