Monday, February 19, 2007

The Sunday Game

I got "the call" again this week so I played hockey again last night with the Birmingham group. Finally, for the first time this winter, I didn't feel out-of-sync on the ice. I'm still not able to do everything that I'd like to do, but at least I'm reasonably close now.

I'm basically over my cold now. I did skip my workout last Tuesday when I felt really bad, but otherwise I did the conditioning part of my plan as-scheduled. I also skipped my Strength and Core workouts every day this week. I decided that doing two workouts per day was probably too much while I wasn't feeling good, and, that if I had to choose, I should do the conditioning work.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cold Update

My cold seems to be getting better pretty quickly. I decided not to ride the trainer last night. I did get out and shovel snow for about an hour though.

I felt much better today than I did yesterday, still not great, but there's a big improvement. I put in a pretty easy hour on the trainer tonight; once I got warmed up a little, it felt OK to ride.

And now, a quick POTATOEE update. Dad still has a lead on me, but I've closed the gap down to a much more manageable 22 miles. Dad's just on the other side of Cleveland.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sick, Again!

Well, I've picked up a cold again. I'll blame one of my co-workers for this one. I was maybe still a little worn down from a tough week last week, and then Rod came over to my desk yesterday morning, all sniffly and snuffly, and I started feeling sick a few hours later.

The symptoms are all "above the neck", so I may try to do some easy riding on the trainer later on, we'll see. Hopefully I can get over this cold pretty quick.

I had just gotten to the point where I felt like I was really making progress from a fitness standpoint, so this is frustrating.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cold Ride

I went on a relatively long road ride with a few of the Rhinos this morning. There ended up being four of us. The other three guys were clearly stronger than me... and they all rode bikes with knobby tires while I had slicks. Still, I don't think I slowed them down too much. It just ended up being a more intense ride than I expected.

It was about 21F this morning and windy. My choice of clothing worked out pretty well. I wore some Pearl Izumi AmFib tights for the first time. My legs stayed comfortable for the whole ride. I also wore a balaclava for the first time. My head felt a little cold on our first turn into the wind, but it seemed OK after that.

I did learn one thing about riding in weather that cold though... normal water bottles are no good. Mine was frozen after an hour. One of the other guys had an insulated bottle; I may try that next time.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

CP12 Test

I rode my CP12 test last night. I decided not to do it on Sunday since my legs were still a little fatigued from the long ride on Saturday. My shoulders were also really tight on Sunday. I think it was a combination of the long ride, my strength workout (lots of pullups, for me anyway), and hunching my shoulders in the cold ice rink the day before.

Anyway, I was able to complete the CP12 test to my satisfaction in one attempt. I followed Friel's advice and tried to hold a slightly lower power value than I thought I should; it ended up being a good strategy. My hunch was that my CP12 power would be around 240W, so I tried to hold 230W. With about 2 minutes to go, I was really starting to struggle, but I held 230 through to the end; I don't think I could have done much more.

I'm not particularly thrilled with the number itself (since I held 240W last year for half an hour), but it's early in the season and this CP12 test has a strong anaerobic component. So, this is just telling me that my anaerobic fitness has declined over the winter. That's to be expected.

One more test to go, CP6. I'll try to knock this one off tonight. I think I performed the tests in a pretty good order, saving the two that I didn't have a good feel for (CP12 and CP6) for last. Based on the test last night, I think I have a better idea of what my CP6 power should be.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bicycling - Mar '07

I just received the new issue of Bicycling magazine. This magazine isn't one of my favorites, but I get it because some kid came around selling magazine subscriptions and I thought his sales pitch was pretty good.

So, a couple of thoughts on this issue:

1. Is white the new black? It seemed like there were a bunch of pictures showing people in white jerseys and shorts. Now, I admit, I think the white looks pretty cool, but I can think of a bunch of reasons not to wear white on a bike... especially for shorts. I think I'll pass on this trend.

2. The cover guy. Considering that this is the "abs" issue, is this guy really the best choice? I mean c'mon, my abs look better than this guy's (however, I think my lack of a tan and unshaven chest would have kept me off the cover... maybe next year ;-) ). He doesn't really even look like a cyclist...

3. The core workout. If Bicycling would consistently include articles like this, I might keep buying it. To me, this looks like a well-constructed workout; the focus is on functional cycling muscles. I actually ran through it last night. A lot of it is similar to what I already do, but there were some new movements for me. In particular, I had a little trouble with the scissor kicks and the "boat pose" (see Jack LaLanne below). I'll probably roll this routine into my Core workout rotation.

4. Wheel review. I guess I'm out of touch in the roadie world... I couldn't believe that a "mid-range" wheelset is $1000+!

Friday, February 02, 2007


I changed up my plan a little bit this week. With my first Base phase coming up next week, I decided that I should start doing my tests. This year, I'm planning to do the full battery of tests from the Friel book now (at the start of the Base phase) and at the end of the Base phase. I will also do a few critical ones in between.

So far, I've completed the Sprint Power test, Critical Power tests at 12seconds, 1 minute and 30 minutes, and the Lactate Threshold Field test (which is the only test I did last year). I still need to do the Graded Exercise test and the Critical Power tests at 6 and 12 minutes.

I did the LT field test tonight; I had forgotten how hard it is. My heart rate was consistent with the tests I did last year, which is not too surprising I guess. My average power was 217W, which was a little disappointing, I had hoped to be in the 220's (no particular rationale behind it though). That being said, I also tested at 217W last April, after I had gone through three months of Base training! So the test today also suggests that I'll see a nice year-to-year improvement over last year.

The other interesting thing about the LT test today was how consistent my effort was. In past tests, I've usually had a little left in the tank for a hard push over the last minute or so. I usually see this reflected in my max power number. This max power number has been steadily dropping every time I do the test though. The first time I did it, my max power was 250W more than my average power . Today, it was 54W over my average. I'm just getting better at gaging my effort over the 30 minutes.

I expect to have trouble with the 6 and 12 minute critical power tests. Not because they will be hard (they will!), but because I will have trouble gaging my effort. For the shorter tests, I could pretty much just go all out (although I almost didn't make it on the 1 minute test!). As I've said, I have some experience with the 30 minute test. But how hard to go for 6 or 12 minutes? I'm really not sure, they are kind of strange time intervals. I expect that I'll have to do these a couple times each to get a good number.

Tomorrow is a break from testing though. I'm planning on doing my "long ride". I was originally thinking I'd do it outside with the Rhinos, but it's pretty cold here. They're predicting it will be about 10F tomorrow morning, but will feel like -5F with the wind. Ahhh... I think I'll stay instead.