Saturday, March 27, 2010

Operation Overkill: Mission Successful!

So this week was 'Operation Overkill'. The goal: go hard, hurt the legs, unleash fury. (The following week will be a recovery week. ;)

Plan: Tue, 2.5hrs w/4x O/U; Thu, 3hrs w/4xO/U; Fri, Street Sprints; Sat, OBB Ride

All were a success! And despite the fact that i came into this pre-stressed, with lots of hard riding the week before... Monday my TSB was -16, which usually isn't a sign of a 'great' workout to come..

Let's begin. You will know it is time to turn the page when you hear Chewbacca howl like this: RRRRrrAAWWWaaaAAAHHH

Tuesday - 4x O/U

Gorgeous day, i finally stripped off the two pairs of booties from my shoes, and put on the toe warmer! Also, rode with knee warmers for the first time on the road this year. Sunny and bright.

Not too much to report, pretty happy with all four efforts. #2 was interrupted by some traffic, but nothing too crazy. Fast day, nice speeds. Still not averaging 300w (which i was doing on the Observatory), but 296w is the 'magic number', if i do it perfectly. These aren't too far's hard to stay perfectly focused, dealing with traffic, debris, other cyclists, and what-not. (Thank you Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders for making sure we can't use the velodrome. You're a real champ. And by 'champ' i mean 'enema sack'.)

Here's the intervals:

Ave Wts: 288
Ave HR: 177
Max HR: 189
Ave Cad: 105
Ave Spd: 37.1
Ave Wts: 288
Ave HR: 178
Max HR: 189
Ave Cad: 106
Ave Spd: 36.8
Ave Wts: 294
Ave HR: 176
Max HR:188
Ave Cad: 106
Ave Spd: 35.9
Ave Wts: 291
Ave HR: 175
Max HR:187
Ave Cad: 107
Ave Spd: 38.8

Fast day...nice to be moving. I really tried hard on #3, and kept my cadence up for all.

Here's the Garmin file:

And the full data:

Thursday - 4x O/U

Another nice day, Gillian joined me out to Mattick's and then turned back, she had some paper to work on, or so she said. ;)

Today i knew i would be escalating the riding, going at least 3hrs as well. (It's also worth noting that i got in over an hour of 'commuting' was a pretty easy pace, but something to consider..)

Started the intervals, felt pretty good, here's the numbers:

Ave Wts: 285
Ave HR: 173
Max HR: 187
Ave Cad: 102
Ave Spd: 38
Ave Wts: 290
Ave HR: 177
Max HR: 190
Ave Cad: 105
Ave Spd: 38.5
Ave Wts: 284
Ave HR: 175
Max HR: 188
Ave Cad: 106
Ave Spd: 39.7
Ave Wts: 286
Ave HR: 172
Max HR: 184
Ave Cad: 101
Ave Spd: 33.9

Even faster day! The 350w 'Over' portions felt not too bad, but when dropping down to 265w for the 'Under', i felt like they were harder to maintain.. #3 was tough, and i took an extra minute to recover (usually 4mins rest between efforts.) I didn't feel super-motivated and attack the final one, i think i really just wanted to get it over..haha..

Finished the intervals, and rode back down Lockside Dr to Sidney, stopped in the Lifestyle Markets there for a water refill, and continued through and across the highway, and rode the East side of the airport to Panorama, and back into town. Remember, i wanted to add more miles today.

I decided early on that if i had a lot of time when i reached the Observatory, i'd do it as well...and i was only about 2hrs in when i reached it, so i also did a 'firm' effort up the Observatory:

Observatory: 7'39
Ave Wts: 299
Ave HR: 179
Max HR: 186
Ave Cad: 79
Ave Spd: 17.4

That's to the fire hydrant at the top. Certainly not my hardest effort or fastest time, but it was another tough effort to throw in. I burned back down the hill, and actually sprinted near the bottom to get myself up to 68kph. =)

Continued back into town, and for some reason i felt really motivated, and just kept powering along and a fairly high pace. My 3hr NP (Normalized Power, sort of like 'average' without zeros) was 235w - that's pretty freaking high for me, esp. for that length of time...!! I was powering along at the 3hr mark, and felt pretty good...that's *really* odd for me. I seem to have suddenly developed this long-distance endurance and depth.. Well, at least for me. It sure ain't going to win the Tour de France, let alone a Cat3 race....but it's pretty cool to somehow develop this...

Anyways, here's the Garmin file:

And what WKO spits out:

Wasn't too terribly fatigued after that either, surprisingly...and i think this was one of the harder individual training sessions i've ever done - it was about as hard as an OBB ride for me. =)

Fri - Capital City Cycle Sprints

Part III of Operation Overkill. I jumped into one last year, it's a pretty fun event, and track sprinters should be all over this.

