Sunday, January 22, 2006

Jan 20-22, 2006 - 0 hours / 0 miles

Friaday morning I headed out to the power training clinic at the Olympic Training Center near San Diego. It was a full day of travel and after dinner I just relaxed in my room a bit before bed.

Saturday we were in "class" from 8:30 am- 5:30 pm. This was a great learning experience with Hunter Allen and Andy Coggan as instructors. I can't say I learned anything completely new...but it solidified some ideas, and a few things that I only had a small amount of information on. I expect to be able to make my coaching for athletes training with power quite a bit more effective by utilizing some of the knowledge I gained here.

Sunday we went from 8:30 to 2pm. The weather here is beautiful...I sure wish I had a bike....but I did get a nice 40 minute walk around the "compound". I also took a walk down to the running track and walked down the pole vault runway. Ahhh memories of high school track. I wonder how different things would have been had I applied myself to that sport. I was a decent pole vaulter and showed some promise. I cleared 12 ft my sophmore year. 13 ft was the mark at that time to be considered for a college team. Without going into too many priorities changed my junior year....and while I continued to be on the track team as a junior and senior, my maximum height never improved. Memories....

Ok enough of that. If you ever get the chance to stay "on complex" at one of the USOTCs, do it! If for nothing other than the food! Our olmypic athletes do not live in high style. The dormitories are about as charismatic as a hospital room....but the food! It is free! it is all you can eat! it is good! it is bad!.....Basically you can eat as well or as poorly as you would like. You can have a salad with tuna at every meal....or you can have things like pasta and BBQ ribs, with ice cream for dessert. I will be scared to step on a scale when I get home tomorrow.....thousands of calories a day and no exercise for 3 days! The decadence!

The funny thing is that I have to go up to App State to have a Vo2Max test and hydrostatic weight measurementthis coming thursday. This is where they submerge you in water to get an accurate measurement of your body fat %. ohhhhh I'm gonna be FAT! At least I know it will only get better as the training season continues.

As I type... I have one more meal here before I catch the shuttle to the airport...hmmm...what's for dinner tonight?

Thurs, Jan 19th 2006 - 5:45 / 94 miles

Day 2 of the A& F training camp. The weather was great and we headed out on a nice long ride over the rolling roads around Athens led by Jacob Fetty. On the way back we hit a bunch of dirt roads at a "sprited" pace, which unfortunately led to a few flat tires. We actually ended up not getting back until very close to dark. Mark Hekman won the crash of the day award by stacking in a stream crossing on one of the dirt roads. It was great to ride with the guys and I continue to get to know them. Actually it was quite impressive that eveyone rode damn well...we were not going too hard...but slackers in this group!

I was kind of bummed that I had to leave after a burrito dinner. I head out to San Diego for a USAC Training with Power Clinic tomorrow morning.

I could feel myself adapting to the new bike today as we rode. I imagine by the middle of the week next week I will have it 100% dialed in.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wed Jan 18, 2006 - 2:45 / 47 miles

First day of the A&F p/b Inferno Team training camp. I drove down to Athens GA early morning. I had a bit of stress as I needed to get my new Masi team bike put together before I could ride. Somehow I managed to get it completely together in just about an hour...including cutting the fork steerer tube....sweet! Special thanks to teammate Jim Baldesare for having a couple of the tools I didn't and helping out. The bike is beautiful. I seem to be a bit in-between sizes though. I am using a 53...which has an effective 55cm top tube. Just a little short for me so I need to switch out my 120 stem for a 130 and I think I will be set up just right.

Every time I change bikes I am meticulous about getting all the measurements from the old bike before even starting to set up the new one.....I have gotten to the point where I can set up a new bike with a tape measure in just a few minutes on the first try. I think I needed to stop only once to adjust my saddle height about 1 mm on the first ride. The lesson is to make sure you keep a good written record of every possible measurement on all bikes.

