Sunday, January 29, 2012

Comet - Tempo ?

Garmin Connect Data
Ride with GPS Data
Training Peaks Data
Moving Time: 1:50:38
Distance: 32 miles
Avg Moving Speed 17.3 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,120 ft

Group: Solo going out and joined with a guy named Mike on part of the return.

Goal: 2 x 1 hour intervals at Tempo (L3)

The Ride:
The reason I put Comet - Tempo ? as a title was mainly because going out I felt worn out from the 70 mile ride yesterday and had trouble getting up to speed and power output, but some of that may have been due to heading straight into headwinds. Nevertheless I ended that first hour interval above what I expected with a 0.88 IF (intensity factor). Better than I expected and with the lower average speed there was the evidence that wind certainly did play a role going to the west.

As expected coming back rolling along in the 20+ mph range felt pretty good and it got even better when a guy on a very nice Cannondale Time Trial bike cruised past me. I later found out his name is Mike. Not knowing if he would mind me sitting at his pace I set just off to the right, but not in his draft so that I would continue to work. He continued to pick up the pace and not only was I feeling the fatigue, but I was near my threshold. I kept thinking I cannot continue at this pace, but the legs were willing to output the effort despite the discomfort. Pedestrian traffic was picking up as we were getting near the last miles and there were a few times I had to dig deep with a short sprint because I was cutoff or not able to make it through some small holes in the crowds. No telling what our speeds would have been had there been no other people in the way.

Thanks Mike for letting me hang with you on the return. Great to have met you and that was the best fun I have had in a number of weeks pushing those types of speeds. Good fun and I ended up with a 0.88 IF on the return so all in all a good training day.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~26 oz. of water with BCAA's and Gluatamine (1) Hammer gel (1) 40 gram whey protein post ride recovery drink (1) chicken salad sandwich on whole grain toast about 60 minutes following the ride.

The Weather: Sunny skies @ 50 degrees with headwind, On the return sunny skies @ 59 degrees with tailwind

Bike: LOOK 585, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+

Overall Power Data:
 Interval 1:
    Duration:      1:00:09
    Work:          600 kJ
    TSS:           78.6 (intensity factor 0.889)
    Norm Power:    182
    VI:            1.09
    Distance:      15.895 mi
    Grade:         0.1 %  (101 ft)

        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    679    166     watts
    Cadence:         7    196    81     rpm
    Speed:           0    23.7    15.9     mph
    Pace             2:32    0:00    3:47     min/mi

Interval 2:
    Duration:      53:21
    Work:          520 kJ
    TSS:           69.9 (intensity factor 0.886)
    Norm Power:    182
    VI:            1.12
    Distance:      16.119 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    658    163     watts
    Cadence:         14    225    82     rpm
    Speed:           0    32.5    18.1     mph
    Pace             1:51    0:00    3:19     min/mi

Entire workout (165 watts):
    Duration:      1:53:32
    Work:          1121 kJ
    TSS:           148.5 (intensity factor 0.888)
    Norm Power:    182
    VI:            1.1
    Distance:      32.022 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    679    165     watts
    Cadence:         7    225    81     rpm
    Speed:           0    32.5    16.9     mph
    Pace             1:51    0:00    3:33     min/mi
    Crank Torque:    0    1613    177     lb-in
    Temperature:     50    59    51.8     Fahrenheit

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Brewery to Cagle Road - If / Else Statement

Garmin Connect Data
Ride with GPS Data
Training Peaks Data
Garmin Summary
Moving Time: 4:08:48 (4:17:03 total)
Distance: 72 miles
Avg Moving Speed 17.5 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,362 ft

Group A (85 mile route): Diane, Neal, Joe, Craig, Gary, Mike and Keith
Group B (70 mile route): me

Goal: Meet the prescribed conditions as best possible. 4 hours total / <300 TSS / 0.8 IF

The Ride: Have you  ever used an IF/ELSE statement in programming or in Excel? You know it is a conditional statement to control variables and encourage a certain output - at least that is my crude definition. With only having Friday off from cycling training and with the hope of another week ahead in training I wanted to have control of today's ride variables so that I train just enough, but not so hard that it impacts the days ahead in a negative way. In a crude way I thought about the conditions. I selected my out and back route to control the turning point and it is relatively flat so I can better control a steady tempo.

If: ride time going out is < 2 hours continue forward / Else: turn back
If: ride TSS going out is <150 continue forward / Else: turn back 

By having those two conditions and with hope to keep a 0.8 IF I felt this would be a good training effort. It would be enough load and yet not so much that it would interfere with the upcoming days.