It's over on Harbour Rd (left over the Blue Bridge, Goose runs along there), which is actually a perfect location for this. They start at 7:30pm, and are pretty informal. Most of the participants are fixie and courier peeps, but the spandex is beginning to invade. ;)

The format is pretty simple, it's a 2-up drag race over 300m. You start with a trackstand, and one of you counts down, and then it's go time! It's from the far side towards downtown, so a slight downhill.

I don't know if it'll work the same each time, but last night it was elimination style, so if you lost your sprint, you were out. There were about 18 people to start.

I knew about a quarter of the peeps. Trackies Jimmy Holtz (Holtz! HOLTZ!) came out, as well as Chris Anstey. (Dr. Wayne Walker came out to watch.)

From the MTB scene were Halldor and Mitch. A number of people were excited that Mitch and i would finally square off... Traditionally he's been the guy to win all the sprints...what would happen when he faced his first vegan?

Jeff, owner of Capital City Cycles (who host the event) was out of course to race, and the rest i don't know as well. Fixie Dave made it out, but has been ill, so didn't race.

So things got started, and there were some pretty tight races!!

Quarter-final: Me vs Jim Holtz. Eeep! I know he's got a pretty solid 500m time, so i didn't give him a chance. I decided to ride my 50Tx17T (on my Ridley of course), which is about 80". Pretty light from a track perspective...but it was chill out (maybe 9C), and i wanted to make a quicker start..which i did.

I blasted off the start, and just hammered. My main goal is to get a few good sprint efforts in, so i didn't look back, but just put my head down and drove for the line. (Normally i'd try to keep an eye out, and if i'm ahead, keep it 'close'..i think it's more sporting. But again, my main focus that night was a good workout.)

In Jim's defense, he used a really light gear..i felt bad eliminating him. : \

2nd Quarter-final: the only 3-up of the night, with Mitch and another rider i didn't catch the name of... But this was the show-down... I had a good 20min rest, so was feeling good. (Well, as good as i could after all the riding i've done!)

I'm not a 3-up fan for sprints...but hey.. I was eager to race Mitch tho. We lined up, and i believe Mitch counted down, and we were off!

Well, he was! I felt the last gear was a bit spinny, so dropped down to 50x16, which is about 84". With the bigger gear, and a bit more fatigue, there was a noticeable delay in my start...and i haven't done standing starts in..oh...about a year. My form was shit. But, i got the gear turning over, and started my chase!

I got up to speed, and started to worry... Mitch was still ahead!!! The line isn't terribly clear during most of the approach...! I continued to pump and spin, and began to creep up on him....i edged past and continued to pound the pedals, motivated!! I jammed and jammed and wham - there was the line! I'd made a few bike lengths, but it was closer than i'd prefer...he really spun it out! But that was two more riders down... Vegan power!

Semi-Final: Oh my, now it was Halldor. And looking at my file, there was about 8 minutes that passed since the last sprint, and when i started this one. I was feeling tired now..

We lined up, and Halldor counted down. Wham - we're off. Once again, Halldor was off, but i got my legs spinning seemingly faster, and powered through, leaving him behind at the line. I was pretty fried after that. No mercy from Halldor.

The Finale: There can only be one, and it was between a rider i don't really know, i believe his name is Andrew. (Sorry if i got it wrong!!)

Again, looking at my file, i had a whopping 7mins of rest between the last sprint and this start. Gah. No freaking bike race in the world has you doing three standing starts in the span of 15mins. Owwie!! And Andrew got to recover while Halldor tore my legs off.

Okay, enough whining..haha.. We lined up, he counted down, and ZOOM - he was freaking GONE. I was really feeling it at this point, but i put my head down and jammed the pedals hard as i could. He was still well ahead by the time i got up to speed (if you can call it that at this point) and sat down.... I did all i could: spin my legs. I crept up. It was soooo slow. I clawed my way up to him, and again made it past, and jammed for the line. I knew it was mine before i hit it...VICTORY!!! It was over!!!

There was the awards ceremony, and prizes were handed out. Very cool. If you're interested in coming out, details are here in this awesome poster. If you're on the Facebook, join the event page, and post fun stuff on the wall. =)

Next sprint is April 23rd, mark your calendars!

Here's a summary of my four efforts:

#1 - Jimmy
Duration: 25.2
Ave Spd: 43.1
Max Spd: 51.6
Ave Cad: 117
Max Cad: 128
Ave Wts: 802
Max Wts: 1168

#2 - 3-up Mitch & ?
Duration: 26.46
Ave Spd: 43.7
Max Spd: 51.6
Ave Cad: 111
Max Cad: 122
Ave Wts: 828
Max Wts: 1177

#3 - Halldor
Duration: 27.72
Ave Spd: 41.6
Max Spd: 50.6
Ave Cad: 107
Max Cad: 118
Ave Wts: 765
Max Wts: 1096

#4 - Andrew (?)
Duration: 26.46
Ave Spd: 40.1
Max Spd: 49.1
Ave Cad: 104
Max Cad: 116
Ave Wts: 676
Max Wts: 1054

You can see i was getting TIRED. Reminder the 1st was in the 50x17, and rest were 50x16 (if memory serves..makes sense based on the cadence and speed.)

