SMSP Interval Training Block #2 is underway...

The phase for hitting the maximum heart rate during intervals continues...

Saturday: 6 reps of 4 minutes on; 4 minutes off
Sunday: Maintenance Weight Lifting and Core Workout
Monday: 12 reps of 2 minutes on; 2 minutes off
Tuesday: 24 reps of 1 minute on; 1 minute off

Edit: I just finished my 24 reps of 1 on; 1 off and did them outside as hill climbs. My goose is totally cooked. Why I threw that weight lifting day in the mix at that spot remains a mystery to me (actually, it was the only day I could get to the gym this week). I won't be doing that again!

My upcoming two days off have now been dutifully earned.


All parts are in...

...for the JET. The last item to arrive was the black carbon Jagwire Ripcord kit. This week and next are not looking good in terms of my work schedule and my performing the next two weekends in some concerts. The first week of March looks good though as most of my students will be out of town on a choir tour leaving me with some free time that week before spring break. Regardless, the parts are all here and waiting.

My scheduled workout was Tuesday to be off the bike and Wednesday for an hour in Zone 2. I knocked out the hour Zone 2 ride before dinner last night after work. I've noticed being dehydrated this week following the intense interval sessions, so I'm trying to up my water consumption on the bike and following exercise. It's not good for my voice to be dehydrated - especially going into a concert this weekend. Time to hydrate today.


SMSP Interval Phase has begun...

Sunday was day 1 of the three week SMSP Interval Phase. Looking over my 2007 and 2008 numbers, I was to target 18 minutes of high end work time for day one, but I had to adjust that because of my need to run a 20 minute FTP test to see where I am fitness wise so that I can build my training plan for the next few months.

I warmed up for 32 minutes with some shorter sprints and intervals like I would for a race and then launched into the 20 minute all-out FTP test and played the mental game to keep going after the first 8 minutes. I made it through the test, recorded my data and after spinning for 10 minutes did my first SMSP intervals.

2 sets were performed that were 4 reps of 1 minute on; 1 minute off with 5 minutes of spin between sets. Total high end work of 8 minutes + the FTP. I'm not sure how an FTP fits in as it is more of an MSP type of interval, but I was cooked enough to say day one of SMSP will count.

Today (Monday) looked like this before heading off to work:

20 minutes warm-up
10 reps of 2 minutes on; 2 minutes off


Rest Week - sort of...

I'm trying. I'm really trying to do this rest week correctly. Rest was supposed to be T, W, TH, F and Saturday and I combined active recovery with a little bit of non-active recovery.

Tuesday - non-active
Wednesday - non-active
Thursday - 30 minutes on trainer with some short intervals to keep the pop
Friday - I heard the snow was coming and since temps dropped low enough to freeze the ground I took the dogs out to Lake Ahquabi and put in 40 minutes of very active recovery. Then, after work I went to the gym and did an upper body and core workout.
Saturday - non-active

SMSP Interval Phase starts tomorrow...


Making my weekly hours...

I think I'm actually going to make my goal of getting more than 7 hours in on the bike this week. I'm at 5:40 right now with the weekend yet to go. I was able to get 2 hours in today for my Friday lunch break with temperatures hitting 58!!! Tomorrow looks to be in the 50's again and my wife is going to head out on the road with me for a couple of hours.

We thought about doing the annual BRRR ride tomorrow, but I can't justify paying $35 each when we can get some road miles in around here for free.

Monday begins a rest/recovery week before launching into the SMSP Interval Phase. I've managed to pedal off 7 pounds during this Endurance Phase and have about 3 more to go. Hopefully, I can contain my calories during the rest/recovery week...

We're being a boring married couple after a tough work week tonight. We'll sit in front of the fire place and eat omelets, drink a glass of wine and hang out at home while the kids are out and about participating in their activities.

Edit: My wife and I got in 2 hours today. That puts my weekly total at 7:40 (plus my morning 20 minute rides with the dogs which I am not counting in my time on the bike). I have Sunday's ride yet to go, but it looks like I might end up pretty close to 9 1/2 - 10 hours for the week. That's a nice bump from the previous weeks.

Sunday Update: Got in 2 1/2 hours - Indianola to Carlisle and back. Weekly total of 10:10 (plus my daily morning dog runs which I don't count). Riding outside certainly helps boost the hours on the bike compared to riding indoors on the exercise bike.


Riding Outside - Finally!

Pre-SuperBowl ride for me was finally outside for a non-stop 2 hours and 8 minutes in the 37 - 40 degree temps. Boy, it felt good to ride on the bike and not the exercise bike for a change. I enjoyed the Texas Hills (wind that is), all the ice and slush on the bike trail and getting some miles in on the Dos Niner. The bike felt great with the new housing/cables, grips, levers, rotors, spacers, stems and what not. I kept it in Zone 1/2/3 and was ready to get another hour or two in, but I had to get the kids delivered to their respective SuperBowl Fiestas as well as shower and go up to Des Moines for the grown-ups party.

