The Pivot

I hear this word too often in start-up land. For as annoying as this word has become, what it describes is so essential to success that I just know it will stick around until someone coin’s a replacement. Though highly prevalent in business, particularly start-up culture, it has wide application and I’ll go ahead and use it here for what I’m about to do with my training plan. I’m on a pivot.

Before I describe what, I’ll explain why: I love riding outside; especially in the winter (and snow). I realized this over the past week as I ended up abandoning most of my scheduled trainer specific training plan and recorded over an hour more of total riding than originally planned. Only 1 hour of my 7.5 hours of riding was done on the trainer and I had a riot. I believe I got a better workout to boot. So, because of this, I am shifting some of my riding to the outdoors and combining my sprint interval sessions into one long session.

I will still be outside less than I am in the warmer months, but it will more closely resemble the picture I have in my head for race season where I ride for skill, endurance, and most importantly fun outside while being able to grab a couple of extra hours a week without leaving the house. I can focus on some drills there, then, as well. So, with that explanation here’s my plan for next week:

TRAINING SCHEDULE: WEEK OF DECEMBER 30, 2012
Sprint Intervals: Total Completed ?
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
15 second on – 100%
20 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
25 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
35 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
40 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
50 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
55 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
65 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
70 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
80 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
85 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
95 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
105 10 minute cool down – 40% 105 Monday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
Sustain:
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
30 20 minute sustain – 80%
35 5 minute rest – 30%
55 20 minute sustain – 80%
60 5 minute rest – 30%
80 20 minute sustain – 80%
90 10 minute cool down – 30% 90 Thursday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
Trail Ride:
Get to a local trail: Ride hard for a while 90 Saturday
Outdoor Fun Ride:
Whatever for however long 60 Sunday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
Outdoor Lakeshore Ride:
Wherever; just at 75-80% effort for 90 minutes 90 Wednesday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
TOTAL 7.3

 

I again recorded a sprint interval workout via Google Hangout and posted it to YouTube. Enjoy (either by laughing or working out with it).

 

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Upper Macatawa Cycling Trail Update

I was out at the Upper Macatawa Cycling Trail with my brother-in-law this afternoon. The trail was still frozen at 12:45 because of the low temps and lack of sunshine which presented perfect riding conditions. We got about 45 minutes of riding in before it finally warmed up enough to create some slick spots leading to us calling it a day. It’s about a 10-11 minute loop as the following video shows. What a great Christmas Eve ride!

 

Merry Christmas!

End of The World Ride

Finally. Here’s the YouTube video of my ride from Friday. It’s a great showing of Michigan Mountain Biking as experienced near Wayland, in the Yankee Springs Recreational Area. Enjoy.

 

Fits and Starts

I’m going to get real honest here. I’ve said this before, but training is 75% mental for me with the majority of that being spent on the decision to actually start. I think its easy to look at pro athletes and think that training just comes natural to them; that its fun. Maybe it is, but I want to believe that they go through the same mental anguish that I do before every training session.

The thought process starts like this: set the plan for the week and get pumped up about how hard I’m going to work and how much faster its going to make me. I do really enjoy creating the plan. I can begin to see how the specific drills and structure is going to allow me to be faster next spring. I visualize how much time I’ll take off my laps at various races. I’m winning first place already. Day one of my week, though, I start the mental back-and-forth of what time I should start that day’s work. Do I get up early and do it before work? Do I get after it right after the kids are in bed? Do I relax after the kids go to bed and get it in just before bed? Then once I’ve determined when I’m going to start and arrive at my pre-determined start time, I start thinking “Do I need to do this tonight? What if I woke up tomorrow morning and got it in? My legs are still a bit fatigued and I’m not sure that’s good for them to push it. What if I skipped today’s plan and fit it in on Wednesday?” And by the time I push through the mental road blocks I’m eather 15-30 minutes behind schedule and need to stay up later to fit in the workout or I dilly-dallied enough to run out of time all-together. I’d say I skip a work-out for this reason about 10% of the time.

It’s a frustrating personal challenge to overcome. I know how good I feel after the workout, and I know how disappointed in myself I feel when I skip a planned workout. Still, I fight this same battle every time. Every successful workout will make the battle easier, but I don’t think I’ll ever eliminate of this battle, either.

With that in mind, here’s my training plan for the next week. I did successfully fit my entire plan in last week, including a really fun trail ride on Friday (I’ll be posting the video as soon as it’s done uploading to YouTube). I posted my sprint workout on YouTube earlier this week. It’s my intent to start posting all of my workouts. Google Hangouts makes it easy to broadcast your Hangout to a public livestream and then automatically records and uploads your session to YouTube for replay. It’s sweeeeeet.

