10 minute warm-up
1 x 15 minutes at 250 watts
6 minutes rest
1 x 15 minutes at 275 watts (Ouch, I was hurting and sweating like a pig with not the best set of legs today!!)
5 minute cool down
What? I did 30 minutes work time? I was supposed to stop at 27, take 2 days off and then come back for my peak goal of 30 minutes for the month this weekend to end the month. Now I don't know what to do! I finished early, but that was not my intention.
I will probably do some SMSP and MSP butt kicking combined work this weekend and then take a recovery week before next weekend's opening race in Nebraska.
I had planned on 11 MSP sessions for the month with a peak of 30 minutes work time. Instead, I will end up with 10 and a peak of 30 minutes. Here's the chart for the month of March and how it worked out in chart form.
10 minutes spin to warm up
1 x 20 minutes at 230 - 250 watts
5 minutes rest
1 x 8 minutes at 300 watts
5 minutes cool down
Total Work Time = 28 minutes
It felt good to get out for the first time this year on the Race bike to remember what it feels like. I need to clean it up and tune it for the upcoming season.
20 minute warm up
1 x 12 at 285 watts (guess - no power meter)
15 minute easy pace
1 x 13 at 285 watts (guess - no power meter)
20 minute cool down
Total Work Time = 25 minutes
I also did some sprints and grunt climbs on the way home from the trail. Legs still had some fire in them which is good.
I was burning some matches out there today thanks to the humidity, and the lovely dead feeling in my legs thanks to a late night and an allergy pill. My mind took over and made me push it and push it hard. The 2nd interval was uphill all the way which means there was no way to cheat. Got home and popped a handful of Recover-Ease capsules.
There is a nice evening breeze blowing in on the porch as I type this. Feels nice, but the seasonal allergies make it a bittersweet time of year for me. I didn't get much of a warning the allergies were going to hit so hard today. Boom! It's like the grass turned green over night.
2 days rest and recovery are now well deserved after finishing the 4th two day block of MSP's...
As I was on the C7i, I thought for some reason I only needed to knock out 26 minutes today in the process of stair stepping my way up to the final peak of 30 minutes next week. Instead, I should have done 28 minutes today - not 26. I didn't realize that until 5 hours too late. Oh well, it happens.
10 minutes warm up
1 x 15 at 255 watts
7 minutes rest
1 x 11 at 255 watts
3 minutes cool down
Total Work Time = 26
I have been doing some good stretching the past week and keeping the lower back and legs feeling good. I did a little run yesterday as recovery. I might do another run on Sunday for my next off day. And baseball practice starts on Tuesday for the team that I am head coaching this season. Busy, busy, busy...
I got home from work and swallowed some SportLegs, checked my email, changed into my workout clothes and eventually crawled my way onto the C7i to see if I could do it. Warmed up for 15 minutes and I was shocked at how good my legs felt. Wow! I was ready to crank up the music and sweat!
I couldn't believe how my legs were turning over during the warm up, so I launched into my first interval at 290 watts for 8 minutes. I had to abandon my plan for doing 2 reps of 11 1/2 minutes duration today as the power felt good at 290, but not good enough to hold for 3 1/2 more minutes. Spun for 4 minutes rest and launched off into the #2 combo interval which turned out to be a 14 minute interval with the first 7 minutes at 275 watts (seated) and the second 7 minutes at 308 watts (out of saddle disco speed). Hooha! Leg and lung burn with HR sitting at 175. I thought about hanging on for another minute or two, but didn't want to be totally staring at the wall tomorrow at work (I have a very busy and long day coming up).
Total work time for day 2 in this block was 22 minutes. Still working my way up with 2 consecutive day blocks followed by 2 consecutive days rest in this month's MSP fest. I now have 3 work blocks completed as I work my way to a peak somewhere around 30 minutes towards the end of the MSP phase for a one day effort. I've worked up to 24 minutes thus far.
Fueled up with another nutrient rich dinner that my wife had made. Stir fry in the Wok followed by a nice bowl of fresh pineapple with homemade raspberry sauce. Yummmmmy.