The Masi is great...aluminum front with a carbon rear triangle.....stiff and smooth...very nice.

We also got out new Verge team clothing. I did a bit of guesswork with the sizes I ordered...fortunately everything fits perfectly...I was a bit worried.

About 10 of us headed out for an afternoon ride. Chad crashed his brand new kit in the first 5 minutes....but he was not hurt and other than a slight wheel misalignment and some clothing damage no harm was done. It was windy and cool, but sunny as we wound our way around the rolling roads near Athens. Tomorrow will be the real ride of 5+ hours. Unfortunately I will only be here at camp with the team for 2 days as I head out to San Diego Friday for a training with power clinic at the OTC in Chula Vista.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tues Jan 17, 2006 - 1 hour , 20 miles

"easy" spin on the TT bike on the riceville rd. loop. Believe it or not with the TT bike on this loop 20 mph is pretty easy. Did a weight training session this evening.

Mon Jan 16th, 2006 - 1.75 hours , 35 miles

Beautiful day so I did a zone 1-2 ride out to Black Mountain and back. Not much else to report...let the rest week commence!

Sun Jan 15th , 2006 - 4.75 hrs, 72 miles

The weather report was for very cold in Asheville, so we decided to head down the mountain to Greenville SC and meet up with some club folks who were doing a ride down there. Just to be different we took the tandem down. It was a fun ride on some seriously rolling hills. A bit too much stopping and variation in speed...but the company was good and it was fun to ride the tandem for over 4 hours. When the group got back to the parking lot, I took the tandem out solo for about 30 minutes and rode at a nice steady zone 2-3 pace. What a strange feeling riding the tandem solo...especially right after riding it with a stoker. It was a blast though...hmmmm might have to add some solo tandem hillclimb rides into the training. Just think, if I can get the 38 lb long bike going up hill fast...I'll be able to fly on the single bike...or at least I'lll "feel " like I'm flying.

Seriously though....I hope to do a lot more riding on the tandem this season...It is sooooo much fun and different than riding a "1/2" bike. I highly recommend it will hear more from me on this subject.

Base 1 week 3 summary: 23 hours riding time, 3 hours weights, 26 total training hours, 390 miles. Not bad...really started to feel fatigued toward the end of the week. Lost out on a couple of hours due to bad weather saturday...but right on track after 3 solid base training weeks....I am READY for a recovery week!

Sat Jan 14th , 2006 2 hrs, 30 miles, My Birthday!

I suppose as an athlete turning 40 should be a little upsetting.... but since I was already over the hill when I started seriously racing...and I don't plan on getting slower any time too soon, I laugh at the thought of worrying about it! Had a nice mostly relaxing day. The weather was snow / cold / wet, so we rode inside for about 2 hours doing various pedaling drills. I think we did about 7 isolated leg drills working up to 2.5 minutes and back down to 1 minute on each leg, high cadence intervals interspersed throughout. Boring, but a very worthwhile workout.

Earlier in the day I did a solid weight workout. I had a huge burrito for dinner and a large portion of cake we bought at the grocery store. I was feeling lazy so we declined an offer to go out....lazy or boring ...take your pick. We spent a nice night actually watching an entire is good.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Friday, Jan 13th - 2.3 Hours, 44 miles

First ride of the season on the TT bike! I raised the bars about 1 cm for this ride. It is always a little tough to get into the full TT position straight away. I will lower it 1/2 cm at a time over the next few rides on the bike. It felt great to be back on it....somehow I just naturally like to ride in a road TT position, for some strange reason it is comfortable to me. The position is not radical, but it is quite low and aero..even 1cm higher than normal. It has taken me years to hone this position. I had my best TT season last year...and I hope to continue that this season. It is no secret that my big goal for the year is the master's national TT title. I have been 3rd - three times and 4th is time for me to step up!

Actually this ride ended up being about 30 minutes too long. I felt great for about and hour forty or so, then started to really die into a strong headwind as I approached home. 2 more training days until rest week......