TRAINING SCHEDULE: WEEK OF DECEMBER 23, 2012
Sprints – High Cadence: Total Completed ?
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
15 second on – 100%
20 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
25 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
35 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
40 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
50 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
60 10 minute cool down – 40% 60 Monday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Sprints – Low Cadence:
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
40 seconds on – 90%
20 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
25 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
35 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
40 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
50 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
60 10 minute cool down 60 Saturday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Sustain:
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
30 20 minute sustain – 80%
35 5 minute rest – 30%
55 20 minute sustain – 80%
60 5 minute rest – 30%
80 20 minute sustain – 80%
90 10 minute cool down – 30% 90 Thursday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
Outdoor Fun Ride:
Whatever for however long 75 Sunday
Outdoor Lakeshore or Trail Ride:
Wherever; just at 75-80% effort for 90 minutes 90 Wednesday
Strength Trainin – Upper Body
TOTAL 6.3

New Toy

The hardest part about training to me is getting on the bike. But, once I do I love to work hard. It’s just a mental thing. Boy, am I glad I convinced myself to get on the bike tonight. I found a new toy: Google Hangout. I took video of my training workout. I was pretty proud of my warm-up conversation. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed at myself that hard once I saw what I looked like getting into the sprint drills. Have fun with this one, kids!

The Week Ahead

My week is packed and may not allow for me to complete my training plan, but here it is none the less. I’m bumping up the time by increasing the number of reps and sets in my drill work-outs. I’m really sore today because of my work-out from yesterday. I tried a new strength training technique called a split squat. I’m pretty sure it worked.

I completed my plan for last week, but realized that 5 separate planned rides is more difficult to fit in than I originally thought. If you take out an off day and try not to ride hard too many days consecutively without at least a recovery ride you don’t leave a whole lot of flexibility if something comes up requiring a scheduling shift. It’s fun figuring out, though, and I know I’ll get better at it as I go along.

 

TRAINING SCHEDULE: WEEK OF DECEMBER 16, 2012
Sprints – High Cadence: Total Completed ?
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
15 second on – 100%
20 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
25 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
35 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
40 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
50 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
60 10 minute cool down – 40% 60 Wednesday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Sprints – Low Cadence:
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
40 seconds on – 90%
20 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
25 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
35 20 seconds off – 40%    10 total reps (10 minutes)
40 5 minute rest – 40%
40 seconds on – 90%
45 20 seconds off – 40%    5 total reps (5 minutes)
55 10 minute cool down 55 Thursday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Sustain:
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
30 20 minute sustain – 80%
35 5 minute rest – 30%
55 20 minute sustain – 80%
60 5 minute rest – 30%
80 20 minute sustain – 80%
90 10 minute cool down – 30% 90 Monday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
Outdoor Fun Ride:
Whatever for however long 60 Sunday
Outdoor Lakeshore Ride:
Wherever; just at 75-80% effort for 90 minutes 90 Saturday
Strength Trainin – Upper Body
TOTAL HOURS 5.9

Self Taught

After my ride the other night, I revisited my stack of exercise articles that I’ve printed off over the years and visited a few YouTube sites for tips. It’s amazing what you can find if you really look. I haven’t ever hired a professional coach or personal trainer for bike training. It’s not that I don’t see their value; rather, it’s just not in my weekly allowance budget. Therefore I’ve had to rely on what I hear other riders doing and what I can find on the interwebs.

I am sure that the business of coaching is gratifying, but it has to be a tough one these days with everything that’s available for free on the web. Even though most articles and videos are only teasers for more developed programs, there’s enough information collectively to put together a pretty decent training program. I know that my scheduling and drill structure would be tweaked by a knowledgeable trainer, but I’m also finding that part of the fun in developing a training plan is exploring, finding, and creating on my own.

I’m taking my training program more seriously this year. I am jumping from the ‘Sport’ class to the ‘Expert’ class as defined in Michigan (other states use the ‘Cat’ system).  My training plan for the past two winters was simple: ride outside. Often. After watching a couple of riding buddies really take some strides through a disciplined training plan, I figured it could only help if I was more intentional about it this year.

I don’t claim to have the greatest training plan, or even one that’s going to work. But, if I can offer anything here, it’s my training plan from week to week as I’ve posted, and links to two trainers I’m subscribed to on YouTube (I am not affiliated with them at all, I just found them interesting). I’m providing the links to their websites, but you can look up their YouTube channels as well for some of their free tips to get started. I’d love to hear of some other training tips or resources if you have any.

http://www.bikejames.com

http://www.cyclo-club.com/public/main.cfm

I’m also working on my cross-training this winter with body-weight strength building exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, split squats, etc.). I’m choosing to do body weight stuff to help build core strength at the same time.  I’ve also found that trail building provides a good all-around butt whooping, so I’ve been helping the past few weeks with a local trail that’s being built. Call it a triple bottom line project: a personal work-out, social support, and faster access to a new mountain bike trail :). Here’s the trail so far:

 

 

I’m looking forward to seeing how my plan works out next year. I don’t have any visions of grandeur or expect to improve so much in one off season that I compete for 1st in my new class, but I do want to see some improvement, and 2nd or 3rd would be acceptable 🙂