Thursday, December 29, 2016

3x10 muscle tension

low rpms, 60's, and just grinding that out for 3x10 minutes, 304-5 on each

Monday, December 26, 2016

Winter Base Training Fallacy

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Tips for the Master Age Athlete

Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 23 hike around Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mtn National Park

An 11 mile hike around the one way loop starting around 7:15 am. An amazing morning in the park. 

30 minute tempo

I did this inside today, 1x30 minute tempo at 305 avg. HR in the low 140's. Thats a long time to hold that! I listened to my next spin class mix for 20 minutes and then watched some History channel for the last ten. Rest of ride at 190 watts or so.

Friday, December 16, 2016

This Will Make Your Bad Days Seem Pretty Easy

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Article on Crank Length....interesting

2x20 tempo, 300+ watts

Did 2x20 tempo at 301 and 305 watts. Actually did 22 and 21 minutes as I wasn't paying attention too the clock.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

3x15 minute tempo efforts

Another set of 3x15 tempo efforts today at 300, 301 and 304

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Blue Streak Results

Indoor Time Trial Results

Today was the second in our winter series for the JDRF Indoor Time Trial. I rode 1 second off my best from last February with 14:29, 386 watts, 96 rpms. Felt good after last months effort being one of my worst ever at 15:01.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Warmup for tomorrows indoor tt

did some endurance along with the 2x3 minutes at 345 and 3x1 at 395-402 in preparation for tomorrow indoor time trial

Florida Senior Games Results link

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Florida State Senior Time Trials

Here is a summary:

Won gold in both events.
Wind was a major issue, steady 15-20 mph
very flat course with very bumpy paving

In the 5k I averaged 385 watts, 27.44 mph, 93 rpms for a 6:52. The first half was at 419 watts, 25 mph; second half at 347, 30.61 mph.

In the 10k, after a 2 hour gap, averaged 358 watts, 26.84, 92 rpms,for a 13:59. Held 359 and 25 mph for the first half, 352 and 29.31 mph for the second half.

Power on both efforts was below what I held in Kentucky in September by 15 watts or so. Given its mid December and we haven't been doing much training for these, I'd say it went well. I did go all out on the 5k for the first half knowing that the second would be fast with the tail wind. I won that division by 10 seconds. On the 10k, I just didn't have much from the start. Still won by 20+ seconds and both times were within 15-20 seconds of PR's. Actually these are pretty close to my Michigan times, but power was lower.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Time Trial Warmup

Felt great today. Held 343 and 340 for 3 minutes each and then 400, 393 and 390 or so for the 1 minute efforts Very much ready to go tomorrow. Looking at the previous FL results I see some guys riding 6:45 and 13:34 for the 5 and 10k so I'm going to have to ride well to get the gold. I'll give it my best. Really felt today like I can push that 380-400 on these distances. And it wasn't too windy today. Hope that holds out. I did the 3 minutes into the wind and was still hitting 27+ mph.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ft. DeSoto Florida Course

Rode the course three times. Very flat as expected (250' of gain over 23 miles) and very windy. If the wind holds we'll have it to our side and back on the way out and the opposite on the way in. I was hitting 27-28 mph at 230 watts and then 21 mph at 330-350. Overall I went pretty easy, avg 230's NP 240's.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

45 minutes at tempo

32 minutes and 15 minutes at 302 (ok, 47 minutes but who's counting)

....feeling very good heading into the trip....not saying it'll be my best rides ever but for this time of the year I feel very ready to race a little bit