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 - 4 hours, 70 miles

I can't believe the weather has been so nice....upper 60's today. We had a great breakfast with my parnets, then I saw them off at the airport. It was nice having them here...I don't get to see them enough since I moved South 5 years ago.....

I got on the bike just after 1pm and hit out a cool route South of town. I crammed 3 nice climbs into the 2nd half of the ride and still managed to get home before dark. I took the Parkway South , then wound around down through Mills River, Hooper's Creek, over Terry's Gap, through the Apple orchards of Fruitland (the craggy apple trees look so cool and evil in the winter) and over the backside of Bear Wallow Mountain. Man, I don't do that climb often so I forget how tough it is. On the way home I went over Merrill's cove just in case I hadn't climbed enough. Again, the HR was a bit lower due to fatigue...after all this is week 3 of the training block...but the pace was once again good.

Wed. Jan 11, 2006 - 2.75 hrs, 56 miles & weights

Another excellent weight workout followed by a ride north up to Marshall. My intention was to get most of the ride @ AeT, but between the weights and the long ride yesterday, I was a bit too fatigued...I probably got an hour steady at 145bpm, then about 50% of the remaining time in zone 2. Solid ride with good pace though. I am finding I am riding much faster on my training rides this season, yet still keeping zone 2 HR. I think paying that little bit of extra attention to keep the pace above zone 1 will pay off.

Tues Jan 10, 2006 - 5.5 hrs, 95 miles

Excellent weather and an excellent solo ride clockwise around Lake Lure. I was all about busuiness today and the hours just slipped past at as I put in plenty of HR zone 2 time. Sure I was a bit tired the last hour or so, but it felt great.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mon, Jan 9th, 2006, 1.5 hrs, 25 miles & weights

Solid weight workout this morning. Then a nice easy 1:30 spin out to Black Mountain & back after picking up my parets at the airport. I think I needed the easy day.....

Sun, Jan 8th 5.5 hrs, 100 miles

A great day for an epic ride. Met at Joe C's house and headed west with Lauren , Justin and Crazy Johnny. We climbed the 30 min 151/parkway to Pisgah climb, then headed down the long 15 mile descent into Brevard. Justin attacked us a the top of the descent and went out of of course we grouped up and started chasing. This is a mellow grade, hard pedaling descent, so we were working and going fast....still no sign of Justin. Just a couple miles from the bottom Joe turned and saw Justin sitting on behind us :) Nice trick. Apparently he had to chase pretty hard for a long time to catch back after he hid on the side of the road waiting for us to come by.

We picked the perfect route today and after a quick store stop, headed straight back to Asheville with a nice tailwind. 4 of us rolled a perfectly smooth paceline in the cross tailwind at 25-30 mph (with Johnny sitting on) almost the whole way back. The temps climbed well up into the 60's today...not bad for the beginning of January.

After everyone went their separate ways, I climbed up over town mountain and took the parkway back to azalea rd and home....I was tired the last 40 minutes...but it was a great long day.

Base 1 week 2 summary: 24 hrs ride time, 2 hr weights, 26 total training hours, 418 miles

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sat Jan 7th 4:30 80 miles

VERY cold today (mid 20's ) as I set off for the "city bakery" group ride. This is a new ride that Justin England put together a few weeks ago. Since it was so cold we had about a dozen hearty souls....which is fine with me, as the bigger rides around here make me nervous. Not because of the riders so much, but because of the nature of the roads we ride on. Here in western north carolina we don't really have any shoulders on our winding mountain roads....Which makes large group rides a bit nerve wracking...but at least the traffic in general is fairly light on most of the roads we ride and for the most part drivers are courteous....but I digress. The ride started by going over town mountain, up the parkway and down ox creek. We then made a right and headed up a climb (paint fork) that I have not done in a few years. Holy ouch. I forgot how steep that thing is. For an early season ride it was pretty painful. I can generally keep my heart rate down on any climb, buy riding a sensible pace and using my 27 (yes I use a 12-27 for training), but this climb is brutal. After that we wound around the hills of Madison county and headed back. 3 of us took a detour to add another 30-40 minutes to the ride. A good day for such cold weather. It was still only 40 when I got home.