The times don't line up really, as the PowerTap recorder ever 1.3 seconds or so...not the *best* for sprint efforts.. I eased off before the line on #4, so it was actually a bit longer (obviously, since it was slower. ;)

Halldor posted a bunch of pics here. Here's a few highlights:

Jimmy and me!

Gunning for the line! This is the first side photo of me on the Ridley - i'd say my position is pretty good!! Nice flat back in the drops.

The racers and cheerers!

It's not a smile. It's a grimace.

My opponent for the finale, give him a bigger gear and we all better look out!!

Here's the Garmin data:

Note i rode a bit before, and if you click the Splits page, Lap #2 is the full drag. ~300m, and a bit of a drop in elevation. (It's not a full meter i don't think.)

And, as always, here's my full WKO+ Power Data:

Fun fact: each sprint burned about 20 calories. Also, my TSS for ~20mins of EM, 4 30sec sprints, and a bunch of light riding was 96 for one hour. NP 247w. Insane. Sprinting counts for a lot in the TSS world!

No PBs, as expected..too tired. My 30sec peak was 727w, not *too* far off my PB. The course was too short, i would have topped that if i could go a full 30sec.

Finally, here's two graphs from WKO that are kinda neat - the first is my first sprint - notice the steady speed and cadence.. The second is my last (4th) sprint...starting to fade!

Sat - OBB Ride

Part IV: Operation Overkill. Overkill Overdrive.

heh - maybe that's a bit dramatic. =)

Keeping this short, but a pretty firm ride. Lotsa headwind on the way back. Smaller group of us took off from Sidney, missing many of the big hitters..and Craig was going for a longer ride, so wasn't really putting too much effort into the pace.

The pace was firm the whole time. We got onto Interurban and there was a small break off the front with (San Fran)Kevin, Lawrence and Jeff (a newer person on the ride). I knew they didn't have the gas to stay away, but Ryan decided to bridge it up.. We went down the hill just before Camosun and Barbara sprinted away..again, not a threat... Funnily, her husband Dave bridged us back up..haha..

Kevin took off after that, i got on his wheel, but it was short lived. We approached the hill, Barb had gone off again. Over the hill, Kevin went again, i was hoping he was planning some kind of lead-out, so i got on...but he eased up well before the bottom of the hill.....this put me in a shitty place at the front of the pack in the wind going uphill....with Ryan and Mike Elkink right on my wheel.

I didn't have much choice, and hoped for a wee bit of surprise so i got out of the saddle and started jamming it a bit early... No luck, Ryan shot by, and Mike was right beside me. I kicked like Carman having a tantrum over getting a new Ultra-Mega-Mega-Man, but Mike kept me at bay and beat me by a couple centimeters....arrrgh!! Ryan, of course, had it by a landslide.

I don't know if Mike was giving it 100%, but i would like to think that. =)

The group was virtually nil by one challenged me for the Overpass (yay me!), and by the Trestle i was riding solo. I planned to do my 'full loop' (105km, around the water to Haultain), and so carried on. Legs still felt good!

Ran into Charles Durrant as i got onto Dallas. We chatted until St. Charles where he turned off. Hope i talked him into coming out to the next sprint!

I carried on, the winner of the OBB ride. Even as i hit Haultain, i felt really good, and dare i say it: i wanted to keep on riding. I think that's the first time in my life where i've ridden more than 3hrs and actually WANTED to keep it going.

But alas, i had a schedule to stick to, and had fried myself sufficiently. I turned off, and dropped down to a recovery pace for the final 10min home. Finally, a tailwind. =P

Here's the Garmin data:

And, WKO:

Nothing spectacular, peak hour was just under Threshold power, normalized. Sprint wasn't terribly impressive of course, but solid.

And that concludes Operation Overkill! I really pushed it, and totally flayed myself. I'm pretty happy. Here's the week's summary so far:

Ending           Duration    Distance    Weight       HR           TSS           kJ
28/03/2010    10:05:40      301.44        72.0          154           804           6818

I generally try to keep my TSS under 800 for a full week...and it'll cap 900 as i've still got a couple hours to ride tomorrow, although admittedly it'll be a pretty tame pace. I'm thinking i'll head out to Newton to watch and cheer. I'm also eager to do a lap and collect the elevation data. ;)

That's it for now, bye everybody bye!!


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    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Ahh! 200 Postings!

    According to my Blogger Dashboard, this is my 200th post in this blog...wild!