Totally unrelated in terms of a picture, but since we are all busting our chops training to get ready for racing this year....
Did you ever wonder why cyclists like to do things together? Here's one for you. All lined up for a group dance....
Gee, they never show that portion of the TDF on television. ;-)
I did 3 MSP (or LT) intervals today.
•The 1st was 8 minutes at 318 watts. Ouch, that burns!
•The 2nd was 8 minutes at 300 watts. Started out 318, but could not hold it.
•The 3rd was 10 minutes at 318 watts.
Total work time for today was 26 minutes which bumps me up the work time ladder as shown in the chart below. I'm pretty much sticking to a 2 days on, 2 days off routine for these MSP intervals.
I think the 280 - 295 watt range is the "sweet spot" for me on these things - especially when I am shooting for 10, 12, 15 minutes (yet to do one of those 1/4 hour suckers). At the 8 minute duration I wanted to boost the power a tad more to see if I could turn it or burn it. My legs were on fire, but I turned the first one. Ticked off that I didn't turn the 2nd one like the first one, I reached down deep in the bag of hurt and eeked out the 3rd rep while watching Dr. Dolittle of all things. How's that for inspiration? Eddie Murphy talking to animals on HBO...
Who knows if I will bounce back enough for tomorrow's interval session or not. The legs feel worked going up and down the stairs. I'm not sure Recover-Ease will bail me out. Time to eat some salad, bread and cucumbers (the wife made Tzatskiki). Maybe the meal will heal me and I can go for two intervals of 11 1/2 minutes each in the sweet spot wattage zone.
Yup. That's the Bacchetta Giro 20 we tried out yesterday in Des Moines.
Why buy a recumbent bike?
My wife's lower back prefers the ride of a recumbent these days. Even though she had been riding my LWB Burley Koosah the past year, it was just too much bike for her to handle. She tried a few different recumbents (Rans, Burley and Bacchetta's) before deciding to order a new SWB 2007 Bacchetta Giro 20.
Before we made the call to the LBS to place the order, I did a quick Google search and found an ad for the same exact model my wife was looking to buy in her size (size small) right here in Des Moines. What are the odds of that? So, we sent an email to the owner and she responded later that day saying the used Giro was still available.
After the test ride yesterday, the two ladies did their negotiating faster than any man could even scratch his chin. The upside for us is that the recumbent only ended up costing us about 1/2 of what a new 2007 model would have cost us. Not bad.
The previous owner said she never really felt comfortable riding a recumbent and therefore had put the Giro up for sale last fall. There is a certain amount of athleticism and balance required to launch a recumbent and for handling in slower speed situations. I think that turns a lot of people away from recumbents and it seems the previous owner fits this mold.
Yeah, it's got some funny dohickey motorcycle rear view mirrors that will probably be coming off. Or I might leave them on for kicks and add some colored streamers for fun. ;-) The bike came with a nice Rans rear travel pack and 3 replacement tires which were a nice extra bonus. There is even a kickstand on the bike as well as a computer.
After some slight adjustments for comfort and fit, we took the recumbents out for a 20 mile ride in the cold Sunday morning wind.
Nothing like the comfort of a recumbent allowing you to take pictures while on the bike. That's why they are so good for RAGBRAI. You can hold a beverage of choice in one hand - and check out the scenery while cruising along.
Here's the Summerset Banner Pits area:
Me on the LWB Koosah admiring that there is still a lot of ice around (Hey, I'll ride anything. 29"er, 26"er, LWB recumbent, SWB recumbent, tandem, mountain bike, road bike, rickshaw, hybrid bike, etc...):
One happy and proud, but cold, Giro 20 owner....
The way I understand it, the longer the interval - be it SMSP or MSP - you want to trim the wattage down a little bit to account for the length of the interval so that you can make your power for the duration of the work period. The MSP's are more difficult for me to figure out and find that edge where I feel like I am going off the cliff. Yeah, you know that edge. It's where I'm in lots of pain, but can still make the duration.
Knocked out 21 minutes of MSP yesterday.
