Monday, February 23, 2009

Spin data

Decided to stick the Heart Monitor on for tonight's spinning class as I was curious as to how hard I was pushing myself during the session. Turns out, not that much.

I had expected to see my HR up in the 160's all right, but peaking in the 170's or 180's, but that was not the case. I kind of felt myself that I was not pushing myself to the limit either. Will just increase the resistance on the bike for next week I guess. On the plus, I was in excess of 150 bpm's for 40 minutes, so that's probably a good thing.

Got the dates wrong for the Newbridge race, its Sunday week, so an extra 7 days to prepare. I'm going to use the lake drive as a test run over the weekend. Its 50km's and has lots of kicker climbs. Will push it hard the whole way and see what kind of time I do it in. My record for the loop is 1:35:46 back in July last year.

So, weeks training is being re-jigged a little. I'll take tomorrow off (but would love to spin into work), Wednesday will be intervals, Thursday and Friday will be the spin to work. Saturday and Sunday will be a long mtb spin and short, fast road spin, or visa versa.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday MTB spin

Had literally 2 hours free for mountain biking today, so myself, Gene and Joe hit 3 Rock. We did the usual trails and kept the stops to a minimum (a zero stop 3 rock spin is on the cards). It was nice to get out, even though the it started raining towards the end. The trails are not in too bad a condition after the snow and water, however a couple of them have had scramblers up and down so they are in a bad way. Its been a couple of weeks since I've been out on the mountain bike and I was expecting to be a bit all over the place, but surprisingly that was not the case.

I need to do some stretching this evening and loosen up the muscles for the spinning class tomorrow. The forecast is good for the week ahead, so would like to cycle to work on Tuesday, but I don't want to be totally exhausted for the interval session on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Race next week - bugger!

Yeah, keep forgetting the years first race is next Sunday - OK, its on the road, but its still racing. My main goal for it is to not get hurt (close racing with a large group of riders will be hairy as its not something I've done much of). If I manage that, my next goal is to keep up with the S3 riders as best I can. After that everything else is a bonus.Today I did a 100km + road spin around Laragh and Sally Gap. The weather was perfect apart from the gale-like head wind at the Sally Gap.

Feeling pretty tired now, but plan on getting out on the mountain bike tomorrow for a couple of hours. The Cubes rear wheel is not fixed, so the plan was to wheel out the XTC. However the brakes need to be bled, so I've just robbed its back wheel and stuck it on the Cube.
Next week will be a busy one again. Monday Spinning, Tuesday I might spin into work, Wednesday is night spin (intervals and the like). With the race on Sunday I might do much more after that for the week, but I might chance another spin to work on Thursday - I'll see.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weekly update

The weather has been pretty good all week - dry mostly, some sun and mild. Perfect for cycling.

I had a rest on Tuesday, needed it after the Sundays big spin and Monday Spinning. Wednesday I cycled into work - it’s a 40+km round trip with one short, sharp climb. Thursday I woke up shattered - I must have had a really bad sleep to an extent that Red Bull was required to keep me functioning in work. I got to bed early on Thursday night and work up this morning back to normal. So I did the spin to work again, in the sun!

Tomorrow I'm on a longish road spin (100km +) in Wicklow with Paul, and Sunday is a blast on the mountain bike - first time in weeks so really looking forward to it.

The Cube's rear wheel will be ready tomorrow, so it'll be back in action, but I might bring out the XTC on Sunday and give it a go up on 3 rock.

So everything is going well training wise I think. The spinning class is a great anaerobic session, and our Wednesday night spins have changed to interval training. That combined with my spin to work a couple of times a week and 1 long weekend road spin it’s all starting to make an impact I think. But I need watch out for a couple of things:
  • Weight - I've dropped from 80kgs to 77kgs since xmas. I had initially thought I'd go to 75, but I'm not sure if it’s the right thing to do. While I might be a whippet on the bike, I'd probably be spending most of my time in bed recovering from every cold and flu that's going. Losing too much weight would impact the immune system.
  • Food - Tied into the weight problem. I need to be sure I'm eating the right food, and more importantly in the right amounts. I do have a very healthy diet, I'm just not sure if I'm eating too much or too little of various food stuffs. Something to work on I guess.
  • Sleep – I’m a crap sleeper – takes ages to nod off. And with so much cycling happening, I need lots of sleep to recover after each session.