Friday, December 2, 2016

comments to my athletes on training questions

Dear Athletes, 
I've added quite a few new clients in the last month and have had a lot of good questions re the training. Its good to assume that if one person is asking others may be wondering so here are some comments. 
1. Endurance rides inside can be about 66% of the outdoor recommended time. If the schedules says 3 hours, but its 20 degrees or raining sideways or maybe both, two hours inside is fine. Even 90 minutes is ok. I realize some people just can't stand riding inside but any time is better than nothing. If you can do the recommended outdoor hours inside, all the better. I've done indoor centuries with the right mix of sporting events, movies, books, newspapers, etc., and these are usually in 2 or 3 rides over the course of the day. Splitting the time is fine. 
2. There is no expectation that every interval on a given day will be better than the previous and that you'll get better even on the next day with similar intervals over the next few weeks. First, on a given day, if your power goes up substantially from one effort to the next (10% lets say) we have to wonder whether you're pacing too much or holding back at the start. Your field test results should give you pretty accurate ranges to ride the various intervals within. If you held back on the field test, then you'll ride too strong in the intervals. We can correct that with some adjustments to the wattage/HR zones. For those new to having a coach, learning how to ride within zones, and really pushing for specific periods of time, is a challenge. If your power drops 10%, and falls below the target zone, it is likely just a matter of getting used to the training program. This can take weeks and months. Do your best on each interval. If power drops more than 10% but Hr is still in the zone, I'd keep going. If HR sky rockets and power drops 10%+, you're done for that day, and that is ok. On the rest days, your body will adapt. 
3. We will repeat the field tests in January most likely. We may or may not see improvement in just a month. Those newer to structured training may see bigger jumps than those with established histories in the sport and in year-round training. If the test results are really bad, we'll ignore them and stay with the current zones. Unless you've been off the bike for an extended time due to injury or illness, and I'm talking several weeks to a month or more, then one bad day isn't enough to make drastic changes.  I would prepare for the field test like its an A race. I will have a slight taper and rest days prior to it. Get focused that day. Have a good course lined up if outside:  flat or a slight slope, maybe 2%, but not a hill. Cadence should be in your idea range, whether upper 80s to low 100's. I have to admit, my cadence varies on these (90-100) but I try to get the power I want each time, whether inside or out. I've used the same road outside for 15 years and inside I pick songs that last close to 8 minutes or two 4 minute songs for each effort. I'm totally focused on the current and average power. If my cadence drops into the 80's I know I'm in trouble as I'm relying too much on leg strength and not so much on the cardio/pulmonary system. I want the right blend. Knowing what you can push for these is a learning experience. When I see the two efforts with a difference in power of more than 5% I'll typically skew the training zones to the higher number. Ideally they are almost the same, within a few watts. And at the end of each you should feel really wiped out. Not kind of tired, but seeing stars, breathing like a freight train exhausted. 
Always ask yourself what your competition is doing this winter. Are they training harder? I hope not. Are they training smarter? I hope not. The training now will pay off next spring. We don't want to race into shape in the spring. We want to be racing in shape and be setting ourselves up for a few key peaks but have a steady and consistent base of really strong riding throughout the season.Our best rides should come when we need them. Keep sending questions!! 

35 minute time trial

So, it was 35 degrees outside so I did this inside in 4-4-6-6-4-4-4-3 minute increments with just 1 minute between. I just couldn't wrap my head around 35 solid minutes in the basement going at it. Not sure this was any easier but my power was pretty good.

4 at 342, 4 at 347, 6 at 357 and 353, 4 at 373, 357 and 358 and 3 at 358...NP for that span was 337...time in the intervals avg power, excluding the minute off was 353

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Performance Conditioning article on Time Trials

Peaks Performance Pages from: Time Trialing – Truth or Consequences
By PCG Associate Coach Brian Murphy
Brian Murphy is a new coach with Peaks Coaching Group ( He is a USA Cycling Level 2 coach, a TrainingPeaks Level 1 coach, a certified Hunter Allen/Peaks Coaching Group coach and an active Masters racing com- petitor (Cat 2 Road & Cat 3 CX).
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ome of us are old enough to remember the TV show called Truth or Consequences. On the show, contestants received roughly two seconds to answer a trivia question correctly before the buzzer sounded. If the contestant could not complete the "Truth" portion (most failed), there would be "Consequences," usually a zany and
embarrassing stunt. We’ve often heard time trialing referred to as “The Race of Truth.” However, like the famous TV show, if you are not well prepared to answer the “Truth” question, you’ll suffer the “Consequences” and the “Truth” will remain a mystery. The “Truth” in time trialing is simply being truly the fastest rider on race day.
Unlike any other bike racing discipline, pitting oneself against the clock in a time trial race, not only levels the competitive playing field but moreover places significant demands on a racer from physiological and psychological standpoints. There are no team mates to work with, no oppor- tunities to share the workload, or periods to sit in to recover. It’s just you pushing yourself super hard in FTP/VO2 land to be the fastest rider on race day.
So, let’s assume you have gotten your aero position totally dialed in with your w/cda opti- mized. You have trained really, really hard and your fitness along with your performance metrics are peaking for the big race. Race day is approaching and you now need to drill down the details. Using a pacing model, like Best Bike Split, you prepare your race plan and start thinking through how best to execute your race plan when the starter says, “Go!” But, of course, the “best laid plans can always go awry” or better put, given the surname of this article’s author, Murphy’s Law inter- venes and you have to respond to the unplanned circumstances that arise. This article offers a few
Brian Murphy
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proven tips to consider incorporating into your race prepara- tion and race execution to truly perform at your best and avoid unwanted consequences.
As a Peaks Coaching Group coach, I interact with ath-
letes of all abilities and phenotypes. For this article, I asked a
renowned Masters Time Trialist and friend, Dean Phillips, if
he would be willing to let me pick his brain about his race prep
and race execution secrets. Dean is a master bike fitter and a
co-owner of FitWerx ( in Massachusetts.
I’ve known Dean for 10+ years and have watched him trans-
form himself from a pro triathlete to a UCI Masters World
Track Champion. Dean recently added another rainbow jersey
to his cycling wardrobe by winning a gold medal in the 3km
Individual Pursuit at the UCI Masters World Track
Championships in Manchester, England. In this race, he
missed breaking a world record by a mere 0.7 seconds! Along
his journey from Ironman Triathlete to World Champion
Masters Track Phenom, Dean has accumulated 2 world titles
and 5 national titles, consisting of road time trial, individual
track pursuit and team track pursuit podiums. Complimenting
these achievements, Dean rapidly ascended through the road
racing ranks becoming a Category 1 road racer. Bottom line....Dean knows how to go really fast on a bike!!