I kind of figured one of the results of these conditions would amount to about a 70 mile ride for the total. Since I hit the 2 hour mark before I hit the TSS condition my turning point was just at 35 miles. On the way out and back on hills or anytime I went up into the higher watts I could really feel last weeks training and the fatigue on my legs, but with the goal of a steady (L3) Tempo effort the discomforts of fatigue were random.

I stopped at the Sunoco with about 20 miles to go to remove a thermal base layer. Even though this morning was quite brisk I kind of thought I may have overdressed. I am not sure what was worse. Wearing the base layer or having rolled up in my back jersey pocket. It felt like I was riding with a basketball back there. Oh well....the next thing I know I am done and not feeling all that fatigued. I suppose I should be ready for intervals tomorrow.

.....and to Mr. Chow, I was quite unimpressed with your performance today. You've had better days chasing me. Your form looked very sloppy and your anaerobic power looks a little diminished. I certainly hope you do better next time. Your stumpy little friend down the road did much better getting close to my heel. Better luck next time.

The song playing in my head through most of the ride today was by Stuart Hine and with the beauty of today it was a good song to be constantly on my mind.

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~40 oz. of water with Hammer Perpetuem, BCAA's, Gluatamine (1) Cliff bar (2) Hammer Gels (1) 40 gram whey protein post ride recovery drink (1) chicken salad sandwich on whole grain toast, 10 oz skim milk.

The Weather: Sunny skies at the start @ 32 degrees, End sunny skies @ 60 degrees, breezy

Bike: Cannondale six13, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+

Overall Power Data:
 Lap 1:
    Duration:      2:03:34
    Work:          1089 kJ
    TSS:           131.5 (intensity factor 0.801)
    Norm Power:    164
    VI:            1.12
    Distance:      35.234 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    431    147     watts
    Cadence:         13    191    79     rpm
    Speed:           0    33.2    17.1     mph
    Pace             1:48    0:00    3:30     min/mi

Lap 2:
    Duration:      2:05:02
    Work:          1027 kJ
    TSS:           120.2 (intensity factor 0.759)
    Norm Power:    156
    VI:            1.14
    Distance:      34.83 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    520    137     watts
    Cadence:         8    246    77     rpm
    Speed:           0    37.9    16.7     mph
    Pace             1:35    0:00    3:35     min/mi

Entire workout (140 watts):
    Duration:      4:17:13
    Work:          2162 kJ
    TSS:           257.3 (intensity factor 0.775)
    Norm Power:    159
    VI:            1.13
    Distance:      72.367 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    520    140     watts
    Cadence:         8    246    78     rpm
    Speed:           0    37.9    16.9     mph
    Pace             1:35    0:00    3:33     min/mi
    Altitude:        635    924    749     ft
    Crank Torque:    0    1383    157     lb-in
    Temperature:     32    62.6    46.1     Fahrenheit

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rolling Indoors

Goal: 2 x 60 Minute Tempo Efforts on e-Motion rollers

Training Summary:
Duration: 2:16 Moving / 2:37 Total
Distance: 40 miles

Typically I do not blog about my indoor training. How can one express anything that is no more boring than sitting there slugging away for a couple of hours in one spot. I did want to note that training continues despite the weather. This was a moderate (L3) intensity type of training session. I have completed several days of high intensity training so this was an opportunity to log time on the bike and spin roughly 0.8 IF for a couple of hours. One thing I have noted today is the 2 hours on the rollers seems to be more exhausting than my 70 mile ~4 hour effort at near the same intensity level. By the end of the second hour on the rollers I was done and my legs felt done.

Nutrition: ~50 oz water with BCAA's and Glutamine, (1) hammer gel (1) post training tuna salad sandwich on whole grain toast & ~10 oz skim milk

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Forward Thinking Training

It is entertaining that this catch phrase popped up in my mind the other day and has continued to play over and over again to the point I want to try to outline this thought in writing. It is something that many successful athletes have done through history. I can look at the type of training that I did lifting weights and how that helped me win a multitude of competitions and I have also observed these same traits in other successful athletes in a variety of sports that require training.

What are those traits? Here are some of the major traits, but there are still many other good traits.

• Determination
• Disciplined
• Structured
• Consistent
• Progressive

After a quick Google search and by the multitudes of web pages that this is not something that I conjured up on my own as if I could take credit for this catch phrase, but this is something that is highly important to me as I continue to pursue improvement in cycling. I take what I have learned in the many years of training and I apply those same principles to cycling. Sure the training is obviously different, but the principles bulleted above are common.

So what is forward thinking in training to me?

