Thursday, December 29, 2011

Loading up on Miles

I rode 55miles yesterday and today another 35 miles.  It helps to have warm December weather and some vacation hours to burn.  Although, after the ride I headed back to the office to take care of some last minute project items.  UGH.

Not sure what I am going to do tomorrow.  I have to work a couple hours then I have the rest of the day off.  I would go to the gym but my legs are fried.  Maybe an easy 2hr ride is in order.  The tough part is keeping it easy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Joe the Grey

I have been growing a beard since Thanksgiving weekend.   At first my wife didn't like it, said it ages me but I think she is use to it now.  It seems to help keep my face warm.  On my ride to work this morning, I only wore a skull cap on my head.  I could feel the chill of the air on my cheeks and neck.

Last nights weight lifting session went well.  I am into week three of the plan.  In week three the number of reps go down to 4 x 8reps of squats, 4 x 4 reps of Dead lifts.  With the lower reps I can increase the weight... but still no going to failure like the weight lifters.  It should feel hard but if I had to I could do another one or two more reps.   Also, I want to be careful that my form is good so I am being very conservative with the amount of weight I am pushing.  I had 105lbs for the squats and 120lbs for dead lifts. 

I rode into work today.  I will take the long way home so I can get another 2:30hrs.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Weekend

The weather has been extremely warm for this time of year and I took advantage of it.  Everyday this weeked the temprature climbed into the 40s.  I was able to ride a couple longer rides on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday, I went out for a quick 1:30hr spin while the Christmas beast was cooking.  Then Monday I joined a group for a 65mile haul.

I feel good about my fitness now.  The trick will be to keep it up through the dark days of Jan/Feb.  This is the first week of my training plan restart.  I am a little bit off track because the long ride I did on Monday wasn't part of the plan.  I was suppose to lift.  I will do that today.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Quick Post

Since this is Xmas week, I rearranged my training schedule to do my long ride yesterday.  It worked out well.  I took 4hrs vacation time and the weather was good.   I finished with 3:20hrs in the saddle.  Nearly half of the time was Zone 2 and a little Zone 3.

Another weight lifting session is in store for this afternoon.   I will get most of the longer rides done during the week and play the weekend by ear.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Early Xmas Present

The weather last weekend was as good as it gets here in Nebraska.  In the middle of Decemeber.  The early december snow was gone and the temperatures climbed into the 50s for both Sat & Sun.  My training schedule called for a 2hr ride on Sat and 3hrs on Sun.  I wanted to ride with my wife on Sunday so I had planned on doing the longer ride Saturday.

The group had planned to do a 35mile loup out to Elk City, Valley, Waterloo, and back.  I needed to get more time so I rode another 12 miles to where we met.  We had a special guest for the ride.  Rob on a motorcycle.  He moto paced the group on the flat roads near Elk City and again going ito Valley.  It was pretty fun.  At one point he made a motion with his hand.  It could only mean hold on I am going to increase the speed.  Rob made it up to 43mph with his son Cole tucked in nicely behind.  I got dropped at 33mph. I ended the day with 4hrs and  54 miles.  The intensity of the ride was a bit higher than a Zone 2 endurance ride but when I was done I didn't feel tired at all.

Sunday was another nice day, temps in the middle 50s.  A few ladies, including my wife, joined in on the ride.  We did basically the same route as Saturday.  I kept the intenisty low focusing on spinning and pedal efficiency.  At one point we did a one legged sprint to a stop sign.

Last night it was back to the gym for some weight lifting.  I am happy with my form in the Squats & Deadlifts so it is time to start increasing the weight.  Slowly.  Today, no workout is planned. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weight Training - Round 2

I started this session with some running, and stretching to warm up.  Five minutes of running is good enough to get my blood flowing.  The stretches seem to loosen up the muscles.  

I thought that I was ready for Squats but my knees and adductors (sp?) were not.  As part of my prep, I go through the squat motion without any weight.  That was difficult.  I tried it with the 45lb barbell ... better but still hard.  I had 3 sets of 12 reps to do.  Surely I could knock out 1 set.  I did the one set and worked through the discomfort with just the barbell.  It got easier as I moved through the reps.  The second and third sets were easier.  I thought my form was good... head up, back straight, down until legs are parallel to the ground, push through the heels.  It all looked good in the mirror.

I worked only the barbell for the bent over rows and the leg presses were no problem.  I super setted my bench press, and leg curls.  I was trying to get three but ended up with only 2 pullups then instead of more pullups finished with Lat pulls.

I finished with 3 sets of 5 deadlifts.  Another exercise that can hurt you if you don't do it right.  I added 2 x 25lb plates to the bar just to lift the bar off the ground.  Again form was key... back straight head up, etc...

In general my muscles were tight this morning nothing sore.  That may change as the day progresses.  I did this routine last year and think it  is a good routine for me.  It only takes 1:30hr but I am hitting most of the major muscle groups.   The squats and deadlifts hit the leg muscles for sure but also taps into my lower back, shoulders and abs.   I believe this helps with longer rides.  I don't seem to have as many lower back issues at the end of a 2, 3, or 4hr ride.

Today schedule calls for spin ups for an hour.  Working on pedal effeincies.  I did this as part of my commute to work.  Riding up some of the hills on Blondo I got more of a force workout but going down hills I was able to max out my cadence.  A couple of times I spun out.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

About last night.