1 x 10 minutes seated at 285 watts
1 x 11 minutes seated/out of saddle combo at 285 watts
More power than Thursday, but I thought it was interesting that my heart rate was just about the same at 285 watts as it was about 20 watts lower. Hmmmm...what's that mean? Sweat flow increased. Drool increased. Fluid out of the nose increased. I almost, but not quite, had that nearly gassed post-exercise feeling that I came to know so well in the SMSP phase. I guess that means I moved a little closer to the cliff's edge.
After a pair of rest and recovery days, I will try some shorter duration, higher power MSP intervals on Monday. Maybe 2-3 reps of 8 minutes at 300+ watts to see where that edge is.
My wife and I are heading to Des Moines today to check out a used Bacchetta Giro for her. It's a size small SWB recumbent that a lady the same size as my wife is trying to sell. If it fits and feels good during the test ride, it just might be the ticket for her Summerset Trail riding and RAGBRAI journey.
1 x 12 minutes seated at 265 watts
1 x 12 minutes seated/out of saddle combo at 260 watts
Tomorrow I will try - I said try - to bump up the power just a tad. I know these are supposed to be ridden at a lower power than SMSP intervals, but I think I started too conservatively and will see what the 280 - 290 range brings me in terms of PAIN. If I don't finish the interval, I don't finish.
Boy, am I ever itching to get out on some singletrack. I imagine things are still a muddy mess and I don't want to contribute to trail destruction. Hurry up warm and dry weather and not such cool temperatures at night...
Then the turnaround in Carlisle happened and it put me dead into the wind. Middle ring road bike stuff with my legs telling me to use the largest cogs in the rear type of wind. Riding in the drops to get aerodynamic type of wind. It was almost impossible to keep myself in the zone 1 - 2 range with this wind. Heck, I was just about in zone 2 trying to stay upright on the bike. Oh well. Made it home without bonking, but the legs feel worked. Saturday I rode to Summerset and back on the Monkey for a 1 1/4 hour trip. Sunday I did my first MSP intervals on the trainer. Monday I did my intervals on the Summerset trail. Today was day 4 in a row with the 26 mile trip. You heard it here first. Tomorrow I am not riding. Not even a 20 minute easy spin. Just going to eat, get some tax stuff together, call all the kids I drafted for the Little League I'm coaching and doing some "honey do" stuff on the list.
I think I'll lay off the adult beverage (wine and beer) to see what that does for the few pounds I want to shed for the race season. We'll see just how long this self-imposed prohibition lasts...
Banged out an 8 minute interval on the way to Summerset. I managed to avoid hitting all of the pedestrians, dogs and cyclists out enjoying the weather. On the way up the hill, I banged out an 11 minute interval at some kind of wattage that had me drooling from the mouth, screaming in pain with my legs burning and my bike handling skills waning. I think I was pushing too big of a gear, but I hung on and knocked out my goal of 18 minutes. Overachiever that I am this time of year, I pushed it another minute to finish the MSP day at 19 minutes. Hard to tell just what wattage I managed today without any measuring device. I just had to take advantage of the weather.
I did a few 20 - 40 second big ring climbs in town on the major hills on the way home. Felt pretty good and now I get 2 days off the bike to recover.
And on to phase 2 of the Morris Plan along with the Energy Act of 2005 March 11th time change. Today was numero uno of the 21 day MSP phase. Although the weather was beautiful outside and I wanted to ride out in it, I figured I had better do the MSP's on the power measuring machine to make sure I made my power. Did reps of 2 X 10 with warm-up, 5 minute rest between and 10 minute cool down. Was sweating like a pig in the basement (perhaps one too many beers last night?).
Boy, did it feel good to come out of hibernation yesterday and get on the bike. After adjusting the seat for the correct height, I was good to go.
A bit of euphoria hit today as the weather allowed me to take a 1 1/4 hour ride outside on the Karate Monkey. It was hard to hold it down in Zone 2. Okay, I checked the legs a couple of times and just went nuts going up a couple of hills. Ooooooo.......it felt REAL good. No snow on the bike path, but plenty of wet as the melt off is still underway. It looks to be 60 tomorrow and even warmer on Monday and Tuesday. All the snow ought to be gone by week's end at this rate.