    Got out for two rides on the weekend, first up:

    OBB Redux

    Nothing crazy, rode out to Sidney, and back the quicker way, didn't want more than a couple hours in the legs before a race day.

    Garmin file here:

    WKO Data:

    Oh yeah, totally wild ride. ;)

    A Caleb Pike Ride

    Sorry sports race, although it would have been a pretty good field for me and i would have done no worse than 7th...haha..

    As i was gearing up around 9am, the rains started.. Roads were very lightly dampened from earlier sprinkles, but this was wet.

    Headed out along Richardson, and it was a pretty solid precipitation.

    As i rounded the hospital, my MP3 player ran outta juice, but so did the clouds...caught Casey Rider on that back hill to the highway, and we rode out together, i gave him a nice draft on the way out. =)

    Got out there, but the roads were pretty wet... My personal rule is no wet races unless i'm on knobs (ie, CX or MTB.) It's really just not worth it to me.

    I did a lap to collect the profile data (see Lap #2 here).

    At Caleb Pike, each lap is about 2.5km, and features around 48m of elevation..yum. This day, the B's had 20 laps, and were i to race: 25 laps for the A's. Blarg! It worked out to nearly 1hr40min for the B's, and closer to 2hrs for the A's.

    I figured i'd watch for a bit, and then go and ride Finlayson Arm or the Malahat since i was out this way.

    There was a small pack of A's (7 started) and quite a few B's (~25). Unfortunately only 3 women started.

    The A's started, the B's followed a minute later. A bunch of us waited at the bottom of 'the corner', it's where crashes will occur (and surprisingly for the first race of the year, and wet roads, there were no crashes!)

    The A's, predictably come rolling through.

    Then, barely a minute behind, comes Peter and Bill (henceforth known as P&B. ;)

    Okay, they have a little break. They round the corner. We keep looking back up the

    Another minute later the B group passes through! HA! Reading some comments after, the TS folks all filled up the front of the pack, causing a distraction, and NO ONE saw P&B make away from the pack....hilarious!!

    So they peeled off the front, and it took a couple laps before anyone really clued in and realized what happened...and then they were in trouble. While the pack was close to 20 strong, about five of the stronger riders were they weren't going to do any work! I believe the work was left up to about six other guys..

    While the success of the team tactic deserves applause, it all ends there when reality kicks in: P&B ended up working in front of the pack 1.5hrs. Bill would cover the 'flats', and Peter would set the pace up and over the hill. (It's funny because if you were watching at the top of the hill, it looked like Peter was doing all the work since he was ALWAYS in the front. ;)

    About halfway through the race i was getting a bit cold, but the roads were dry, so i got permission to tag along the race for a bit, and jumped on the P&B train. A lap later they had caught two of the A's who were dropped..they ended up sitting in until they were caught/lapped by the other A's (sandbaggers!).

    P&B were holding a solid pace tho, check my WKO file below, i marked out the time i was riding for an idea of the effort. Pretty solid!

    Not the sort of thing i'd want to do for 1.5hrs tho. Bleh.

    They held off the pack, who had a few surges, but couldn't really pull it together. With two laps to go, TS Josh attacked on the hill, and made away. I presume other TS riders also started to attack on the final lap, as it was totally strung out.

    Peter took the win, with Bill cruising up the hill behind. I suspect Bill could have made away with the win if he wanted.

    Surprisingly, Josh came in about 20 seconds off Peter - he really closed the gap in a couple laps! (Perhaps he should have made that move halfway through the race!)

    The rest of the B's came through, one at a time, as they must have all busted up in a big way on the final lap. Successful application of the tactic, but i don't really know what the point was...haha..

    As reward for their efforts, Peter, Bill and Josh will be joining me in the A races. =)

    The A race was a bit more animated. They stuck together for a few laps, then there must have been an attack as Marcel Arden(Total Restoration), Matt Dilay(IRC) and Steve Bachop(IRC) were suddenly on their own.. Raphael(Russ Hays) surprisingly faded...i expected him to be up at the front!

    The results don't reflect this, but i believe Marcel lapped all the A's. When he caught Matt and Steve, they stuck together again, and Matt put in a big effort to win the sprint...but again, i believe Marcel was a lap up (he didn't look like he even tried.)

    For the women, Rita Wania, who rode for OA Vic last year (and TS this year) won her first race, and raced her first race! Nicely done, not so scary, eh? =)

    Results posted here, and also a bunch of pics from Duane. ISN story here, any guesses who wrote it? ;)

    Motored home, checked out the new West Shore Oak Bay Bikes shop on the way - looking great guys!

    Here's the Garmin data, some neat stuff in there: - check out the 'splits' page, lap #2 was a loop of the course.