A note about group rides : especially in the early season my athletes know that I generally discourage doing too many group rides. I usually try to limit them to once a week. The reason being that many group rides just go too hard all season long. The other reason being that even with a "well behaved and well intentioned" group, the pace on a rolling or climbing course tends to be too hard on the hills and too easy on the flats. Remember that base period training is all about building aerobic fitness. Going too easy (HR zone 1), or too hard (too much above HR zone 3) will not accomplish this goal nearly as well as steady riding in HR zone 2.

Fri, Jan 6 1:00 15 miles + weights

Ahhh an easy day. Great weight workout followed by an easy 1 hour spin. Good thing too as the weather was cold windy and light snow

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jan 5.....3:45 / 67 miles

After a marathon dentist appointment this morning, I finally got on the bike about 1:15. Plan was for 4 hours on the Black Mountain/ Bat Cave loop. As soon as I got down the hill from the house I knew I was underdressed...but not too badly...forecast was for 50 , so I should be ok....right?

I was definitely feeling the last couple of days in my legs today. I still got plenty of zone 2...but not as much time at AeT....and very little extended time there. After a full training block, I should be able to ride day after day with less fatigue and higher power outputs. Today...not so much.

I was enjoying the ride out to Bat Cave, but noticed that the wind was picking up and it was actually getting colder. I knew that my route was going to put me into a headwind for the last 90+ minutes....but I didn't know it was going to be this windy. I started to get cold. Even on the 30 min climb up route 74 I was getting more and more cold with the headwind. I struggled back into the gale (small ring on some of the downhills even) with my hands in pain. Somehow I managed to get into some kind of trance... and the next thing I knew I was riding through Biltmore Forest just a few miles from home.

This is one of my favorite loops...but between the fatigue and the cold it was definitely not a comfortable ride...still...mission accomplished.

Jan 4 6:15 / 101 miles

An epic day to be sure. Planned to ride with Justin England (United Pro) and Laure Franges (Victory Brewing). We were to meet at Lauren's at I needed to be on the bike by 8:30. The forecast was for nice a nice warm upper 50's high...but of course at 8:30 it was 33 degrees and pea soup fog. As I got about 10 min away the phone rang and it was Lauren saying that Justin wanted to delay the ride 30 mins. I figured I was on the bike anyway, so I rode a loop and got to the house at 9:30. We finally got going about 10. There were 5 of us to start and we decidede to do the hot springs-doggett loop backwards from the way I did it sunday.

After about an hour and a half the sun finally came out and Lauren, Justin and I headed into Hot Springs (the others headed back for a 2-3 hr ride). We did a store stop, then headed on our way. Just about 3 miles out of Hot Springs Justin pops a spoke on his front wheel. Of course now days we all have these low spoke count radial laced wheels that ...if you break one spoke... they become un-rideable. Justin heads back to the store to call for a rescue mission to come save him...and Lauren and I head on our way.

This is a great loop...hard, with lots of climbing. We do the 30+ min climb up the backside of Dogget, then fly down the other side. As I approach the 5 hr mark I start to suffer some, but is a nice day...what would I rather be doing? Once again about an hour from home I get a flat. This time I notice a nice gash in my tire...probably from yesterday. I boot it with a Clif bar wrpper, fix the tube (I brought 2 today) and promptly notice that I am standing in a pile of dog poo.....lovely. Nothing like poo ground into your cycling cleats. Of course Lauren gets much more entertainment out of this than I do...but hey is a nice day , right? After Lauren turns off for home I grovel back the last half hour into a head wind...tired...but not nearly as bad off as I was last sunday.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

