Saturday, January 30, 2010

January Numbers....

January gave me a nice start for the new year on the bike. I spent about half on the trainer and half on the road...which is pretty good for January in Oregon.

Overall my numbers look like this:

  • 52 hours on the bike (trainer and road time)
  • 1010 miles ridden (trainer and road time)
  • 72.49 miles was my longest ride of the month (on my single speed)
  • 3 hours 49 minutes was the most time I spent on my bike during one ride.
  • 39,982 KJ burned
  • 12 pounds lost

Not a bad start to the new year :D

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I hate colds....

I hate colds, even when they are mild. Somehow I came down with a mild cold and have been battling it for the past week or so. Mostly just a few minor sore throats, but today I started to get a little stuffy. I'm still able to breath fairly well...but it's there.

Aside from feeling worse than normal they get in the way of training since energy is pulled away from your exercise routine to battle the virus, which means performance suffers.

This past week was a recovery week for me since I had 5 hard weeks in a row...but the cold has made it harder to recover so I'm not sure how much I was able to actually recover. I guess we will see next week when I get back to intervals again.

The one benefit of being ill is it helps with weight loss....a side benefit I guess. As of today I'm down to 208 pounds, which puts me down 12 pounds or so for the month of January. Only another 13-15 pounds to go before I'm happy with my weight again for the season.

This week has actually been quite nice in the Northwest since the rain has stayed away. This has allowed me to get outside and ride all week, which has been nice. I took my TT bike out today for the first time this year and made a few adjustments to the seat height (new shoes and cleats) and overall it feels pretty good. I'd really like to switch to shorter cranks....from 172.5 to 170's....but with no job right now, it makes it a little hard to get new parts. Of course, I'd like a new carbon frame/fork for my TT bike and some more aero bars...but those will have to wait as well.

Overall though, things seem to be progressing nicely as the new season moves forward. I should finish the month of January with over 1000 miles ridden (road and trainer miles) and 50+ hours on the bike....a good start to the riding season :)

The weight is coming down quickly and my fitness feels fairly good for this point in the season. I won't really know where I'm at until the first ITT of the season....the Jack Frost ITT which has been lengthened from a 20K (12.4 miles) to 14 miles this year, which means good times should be in the sub 30 minute range if the conditions are good....My goal will be to finish below 31 minutes, which will put me at an average speed of around 27 mph.

Time will tell :)

On a side looks like there will be a series of 3 semi-local ITT's this year in McMinnville. They look to be around 20K in length, so I should get in 6 TT's before the state championship TTT this year....more than in years past, so hopefully my fitness will be better this year for a faster time and better performance for the team.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Losing weight....

My weight loss program is now in full effect.

As usual the first week is usually the hardest. Hunger pains tell you that it's time to eat (all the time), getting back in the habit of counting every calorie and adding up your BMR and daily caloric burn from takes a little while to adjust.

So I started keeping track of everything back on January 4th, 2010 where I was sitting at 220 pounds. Over the last 10 days or so I've dropped 8.2 pounds weighing in at 211.8 pounds on the January 14th, 2010.

My goal is to get back down to 190-195 pounds by mid march...however at the current rate of weight loss I should be there by mid February which is fine since my first ITT of the season is the 3rd week of February and word is it has been lengthened from 12.4 miles to 15 miles (though I'm not sure that's true or not).

The nice thing about weight loss is how much better you feel. I already feel lighter when climbing stairs, my clothes are starting to loosen up and my performance on the bicycle is getting better with every pound lost.

Today was a good group ride with about 30 teammates showing up on a cloudy, wet day with mild temps. For the most part it was a pretty laid back day with a lot of small group pace line work, but we had a few times where we could "open it up" a little. On the short climbs along old HWY 47 I felt much better than I did two months or so ago when we rode the same route. I had a lot more punch and was able to carry more speed up the climbs.....that's a great feeling :D

Anyway....just an update on my blog with my weight loss progression. I still have a way's to go and when I get back down to my goal/race weight I'll look at where I am and see how feasible it is to go lower since I'd love to be in the 185 pound range for most of the race season....especially if I can get my 20 minute power over 400 watts :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Single speeds and climbing....

This past Saturday our team rides goal was to work on threshold climbing which is great, because part of my workout plan includes a hard group ride on Saturdays.

The only problem is in the winter I ride a Single Speed that has an equivalent gearing of 53x19 (73 gear inches). It's the only bike I have fenders on and I like the workout I get from riding it in the winter. On any given Saturday ride I could be grinding up a climb at 40 RPM or riding in a pace line at 150+ I get both power and high end cardio work on the bike.

However, on this ride we rode up Old Germantown Rd. which has some nice 8.5% - 9% sections, Rock Creek Rd. which wasn't too bad and then came down the west side of Logie Trail which is a fun road to come down, but has a section in the middle of it with a 14%+'s not long but it doesn't's 14%

Overall I was able to get in a good 3 hour ride and just short of 50 miles....however, the legs were still feeling it today during my interval session. The ride definitely turned out to be harder than expected. At the top of Old Germantown Rd. I was only able to hit 4.5 mph which is about 20 RPM...and the 14% section on Logie Trail I hit 4.0 mph which is about 18 RPM. I was pedaling so slowly up those sections I couldn't stand up for fear of falling over since my legs were turning over at such a slow pace. It was just a bit painful :)

However, it was a great power workout.

This ride ended up making my interval session today hard. I think I may have been a bit dehydrated since it was hard to get my HR beyond 150 RPM and my power was down a little so I'll take it a little easy over the next two days before my next interval session.

As far as my weight loss goes...I'm currently down approximately 5 pounds over the past week and a half. I'm actually a little ahead of schedule, but part of that is because I've gotten past the first few days when the hunger pains are the worst from cutting back on food intake.

With that said I've been able to maintain a -700 to -1000 calorie a day deficit. This is very attainable for me and is much easier than the -1500 a day I ran two years ago for almost 4 months :)

I do need to increase my protein intake though, so I need to incorporate a little more meat into my regular eating.....That means, more chicken :D

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

3 weeks into intervals....

Believe it or not, I am enjoying my intervals again because I can feel the power coming back and it just feels good to push some limits again.

I started my intervals approximately 3 weeks ago and have now put 28 watts back on my 20 minute threshold intervals. This puts me very close to the point where I had stopped doing long intervals back in September/October and started doing more "Tempo" work.

My goal is to put another 40 watts of power (i.e. about 12% increase) over the next month and a half heading into the first ITT of the year the Jack Frost ITT, which is a 20k ITT held in Vancouver. If I can accomplish this...I should be around 380-400 watts for my 20 minute threshold efforts. What that will do for my ITT time...who knows, but it won't hurt :)

On a side note...I've also started my weight loss. This means watching what I eat and monitoring my caloric intake compared to my caloric expenditure. I'm currently running a deficit of around 700-1000 calories a day which should equal out to a loss of 1.4 - 2 pounds per week, which will get me back down to "Race Weight" around mid March...So I might hit one of the Banana Belt races this year and am looking at racing the "Piece of Cake" race for the first time this year...which may be my first road race of the season.

Overall....things are on schedule to be ready when I want for the race season....but lots of things can mess that up, so it's a matter of remaining disciplined and sticking to the plan.