    And here's the WKO+ data:

    Broke down some of the data, including ride out, and the portion i jumped in, and the ride home. Pretty solid 1hr effort there too. ;)

    Total rest day today, no climbing. Gonna focus on the bike this week, with Operation Overkill. Planning to thrash myself with more O/U's Tue & Thu, and then go hard on Sat. Sunday - will see how i feel, maybe launch into another longer ride...been itching to do Shawnigan. There's a Newton Heights race, but i don't really ever want to bother doing that course again..haha..

    Just for fun posting my Performance Management Chart from WKO:

    This is one of the best and most useful features in WKO. It gives you an indication of how much training you've done, and can handle in the immediate future and/or how 'fresh' you are (besides perceived fatigue of course).

    It's balanced out now, but a few weeks ago i was over-cooking it, and the pink and yellow were getting REALLY far apart. A good performance (either for training or racing purposes) depends on freshness, and that happens when the yellow gets up around zero (you can tell the week i backed-off, and the MTB ride on Tuesday wasn't too stressful), and the pink is very according to this, i'm more fried than i've been in the last month (yellow WAY down.) It's only gonna get lower, as i go into a rest week. =)

    At least, that's the theory!

    And now, a poll:

    Thanks for playing!


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      Friday, March 19, 2010

      This Week is Like a Pixies Song


      Tuesday went offroad with friend Lysanne, taking her on the trails for her first MTB experience, and Thursday was out to Sidney with Gillian (who has totally neglected her blog!) for some more Over/Under efforts. Saturday will be an easy-ish spin on a OBB Ride (redux), and Sunday will be a race. Not sure which yet, if it's sunny, out to Caleb Pike on the road. If it's rainy, i'm hoping to get out to Port Alberni for the Island Cup XC #2 race.

      The PA terrain is....interesting. I heard two years ago the mud was INSANE. Last year i raced, first race of the year, and it was a hilarious exercise..unfortunately i didn't blog about it, but it was pretty muddy too. We went for a pre-lap ride. Had well over an hour, someone told us laps would be ~40mins.. 55ins into the pre-ride and i was getting very idea how close to the end we were, and the race would start soon! We made it back to the startline just in time to start!! I pulled into my section, the race started, and i pulled off to the right where the cars were parked - put on my racing gear, grabbed some food, and bolted!! Somewhat luckily, the race bottlenecked right away, so 2mins in i was already passing the people at the tail-end... Unfortunately that meant waiting a lot to get around others.. Finally got into an open spot and powered away...somehow finished 3rd in Intermediate, i think the lap times were nearly 50min and did 2x...owwie.

      So we'll see what happens this year.. Apparently on the course, you have to literally cross a section of the trail, and downhillers are expected to give way to climbers...that'll be interesting..haha..

      Tuesday - MTB

      It was a pretty relaxed ride, i decided that i could go easy today with the race on Sunday. Don't want to elevate my TSS too much and burn out again.l

      Lysanne took to the trails well, was quite intuitive, and able to both climb and descend technical terrain very quickly! If someone were to take her out 2-3 more times, she'd be pretty much ready to race! *hint hint* *nudge nudge*

      We first spent some time in the TTA at Hartland, then did the XC race course, then went up Switchbacks (she broke a chain!), and back down WYDaddy, Nightshift and Skull. Pretty impressive for a first time effort.

      Garmin map data here:

      And WKO+ 3.0 data here:

      I imported my Garmin Edge500 power data into WKO for the first time, and for some reason each lap was 'cut off' at the end, excluding a lot of data per lap - anyone have any idea why it would do this? Not a big deal as i can create my own ranges if it really mattered...but it kind of eliminates some of the usefulness of the lap feature!

      Thursday - 4x O/U in Sidney

      Headed out to Sidney with Gillan and Emile. Emile ended up taking off to maintain his own pace, and we headed out to Sidney. As always, nice to have company, and also to catch up, chat about music, etc..

      Intervals weren't quite up to spec, especially the latter two...but in my defense it's always harder to do these efforts on 'flats', not to mention the terrain is constantly shifting..and there were several distractions such as corners, etc.. I'm happy with them overall, but need to try and keep more pressure on the pedals.

      Legs felt pretty good tho, and i did manage to keep the cadence up, here's a brief summary, each is 8mins (2min Under (265w), 1min Over(350w), 2min U, 1min O, 1min U, 1min 0):

      Ave Wts: 292
      Ave HR: 176
      Max HR: 187
      Ave Cad: 100
      Ave Spd: 34.6

      Ave Wts: 290
      Ave HR: 177
      Max HR: 188
      Ave Cad: 100
      Ave Spd: 36.2

      Ave Wts: 276 (YUCK!)
      Ave HR: 175
      Max HR: 185
      Ave Cad: 100
      Ave Spd: 36.7

      Ave Wts: 284
      Ave HR: 175
      Max HR: 187
      Ave Cad: 100
      Ave Spd: 37.4

      I'm wondering if the speed is throwing me off a bit.. I've done these almost exclusively uphill, so used to much slower speeds..i wonder if i'm easing off mentally because i'm sustaining a good speed..hmm..

