Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: cycling (Page 2 of 4)

My First Five Weeks On The Trainerroad

I started the Trainerroad program a while back, and I’ve written a couple of posts about it already. I loved it from the get-go, for no other reason than it was a real jolt to my time on the bike. I knew in the back of my mind I hadn’t been pushing like I should on the bike during my last training ramp-up, but I didn’t know how to push the right way to keep focused on my Zone 2 goals while continuing to improve. The result was a pretty weak bike leg in my last race. Granted, I was making a conscious effort to hold back, but I would have liked to been able to go faster while doing so.

I missed a couple of weeks on the trainer due to a vacation, but I’m back on that horse again. That little break gave me some perspective, and I can now tell that the Trainerroad program is making me much stronger!

I’m only doing the Intermediate base build program right now, but I’ve gone from struggling to survive the rides to having a lot of juice in the tank for the last intervals of a ride.


I have a week and half to go until my next FTP Test, but I’m shooting for a pretty big improvement, hopefully making a jump from 252 up to somewhere around 280. That’s about 11% gain.

To top it off, while my power output is going up, my weight is steadily going down. I’m crediting eating habits here, but I’m down 5 pounds in the last month, and if I can hit that 280 FTP and just maintain 193 pounds, I’ll be just over 3.1 FTP/kg.

3.1 is a completely arbitrary magic number I’ve set for myself that seems to be the measure of a “pretty decent weekend warrior”. I’ve never set the goal of trying to be the best cyclist in Brevard or anything like that, but I’m very interested in being a faster triathlete. The weight loss should nicely impact my run as well.


Trainerroad Two Week Update

I’ve been using Trainerroad for two weeks now, so I thought I’d provide an update.

I tell you one thang, Hoss, I tell you one dern thing. And you can write this down…

I fully expect this program to vastly improve my speed/power/endurance/efficiency, but if it doesn’t I’ll at least come out of it mentally tough.

I’m talking about plum mad-dog mean.

At the end of the first week, I did my weekend ride outdoors and a conversational pace. This wasn’t in any way based on the Trainerroad program.

For the second week, I did a 1.5 hour longish ride (Eclipse) on Saturday, and I came out of it feeling like I could chew through leather. If fact, there was so much teeth gritting going on, if I’d leather in my mouth I probably would have chewed through it. There were three 20 minute intervals in the “sweet spot”, which is ~90-100%% of FTP, or the absolute max effort you should be able to maintain for an hour.

Still no puking, but I have a feeling it’s going to happen eventually.  The 3×20 minute ride was especially tough because I was barely hanging on at the end of the 2nd interval, and it was scary knowing there was another one coming.


The mid-week rides have not been nearly as tough…yet. The intensity is about the same, but the intervals so far have been shorter.


ericssonNext month, I’ll be adding heart rate data and The Sufferfest to the mix. I’m a little scared.


Daily Reading List — March 29th

Bike Trainer Workouts for Every Distance – Been kinda going on my own so far this season. Race in a few weeks, then going to focus on Sprint for a while before ramping up to another 70.3 in the Fall.

Unfit for Work: The startling rise of disability in America | Planet Money – A person on welfare costs a state money. That same resident on disability doesn't cost the state a cent, because the federal government covers the entire bill for people on disability. So states can save money by shifting people from welfare to disability. And the Public Consulting Group is glad to help.

Higher Ed bubble in two charts – Lots of graveyard whistling going on around this topic.

HBO Mulls Making HBO Go Available to Non-Cable Subscribers – Sign us up.

Cadence Change – KAPOW!!!!

For me, the big takeaway from the New Balance running form clinic I attended earlier this week was that my cadence needed to be increased. Nothing else was too bad…slight heel strike on the right foot, but the instructor said an increased cadence would probably take care of that.

So yesterday I set out for an interval workout with a metronome beeping at 180 bpm. My pace was definitely faster for that course than what I usually put out there, even with walk breaks, but my heart rate was a lot higher too. And I felt like I was having a really hard time keeping up that cadence unless I was in the middle of an interval.

During my 1.5 mile cooldown I lowered the metronome to 170 bpm, and that was pretty comfortable to maintain. Also, my heart rate stayed in the low 140s. I need to gather more data, but I’m thinking 170 may be right for me. I was running at about 150 before, so 170 is definitely an improvement. What I’m looking for is the cadence that lets me stay in zone 2 and still get a good clip in.

I’m wondering if the 180 recommendation is just the one-size-fits-all starting point. Does weight and power output have any effect on this? I’ve noticed on the bike that 80-85 rpm in a higher gear means lower HR and higher velocity for me than 90 rpm in a lower gear.