So, plenty of stuff to keep thinking about. And the first race 4 weeks away!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday pain

I was hurting a bit after the spin yesterday and really could have done with a rest today, but after paying up for the spin sessions, I was going to put myself through it.

Oddly enough it did not hurt as much as last week, but I put that down to the instructor not keeping as close an eye on me (and my resistance setting) this week which allowed for some sneaky 'modifications'. I did sweat buckets, so that must mean something. Lesson learned though - with the exception of a couple of road races in the next few weeks, I'm moving all my big road/mtb spins to Saturday, leaving Sunday to relax, or get in some nice techie stuff on the mountain bike or easy road spins.

Was planning on cycling to work tomorrow, but I need a break. The forecast is looking ok for the rest of the week, so will do the work spin on Wednesday. Thursday I'll drop in to the gym on the off chance of a bike being free for a spinning class, and Friday will be the spin into work again. Weather permitting Saturday will be a road spin, and Sunday a MTB spin. Feck - the whole weeks training is planned, and its only Monday!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sundays road spin

Did not do anything on Saturday apart from eat a lot - which was needed I think.

Today's spin was really nice. The weather was perfect - the sun even managed to make an appearance. I wanted to do a longish spin into Wicklow, but was unsure of the road conditions after the snow. So the plan was to keep heading for the Wicklow Gap, and if it got too bad, we'd just turn around and cycle around West Wicklow/Kildare. I met up with Paul and Gene at 10am and headed eastwards. In the low lying areas the snow was all gone, and we did not see any major build up till the start of the climb of the Gap itself. But the road was perfect. So we blasted down the other side (taking a quick detour to the Glendalough lakes for Paul) and had a coffee in Laragh which had turned into motor bike show - I guess its most of those guys first spin out in weeks also. The original plan was to head for the Sally Gap, but we did not want to push our luck, so we headed home via Roundwood, Enniskerry, South Dublin, and Rathcoole.

Very enjoyable and a good 120km's under the belt.

Tomorrow is spinning class, and with forecast looking good for the rest of the week, I'll try to cycle to work on Tuesday and Friday. Wednesday may be a mountain bike spin, but the trails are still in a bad way, and might be better off leaving them until the weekend (plus the Cube still does not have a rear wheel).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hello Spring

Well, at least the snow is mostly gone. The trails are still unridable though. That means road spins for the near future.

Felt like a quite week training-wise, but was doing something every second day. Monday was the spinning, Wednesday was hard Turbo Training session (did not bother with intervals, just went at it at a medium resistance for about 45 mins). Today I did the commute in and out of work, so that was 46-odd km's at a decent enough pace.

Tomorrow I've stuff on, but if I get up early enough I'll take the new bike on its maiden spin around the lake. Sunday will be a long one - defo 100+ km's. Ideally through Wicklow, but I'm not sure about the conditions out there so will play it by ear.

Then its back to spinning on Monday. In a sick way, I'm actually looking forward to the pain!

Paul picked up my old Giant on last night - sad to see it go, but relieved I've an equal amount of mountain bikes to road bikes again :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Busy Monday

New Bike has arrived - here it is (excuse the poor pictures). Just got the pedals on tonight, need to get the Garmin stuff on during the week. Its really nice - its pretty much the same bike as the 07 version I have (had - its going on Thursday), just the saddle and tyres are different. Looking forward to getting it out on the roads once Spring arrives.
Next, had my first spinning class tonight. All I can say is its 45 mins of pain! About halfway through I started getting flashbacks of the pain from races last year, and that 'why the f*ck am I putting myself through this for?' sprung into my head. And that's exactly what I needed. Everything I've done so far on the anaerobic side has not come close to this, so I'm going to book in for a second session a week for the next few weeks. I can highly recommend pureclass sessions, but if you are not out near citywest or are twiddling your thumbs waiting for the weather to improve, go to your nearest gym and find the spinning instructor. If you explain to him/her what you want to do, they will be able to tell you if their sessions suit. I'm pretty sure there are lots of handy spinning classes, but Paul does not let you away with anything, to the extent he goes around and adjusts the resistance on your bike if he thinks you're dossing or could take more pain!

