Proud Moments

I’m proud to announce that on this snowy, wintery, work-from-home Thursday, I now have my first 1,000 view YouTube video. My One Second Epic collage from Iceman Cometh last November has achieved a relatively rare milestone amongst the millions and millions of videos that have been uploaded to YouTube so far. I’ve been watching the numbers for weeks as the initial response in November and December propelled the video up past the 800 mark. As I would have suspected, the initial numbers were high as race participants searched for recaps and POV footage to re-live the great weekend and begin to tide them over until next season, and then began to tapper off. I don’t have grand expectations that this will accumulate another 1,000 views any time soon, but it’s cool to have one under my belt.

I’m going to repost the video here, but I’m also going to post a very interesting video of Kevin Allocca from YouTube talking about what makes videos go viral which I found very interesting. It’s only about 7 minutes and totally intriguing.

 

Top Banana Competition Unveiling: The Spring Classics

I’m too busy to write my usual full post. I AM still training. My week consists of judging a pitch competition at UofM, visiting the largest fresh salsa and humus producers in the U.S., working through the details of several large deals and tax preparation for Start Garden while working around the very hectic schedule of my wife’s job (it’s typical for January for her), and getting on my bike (heavy) this week in preparation for a down week of riding next week. I’m having fun and feel very blessed, but I’m just able to breath a ton right now. I’ll be back soon with a re-cap on my training for this week, planning for next week, and news on a fun project I’m experimenting with. In the meantime, please enjoy kolo t.c.’s introduction to this year’s Top Banana Competition:

Top Banana Competition Unveiling: The Spring Classics.

Passing The Time Away

I decided during my ride tonight that I should share what I watch while on the trainer. In general, I mostly watch anything mountain biking, but have a library of cyclocross, mountain biking (cross country, fat bike, and downhill, separated of course), road cycling, and music videos.

I am just completing the Absa Cape Epic series (all the videos are available by clicking on the hyper-link) from 2012 which cuts the 7 stage race into 8 20-25 minute clips. It’s in highlight format for each stage, but shows some great racing and a couple of personal interest stories along the way.

I’ve also worn out all of the Iceman Cometh Challenge race footage I could find. Race videos are pretty much all of the POV variety, which I prefer, and can range from a 10 minute highlight compilation to several 35 minute splices of the race that you can watch back-to-back-to-back all the way to one complete ~2 hour video of the entire race. The highlight video actually has quite a bit of me in it (black and yellow Cross Country Cycle jersey starting at the 1:52 mark).

Even though the course will change slightly, I’ll start watching 2012 race footage of the Barry-Roubaix in the coming weeks just to re-familiarize myself with the course. I find it helpful to see some of the hills, turns, and terrain of upcoming races even if I have the chance to pre-ride the course. In the same vein I have a video of the Boyne Marathon that’s 2 hours long for some of my longer trainer rides.

What I really like about YouTube is that you can set up playlists to save and sort various videos that you can go back to later. Within each playlist you can manage their order (though the functionality is a bit clunky) and then play all without having to do anything. This is really slick while on the bike if you have your order set up the way you want.

I also have a Vimeo account which is helpful in finding video of a certain race because not everyone uploads to the same service. You can organize videos into playlists there as well, but their search engine is really particular and I find that I have to search for multiple iterations of the same race to find all of the video (e.g. Iceman, Iceman Cometh, Iceman Cometh Challenge, Iceman 2012, etc.). I really haven’t run out of YouTube video, yet, so I haven’t been paying much attention to my Vimeo playlists.

We finally got snow on the west side of Michigan, so after this cold front blows through and the wind dies down I’ll be spending more time outside (I love snow riding) and won’t probably need the videos as much, but until then….

Quick Post

Nope, I’m not falling off my training plan (much). I’ve just been really busy working, riding, and planning so the blog updating has been pushed down the list a bit. I did cut my plan back a bit last week due to some time constraints, but I did enjoy having Sunday off enough to do it again this week. I’m still learning a ton about how my body responds to different work-outs and how best to stack my rides and strength training into the week. I’m also starting to develop my plan for how to ramp the plan the closer I get to the start of race season and have recognized that I’m going to have both an opportunity to increase both intensity and duration, with a greater emphasis on intensity.

