Cycling Training

First Century of the Season

I’m sure there are quite a few cyclists out there that have already done their first century of the season. For me it was yesterday, and it was a great day for it. I decided to take the day off and go for the long ride when I saw the weather forecast. After riding in the rain for 4+ hours last weekend I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.

Instead of making up my own route I decided to search up some of the local century rides and see which ones go by or close the house. Turns out the Ride for Shelter goes right by, so I downloaded the GPS from their website and off I went.

The ride goes along the Merrimac River and then up the seacoast along Hampton Beach. The views are great and the roads for the most part were in pretty good condition. Although in Amesbury the roads along the Merrimac were horrible and my water bottle was ejected and I had to turn back and get it. From Hampton the ride heads over to Exeter and then back down to Mass and goes along the Merrimac once more.

The second loop goes south through Newbury, Byfield, Georgetown, Topsfield, Rowley, Ipswich and Boxford. Not necessarily in that order, but I’m pretty sure I was in each of those towns at one point yesterday. Most of these roads are back roads and very rural. Unfortunately some of them do not seem to get much paving or it is the fill the pot hole paving method. This made for some very rough riding for some parts of the ride.

I think if I do this ride again I would probably change up the second loop to roads that I know and that are in better condition.

Cycle For Shelter 100

Cycle for Shelter Century Route
Cycling Training

The Trainer Road 20 Minute Test

This morning the 20 Minute Test was sitting in my schedule. The last time I did this test was about two months ago. It did not go well to say the least. I made it about ten minutes into the test and I was cooked. I knew that it was going to be tough, it always is, but it was really ugly. I think it recommended that I drop my FTP to 235, it had been 260. I decided to drop it to 250 and start focusing on some VO2 workouts.

At least once a week I scheduled a VO2 ride. Usually one that is 120% of FTP for 3 minutes. The first one of those did not go well. I made it through the first 3 of the 5 intervals, then about 2 minutes into the next one I had to stop and start. On the last one it was about half way in. After a couple of weeks of this workout I finally can make it through all of them. So no I will look for one that has 6 intervals instead of 5.

Back to today. I knew the test was going to go better since the VO2 workouts were going better. Fitness had to be improving right? I started out and felt pretty good through the first 5 minutes. I felt pretty confident that I was going to be going be making it the full 20 minutes. I was even considering shifting to a harder gear for the last 5 minutes. I decided to not go crazy and waited for the last minute to shift. Next time I will try a few minutes earlier.

At the end of the ride Trainer Road suggested I set my FTP to 251. I decided to just leave it at 250. I will keep the VO2 workouts going and see where I stand in another couple of months.

One thing I did realize is that it felt like I was in between gears riding. The gear I was in was tough, but I think I had a little more. When I shifted though, the next gear was just too hard. At the same cadence that gear was at least 20 watts more. I was looking for maybe 5-10. Something I will have to figure out.



Snow, snow and more snow…..

This has to be one of the worst winters in the Boston area ever. According to the Weather people on TV we are in the top 10 of just about every category at this point and heading for number one. We have had over 80 inches of snow and there is a storm coming this weekend that is supposed to drop another 12-18 inches.

With all of this snow getting in run training has been difficult to say the least. The last time I ran was a week ago Saturday. That was the beginning of the last storm we had so I ran in the snow. Actually my 3 or 4 last runs have all been with it snowing. Running in the snow in the dark and cold is just not fun. So, what do you do when you can’t get out? Well, a lot of people jump on the Treadmill, or as I call it the Dreadmill. I hate the Treadmill, it is just torture.

Instead of getting on the Treadmill I’ve made this a bike intensive week. I have been on the bike everyday this week. I’ve used Trainer Road, Zwift and ErgVideo. A little over 5 hours with varying intensities. By the end of the week I will probably be over 8 hours in the saddle….