Exercise to have on your list
Lunges! Great exercise for cyclists. Do them forward, do them backwards, side to side, out to an angle and back to an angle. Do them across the lenght of the gym, do them to a press as you go across the gym, do them with light weights and progress to heavier weights. Watch your form! Don't bend at the waiste. Take deep steps no matter which direction you're going. Do 10-15 reps per leg per exercise and even do 2-3 sets. Maybe pick 3 or 4 of the above options at each training session. Do them year-round, not just during the winter months.
more steady states
Had another day of 4x10 steady states yesterday which I did inside. The goal was 320 on the watts and they ended up being 321, 321, 320 and 323. Cadence was just above the prescribed 85. HR was right around 82-845 of max or or 94% of LTHR. Watts per kg was around 4.18.
We held the first of the indoor power based spin classes this week. We had just a few riders show up but they went at it. The efforts were all one minute pwoer intervals. We did a set of 3, then 4 then 5 for a total of 12. Time between sets was 3-4 minutes. We'll continue to do these for the next few weeks. Next Tuesday we already have about 6 signed up. So far 25 have taken the power test.
4x10 minute steady states
I did these inside on Tuesday with all four efforts right around 320 watts and 85 cadence. Another round tomorrow after some strength training today that included lunges, squats, planks, curls, pushups, and plenty of plyometrics.
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The problem with riding a century that goes east first and then west when a cold front is coming in is the chance of some strong headwinds on the way back. I've ridden the Cincinnati to Ripley 100 dozens of times and have had some head winds one way or another but nothing like today. While the ride out was pretty typical (about 19.2 mph) the ride back after the front passed was brutal. We barely averaged 15 mph for the 3 hours and 19 minutes. It's a flat road so its constant pedaling. Knowing that we were in for a long ride back we kept the cadence high so as to not get bogged down in too large a gear. Slow going but it worked.
Started the day with my 8:15 am indoor cycling class (all 35 bikes filled) with 4 climbs of 10-12 minutes each. After that it was 55 minutes of strength and plyometrics in my 9:15 Circuit class (about 25 in the class). A couple of hours later I was at Ault Park doing another set of 4x8 steady states at 329, 329, 329 and 331 watts. In the fall and winter months I kind of like getting in some long days of mixed training since the longer outdoor rides are fewer.
4x8 steady state's, inside
Yesterdays schedule had another set of 4x8 steady states. Given some time constraints I did these inside on the trainer. ALl four efforts were around 325-6 with cadence at the prescribed 85. Have another round of these today after the Wednesday double-header of spin and circuit classes at the Cincinnati Sports Club.
We're starting the first of the Power Spin classes next Tuesday night. Should be interesting. We'll be hammering some one minute power intervals.
4x8 Steady States
Yesterdays ride was just 90 minutes and included 4x8 minute steady states. After the prior week it was nice to have some shorter intervals than the previous 15 minute efforts.
The weather was great with temps in the 50's. I used Riverside Drive between Delta and downtown Cincinnati for these. The power averages were 329, 328, 329 and 329 with cadence at 87-90 average on each. Hr was right in the threshold zone or below. Watts per Kg was around 4.3. Have a couple of more days of these this week and then will likely get a long ride in on Friday, maybe a century if the weather is as nice as predicted.
Also starting to ramp up the weight training for the winter. I may do these the day of the intervals or on an endurance day. I try to keep the off days as light as possible with just an easy low wattage spin.
The Last Week
Looking back at the last week this was the training program:
Saturday: 4x15 steady states
Sunday: indoor time trial
Tuesday: 4x15 steady states
Wednesday: hours spin class followed by hour circuit class; 90 minute ride late in the day in Great Smoky Mtn national Park
Thursday: 12 mile hike in the mountains (to top of Mt. Le Conte, 3rd highest peak in the park)
Friday: 71 mile 4 hour ride in the park
This week, starting tomorrow, has more steady states (4x8's) with three days this week. Felt a little tired on the ride yesterday but was only a few minutes slower than the same ride last April. Didn't really push it then or yesterday. Bitter cold yesterday when I left (27 degrees) so I wasn't too motivated to ride hard. Still, a beautiful say to ride. Posted lots of pictures on my facebook page.