      Another difference is that i'm maintaining 75-100w during my 'rest' periods (4mins), where-as on the Observatory it was virtually zero, since i was coasting HR is getting down to the 120's, so decent recovery. Ahh well, prolly just gotta HTFU. =)

      Here's the Garmin map details:

      And here's what WKO spit out:


      Haven't really mentioned my climbing, took off Mon & Wed this week, hand has been sore, did something to it on the MTB ride, planning to go tonight tho.

      I accomplished a couple major goals tho! Last week i finally cleaned the 'big rock' 11a overhang that i've been working on - very happy with that. Also, there's a 10c/d that i cleaned that night as well that had been giving me some grief (tricky section in the middle).

      There's a new route that was built, a very long, windy one (actually *loses* altitude in one spot!), very slight handholds..i can climb it, but not in one go..that'll be a fun project. It's currently unranked, but i'd say at least 11a, while others were saying 10d. We'll see tonight. ;)

      Should be a fun weekend - i'm hoping to do the road race, i feel like i'm stronger on hills now, so this will be a good test. In the past, i've been able to hang in with the A pack for about half the race, and then end up getting dropped..we'll see how it goes today. It's actually been nearly two years since i've raced this course (i didn't make it out last year.) Fingers crossed to finish with the bunch!

      Oh, if you're reading this, lemme know if you're checking out the mapping and power data, etc.. Is it at all interesting??


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        Tuesday, March 09, 2010

        The 30 Minute Climb Back To Victoria

        That's what it felt like today!

        On the way out it was rather gusty, but as i came off Interurban it had really picked up...and as i hit the water, look out! As i was cruising along Dallas just before Moss, i was pushing 250w, and going all of about 17kph. Normally along there i'm 40+! I could actually feel the wind blowing off my frame onto my legs...weird feeling.

        For training today, i opted out of more O/U efforts today, as WKO was telling me my TSS has been too high, and my TSB hadn't rebounded enough after the legs were feeling chunky.

        So decided to mix is up, and go out for 2hrs, and toss in some HSS (High Speed Sprint) efforts. Basically, you want to get up to speed (at least 45kph) and then get out of the saddle and sprint, and when spinning out sit and keep pushing. It's only a 10-12sec effort. I make it easy and do them at the bottom of a hill, so i can focus on the sprint portion of it. =)

        I did my 'flat' loop, there's not a lot of elevation, but a few appropriate descents that allow for a sprint at the bottom (ie, not into a corner). First was just pass the uphill around Mt Doug...there's a spot where you pick up some speed. Next was the bottom of the hill past Mattick's. Then the decent on Island View (normally start my Tempo efforts there.) Bit of a gap after that, but turned onto Durrance Rd, went 3/4 up the first incline, turned and descended and sprinted there. Then the descent just past the Ob (road was clear). And final effort was the flat portion of the OBB sprint. Last one wasn't quite 100%, there was a lot of traffic and couldn't really ignore it... I intended to do one more on the waterfront, but the wind made that pointless, and i cut off Dallas Rd early on Moss St. It was just dumb slogging it out on there with no cover!

        Pretty happy with my efforts. Haven't done these for a long while! All but the last had peaks in the 1150w range, pretty consistent hitting that. First effort was a peak of 1241w, 5sec was 1166w and 10sec was 1019w. Looks like my sustain was pretty good there, which surprises me!

        I haven't been tracking my 10sec peaks (and this is a critical flaw of Training Peaks, doesn't track overall peaks, only for a short date range and i had to program in a couple charts to track that), but in the last month, the next highest was 966w in an OBB sprint. Happy to see i can hold over 1000w that long! Most of the rest of the efforts were mid-900's over 10sec. Last one, again, was lower, only 814w.

        On each effort i typically gained ~10kph, usually starting around 45kph. On Durrance, went from 48 to 59. =)

        This is fairly close to what i do on the track for a 200m effort...i'll do my jump in the 45kph range, but i'll usually get up over 60kph. All my efforts today were in the 200m range too. I wish we had access to the track...i'm guessing my 200m effort would be greatly improved, i don't recall holding quite that much wattage in the past..

        Posted all my WKO data here:

        Broke down all six sprints as well. I selected them all rather hastily, so the 'average' wattage may not be terribly useful, but the peaks and speeds are neat to compare.

        Garmin file here:

        Nothing too exciting there..i like the funny peak in elevation for Durrance..hehe

        Climbing tomorrow, and more O/U efforts on Thursday.

        Do it to it!


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          Thursday, March 04, 2010

          Let's Go To The Ob (Oh Baby..)

          haha - hope you get that awful song stuck in your head!!