I had a small recovery ride this morning with the dogs and did my weights before heading off to work.


Dos Niner overhaul for 2009...

Tis the off-season time to get the race bikes ready for the upcoming season, so I've been puttering in the garage a couple of days to do a little overhaul on the Dos Niner.

May I present my size XL 2006 Dos Niner all ready to ride for the 2009 season?

Here she is...


This will be the 4th season of me racing it in XC events. I guess I cannot complain to get this many seasons out of a race bike. As everybody knows, my only complaint has been the color - but I finally gave up on trying to swank it out with color as this Very Verde Green goes with nothing that I can figure out. Believe me, I've tried. I just did a little overhaul this week to get it ready for 2009 racing and tossed in the towel and went with as much black as I had laying around to throw on the bike. Regardless, once on the bike and hammering away color is not an issue. It's just that when staring at the color in the garage or on the bike rack I'm not drooling over the Very Verde Green, the Orange Peelz, the new silver. I want hot red. Glossy black. Something that gets the juices flowing - ya know what I mean?

I swapped out the red Chris King headset for a black one I had on another bike. My cables and housing were due to be replaced, so I had some older Jagwire Ripcord blah quasi carbon black or seaweed green (can't quite identify the color) which replaces the vibrant silver I had on there for 3 years. Swapped out the Avid Ti levers for Avid Ultimate levers (picked them up for a song). Black seems to blend in a little better and overall the bike is now more muted which for me - who loves hot red, shiny gloss black and things that pizazz - will have to be content with for now.


I also swapped out the Alligator 180mm rotors for 160mm up front and 140mm in the rear with the appropriate adapters. I feel like I have been over-braked in the midwest XC race scene as there are not really that many descents or at least long steep descents that bring up the issue of overheating or fading. So I'm downsizing this season as I see no need to pedal around with enough brake for the mountains when riding a small hill in the midwest.

Everything on the bike needs a little winter clean up treatment since I have been riding in slush, ice, snow, salted streets, but I'll wait until spring is actually here to clean all of that up. The chain needs some work, the springs on the derailleurs look like they have been by the ocean thanks to the salt they put in the streets here in Iowa.

Here is my attempt to seal in the entire rear derailleur cable run with Ripcord housing, Jagwire teflon liner, heat shrink from the hardware store and so far - it's running great like this in the winter crud. I used a Jagwire L3 small section for the small run from the cable stop to the derailleur and put some heat shrink over the ferrules and housing to seal it all in...


Here's the Jagwire black teflon liner along the top tube with heat shrink to seal the liner and ferrules together...


Holy Spacers and Stem Rise Batman!!! Yup, most of we Wookies who stand 6'3" + who ride XL's have to customize our head tube area with a long steerer tube cut, spacers, stem rise, riser bar and or any combination of the above. I would prefer longer head tubes on the XL sizes to cut down on all these modifications, but that means going to a custom frame. Here I use the Chris King spacers, a Thomson 100mm 15 degree rise stem to dial in a bar height that works for me...


Bike is ready to ride and I'm heading out for a 2 hour gravel and snow grinder in a few minutes to make room for some SuperBowl nourishments...


My XL in this configuration weighs in at 24.5 pounds. It goes sub-24 with my American Classic wheelset.

2006 Dos Niner XL frame
Delgado Disc Rims laced to DT Swiss 240 disc hubs with SuperComps
2002 Avid CPS mechanical disc brakes/Alligator 160/140 rotors
Avid Speed Dial Ultimate levers
Jagwire Ripcord cables and housing
Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4 up front and 2.25 in the rear
Maxxis Ultralight 26" tubes (I run tubed for winter - tubeless for spring/summer/fall)
Thomson Masterpiece seatpost
Thomson Elite stem 100mm 15 degree rise
Salsa Moto Ace 17 degree bar full length (whatever length that is)
SRAM X.0 Twist Shifter grips with Bontrager Race Foam grips trimmed to fit
SRAM X.9 rear derailleur long cage
XTR 11-34 Ti Cassette
XTR front derailleur
Middleburn Duo 29/42T rings with customized 180mm black RS7 arms
Crank Brothers Chromo ISIS BB
SRAM Hollowpin chain
WTB Rocket V Ti Saddle

It's time to climb aboard and go out to enjoy the sunshine and my Dos Niner!!!



Power Phase and Endurance winding down...

Tomorrow is my final Power Phase weight lifting day which ends the off-season Morris weight lifting phase plan. I will then move into an endurance weight lifting phase for the legs and go into maintenance mode for the upper body.

I finally managed to eek out a solid 7 hours on the bike for the week just completed. Today is the start of my final week of the endurance phase riding. I have a lofty goal of doing more than 7 hours on the bike this week before earning my rest and recovery next week. Today is a good day to get a good long one in before the afternoon recitals I will be attending and before I head up to Des Moines for a SuperBowl Party. Yesterday's thaw and the upcoming weather for the week looks like I will be able to finally do some longer rides outside (without the dogs!!!).