Testing the riders at CSC
Over the last week or so I've been offering the 2x8 power test to members of the Cincinnati Sports Club with the idea of offering wattage training classes over the winter. So far we've had 15 people do the test. The watts/kg averages for the 2x8's have been from 2.4 to 4.2. Everyone has been pushing their HR way up to zone 5. While some have been serious cyclists many are just club members interested in taking their training up a notch. Riding with specific power zones will be a big change from riding a typical spin class. I'll have more on this as we get into the actual classes.
another set of 4x15 steady states
I rode these inside this morning. Its a little too cold for me to head out and do intervals when its in the 30's. Hate the cold!
The first 15 minute effort was at 321 followed by 322 and 319. Cadence was around 88-90 on those and HR was right at 161 which is my threshold. I was finishing with HR around 165+.
The fourth effort was pretty lousy. At the 11 minute mark my power average was at 307 and cadence was dying so I stopped. This shows why I fall apart in 40k time trials. I'm ok for the first 15 minutes and even the first 30 but after that, not so good. This is something to work on this winter and looking at the schedule I have more opportunities.
Last weeks efforts outside were about the same power average with the exception of the last effort where I still held around 320. I was actually glad to do these inside as its harder to maintain that power while staring at the tv or listening to music or both. I always assume that if I can hold my zones inside I should exceed them outside.
Also worth noting that even while drinking a couple of bottles over this 1:45 training ride I was still down 5 lbs. Also had the fan cranked. Could be that dehydration came into play a little on that last 15 minutes.
First Indoor TT
Outdoor time trials are hard enough but riding them inside, even just a 10k, is brutal. Its all about maximizing power without blowing up and being able to hold HR well into zone 5.
In my heat at 3:00 pm we only had a total of three riders on the computrainers. One was a woman who was making her first attempt. I give her credit for sticking out and completing the course in 28+ minutes. Thats a long time to suffer.
The other male rider is about 6 years older than I am and rides some great times. Just for fun the promotor pulled up my February ride (14:43; a personal best for me) and allowed that to be the 4th rider.
For the first few minutes I was actually ahead of my record but I faded on the first climb and never caught up. I finished at 15:04, 30 seconds off my best and about 8 seconds off my first ride last fall. Overall ok but was hoping for something below 15 minutes. Power average was 353, well below the 390 it took to ride the 14:34. Thats 390 on the Computrainer; my Powertap was in the upper 360's. Should be able to get back to that over the next few months.
4x15 Steady State
Todays training called for 2 hours with 4x15 minute steady state efforts. I ended up subbing the 7am spin class and then doing my 2 hours after that. Rode hard in spin but it didn't seem to affect the intervals.
For these longer efforts I like to use SR 52 along the Ohio River. Its pretty flat with few traffic lights and a wide shoulder. I use the 8-10 minutes from my house to the corner of Wilmer and Kellogg as the warmup and start the first effort as soon as I turn onto Kellogg (SR 52). The wattage goal is between 319 and 331.
The first 10 minutes were at 318 before I hit a light at Coney Island. After about 45 seconds at the light I started the next interval and went 20 minutes at 326 until I hit one of the lights near 10 Mile. After that short stop I did another 10 minutes at 325 into NEw Richmond where I rode easy 6 minutes. The nest 20 minutes to finish the hour were at 321. Cadence for the hour was around 90 and HR was right above and below my threshold HR of 161. Normalized power for the entire ride of 1:45:10 was 287.
Overall this was one of my better steady state efforts. I usually find that I'm dropping my cadence into the low 80's as I try to keep the power in the zone but I didn't have that problem today. The first 40 minute effort felt great. I think I could have easily kept that going for another 20 minutes to make it one solid hour.