First, it takes determination to push through the discomforts of training or the feeling of lethargy or other life distractions. It is not saying, “With work and other things in life I just don’t have time to train” or “I had a hard day and I believe I will skip training again.” Determination may require setting alarm clock a little earlier. Determination is another way of saying deep desire. Determination flows right into being disciplined so I will move forward in my thoughts.

The key aspect to forward thinking training to me is consistency. I noticed that when my training in lifting evolved over the years consistency played a major role. I had a structured plan that worked very well for me back in the day. The structured allowed for progressive training and had just enough recovery time built in.

How does one put all of this together and especially in the case of improving in cycling?

I am fortunate that I use a power meter to gauge my training and the WKO+ software from TrainingPeaks allows me to analyze my data. It helps me understand how yesterday’s training impacts tomorrow’s training. This is very important to me in forward thinking training. For instance, if I have five consecutive days of training lined up in my structure I need to train at an intensity level that will allow me to train those five days and yet each of those training sessions need to be effective (progressive) as well.

It is my hope that this planning will work out, but if I were invited on a group ride that is unpredictable in miles and intensity that causes a very high stress load that event can disrupt those scheduled training days. This is something I have experienced in the last couple of years as I am starting to get structured in my cycling training. I have been on group rides that were as intense as being in a race with a lot of burned matches and high stress loads. I am not saying those type of rides are not beneficial, but they can be disruptive to the planned training structure and may be disruptive to being consistent because more recovery time is required. This can happen on a solo ride as well. I have done long distance solo rides that racked up 350+ TSS (Training Stress Score) and found that I needed a couple of days rest following and missed the scheduled training days following the big ride. This hurts consistency.

Having the power meter and the software is really helping me dial into consistency with a progressive trend. My thought in becoming more consistent is be better at forward thinking training. It is an observation of how progressive training today will impact tomorrow's training with consistency in training being a key element.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Comet - Tempo

Garmin Connect Ride Data
Ride with GPS Data
Training Peaks Data
Moving Time: 2:21:48
Distance: 40.5 miles
Avg Moving Speed 17.8 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,145 ft

Group: Solo

Goal: 2 x 1 hour intervals at Tempo (L3)

The Ride:
Wow!! That felt great!
It was really nice to get out for a tempo type ride after church. For the last number of days were spent training indoors and I was about to crack mentally. I had some really good indoor sessions, but another day of it and I believe I would had a melt down. Being outside in the brisk air sure felt good. The skies were sunny and the Comet seemed to be a good place to do a tempo type ride.

I gave a bit more effort on the first 60 minutes since I hope to leave enough in the legs to continue training the next several days. I am finding that training virtually everyday is not only helping my CTL have a nice ramp rate, but I can tell my conditioning is improving right along with that ramp rate in the software.

One thing about going out to the Comet is the eyes and mind have a lot more to occupy other than looking at the same wall for 2 hours slugging away inside. What was interesting about the Comet on this trip was seeing a number of cycling teams and a few triathletes that looked like they were coming out of hibernation and starting to get some miles on their legs. I did not see any team hammering, but rather just cruising along wearing the same kits and chatting it up. It was also nice to see a variety of others out just doing some general work on fitness and I was fortunate that only a few times I had to really slow down to maneuver around the slower traffic.

Anyway, it was just great to be cycling outside.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~30 oz. of water with BCAA's and Gluatamine (1) Hammer gel (1) 40 gram whey protein post ride recovery drink (1) chicken salad sandwich about 60 minutes following the ride.

The Weather: Sunny skies at the start @ 46 degrees, End sunny skies @ 55 degrees, breezy

Bike: Cannondale six13, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+

Overall Power Data:
 Interval 1:
    Duration:      1:00:05
    Work:          613 kJ
    TSS:           75.7 (intensity factor 0.873)
    Norm Power:    179
    VI:            1.05
    Distance:      17.592 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    469    170     watts
    Cadence:         10    239    84     rpm
    Speed:           0    23.7    17.6     mph
    Pace             2:32    0:00    3:25     min/mi

Interval 2:
    Duration:      1:00:02
    Work:          517 kJ
    TSS:           59.6 (intensity factor 0.772)
    Norm Power:    158
    VI:            1.1
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    665    144     watts
    Cadence:         19    205    79     rpm
    Speed:           0    30.1    18.1     mph
    Pace             1:59    0:00    3:19     min/mi

 Entire workout (149 watts):
    Duration:      2:21:50
    Work:          1265 kJ
    TSS:           153.1 (intensity factor 0.806)
    Norm Power:    165
    VI:            1.11
    Distance:      40.48 mi

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ultrasonic Cleaning - Worth It?