Simpson College is on spring break starting today. No Fort Lauderdale for me. No week of skiing in Colorado for me. No trip to the Caribbean for me. No fun week in Vegas or NYC. Nope. Not for me. What will I be doing? Income taxes. Cleaning. Recruiting students. Baseball camp with the son. Little League coaches meeting and drafting of teams. Honey do list type of stuff. Ah.......if only I could slip back in time a couple of decades and simply throw caution to the wind and go ski for a week in Colorado. Oh well, been there and done that - so now it is real life. My kids have their spring break here in Indianola the week after Simpson's. Too bad they never are in sync with each other. If they were, that week of skiing could become reality.
Tomorrow brings an extra hour of sunlight, MSP intervals begin, a recovery ride with the wife on the bike trail, and it will be day 2 of the hitting/pitching camp for baseball.
Until then - tonight brings Mexican food that my wife is cooking as I type this. Smells good.....
Which leads to that other spring activity - baseball. I will be head coach of my son's 13-14 year old Little League baseball team this year. I coached for 3 years and then took the last 3 years off of Little League coaching. It is my turn to coach again which makes for an intense upcoming 12 weeks. Tuesday night is "draft" night and I always dread those events. There are no try outs for the 13-14 year old league, so I need to do some study between now and Tuesday.
Ah....why not just have a blind draft and keep Little League fair for the kids and not make it a breeding ground of abuse and competitive gamesmanship for the adult coaches in the draft? Blind drafts are great and I have seen them work wonders. The blind draft is when the coaches get together and assemble all equal teams without knowing which of those teams they will be coaching. This forces everyone to work together and really balance out the teams in a fair and even manner. It does wonder for the kids and makes for a much more rewarding season. Then we draw numbers out of a hat that tells us which one of those teams we will coach. Takes all the abuse out of the system and ends up being the most fair for everyone involved. Oh well, no dice of that happening here as if you even mention "blind draft" - everyone just chuckles.
Even if I throw statistics at the other coaches such as....
• on average, only 1 player on every Little League team will end up playing baseball in high school
• based on the statistics, a coach would have to coach baseball for 641 consecutive years and in only one of those years would he have a player that would make it to the professional major leagues
....everyone still insists on going crazy during the draft and trying to assemble a team by abusing the system. It doesn't help the kids and it just irks me. Grown men arguing about the quality and level of play of each kid in the draft. Unless you know each and every kid and have seen them play for a season or two, you end up being at a disadvantage going into the draft. My goal is simply to give all the kids on my team a greater appreciation of the game. 95%+ of them will not ever play baseball again after the 13-14 age level, so my methods are a little different than other coaches. I want them to appreciate the game on the big diamond (this is the first age level where they play on the full sized diamond).
Spring Chicken Legs
I will do 1 1/2 hours of zone 2 this morning before heading off to work. Spring Break at Simpson College begins for me at 5 pm.
Sunday I begin the three week MSP interval phase. Legs are feeling good and seem ready to go. I have managed to avoid all infections and bugs related to the nose, throat and lungs this season. My kids are sick. My students have been sick. Colleagues have been hacking and coughing. I made it through (knock on wood) to this point. I figured the SMSP intervals would tear me down and I would catch a bug, but I was religious about snarfing down the Recover-Ease capsules after every session and ate the most nutritious food I could to feed my system. I will do the same during the MSP phase.
Here is a link to a very interesting read regarding cleat position at Joe Friel's Blog.
Today, it actually looks like spring is just around the corner. That's amazing after last week's blizzard. Maybe I should not have shoveled all those drifts! Temperatures began this week in the upper 30's and are heading to the 40's later in the week. Forecast says 50's this weekend. Melt snow. Melt! Of course, it will take many more weeks to turn the Iowa peanut butter singletrack into good riding conditions. I can't get too excited to pull the mountain bike out yet until things melt and the trails dry out. Fingers are crossed...
Back to the moon. We live on the west side of town on the top of a hill which made for perfect eclipse viewing last night with the clear skies. I guess that explains why several of my neighbors invited friends over for a little Moonshine Soiree. Many were actually out on their decks and not in their garages for the viewing.