Tomorrow is the first indoor time trial. Power goal for the 10k is about 365-375.
Field Test Results
The field test consists two 8 minute all out efforts. The wttage average from these will be used to determine the training zones until the next field test. We usually do a few of these per year. I use my Cycle-Ops Indoor 400 since the results are completely comparable. Riding outside, especially in the winter, presents too many variable from wind, to windchill, to traffic, road conditions, etc. Plus, inside is mentally tougher which never hurts.
The last time we did these, which I think was in mid-January, I held 365 and 370 watts. This was in the middle of a tough winter of training and the third of the four indoor time trials. The indoor tt effort is around 14:30-15:10 and using my Powertap while on their Compu-Trainer my power at its best was around 368 and 390 respectively. The Compu-trainer was always about 20-25 watts higher. Not sure which is truly accurate but the important things was they were consistent on each ride. it certainly helps with the power having other riders competing on the course at the same time.
I warmed up for 20 minutes today pushing 170-200 watts. I started the first effort at 280 watts and by the 30 second mark had my target power at 370 knowing that was where we were the last time. My goal was to ride close to 375. In the end I rode the first 8 minutes at 369 and the second at 371 so essentially the same as last January. Watts per kg would be right around 4.8. I'd have to hold about 385 to reach that illusive 5 wts/kg. Tought to do for this length fo time but not impossible.
Field Test Tomorrow
After the last month of 15x1 and 30x30 power intervals we'll see where my power zones should be heading into the winter months with the 2x8 minute field test tomorrow. Afetr a 10-15 minute warmup I'll ride 2x8 minute efforts, all out, above time trial pace with about 10 minutes between efforts. The average power from these will be used to calculate my functional threhold power and from there all of my zones from recovery to endruance to tempo to steady state to CR/TT. Last time we did this I was around 370 on each. Hard to say where I'll be on these but I'll set the target wattage for that power and try to hold the cadence around 105-107.
Ideally the training since the end of the time trial season has added to my ability to ride well above threshold. I get frequent comments from other riders regarding that 'lactic acid' burn during these efforts at maximum intensity. To be correct, this is really not a lactate issue as lactate is actually beneficial to the process of producing energy in the mucles. That burn is actually hydrogen ions being released. Training should improve your ability to remove the hydrogen ions and also produce more energy. The feeling doens't go away---you just learn to move through it.
Started the day with my 6am spin then lifted for 30 minutes. Late in the day I went to Ault park for the 30/30's. It was cool, upper 40's, but sunny.
Rather than doing the 3 sets of 10 I did a set of 15, a set of 10 and a set of 5. The first fifteen had an average of 595, the second at 583 and the third at 576. The first set started out with 30 seconds at 661 avg. There were three other efforts above 600 (607, 600 and 624) and four in the 590's in that first set. That set certainly took its toll on the next two. I hit above 600 just once (611 in the third set) and was only in the 590's four times in the last two sets.
Theres no doubt that doing these outside and being able to basically sprint out of the saddle and shift more effectively than inside accounts for the bigger power. Hr was pretty consistent both in and out and that really is the goal. While I use average wattage as the motivation the real idea with these is to get that rapid beating of the heart with little to no recovery between each effort. Strengthening that left ventricle will allow me to push more blood with each beat.
My Wednesday starts at 6:00 am with a personal training client. Tough for him, easy for me. I then have the 8:15 spin that I rode and then the 9:15 circuit class that during the fall/winter I participate with the class. Those two consecutive hours are a good workout so I waited unti lalte in the day to the do the 30/30's.
With the day being cold and rainy again I hit the trainer. My averages were close to the day before with power at 483, 487 and 485 or roughly 6.30 wts/kg. Cadence was around 105-110 and all efforts were perfomed in the saddle. I have one more day on these on Saturday with today being a couple hours of endurance and Friday an off day. Next week's schedule has the Field Test on Tuesday.
I'm thinking of adding masters track nationals in Indianapolis to next years schedule. It would come right after the national senior games and before master road nationals.