It may be worth a look and a purchase of an Ultrasonic tub if you have more than just bike parts. I tinker around with a lot of mechanical type projects so this was something that I thought I would give a try to clean intricate and hard to reach areas on smaller items. For cycling I am not sure if it is worth the purchase since there are not too many parts that can be placed in the tub. I have read that some guys have cleaned chains, but I have also read that the tub is really good at removing all the dirt and lubricant. This makes is really tough to get the chain lubricated again.

Here is a quick photo review of me cleaning a really nasty cassette that has been in out on several wet rides and is full of grit and dirty oil. This cleaning took about 20 minutes of the tub working, but if I had to clean this it would have been me scrubbing with a tooth brush with a lot more mess.

Purchased from Amazon for roughly $80

Unboxed - It is a simple tub and easy to operate heated or unheated

Nasty Cassette

Simple Green Pro HD is supposed to be easy on all metals

After running a couple times and cleaning the water it looks like one more time is needed.

Cleaned and ready for the next adventure

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Brewery to Cagle - This Ain't No Fooling Around

A Tranquil Scene Along the Way

Garmin Connect Data
Ride with GPS Data
Training Peaks Data

Group: Solo

Goal: Finish the week of training with a 4 hour ride with a good bit of time in Tempo (L3).

The Ride:
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain't got time for that now
Talking Heads
As it goes for the avid cyclists watching the weather radar and forecast leading up to the much anticipated Saturday ride, we watched. We had hope. We made the drive and the choice to make our trek forward with what looked like skies that were ready to open up and pour down. 

I was at the brewery parking lot ready to roll out at 9 this morning. It was a pleasure to see Neal, Diane, Mike, Dick, Don, Craig, Jeff, Jamie, Alan and a bunch of others prepare to roll out. For me I was scrolling down the Garmin 800 looking for my typical route and making sure the power meter was calibrated. I rolled out of the brewery solo and on my way to what I had hoped would be a four hour ride. The route and the time in the saddle was all part of the week's training plan. A tough choice to make as part of me would have liked to roll out with my friends.

Fortunately the temperature was really mild for January. I  had on summer gear with a long sleeve base layer and leg warmers. I used shoe covers to keep my feet dry and I am glad that I did. I had my Sugoi ultra lightweight jacket in the back jersey pocket just in case.

As I typically roll along solo there is something that usually pops up in my mind to keep me motivated. Today it was the Talking Heads song, but only the part listed above. This ain't no party! This ain't no disco! This ain't no fooling around! It kept me entertained and I kept thinking of training - it ain't no fooling around. I am steadfast on my continued goal to improve my aerobic conditioning and it continues on through this year. My focus is really not on building anaerobic power at the moment. I just want to get better at endurance cycling and hopefully with a little more speed to boot.

Well, I met my goal for the day. 4 hours on the bike as my first day back on the pavement for 2012 and a touch under 70 miles. I felt pretty good considering I had some really good training time this week indoors and my legs were tired. I could feel it in those last 15 miles. A few little twinges of pain here and there, but not too bad for the start of the season. 
And the rain held off until I was finished. It started raining just as I pulled out of the parking lot. What a blessing. Thank You Lord!!

Bike: Cannondale six13, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+
Dirty Backup (Rain) Bike


Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Torque Test - Garmin 800

Time to test the equipment and this is my first time checking using the Garmin 800 as the head unit. The end result of the reflects a 5% error, but I must admit I was rather hasty in going through this rough torque test. I believe my Powertap hub is within the acceptable 2% range and will try this test again with more accurate measured weight rather than the loaded bucket measured on a non calibrated scale and take a bit more time performing the test.

Considering using accurate weights and setup for the test the process below using the Garmin 800 (Garmin 500) to perform the test. See the previous test that I performed in 2010 for the Powertap Cervo or for additional photos during a rough torque test.

Setup Tool
Bike Settings

Bike Profiles
Select Bike

Select ANT+ Power
Select Calibrate

Check Calibration and Zero Torque

Measured Weight Source

Level Crank Arm

Stick used to keep wheel from spinning
Torque displayed in newton meter
Measured Weight: 53.2 lbs
Crank Length: 170
Crank Ring: 34

Measured torque  =  (weight in lbs)  ×  (crank length in mm)  ×  (1 in/25.4 mm)  ×  (cog teeth/chainring teeth).
Measured Torque for 15 Cog = 157.09
CPU Displayed Torque for 17 Cog = 16.81 newton meter = 148.7811 pound force inch*
5% diffference

* Convert newton meter to pound force inch: (16.81 x 8.85074 = 148.7811)

Measured Torque for 22 Cog = 230.39
CPU Displayed Torque for 22 Cog = 239.76
4% difference

Spreadsheet Tool (Select tab for Powertap Cervo or Garmin 800)