The other project I’m working on is for a loose Strava Challenge that I’m coordinating over Mother’s Day weekend here in West Michigan. I want to know if I can develop a handicapping system for mountain bike racing that would act similarly to a golf handicap. I believe I can compare actual Strava data for all riders, apply a handicapping divisor, and have everyone compete as one class instead of requiring everyone to sign up in individual classes. The goal would be to reward the person who rose above their historical ability the most. I’ll talk more about that later, but I need to simply state here that its a more laborious process than I was hoping. It’s a good thing there’s only 16 people signed up so far (I’m targeting 20-30 total).

I have an off (the bike) week coming up the first week of February for a ski trip to Lake Tahoe. This week is a typical, but slightly lower intensity week which will build up to a hard week next week before the break. I have to get to the basement, now, but before I go….here’s the plan for this week:

TRAINING SCHEDULE: WEEK OF JANUARY 20, 2013
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 Thursday
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 Friday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Trail Ride:
Get to a local trail: Ride hard for a while 90 Saturday
Recovery Ride:
Trainer 60 Tuesday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Outdoor Lakeshore Ride:
Wherever; just at 75-80% effort for 90 minutes 90 Wednesday
Strength Training – Lower Body
TOTAL 7.25

A Good Rest

After posting that I wasn’t feeling quite right, yet, on Sunday I took the night off from riding. It ended up feeling so good that I took Monday off, too. 🙂 However, now I am paying for that a bit in order to get in my scheduled regimen and will end up riding at least 6 days straight (Tuesday to Saturday this week and then my usual Sunday ride). I’m simply going to have to turn one of my scheduled rides into a recovery pace ride, but I think in the end it will have been the right thing to do taking Monday off.

I’m going into this training year with a plan; the most well developed plan I’ve ever had. But, I’ve also decided to subscribe to the idea that I need to listen to my body (as described by several former pro riders) and remember that it’s a long season with risk of burning out mentally before it’s really going to matter to me in November at Iceman.

Last night I left the house thinking “why in the world do I like riding in the cold?” only to realize about 45 minutes into the ride that I simply LOVE being outside, no matter what the temperature is. I felt rejuvenated as I rode up the lakeshore, in to the wind, but warmed by my effort. The only thing I would have added to improve the ride was snow. Without it I bounce around too much on my Single Speed as it’s not geared right for lower resistance riding.

Tonight I have my brother-in-law coming over to sit in the basement with me on our trainers for some sprint intervals. That will be about as much fun as you can have riding on a trainer. Then I’ll just have a shorter recovery ride tomorrow night and hopefully a trail ride on Saturday to complete the week. It WILL be a great week of winter riding.

Technology Test

This post has been done entirely using my iPhone and apps for YouTube (Capture) and WordPress. I first took the video on my phone using the Capture app, uploaded it to YouTube through the app, and the copied and pasted the video link to my WordPress page using the WordPress app. I may not have been the first person to do this, but I wanted to know how it would work and how easy it would be. It took me less than 5 minutes which is good because now I need to get my butt on the bike trainer and make up for the ride I didn’t do last night 🙂

Ride on, ride hard…..

Discipline: A Two Sided Story

I planned 6 hours of riding this week. Even after cutting back a trainer ride I ended up with over 6 and a half hours. I did take it easy on my drills, but as of today I’m still feeling fatigued. Part of that may be from working out on the new Upper Macatawa trail yesterday, but I don’t feel like I took it easy this week. So, I’m not riding tonight like I normally do to take one extra day off before starting up with a big week this week. I’ll get to bed on time tonight and hopefully I’ll feel fully refreshed tomorrow.

Discipline has been a word I’ve used to describe the motivation necessary to get ON the bike, push hard, and continue all the way to the finish. I was reminded this week that discipline is also showing restraint. This is not a surprising revelation or new to me. Restraint is the application of the word discipline I use for food consumption. I just haven’t really run into the scenario where I’ve needed to apply it to my riding until now.

So, while I plan out my riding for the next week, I’m going to remember to follow the plan and be disciplined to both work the plan; and be disciplined to rest.

TRAINING SCHEDULE: WEEK OF JANUARY 13, 2013
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 Friday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
Outdoor Lakeshore Ride:
Wherever; just at 75-80% effort for 90 minutes 120 Tuesday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
TOTAL 7.75