          It was a pretty nice, sunny day. Temp ~11C, although a bit of a cold breeze. Kev came out to join me in the suffering! It's been really awesome having people out to train with this spring. =)

          So, same general idea as Tuesday:
          2min U, 1min O, 2 - U, 1 - O, 1 - U, 1 - O (8min total)

          U/Under = 260w (will bump that up to 265w next time.)

          O/Over = 350w - well above my anaerobic capacity. FYI, i can hold 350w for ~5mins, and i am DONE at that point..totally esploded.

          So this is a pretty challenging workout. I'm either at my 1hr threshold (265w) or well above. The point is to develop recovery, despite intensity. Clear the legs out of the nasty stuff, etc.. In the 8min effort, i'm holding 350w for 3mins, so i think this is maxing me out pretty well.

          Did 4x, here's the quick #'s:

          Ave Wts: 298
          Ave HR: 174
          Ave Cad: 92
          Ave Spd: 17.5

          Ave Wts: 296
          Ave HR: 175
          Ave Cad: 91
          Ave Spd: 17.2

          Ave Wts: 301
          Ave HR: 176
          Ave Cad: 90
          Ave Spd: 17.3

          Ave Wts: 294
          Ave HR: 176
          Ave Cad: 91
          Ave Spd: 17.1

          Was fading a bit on the final one... I'm holding my 260w portions very well, many were in the 270w range. Some of the 350w portions were down around 345w. The entire effort average, according to my math (5x265 + 3x350 /8) should be in the 297w range, so i'm getting what i need out of it. (32mins averaging ~300w is great!)

          Note there's a 4mins rest between each effort, just enough time to get to the bottom. Max HR was 189 for the final two, and 186 for #1. Also, kept my cadence as high as possible, it was in the 80-90's for the Under portion, but i was often around 110rpm for the Over, for some addition aerobic stimulation... I must say, feels REALLY weird going uphill at 110rpm!! Much more used to grinding a bit more..heh..

          All the power data here, including detailed cuts of each interval:

          Note i also broke down the ride out and ride back. Total ride is a bit longer, includes the four descents from the top of the Ob, plus my short warm-up and warm-down (which i excluded from the ride out and back portions.)

          Also got a Garmin file:

          Again, the peaks in the Elevation view make me laugh!!! ~830m of total elevation today...starting to sound like a climber. ;)

          Climbed Wed night, had another good session, made it up the overhang 11a with only one stop...figured out some smoother manoeuvres, hopefully will clean it soon! Maybe tomorrow night.. Sat is OBB, and prolly another short MTB ride on Sunday.

          Rock and roll!

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            Tuesday, March 02, 2010

            Splish Splash

            It's been mainly dry...but just enough moisture to muck things up!

            Sunday - MTB

            Went out for a short MTB ride with Laura W and Alex, fun times! Just what i needed. Neat to see the Garmin data:


            Basically rode in, went up the Regional Trail to the 'entrance' to Shock Treatment on the far end, back in along that, up Skull, Inventive, down Little Face, up Emergency 2 to Rolly Ridge, then Crazy Horse to See-Section/Centerfold/Switchbacks, then across to T.Run, curious to see what it's about. Cruised down slowly and carefully, looks like it'll be pretty fun! Back up See-Section and across to Nightshift, Skull and out.

            Here's the power data, nothing too exciting:


            Monday - Climb

            Still climbing 2-3 times a week, had a good session with Kelly. The new 10c/d is all figured out, i might clean it in the next few tries.. Been working on the 11a overhang with big, round holds...might be able to clean that one soon as well. Getting a little stronger overall...

            Tuesday - EM w/3x Over/Under Intervals

            Headed up to the Observatory with Chad to do some 'easy' ones, only going up to 330w on the Over efforts (260w on the Under). Power was solid, i marked the wattage for each interval:


            Still got cold #2, didn't feel nearly as good as i should have, but rode them out. Thursday will head back out, and do 4x, and bump it back up to 350w.

            Garmin file looks kinda funny:


            On the Elevation view, the peaks crack me up..haha.. Nearly got 700m of elevation in 2hrs tho.

            As for the splish splash, it was actually rather sunny when we left, and on the 2nd effort the rain came down!! It lasted just as we finished the 3rd effort, then stopped...but soaked the roads. I'd taken the Ridley out since it was supposed to stay dry...grr.. Stopped in at Oak Bay Bikes to give it a bath on the way home...nice and clean now. Don't like getting it wet tho!!

            So i will do these for a few more weeks, making them tougher as i progress (ie, replacing an Under minute with another Over minute), and then in April start throwing down efforts well above VO2, like the 4min on, 4min off nasties...