As a coach and Cat 2 racer myself, who loves time trialing, I was delighted Dean agreed to be interviewed and share a few of his “secret sauce” TT tips.
Q – “Dean, from a high level, how do you approach planning for a race and executing against your race plan?”
A – “I try to control every variable I can. I’m definitely a creature of habit, so routine is very important.”
Q – “Can you give us an example of what you’d consider a race prep routine which is unique to you?”
A – “Beside the usual pre-race steps of course inspection and making sure I’m well fueled and hydrated, I have a fixed warm up routine I do prior to every race and workout. Basically, I start my warm-up at 50% of FTP and every 5 minutes increase the intensity by 5% of FTP. I’ll do this for 30 minutes and throw in a few 1 minute openers at race pace. I aim to finish my warm up within 5 minutes of my start time. I try to do this away from other people, so I can get both my body and mind in the right place.”
Q – “You do the same routine prior to every workout?”
A – “Yup. Like I said I’m a creature of habit. I guess it comes with being a former mechanical engineer.”
Q – “How important is it for you to develop a pacing plan and following that plan?”
A – “Anyone who knows me, knows I’m into the details. I’m a big believer in using race planning models, like Best Bike Split, to craft a race pacing plan keyed to power metrics. From the race model, I’ll create a cheat sheet of power targets along the race course that I tape to the top tube of my TT bike. Of course a model is simply that and variables, like weather, change on race day. But, having a modeled plan allows me to have confidence to meter myself so I do not blow up. I find this very helpful particularly when it comes to pushing more power on climbs.”
Q – “So, it sounds like you are telling us you stay with the plan you’ve scripted. Since you mentioned it, how do you respond to unexpected variables, like changing weather?”
A – “Wind, temperature, rain, etc. will certainly impact the speed I will go, either positively or negatively. It arguably effects all of the racers you are competing against somewhat equally. So, I just stick with my power plan, premised on setting normalized power as a boundary condition of target against my Best Bike Split plan. I’ll adjust the percent power numbers up to 110% for
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Dean Phillips winning the gold medal at 2016
UCI World Masters Track Championships (Manchester, England)


short TT’s under 20 min. I’ll vary power as much as 15% on hills, but 5-10% is more typical depending on length and grade. Power variation for headwind is less, only 5% in extreme cases like straight headwind. Usually, I won't adjust my power more than 5-10 watts (2% - 3%) for quartering headwind variations. As a rule, I pay more attention to the hills than the wind. I find being on top of my power plan during a race truly helps me pass the time in the pain cave.”
Q – “You focus on maintaining constant power output. Do you focus on your cadence technique?”
A – “No, I let power win out and view cadence as more of an output of TT performance than an input. For me, cadence is on auto- pilot during a race. What I’m more concerned about is my aero position. In addition to extensive equipment testing, I do a tremen- dous amount of field testing various aero positions. To me, it’s all about getting narrow with my frontal area and lowering cda with- out compromising too much power. Frequently, I’ll position myself on my TT bike in front of a mirror to watch how my hand posi- tion effects the position of my shoulders. One thing my testing has found is having my head lower between my shoulders, is not always faster. During the race, I try to stay in my aero position as much as possible. Even on moderate climbs.”
Q – “Are there times where you will deviate from the plan if you are feeling better or worse than you expected in a race?”
A – “I try to clear my head at the start and be confident in my fitness and form. I try not to think about how I feel during a warm up prior to the race because, with a little muscle burn and elevated heart rate, I’m likely to get a bad answer. We all know, as we launch from the start, adrenaline takes over and we feel really strong. It is during these first few minutes of a TT, where I need to hold myself back and trust the power numbers. While I listen to my body, power is my primary guide. If I’m feeling good going into the 2nd half of the race and I’m ahead of my plan splits, I’ll gradually increase my power above the plan. Evidence shows, going harder in the 2nd half of a TT yields better results. Sometimes we are forced to deviate from the plan. Perhaps, there is a traffic conflict forcing you to slow down. When unexpected situations like this arise, don’t panic and overcompensate to gain back lost time. Relax, because in most cases, you probably have not lost as much time as you think. Trying to gain back a perceived time loss can be costly to your race performance.”
Q – So, truth be known, beyond being in top form, your secret sauce techniques to being fast in a TT are: 1) Control all the variables you can and be a creature of habit.
2) Develop a power based pacing plan and stick to it.
3) Clear your head prior to your start and be confident your fitness is there.
4) Worry more about hills than wind.
5) Don’t go out to hard.
6) Expect the unexpected but don’t overcompensate when surprises occur.
Q – “Dean, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Anything else you’d like to add?”

A – “You are very welcome, Brian.” O
More Information Please! Brian can be contacted at

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