Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Keeping the Fun in It

Today's training plan called for some neuromuscular intervals. But today the weather was perfect, and the Memorial Park trails were...

I needed some fun on the dirt more than intervals. It's important to refresh the fun side of things. It's keeps the perspective correct.

Being on the trail felt grrrrrreat! Honestly, riding on the road bores me to tears. I love being on the trail, though! Much more mentally engaging.

Perhaps some more dirt time tomorrow?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Heatwave!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I received the best present ever. Warm weather. T'was warm enough to be out in shorts and not even a base layer. Here I sit the day after Christmas, with the A/C on. It's almost 80F outside. Glorious!

My Christmas day ride was a 3-1/2 hour tempo ride. I'm a bit sore from my previous core work. It actually felt good; that 'good' type of pain.

Today's plan: a 2-hour recovery ride, or a relaxed dirt ride if it's dry enough. Then some holiday travels...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Don't Call It a Comeback

Today's attempt: pickup where I left off.

The plan: 5-minutes @ 118% FTP, 5-minutes recovery, then six 2-minute intevals @ 135% FTP with 3-minute rest in between.

The result: success. This felt great!

I also did some core work on the physioball. Sarah Hoffman has an excellent guide for core exercises on the ball-o-pain, located >HERE<. Also spent about an hour stretching.

I'm ready for a Christmas-Day ride tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Hamstrung Mystery

I've been sidelined for almost a week with a tweaked hamstring. Don't know how I sprained it, but I did... Today's plan started out with 10X 1-minute high-cadence intervals to jumpstart the legs. I banged on with a 15-minute inteval just above my threshold power. Followed this with a 5-minute recovery and repeated the interval two more times.

The legs felt sluggish at first, but by the end of the ride were feeling closer to 'normal'. Most importantly - no hamstring twinges. Tomorrow, I try to pick up my training plan where I left off.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Will It Go Round In Circles?

Loop-Repeat-Loop-Repeat... During the second lap I started singing Billy Preston's Will It Go Round In Circles in my head. All-in-all a good day. Overcast weather and judging by the sound of the treetops quite windy. Temperatures approached 80F. Hard to belive it snowed Wednesday! Hardly anyone else on the trails made for uninterrupted cruising.

The legs worked fine. The lungs have some fluid. I may be getting sick, or it may be alergies. The newly fork needs to be adjusted. Too much air/not enough sag, but otherwise the rebuild worked out great. Almost five hours of endurance level work, and ready for a rest day on Monday...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What's wrong wiff this picture?

The dangers of rebuilding on your fork during the wee hours of the morning...

Here's another pic to help you guess what's wrong here.

Tired, but I got it finished. More pics >HERE<.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Do Not Stare Directly At The Picture

Sun's back! After snowfall on Wednesday, Friday brought sun and warmer temps. After five straight days on the trainer, it felt strange to be moving on the bike for the first 5-minutes. Much respect for folks in more northern climes...

A beautiful sunset with a lonely contrail closed out the day. Today's ride was just 2-hours of light tempo work. Just tune-up for five hours of fast-paced dirt tomorrow!! Yeehaw!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great Blizzard of 2008!


No, that's not bugs flying around in the video! It's SNOW! Houston got it's first snow since 2004 last night. Got some sleet earlier in the day, too. BBBBRRRRR!! Thank doG for the indoor trainer! The best part, forecast shows 70's by the weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Setting the Table

Now that the holiday binge-laze-fest is over, an honest assessment is due. A fitness test conducted tells a tale of subtle progress. My FTP is up - significantly. My left leg is getting close to parity with my (dominant) right leg. My leg speed (maximum cadences) are up as well. All of this indicates improved sub-threshold condtioning.

Over-threshold (anaerobic) capacity lacks still. Little gain in 10-, 30-, 60-second maximal power. I am both frustrated and excited. What? Frustrated at the lack of progress, but excited because I like anaerobic workouts. Don't get me wrong, they hurt when doing them. But about an hour afterwards... the legs are all warm... and you get that quiet fatigue you can get no other way. They are also a lot shorter, which is a positive when you are relegated to the trainer.

I've experimented with several workouts. Here's an example:

10:00 light spinning to warm up.
2:00 @ 130% of FTP / 2:00 Recovery / Repeat 5X
1:00 @ 150% of FTP / 1:00 Recovery / Repeat until you can't hold 120% of FTP
10:00 light spin to cool down

That'll get your heart rate up.