Needless to say I was dossing, but by the end I was in a lot of pain. What surprised me was it seemed like everyone else at the session looked quite ok after it - a long way to go I think. However, the usual buzz kicked in shortly afterwards, just like the pre-race kind :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Turbo Trainer setup

Here's the Beone on the Turbo Trainer:

Its a Tacx T1460 Swing trainer. I've stuck the Garmin cadence and speed sensor to the bike.

3 rock snow spin

It was more a day for snowboards than bikes...

Friday, February 6, 2009


Scrivo's given me an idea. The turbo training is going ok (3 interval sessions this week), but I'd always prefer to be training with people, or ideally, having someone shouting/encouraging me. As it happens, there was a poster for pureclass gym in the kitchen at work. Its not your normal gym, as it only has scheduled sessions. The offer lots of services and can tailor a session to your particular sport. I'm just going for the pure spinning and conditioning. The instructor Paul has lots of experience playing sport professionally and training sports professionals.

My first session is Monday evening. The plan is to do it for the next 8 weeks or so. If it works out, I might take an extra session on Friday mornings.

So, with 2 spinning classes a week, 1 or 2 mtb sessions and 1 big road session, my training program is coming together nicely.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Training update

Its not been a great week training-wise. I've had a cold/sinus infection for almost a week now. I've got some drugs from the doctor, but they are not helping me out that much. The worse part is that I'm getting crappy sleep, so I'm tired all day. Today I stayed at home as I had a dodgy stomach also. The up side is that with the weather so bad, I'm not missing out that much.

I should be picking up the new bike tomorrow from the Cycle Superstore. While I'm at it I'll be dropping in the rear wheel off the Cube as the freehub is coming loose.

Not sure about the weekend. The cold snap is due stay into next week. Road spins seem to be out. If I'm feeling ok I might chance a quick spin up to 3 rock on Saturday, but we'll see. Otherwise, its the turbo trainer, which is really beginning to pay for itself now :)

Turbo training help

Aaron put a comment in my last post with a link to this site - Its bascially an online turbo workout application. You choose a plan based on what you want to do and the equipment you have, click the start button and away you go. The timer starts and the zone you are in is highlighted for its duration. Its a really nice idea, as my tt programs are printouts which get crumpled up, covered in sweat etc.

There are a few programs up there now, but once you register you can upload your own programs, and rate other peoples programs.

Well worth trying out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Turbo trainer weather

If its not been snowing over the past couple of days its been sleeting, or freezing rain, or just cold. Whichever way to look at it, its not cycling weather - defo not on-road, even off-road would be a challenge.

So the turbo trainer is in the kitchen with the beOne attached. Did a 45 minute interval session last night - which was not too bad. Stuck the Garmin cadence/speed sensors on so I could see what I was actually doing.

I start with a 10 minute warm up at 100rpm +, then increase resistance but keep speed over 40kph. Do that for 2 mins, rest for 1, then 3 mins on 2 off., 4 mins on, 1 off at a slightly lower resistance. And keep that for 35 minutes or so. Might give it a lash again tonight. But this sinus problem may put the skids on that idea.

K-Capital Challenge series

More info here.
It looks interesting - I like the idea of the short course. Not so sure of the inbetweeny-not-quite-xc-race-not-quite-marathon race on the Sunday though. I'm sure it will get the crowds out in a Djouce Challenge kind of way.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday MTB Spin

MAD had an easy level spin in Djouce on Sunday, so myself and Gene went along. The weather was cold, but no rain, so looked promising on the way over. It would have been ideal for a road spin, and after the first 10 mins off road, I was beginning to wish thats exactly what we should have done!

Between the felling and the large amounts of rain fall over the past week or so, most of the trails are in poor condition. XTC is a bit cut up, especially the new exit. The entrance to GC is just about rideable. And its much the same for the rest of the trails. I was glad to have a warm, dry change of clothes back in the car.

Some snow fell over night, and more is forecast for the next day or two. Its the type of weather Turbo trainers were built for I guess...