Saturday, January 31, 2009

saturday - non event

Over the course of the past few days I had a feeling I might be coming down with a cold - and today proved me right unfortunately. Head cold and sore throat. I had planned on going for a road spin with Paul today, but with the crappy weather and the cold, we kicked that into touch.

We did take a look at some road races coming up, and are going for the Des Hanlon Memorial organised by Carlow Cycling Club. I know most of the route as it passes quite close to the homestead. The roads are quite good and some nice climbs in there also. So really looking forward to it, mainly because it will be my first road race! Here's the loop:

View Larger Map

I also took my Garmin bits and pedals off my old Alliance as it will be going to a new home in the next couple of week. Plus I'll be adding them to my new Alliance next week.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Purchases and spins

Starting to get into a nice training routine. Mondays/Tuesday road or TT, Wednesday night spin with Club, Thurs physio (but almost finished), and Friday rest before weekend madness.

Starting to get the hang of the TT now. The intervals are getting better, 2 mins on 1 off, next week it'll be 3 mins on 1 off. Night spins are going well, but we'll need to have less yakking and more grunting (yeah, you know who you are!) in the coming weeks (first race at the end of March). Road spins are increasing in tempo nicely.

Physio is almost finished - I've a small book of exercises for my leg and shoulder. They hurt, but I'm seeing great progress. Last year my biggest problem during races and training was the IT band. It always slowed me down (for fear for damaging something permanently), but that problem is gradually fading away, so its full steam ahead.

I've bought a new road bike. It's the 09 version of my current bike - Giant TCR Alliance 0. OK, its not the lightest bike, or the sexiest, but I like them and feel comfortable on them. I'm picking it up on Thursday.2009 edition
2007 edition - spot the difference

I still have to stick up a post on the new XC bike - Giant XTC Carbon. Its been sitting in the shed for the past 3 months (pumped up the wheels last week). I might bring it out on its maiden spin soon.

The weather is looking awful for the weekend. But will try to get out on the road tomorrow. If not it will be the TT. Sunday is looking better weather-wise, so will head out on club spin to Djouce. Might get there early for a quick blast before the rest turn up though.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend warrior

Did my acupuncture /physio session on Thursday. It was 90 mins of pain - but the good kind :) . A lot of work was done on my left shoulder and IT band - mainly with elbows! After that I had an inch and a half needle inserted THROUGH the IT band at the point it was must tight (I'm not really into the acupuncture thing but I'll give anything a go to try and fix the root problem).

Friday Gene called around and we Ghetto'd his wheels. It was a very straighforward job compared to when I did it with the kit. The bmx tubes make life very easy - even inflated the tyres with the track pump.

Saturday was a fast spin around 3 rock. It was hard going but very satisifying to get in 2 hours non-stop up there.

Sunday was a 3 hour 40 minute spin around Kildare. We did the Kildare 100 route, which is pretty flat apart from the wall, which was as tough as last August. It was a good spin despite the freezing cold rain that rolled in about half way through, but what else can you expect in Jan?

The bicycle scheme brought in by the goverment has me thinking about an upgrade on the TCR Alliance. I confirmed my company are offering it, so going to get some more details tomorrow - watch this space, I'm looking at this.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Training update

Missed the mtb spin tonight, so when I got home did 30 mins on the TT. Basically, it was a 10 min warm up then 3 minutes flat out and 1 minute rest. Flat out means resistence set to 5 or 6 and keeping the speed at around 40 kph. Tough going but easier than Monday night session. Starting to get the hang of it I think.

Last night was a spin around the town with Gene. Faster than last week, but I'm keen to break the 60 minutes for the 30 and a bit Kilometers.

Tomorrow is physio, and Friday - if the weather holds up - I'll cycle to work.

I've a busy weekend so limited time on the bike. Saturday will be a fast 2 hours on the mtb around 3 Rock. It won't be flat out, but there won't be any stops. Sunday I'll try to get up early and put in 4 odd hours on the road bike.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Well, it didn't happen. When I opened the curtains this is what greeted me:It was more ice rain than snow or sleet. I went up to Punchestown to see if the organisers were still planning on running the event. Surprise, surprise they had cancelled the cycle leg, which left only 6.4km run. I decided not to do it as I was only really only interested in the cycle. Plus there were heavy snow and sleet showers blowing in. Ah well. Spent the day wondering around the house looking for something to do - hate when my plans are messed up.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Week wrap up

Tuesday - Turbo trainer. Spent 45 minutes doing a Tacx interval session. Was bloody hard.
Wednesday - Myself and Graham went up to Ticknock for a few hours. The weather was terrible, but we got a few good runs in.
Thursday - Went to acupuncture, with ended up being a physio session on my shoulder and IT band. The physio used Tui na which is a Chinese physio - hardcore. They take no prisoners - its full on pain and she said it had to be toned down for Ireland! My shoulder feels a lot better, but needs more work. The IT band may be a problem. The Physio seems to thing I've an alignment problem with my hips, so the Tui na might work, but if not its a session or 2 with an osteopath. I'll have to get it sorted as it will impact any training I do (as soon as I feel the band tightening up, I ease off).
Friday - Spin around Naas with Gene. Grand and handy, plus bet him on the sprint :)
Saturday - I spent a couple of hours with a gang clearing up XTC in Djouce. The fellers were in and had done a bit of damage, but nothing major. Afterwards I did an hour at Ticknock before the storm hit.
Sunday - which is tomorrow is the duathlon (if it goes ahead, the weather is terrible right now). I'll throw up a post on that tomorrow if it happens.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Training should be hard