I enjoyed a nice walk in the Jordan Creek Mall today as part of my "off" day today. In addition to the walk through the mall, I moved most of the stuff in the master bedroom closet down to the guest room closet today in preparation for the master bath remodel that begins on Tuesday. Nothing like climbing up and down the steps umpteen hundred times. And I sang through Schubert's Winterreise today to get ready for an upcoming gig. That's an athletic endeavor in and of itself considering it is 75 minutes long. I didn't feel too spent at the end of rehearsal, but realized I need to brush up on about 5 - 10% of the words that my brain has managed to scramble since the last time I performed it.
While walking through Scheel's at Jordan Creek, I was happy to see a nice display rack with 3 Redline 29"ers (1 Flight and 2 Monocogs). Not bad. The only thing that the Scheel's at Jordan Creek has had related to 29"ers the past 3 years has been a pair of Bontrager ACX's hanging on the wall which still have not been sold. The Scheel's in Sioux City and Iowa City have been 29"er friendly for several years, but not the one at Jordan Creek. Mainly because they don't sell Gary Fisher bikes in the Jordan Creek Scheel's due to the Trek dealerships already existing in the Des Moines area via Bike World. Regardless, it was nice to see a little big wheel love hitting mainstream floor space. Rassy's, Bike World and Scheel's now carry some big wheel love.
It looks like we have some warm weather hitting this week. I wonder if it will be warm enough for the sun to melt all the snow off of the bike trail this week allowing me to get some MSP intervals outside by the end of the week? Wishful thinking, but we'll see....
It sure beats the past 2 days of staring at the sideways snow and general blizzard conditions. Having grown up in the Dakotas, a calm day usually is when the wind dies down to around 30 - 35 mph. So I felt right at home in the stuff and didn't complain too much about having to go to work (Simpson never closes) even though my kids were home due to the public school closings. I still have a few drifts in the driveway I need to get to today and tomorrow.
A baritone guest artist named Nathaniel Gunn was to have given a recital on Friday night at Sheslow Auditorium on the Drake Campus. Since Drake shut its doors on Friday due to the weather, we opened up the recital to be held on the Simpson Campus instead as an alternative location. Everything was set up and Nathaniel came down to check out Great Hall and get ready. Then it snowed silly sideways from about 4 - 6 p.m. and the Civic Music Association in Des Moines pulled the plug for fear of people having to drive in such nasty weather. Gunn had driven out here from Illinois with his wife to perform and was all ready to go, but the weather just wasn't playing nice. Turns out, things cleared up about an hour before the recital was to commence, but it had already been canceled. Oh well...life likes to prove itself as often as possible that it is not circuitous. Luckily, he was able to do a Masterclass with the Simpson and Drake voice students this morning on the Simpson campus at 10 a.m. Sounds like the Civic Music Association will try to reschedule his recital at some point in the future.
I am gearing up to begin the MSP interval phase. A little more recovery and I will be ready to go. I think I will do an easy ride today and toss in a few reps of 1 minute just checking to see if you still work intervals. Heart rate during the entire SMSP phase was interesting to me. I've never really been a big follower of heart rate as I don't have a computer on any of my bikes. I know my resting heart rate is usually around 48 bpm range in the morning. I have read all of those articles and opinions on the 220 - age formula, and the many varieties of that formula surrounding thousands and thousands of dollars of research money being spent in university laboratories on coming up with a definitive formula and what it all means. I like the Dave Morris approach where you are focused on producing the power and not concerned with the heart rate.
Lets take an example. Karvonen.
What factors affect aerobic training?
Frequency, duration and intensity. Frequency refers to how often you perform aerobic activity, duration refers to the time spent at each session, and intensity refers to the percentage of your maximum heart rate or heart rate reserve at which you work.
How often should I train? How hard? For how long?
Most experts believe that 3-5 times per week for a duration of 20-60 minutes at 60-90% of age specific maximal heart rate or 50-85% of VO2max (heart rate reserve).The general formula for the average person is 220 age X 60% and X 90% of HRmax. For example, a 30 year old would calculate his target zone using the above formula: 220-30=190. 190x.60=114 and 190x.90=171. This individual would try to keep his heart rate between 114 (low end) and 171 (high end) beats per minute.