Some Good Race Day Practice

I was about 12 miles into my bike ride last night and sat up to eat a little bit and drink some water. I’d just turned off from a 1.5 mile stretch with a little tailwind. While I was drinking, a guy rides by me in his aero bars. He didn’t blow by me either, definitely catchable. But I didn’t chase.

I won’t lie. When he went straight at the point I usually make a left turn, I was very tempted to follow. But when he looked back to check and see if I followed, it made the decision to turn and ride my own ride much easier. I was committed to controlling heart rate and not worrying about speed, and that’s what I did.

Good to remember on race day when someone tries to goad me into a race at mile 30. Hopefully I’ll see them again on the run. If not, it’s a good thing I didn’t race them on the bike.

Ever notice how cyclists (pure cyclists) will sometimes acknowledge you if you’re on a bike, even if it’s a tri/timetrial bike, but will never acknowledge you if you’re running?

Runners always give a nod or slight wave to one another at a minimum. Unless you’re in California.

Thanks to @PacePerMile for the reminder.


My Final Word On Lance Armstrong

Do I care that he used PEDs and/or blood doped to win the TDF?

Not a bit.

Do I care that he bullied other riders and threatened their careers if they didn’t go along with his program?


Fan boys, you can say all you want about all the great things the guy has done for cancer research, but it just doesn’t factor in here. Yes, he has used his brand to do a lot of good. I’ll admit that.

But that’s not what he set out to do. That’s not why he doped and bullied. He doped and bullied to be the best cyclist in the world, win the TDF, and get rich doing it.

Green. Get the money. Dolla dolla bill, yo.

Show me a video of him opening up a postmarked letter he mailed to himself back in the early 90s that outlines his plans to start using PEDs and blood doping to build up notoriety so that he could one day stamp out cancer. Show me proof that his true goal from the beginning was to do all of these great things. Show me he started a doping program and threatened other people’s livelihoods with regret, realizing from the beginning that he was doing horrible things, but that the ends would justify the means.

This isn’t just sour grapes over getting my ass whooped by him either.

“Win if you can, lose is you must, but ALWAYS cheat!” ~Ric Flair

Daily Reading List — January 5th

Lance Armstrong considering publicly admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs – My sources tell me if they'll throw in a beer coozie and two free tickets to the state fair, he'll also admit "water is wet". #obvious

DIY Edible Cookie Bra That’s Made From A Mold Of You – via @laurabower And with this, we've reached the pinnacle of Western Civilizations. Time to pack it up and head home.

crayon creatures – figurines from children’s drawings – Pricey, but cool. Hanging on to the kids' drawings and jump into the market when the price drops a little. With 3-D printing, this should get pretty cheap fast.

How Cbeyond Created a Spark in its Yammer Community – Awsum ideas here. I especially like the daily tips, and I think it's important that these come from different people!

High Level 2012 Workout Stats

ANYTHING for love

This is all rounded to the nearest whatever. Burn was right at 235,000 calories this year.


28 miles, 15 hours, 36 minutes

This is pretty pathetic. I have to crack down on my swimming. I fall in a bad habit of giving up everything I’ve gained when a race is finished. Starting a swim clinic on Tuesday…hopefully that will kick me in the aise.


1704 miles, 89 hours, 7 minutes

Slacked off on my cycling during marathon training this year. Another mistake. Should have hammered it even harder. Setting a goal of 3,000 miles for 2013.


697 miles, 110 hours, 5 minutes

Not too bad, but I could have done a lot more in the beginning of the year, and I gave up about 100 miles in the three weeks leading up to marathon. Mulling a goal of 2,013 kilometers in 2013. That would be 1,250 miles…very doable.

image credit

Haven’t Link Dumped In A While

The Age Of Data Wars Dawns

Cool Ironman Kona Infographic – Check out the decrease in bike/run splits. And the fairly level swim splits.

The Future Of Working From Home – Things are definitely moving this way. I’m pretty sure if I had to go back to a normal office situation, I’d struggle with it.

Chrissie Wellington: The Mind Over Body Battle – And you think you suffer? Love hearing how this affects even the super-humans.

Easily Monitor and Manage all of your WordPress Sites with WP Remote – Thanks to @mwender for this one. Great time saver

Google Turns Turtle and Takes Street View Underwater – Coming soon to iPhone5!

Alternative ways to ride The Downward Spiral – I created a Spotify playlist based on this. A couple of the songs weren’t in Spotify, but I found some good substitutes. Just reading this makes me afeared.

Whoa, Dude, Are We Inside a Computer Right Now? – Is it wrong that this seems completely reasonable (and likely) to me?

