Coming Up For Air

I’m telling you right now, I will have to dive back under again, and soon. I’m hoping I fare better this next round. The last couple of weeks were brutal….for my biking (let’s be honest, here). First launching into a great ski trip out to Lake Tahoe (outside of the 9 hours of travel…flying each way) and then being catapulted into the final stages of multiple deal closings when I returned, my bike training took a real hit.

Though I was planning on my ski trip week as a ‘down week’, I ended up with a cold the Monday before I left which limited my riding to one night of easy spinning. Ski conditions were good, but not the 12-24” of fresh powder that really wears you out, so the first two days of skiing were simply not that draining. It wasn’t until Saturday that we found a real nice groove off one of the lifts and wore it out (I’m still working on the video I took with my GoPro). Sunday was entirely spent traveling home (left Lake Tahoe at 8a.m. CA time, boarded our 11:20a.m. flight out of Sacramento, flew for 3 ½ hours to Atlanta, boarded our next flight out 2 hours later, and landed in Grand Rapids at 11:15 making it home by midnight.

I knew returning to work I’d have some catch up to do, but thought I was in decent shape from keeping up with email while I was out of the office. Uh, yeah right. Outside of Wednesday where I was able to get out on my single speed for an hour, my days consisted of dropping the kids off at school, busting it to work, leaving around 5-5:30, eating dinner with the family, wrestling with the kids, putting them to bed around 7:30, and going back to my work until midnight. It was exhausting, but make no mistake about it, I felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in my job by Friday night.

So these are the challenges of being an amateur mountain biker. However, only fools long to replace their life with that of a full time rider. You either quit your job and do it, or be satisfied with the balancing act. I don’t wish to give up what I’m doing to chase that dream. But being a competitive person I do get a bit down knowing that my training restrictions won’t allow me to achieve all that I’m capable of on the bike (or at least all that I THINK I’m capable of 🙂 ).

What I’ve resolved to doing is replacing time with intensity. Trying to be very smart about how I spend my time on the bike when I AM on it. So, I’ve played with some of my workouts again. I’ll still be keeping my sprint drills and sustain programs in my quiver to pull out regularly; but I want to try mixing it up a bit as well. This winter has made it a bit harder to ride outside without a fat tire bike so far with the 8 inches of snow, rain, 8 inches of snow, rain, cycle we’ve had. The plows have not been able to keep up with the snow on the bike paths like usual which makes them essentially impassable with a standard 2.3” tire. So, I’ve had to spend a bit more time in the basement than I’d care to, but hopefully as we near the end of February here, the weather will turn a little which will allow me to start my 2-3 hour shoulder and gravel road rides.

With all of that load dropped on you, here’s my plan for this week (I know part of its already past):

Sprint Intervals: Total Day
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
30 second on – 100%
20 30 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
24 4 minute rest – 40%
60 seconds on – Standing
30 30 seconds off – 40%  4 total reps (6 minutes)
35 5 minute rest – 40%
15 second on – 100%
45 15 second rest – 20%    –   20 total reps (10 minutes)
55 5 minute rest – 40%
60 seconds on – Standing
61 30 seconds off – 40%  4 total reps (6 minutes)
65 4 minute rest – 40%
72 Sustain – accelerating speed
75 3 minute rest – 40%
95 Sustain – accelerating speed
105 10 minute cool down – 40% 105 Tuesday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Sustain Sprints:
10 10 minute warm up – 30%
20 10 minute sustain
22 2 minute rest
25 1 minute standing 30 second rest (2x)
30 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off (5x)
50 20 minute sustain – 80%
60 10 minute cool down – 30% 60 Wednesday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body
Trail Ride:
Get to a local trail: Ride hard for a while 105 Saturday
Indoor Fun Ride:
Variation for 90 minutes 90 Sunday
Strength Training – Upper Body
Outdoor Lakeshore Ride:
Wherever; just at 75-80% effort for 120 minutes 120 Thursday
Strength Training – Lower Body
Strength Training – Upper Body

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