3 hours / 55 miles

ok...I'm still trying to get the hang of this blog bear with me on the formatting. Today is what today was like: After getting one of the cars serviced, getting as much work as I could stand to do done..I finally got out the door at 1:15. On tap : 3 hr ride almost all @ AeT. AeT stands for aerobic threshold...usually about 20 beats per minute below lactate threshold heart rate or about 65% of CP30 power. Training at this intensity is extremely efficient at developing aerobic is however, a bit harder than you might imagine. Today I was killing it. After a day off the bike yesterday my HR was very responsive and I was easily riding at AeT and above the whole way. I took the hilly route to Marshall and would come back on the river. You will hear me talk about riding on "the river" quite often this time of year. Here in Asheville we have the slight prroblem of not having too many flat roads to ride on. Along the river, north to the town of Marshall is about the flattest route. At this time of year it is really important to work on steady endurance riding. Grinding up one side of a climb, then coasting down the other all day is a blast.... but not the best way to develop aerobic endurance fitness....hence , a lot of riding on "the river".

OK, so I am flying around my route for the is is is drizzling most of the time, no pronblem. All those good feelings come to an end as I get a flat a little less than an hour from home. No worries...I put in my spare tube. What??@!?!@?! It is flat. No worries I have my handy patch kit...I'll fix one of the tubes. NO, the damn glue is dried up....hmmm what to do. Luckily I have phone service and call a friend who lives 5-10 miles away. Ahhh some luck returns and he is home....and agrees to come to the rescue with a spare tube. Thank you Jamie! Unfortunately after waiting in the cold and wet I get quite chilled and even though I ride pretty hard to get warm for the remaining miles, I am not in such a good way by the time I get home....tonight I am super stressed about my workload this week.....but of course I plan to ride 6 hours tomorrow, so it might be a long wednesday night after the ride getting work done.....out for now.
Jan 2nd - 0 hours / 0 miles

I did get a great weight worrkout in today. Loads are creeping up...soon it will be time for transition weights. This is the first season I am doing all weight work at mome-no far , so good

Monday, January 02, 2006

Jan 1, 2006 ! 5:15 / 93 miles

Ah yes, easy yesterday so I could torture myself today. Had a great solo ride over Doggett mtn, out to hotsprings and back through Marshall. Practicing what I preach I killed it with the zone 2 HR and PLENTY of steady time @ AeT (which for me is 145bpm). I finally got a HRM going today. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to take some screen shots of SRM files. I always forget how tough a climb Doggett is….man it is steep and unrelenting…about 25 minutes going falt out, it probably took me 30 or so today keeping the effort in check. All I could think about going up was how incredibly cool it would be to run a TT up this thing….THAT would be some pain. Unfortunately it is kind of in the middle of nowhere and not a single place to park a car near the base. I am guessing the owners of the farmhouse at the bottom would not have much interest. Anyway…what a great day for the first of the year! Sunny and almost 60. I was pretty hurtin the last 40 minutes or so. I found that I was talking to myself out loud toward the end. I must be a little deranged as I really like to do these long endurance rides alone. Sure, I like to ride with others too…but there is something about the long solo ride. I find I can really focus…and I think I generally ride harder (more zone 2) when alone.

This was a great first week of training for the 2006 season. Base 1 week 1 and I got over 22 hours of riding for about 386 miles plus two solid weight sessions. Not bad, unfortunately the weather does not look quite as amenable for the upcoming week.

Dec 31, 2005 3:10 / 55 miles (plus weights)

Solid AA weight workout in the morning. Just to let you know the exercises I am doing: 3 sets 20 reps

Fitball and various other crunches

Full Free Squats

Bent over row

Standing leg curl (single leg)

Leg extension (single leg)

Chest press (alternating incline and flat)


Triceps extensions


After lunch Cara and I headed out on the Tandem for a spin out to Marshall, a short loop, then back. We had a nice tailwind for most of the return along the river and rode 25mph plus for quite a while…nice. The tandem has 170 mm cranks front and rear. We both hate them. I know shorter cranks are not supposed to cause problems, but these things seem to always make my knees a little sore….and I have my position set up VERY close to the road bike (crank length accounted for). We want to get 172.5s for it soon.