The Karvonen Formula calculates your heart rate reserve range. To calculate it, take your pulse for one minute on three successive mornings upon waking up. (We will be using the case of a 30 year old male whose resting pulse was 69,70 and 71 for an average of 70 over the 3 days.)
Calculate target heart rate by subtracting your age from 220
Subtract your average resting heart rate from target heart rate
The lower boundary of the percentage range is 50% of this plus your resting heart rate [(120 x .5) + 70 = 130]. The higher boundary is 85% plus your RHR [(120 x .85) + 70 =172]. Using the Karvonen Formula for percentage of heart rate reserve, this 30 year old man should be working between 130 and 172 BPM.
220 - 45 (age) = 175 MHR
175 x .6 = 105 (lower boundary)
175 x .9 = 157.5 (upper boundary)
175 - 48 (resting HR) = 127
(127 x .5 )+ 48 = 111.5 (lower boundary)
(127 x. 85) + 48 = 155.95 (upper boundary)
How about this website? : http://www.stevenscreek.com/goodies/hr.shtml
They have 3 formulas at that site and a calculator to plug in your information. Doing so, will pull up a table of percentages (intensity levels) from 100% down and the corresponding target heart rates for each in a table format. The three formulas include the Karvonen (220 - age) and 2 others (one has my MHR at 182.5 and the other has my MHR at 178). I guess that all sounds about right. 175 - 182.5 allows for the old give or take 4 or 5 beats and there you have it.
Those numbers seem to jive with what I seem to find my HR top out at around 170 - 176 in the 1 minute duration SMSP intervals - no matter what the wattage. During some of the 2, 3 and 4 minute intervals - I was able to crank it up to 177 and hit 180 a couple of times without passing out although I could feel I was on the limit. I've run my numbers through a few other formulas as well and give or take a few beats - I figure it is somewhere in the 175 - 183 range. But, can I make the wattage or the power? That is the question. "To make, or not to make..."
Enough of that. Time for a little recovery spin....
We have a good old fashioned blizzard going on at the moment. So much for our end of the month feast on a leg of lamb to help set up a nice easy start to March. So, it's back to the old weather adage of the other side of the equation: " If March comes in like a Lion, it goes out like a lamb." Indianola sent the public school kids home at 11 a.m., but of course Simpson was open all day and finally tossed in the towel to cancel evening classes and events. That means I can skip having to attend the Air Force Brass Blues concert which got cancelled as well. It's snowing sideways and reminds me of those days in my youth in the Dakotas. Being that Simpson is a residential campus, fat chance the doors will be closed tomorrow meaning I will have to get up and tackle the 4 foot drift which I'm sure will develop in my driveway.
Midweek recovery spin...
Drove home from work and hopped on the C7i for an hour of recovery ride at zone 2 with a couple sets of 5x1's tossed into the mix to remind my legs that some effort is required. I tossed a picture in below of the instrument of pain and pleasure (C7i) for my February and March interval riding. Once I ordered a custom made seatpost adapter to run a normal saddle and got my clipless pedals installed, it has been a pretty neat set up for me. The only downside with this 3 year old machine is that the computer's wattage reading maxes out at 345 watts. So I have no idea how many watts I have been cranking out at those higher RPM intervals once the display shows 345. I think the newer models go up to 500 watts, but mine tops out display wise at the lower wattage. However, hopping over to my wife's LeMond recumbent shows wattage all the way up over 1000, so I have done a few reps on there to determine the "feel" at the higher wattage and took that "feel" back over to the C7i upright to mimic higher wattage intervals. I know I was way above 345 on a lot of them - especially the shorter intervals - but I have no idea how much above. Did some intervals at 480 watts on the LeMond, but I only like to use a recumbent on RAGBRAI because you can hold a beer in one hand and steer with the other while taking in the scenery of Iowa. Not sure the exact same muscle group is used on the recumbent as the upright, so I prefer to train on what I know.
February and March Sled of Choice