Solo or Group? Train Your Way – I’ve been opting for the solo route a lot lately. It’s quiet.

How To Determine Your Long Run Training For Any Triathlon Distance – Some really good info here. It’s hard to train for a distance event and fill like you got enough running in. The truth is, you really just can’t, but you can get the optimal amount.

Accessing SharePoint Lists with SQL Server Integration Services SSIS 2005

Raising Children To Become Productive Adults – In short, walk it like you talk it. Applies to pretty much everything in life.

Simple Tips to Help Your Grocery Budget – As always, thanks to @couponkatie for all the amazing tips and deals she points us to!

A Glass All Empty – When your S.O. gets on the wagon. Both of us are for the most part…one due to pregnancy and nursing, the other due to choosing brownie calories over beer calories. Must to get faster, and those calories slows me down.

An Unexpected Ass Kicking | Blog Of Impossible Things

Cocoa Beach Rule To Protect Cyclists and Joggers?

On one hand, I‘m in favor of this.

On the other hand, I really like running stop signs and hopping onto the sidewalks when I’m on my bike. Both are illegal.

Lots of time I’ll run in the road instead of the sidewalk because I want the asphalt surface instead of concrete or want to avoid sprinklers. And I often run in the middle of the street to avoid running on the slanted  crown on the side of the road.

What if all the things I do wrong are enforced too?

How about we just start by dinging people who throw cigarette butts out of their windows for littering?

Most Accurate Drug Test Out There

Not piling on Lance Armstrong. The guy’s amazing…no matter what. And it’s important to note that he hasn’t admitted to anything.

But let’s get real. Here’s all the testing we really need.

[poll id=”12″]

If “Yes”, we can say with reasonably strong certainty you’ve done something the USADA wouldn’t like at some point.

If “No”, well…nobody seems to care, unless you are a professional rassler.

Random Link Dump of Recent Readings

It’s been a while since I posted a random sample of the stuff I’ve been reading. If you only read one of these articles, read the very first one.

Everyone a Harlot

In healthy patriarchies, men push themselves to earn the respect and admiration of other men. They work to prove their strength, courage and competence to each other. Men pride themselves on their reputation for mastery of their bodies, their actions, and their environment. They want to be known for what they can do, not just how well or who they can screw.

‘Marathon blues’ can affect Olympians and recreational athletes alike – Someone once told me there was a high rate of alcoholism for former top-level runners and former astronauts for this very reason. I haven’t seen numbers on that though.

This Handmade ‘Game of Thrones’ Board Game Is Gorgeous – The young’uns are loving strategy games these days. Can I justify this?

Cycle Workouts To Improve Your Cadence – Perfect for cross training workouts while marathon training, and a good investment.

Lost Photos – discovering lost photos in your email account – One of these days…

How To Make Caricatures Using GIMP – I hope to get around to doing this at some point.

The Benefits Of A Negative Bike Split – Wait…tell me one more time. It may actually sink in this time around.

Importing SharePoint 2007 list templates (STP) into SharePoint 2010 – Kick Aise. Quick and easy!

How the Lunar X Prize Is a Preview of the New Space Age – Popular Mechanics

How to Develop Film Using Coffee and Vitamin C! Srsly! | Photojojo – Is there anything coffee can’t do?


An Act of Great Cunning – Whoa!

Senate rules do not allow a filibuster when the bill under consideration has to do with imposing or repealing a tax. If the Republicans take the Senate and the Presidency, they can now repeal the individual mandate. They will not need sixty votes.

Marathon Training 18 Weeks Out

Cool medals too!

I decided on a fall marathon to try to fix what ailed me in the Florida 70.3 run. Luckily there’s a great local race, The Space Coast Marathon, over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Using the FIRST training plan, I hope to keep up with my swimming and cycling as best I can on the cross training days, and once the race is over I’ll get back to cycling heavily and put the run into a mostly-coast mode to get ready for the Naples HITS 70.3 in January. We have local open water swims every Wednesday, and the course is set up nicely to get a 1.2 miles swim in safely. The real trick is going to be getting some distance in on the bike, so I may have to work overtime a little to make that happen.

Here’s this week’s schedule


Cycle: Probably a Spinervals Aero Base Builder workout


Key Run #1: 10 minute warm-up, 6 x (1 minute fast then 3 min. easy), 10 minute cool-down


Open water swim


Key Run #2: 2 miles easy, 2 miles @ 8:15-8:30 pace, 2 miles easy




Key Run #3: 8 miles @ 9:30 pace


Cycle: High intensity spin or another Spinervals video

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