Dec 30th, 20054:45 / 87 miles

Finally a REAL ride. Hooked up with Justin England (United Pro) and Hugh Moran (Aerospace) for a solid endurance ride. These guys are a couple of the best climbers in the country and it is an honor to ride with them. Unfortunately Hugh is moving down to Athens GA on Sunday, so I won’t see him until the racing starts up…but hopefully I’ll be able to get some long rides in with Justin before he heads off to his team training camp at the end of January. We headed out over the climb on Rte 74 and down around Lake Lure. It was cold at the start (35), but by the time we were at the lake it was a nice 50+ degrees. I actually felt great most of the ride, but since I didn’t think it wise to get 6 hours in after just a few days back on the bike, I turned around at Bills Creek rd just past the lake. Continuing with the guys would have meant lots more climbing and an extra 1-1.5 hrs that might have put me past my current limit.

I was hoping for about 4 hrs, but over shot a little again. Man, was I feeling it after 4 hours! I groveled up the climb to the house and felt the deep fatigue that only comes after really long endurance rides…I have missed that feeling. I have found myself really wanting some metrics on the rides. I miss my SRM! I gotta get that thing fixed so I can see some power numbers….and I gotta stop being lazy and start wearing a HRM again. I have found that after 15 years of racing and training to race I can read my body pretty well…I know what I need to do, and what energy systems I am stressing at any given time…..but it sure is nice to see these things confirmed with HR and power numbers…especially at this point early in the training season. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to relate some of these numbers here as well.

Dec 29th, 20051:00 / 15 miles

Crummy cold day. 1 hr easy ride. Adaptation continuing. Nothing else to report

Dec 28th, 20052:30 / 45 miles (plus weights)

Got a good AA weight workout in this morning, then some work, lunch then on the bike. Thought I was going to get rained out, but the showers passed and it was sunny and windy. I actually overdressed for the 55 degree weather. Nice ride out the river and back with an excursion up Lower Flat Creek. I am feeling a few aches and pains of getting back into the training program…the usual. I id feel a bit of bother in my left Achilles. This comes about from switching from my MTB pedals and shoes on the CX bike, back to the road bike. The cleats on the road bike are a little further forward which makes me use a little more ankling. This is a good thing, but I need to re-adapt. The last thing I want is another full blown case of tendonitis. Tomorrow I will use the MTB shoes and pedals…then alternate systems until I adapt.

Dec 27th 2005 - 3:30 / 56 miles

Wanted to get a relatively long endurance (HR zone 2 ) ride in today. I was a little too ambitious and was a little too spirited at the beginning of the ride…this caught up with me later (go figure). I wanted a 2.5-3 hr ride. I had it in my head to hit the dirt climb up Young’s Gap Rd. which I did. I forgot that even though the weather was nice today most of that road never sees sunlight….so it was a soft muddy climb…still fun though. As I approached Merrill’s cove and the last real climb of the ride, I sped by the store stop thinking “I’ll be home in an hour, I’m fine”. Not. Just 15 minutes later on the climb I started bonking. I was reduced to stopping for a coke and a snickers bar at a store just 40 minutes from home. After that I felt fine. This tells me that my body is extremely inefficient at burning fat right now…I burned WAY more glycogen than I would have on this same ride in the spring. After all working on the ability to utilize fat is one of the goals of base training. Of course my sub-three hour ride turned into almost 3.5 hours.

Dec 26. 2005 2:00 / 35 miles

Ahh the first official day of the 2006 training season. It felt good to be back on the raod bike although a little strange. The change back to road shoes and pedals is always strange…as is the 2cm longer top tube as compared to the cross bikes. Went for a nice moderate ride in the rolling hills.