Archive for March, 2012

Wow, an outdoors ride

14 March 2012

So, I ventured out on the road this morning.

Riding on a road is a different beast altogether. You’d have thought that with the constant pedalling an indoor bike brings, you’d be in fairly good shape for an outdoor ride. At least, I would have thought. I had rivers of sweat running down my spine after three miles!!! Ok, that was probably down to my choice of layers; I think I have forgotten how to dress for the outdoors. It was 51F when I left and 48F when I came back. I was surprised in the drop of temperature, especially as the sun had risen, but I did come to a cold patch on Vets Highway.

I threw on both front lights, the dynamo and the Nite Rider, and the last two remaining back lights. I need to purchase a couple more now, one bust! Hey, did you know Nite Rider has closed down for business. I don’t think their lights for bicycles have closed but the division that made diving lights. I had one of their lights for diving and it was like a beacon but I think I shorted in on one dive trip and it never worked after that. I have a bigger beacon now which lights up a football field!! But I digress.

I filled up a water bottle, threw on the frame bag and set off. I should have brought a Gu. I really ought to have. Anyway, I didn’t and I barely took a sip of water. Cadence, I think, was high and that’s probably the side effect of doing the Hill Speed workouts. I headed off down Smithtown Blvd, then on to Portion Road and then on to Patchogue Rd (Ave?). It was nice to see a newly painted bike lane on Patchogue Rd. It goes all the way down to the LIE. When I say “new”, it’s probably been there for months!

Riding along Vets Highway, I saw the landfill. Is this new? I recall seeing it when driving in the car with Alma and we weren’t too sure if was new or not but riding the bike and taking some time going past it, it definitely seemed like it had not been there before. I have cycled up that road many times and don’t recall seeing it. Must ask Becky tomorrow.

As I reached Connetquot River State Park (where we hiked on Saturday), I suddenly felt chilled. It is the faster section of the ride with a slight downhill, but I immediately thought, west wind!! The leaves weren’t even moving, ha! I was glad of the layers then. Coming back along Townline (opposite direction) it again felt like a head wind but again the leaves weren’t moving. Probably just a drop in temperature.

Anyway, I got back and felt pleased I had done the ride. No real drawbacks from having done the CTS yesterday. I’ll be back out again tomorrow though this getting up in the dark is getting old fast!

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Clocks going forward is bad for morning training

13 March 2012

With the clocks going forward this weekend, I now have to set the alarm in the mornings so I can get up in time to do an hour+ training session before getting ready for work. Fortunately I work from home so at least I don’t have a commute to take into consideration.

I missed getting up yesterday in time as I wanted to do the CTS Monday leaving Wed-Sat cycling outdoors. So I slept till after 7am and this is too late for me to train as I like at least an hour before I have to log on. I put the alarm on for 6am. With Alma gone for the week, it was okay to have an alarm that early. It was pitch black when I awoke. It so reminded me of getting up early for wreck diving. I do not like getting up when it is dark outside. It feels wrong. It didn’t start getting light until 6:40am. So now I am thinking, outdoor cycling is going to suck on the mornings during the week. Maybe I will just stick with the indoor bike and do CTS sessions!

This morning’s session went really well. Another Climbing Speed. These are the toughest of the three part climbing series. I never did get around to trying it last year and now I am wishing I did. Not that I suffered for the lack of that training as I was positively bouncing up the hills in last year’s PBP, except the night finish in Montagne on the return leg!! Last week I was doing gears #9 and #6 for the second set of Under/Overs. This time, I went for a #9 and #5 split. Even though I managed to get through the one minute at #5, the next minute back on #9 suffered as a result. I returned back to the #9 and #6 split. I felt strong throughout the session and think I now need to look at making the gears harder somewhere. So training seems to be going well.

These Speed workouts

8 March 2012

They are definitely the toughest workouts I have done. I go through almost 2 bottles of liquid and then I am following that up with a recovery drink today, just because I have yoga tonight. Today I didn’t feel like tweeting much between intervals which is saying something; I wanted to concentrate on recovering for the next set of intervals. The recovery spins went really quick today.

For the second set of Unders & Overs, I went with gear 6. On Tuesday, I felt #7 was a little too easy and 6 was a much better gear to use. I could possibly switch to gear 5 but we shall see how that goes. I think the next step will be to switch to gear 8 for the Unders.

I just realised that my first brevet is 3 weeks from Sunday which means I need to get outside on the bike. From next week, I’ll be doing outside work. I think I shall keep this training session for Mondays, have one day recovery, and then outside on Wed – Sat. Sundays are for hiking. I have yet to decide on the routes for next week. Maybe the Nichols Road one with the sprint under LIE.

Ok, time for showering…

Tough, tough workout

6 March 2012

Ok, I was expecting worse. I really was. It was a tough workout but I was expecting worse. They reckon 1-2 of these workouts per week, 2 being the ideal number, which just goes to show.

After the usual 10 minute warm up, there are two 8-minute segments. The first one consists of 8 x 1-minute intervals all at a cadence of 90-95 and power output at 100%+ of field test effort. The gearing is different with the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th interval requiring a harder gear but keeping the same cadence. Eight minutes at this cadence pushes you. Well, it pushed me. A three minute recovery spin followed by another 8 minute segment. The difference between the first and second segment is that the even minutes on the second segment are at a cadence of 75-80 so to allow for that, and keep the same power output, the gear gets even harder. For these two segments, I used gearing of 9 and 8 for the first segment and 9 and 7 for the second one. I think I could possibly push those but I wanted to see how I got through the whole session.

A nice five minute recovery spin followed then on to the really intense intervals. Two sets consisting of one two minute segment, one 1:45 minute segment and one 90 second segment. The recovery segments match the intervals in time so they get shorter. These intervals are at maximum effort. A four minute recovery separates the two sets.

In the Climbing Power intervals, the second set are two minutes intervals with a 30 second push so those are more intense than these ones. BUT, these ones follow two 8 minute segments which push you more than the first set of intervals on the Power ones. That’s the big difference.

I was pleased to get through it but I really think I can do it with harder gears. I certainly will not be doing a second session tomorrow!

Built for Speed

5 March 2012

Ok, I was really curious and we all know what happened to THAT cat! This morning I decided to have a quick preview of the Climbing Speed DVD. Rather than just put it on and see what they threw at me, I wanted information up front. I am going to attempt it tomorrow.

It looks tough. It looks really tough. May not have the energy to tweet!

There are two 8 minute segments after the warm up and they do not have any recovery times built in, or at least, the recovery section is not as demanding as the highest power. Four minutes separates the two segments. Then another break and the some progressive downhill accelerations. Downhill! That means fast stuff and on an indoor bike, downhill means pedalling, no freewheeling.

In a perverse way, I am looking forward to it but I am not sure if I’ll be able to do two days i a row. I have yet to figure out which gears I will be using so the first session tomorrow may see me chopping and changing a lot initially.

Wish me well.