Was looking back at some race data from the Garmin this evening, mainly the average heart rate during a race. For me last year it was 160 bpm over approximately a 1 hour 50 minute race. I find it very hard to get my average heart rate to that level in a group spin, and can only get close on some spins out on my own. The only way to get ready for the races (8 weeks and counting) is to replicate the race conditions and get the heart rate right up there for those 2-ish hours. Training is going to get a lot harder from now on.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Training plans

Been thinking about my training plan in more detail over the past couple of days. My main goal is to be as prepared as possible for the first NPS at the end of April. So that gives me 15 weeks to play week - plenty of time to get where I want to be, now all I need is the will power, semi-decent weather, not too many late nights in work and lack of injuries :)

First off is the endurance bit - getting the base miles in. This really started for me at the xmas break. I'm aiming to get between 750 and 1000km's under my belt in January and February. During this time I'll also be working doing 2 hour high tempo road spins during the week (that means evenings cycling around Naas in the dark), and the mid-week fast mtb spin.

In March I'll be doing less of the long road sessions and replacing them with high tempo 2 hour mtb spins - kinda replicating the races. These will be once a week non-stop full on spins on a small loop. I will also be doing some anerobic sessions on the mountain bike or turbo trainer.

Towards the end of March and early April, the endurance spins will be finished with and I'll be focusing more on the anerobic side of things and also getting the into the technical mountian bike spins.

So there you go. It does not look like much when you write it up in a few paragraphs, but it'll be a lot of work. 10+ hours a week easily, and hopfully it'll give me some decent results during the summer.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Week wrap up

Lets see...
Monday I went for a run. Needed to get some training in for this duathlon. I was not too sore after it, so some progress there I guess.

Wednesday was the weekly high pace mtb spin around 3 rock. It was ok. I was having problems on the very technical stuff, but practice will sort that out. It was a good work out though.

Thursday was acupuncture! Decided to try this out after lots of good words from the OH. I'm not entirely convinced on the whole energy lines and such, but did feel pretty good the following day. They also have a form of physiotherapy, so I'll go back next week to get some work done on my IT Band and hamstrings.

Friday was another run. I went ok, but I am finding running quite hard. It took me 15 mins to do the 3.2km, so double that for the two running sections and say approximately 40 mins for the 20km cycle would mean the race would take around 1 hour and 10 minutes-ish. Well, we have to start somewhere.
Today I did my long road spin. After a really nice week - cold, dry and sunny - I opened the curtains this morning to see a greasy road and a gale blowing. Typical. But I was determined to do this spin after putting it off a couple of times in the past month. It was bacially a spin to Laragh, then turn right and head on the Shay Elliot Memorial drive to Glenmalure. From there is a long climb up Slievemane and back around west Wicklow before hanging a left to home.The spin to Laragh was boring - to be honest I've cycled it so often I'm beginning to dislike that section of road! The only thing that distracted me was the cross wind that turned into a head wind. It really slowed me up, but it was a case of just getting the head down and making it to Laragh. The descent from the Wicklow gap was particularly hairy due to the wind so I just took it handy.
From there it was onto the Shay Elliot drive. It was not as bad a climb as I thought it would be. The wind was on my back for most of it, so that helped a lot. The descent was hairy again as its so steep, but I just took my time. As soon as I got into Glenmalure valley, I was climbing back out of it. This was a tough one. The road was pretty steep and I had a cross wind pushing me around also. After 25 mins I reached the top, only to see in the distance my next climb! Another dodgy descent and then back up again, but not as difficult as it looked from Slievemane. From there one it was lots of rolling hills back home.

It was one of the toughest spins I've done to date. The distance combined with a lot of climbing and the wind really took it out of me. But I am happy to have finished it.

I might be going on an easy mtb spin tomorrow, but depends on the weather and how I feel.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking back at 2008 and forward to 2009

2008 was my first year taking mountain biking seriously. It started about April, so its really about 9 months. I've got 5,973 km's under my belt - though I think it was over 6,000 as there were a few spins where I did not bring the Garmin . Compared to only 1,285 in 2007. Most of the total was on road however.

I climbed 56,740 metres and burned 317,000 calories (though I'm not too sure how accurate that is).

I bought 4 bikes and sold 2. I said goodbye to Specialized FSR and Titus Motolite and hello to the BeOne Briza 1.0, Cube Reaction, Giant TCR Alliance 0 and Giant XTC Carbon! Also had to buy a new Garden shed to fit them all in.

I'm not even going to tell you how much I spent on CRC and other bike sites!

And on to 2009. Well I got my first spin out of the way on the 2nd. It was a 2 hour spin around Kildare. I was to go on a long road spin today, but the weather was not great. To be honest it was not that bad either, but I made up a sufficient number of excuses to not feel too guilty. It's going to be the last time I'll dodge training though!

I'm going to focus on the NPS this year. The K-Capital is on also, but I'm not sure what the format will be. The first NPS is in late April, so I'm going to take it easy enough in January, and begin training in earnest in Feb. It will consist of 2 high tempo road spins and 1 high tempo mountain spin during the week, then a 4+ hour road spin at the weekend, with possibly a short, fast mtb spin also.