Although I was on the trainer last Saturday for about an hour, in my mind last night was my first extended time on the trainer.  I was to do an Aerobic workout.. mostly HR Zone 2 work.  Zone 2 is 145 - 155bpm for me.  Another goal that I had was to keep my cadence 90+ rpms

It took about 30 minutes to get my HR into Z2.  Once I was there, it was relativly easy to maintain. I settled in at 150bpm.   Still, very easy to maintain.  Soon, I had more time in Z2 than I had in Z1.  New goal - get 60min in Z2.   Got it and now 10min to cool down.  I have to say that last 10min went by so slow.  I was ready to get off the trainer.  I was happy with the workout.  61min Z2, Avg Cadence 90

When, I woke up this morning I gave mysef a 3 out of 7 for fatigue.  The intensity of an Aerobic workout is suppose to be low.  You are suppose to be able to "Back Up" or repeat the workout the next day with no problem.  I could do it again today but am glad I don't have to.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Weight Training - Round 1

Last Monday was my first round of lifting.  Easy, just work on doing the excercises properly.  Keeping the loads light and the effort low.

I did a warmup then headed to the squat rack.  From youtube videos I knew what a squat was suppose to look like.  Bar on the shoulders, slowly lowering, keeping head up, and knees over the toes.  Back Straight too.  No problem with only a 45lb barbell.  So to get a little more intesity I added 20 more pounds for my next set of 12 reps.  Still no problem and no effort at all.

I skipped the standing rows.  I had no clue how to do them properly.

Next was the hip sled for Leg Presses.  Leg presses on the machine are easy... slowly lower the weight and then push up.  I started with 90lbs and finished with 225lbs.  Very easy.

Dead lifts are tricky for me.  I tried working through the motion with no weight.   Then added barbell only.  It just didn't feel right.

I finished the night with Leg Extensions, and Pullups.  I can only do 3 pullups followed by a set of 2... same as last year.  I would really like to work on doing more.

I walked out of the gym Monday thinking that I didn't get much of a workout and come Thursday I would be ready to add weight to all the exercises.  As the day went on yesterday, my legs started to tighten up and feel sore.  I suppose I am not use to all the motions involved with squats, dead lifts, and leg presses.  I hope the soreness goes away by tomorrow evening.

Tonight is a trainer ride... trying to get motivated for that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Plan Reworked

Last week didn't go as planed.  I missed several days of training from some kind of bug.  It would have been counter productive to do any kind of workout.  So, I spent the week sleeping it off and by the weekend I was ready to do something. 

I got on the trainer Saturday for just over an hour.  Then Sunday I went outside for a 3hr ride.  I started out solo but noticed a bunch of cyclists hanging out buy Blue Line Coffee Downtown.  It was a bunch of racers taking advantage of the relativly nice December weather. 

So instead of a 3hr LSD ride, I knew it was going to be a more up tempo pace.   The winds were out of the south and the plan was to ride over to Council Bluff, head south, over the bridge to Bellevue, and back North.  That took about 2hrs.  There were some fast riders setting the pace up the front.  I was trying to keep my HR low so I hung in the back.  Popping out of the line a few times up the hills.   I finished up my ride with another hour solo.

Since I had a bad week, I reworked my training plan to peak in the middle of June corresponding with the Elkhorn Classic in Baker City, OR.  All the bike workouts type, duration, and intensities are all spelled out for the next 23 weeks.  I have a couple weeks of Prep then full-on Base Training. 

Like with every year weight loss will be a prime focus.   Looking back at last years paper log, I have a good start.  I am a few pounds lighter.  Not nearly enough for the 6 mile Mt. climbs of the Elkhorn Classic.  The goal is to lose about 15 more pound.  I am amazed and motivated by my teammate Glen Houts who did some serious weight loss last year.

This year I will also focus on my ability to work at or above my LT.  I am still going to do a full 12 weeks of base training.  In the hope that it will help me with my weight loss and prepare for  my longest RR in the Elkhorn Classic.  Then for the build phase focus only on my breakthrough workouts.  I may even drop down to only 3 rides a week.  Focusing on my advanced abilities... sprinting, climbing, anerobic work, etc.

Finally, I am working in 12 weeks of weight training on Mondays and Thursdays.  I know there is a controversy on weights. Some say do it and others say it doen't  do much good for cyclist.  I think it will give me a nice break from the trainer this winter.  After the 12 weeks then I am hoping to keep it up at least 1 day a week.  The training includes mostly leg work... squats, leg presses, and dead lifts.   I have a few upper body excersized planned .. Bench Press and Pull ups.   Fun fun.

Friday, December 2, 2011

15 Degree Ride

I had to break out most of my winter clothes.  Wind pants over my amfib tights.  A thicker fleece long sleeve shirt for my thermal layer and my neoprene face mask.  I was cozy for my 30+minute ride to work.

One problem, my glasses fogged up after a hard effort up the hill on Blondo to 90th St.  I thought they would clear going down hill but the fog turned into frost.  Got to fix that.  Also, my thumbs were getting a little cold in my mittens.  Any colder than 15, I will put my bar mitts on the bike.  Finally, my toes were cold.  I will try some thicker sock.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Winter Mode

Today I will be in full winter mode.  Tonight my road bike will be mounted on the trainer and I have switched my computer, repair bag, and other things over to the CX bike for outside riding.  The leather on my riding boots has be waterproof... I just have to seal up the screw holes on the soles.

I have been reading some winter riding sites:

I am looking forward to some of the extreme temps.  Sick Huh?