            Until then, will be getting more comfy with life at 350 watts. =)


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              Saturday, February 27, 2010

              OBB Group Ride - Dumped at Dump by Cold

              Felt alright this morning, didn't feel so great last night (Friday); was planning to go to the climbing gym, but my body just said 'no', so stayed at home and took it easy. I've gotten another cold of some kind, second this week..blarg! It's a relatively light one thankfully.

              The ride to Mattick's and Sidney were relatively easy (broke them down, check my wattage file below) at only ~170w each. Ride through Land's End and back were a bit more work! My normalized power for 1hr was actually my threshold of 265w. 1hr TSS = 100. Ouch. (If you're not familiar, 100 is about as high as it should be able to go! 1hr at threshold is 100pts. NP will sometimes be above FTP, i hit 268w 1hr NP last weekend, TSS=102.4. AP was 233w.)

              It was a pretty relaxed pace most of the way.. Pro City Jamie started to put on the heat at Daffodil Rd, with a very strong pull. We kept the pace up for quite a ways after that..doing a fair bit of a rotating paceline in our group which was actually pretty big (~14 riders). I felt decent doing that, tho i could tell i wasn't recovering properly and it felt like each effort was just compounding on the last.

              The final straw was the small hill right by Hartland (the Dump), where i believe Scotty attacked! Looking at my power file, there's my 10 second peak of 717w, and i done blown up at that point... HR hit 189bpm a few seconds later, and my body essentially gave up.. I watched the pack pull away. They were actually only ~75m ahead for some time (up to the Ob), but i couldn't pick up the pace any. Barb passed by me, but i caught back up to her by the Ob hills. Pro City Tom fell back by the Dump, i dropped him pretty hard despite my fade...he was almost as far back as the group was ahead of me!

              Barb and i worked together from there, i did a long pull up past the Ob well onto Interurban, Barb did a strong pull, and then Tom flew by on the dip before Camosun..jerk!! Barb and i continued to exchange pulls and we passed him by the sprint hill and i glared at him..haha.. (Turns out he just had a lot of momentum on the descent, thought we would latch on..he was going a good 10kph faster tho, hard to get on that!!)

              Dave MacLeod was waiting for us by the light, and we chatted for a min (he said he was bleeding from the eyes from that effort..haha..) I wanted to keep the pace up, so pressed on towards the Goose.

              Curious what happened in the sprint - if you're reading this and were there, post a report in the Comments section! =)

              Jamie and OA Kev were waiting for me by the light, and caught me up...passing Interurban they busted up the pack quite a bit. Jamie and another (Raf?) were the front two, Kev and another the next pairing, and the group off behind them.. Similar to last week, they were caught by the pack at the sprint, but Kev managed a 5th with a last-second decision to sprint. Sorry i missed it!

              From downtown i pretty much bee-lined it home along Richardson, save some legs and TSS for an MTB ride tomorrow. =)

              Lotsa data for you numbers fans to peruse, here's the Garmin file:


              If you're new to Victoria and looking for a good route, this is what i recommend. If you've done the ride, check it out, neat mapping info on there.

              Turns out we gain almost 700m of elevation on the ride. Not huge, but pretty good.

              Also, note that the power and cadence data there is from T.Skinner, my Garmin hijacked his data..haha.. Oddly, for the same period of riding, i got ~190w average, where he's at 230w...we were in the same group and presumably did similar amounts of work, so i have to suspect that his unit isn't zeroed. (IE, it's calibrated a bit theory our output should be relatively close..that's a HUGE difference. I would expect that if he weighed 25lbs more than me or something..maybe he's been putting on that weight at the gym. ;)

              Here's all my power data:


              Broke down a few sections as well: the ride out to Matticks, the portion to Sidney, and then Land's End and back into town.

              Enjoy! Tomorrow will be out on The Big Orange. =)

              PS - if you were in the sprint, tell your story!


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                Wednesday, February 24, 2010

                Birthday Ride!

                Gotten a little behind in the updates! Trying out a slightly different format for this one.

                So today is/was my birthday! 34. Yip!

                Headed out for a ride, planning to pull off a 30min Tempo. Felt good off the start. Kept an eye on my HR, it was in a good range. I've been hit with a 'low level' cold the last few HR would really elevate riding at my EM it was down where it should be - yay!

                Made my way out to Sidney the usual way, it was overcast with a threat of rain. Opted to ride the Ridley and take a was my birthday!!

                Started my Tempo in the usual spot, and was tearing down Lochside, and at the corner just before the MacTavish construction, this huge, oncoming water truck crosses the road and into the bike lane and just STOPS THERE!!! WTF?? I manage to stop, although i was well over 30kph...i get around it, and pick up my pace again, and then i see what this truck was doing: soaking the road. WTFx2?! The road had been dry (very slight spitting), but this goof was driving along dumping water on the road.

                I slowed down, as i don't want to get any more dirty/wet than necessary...summer bike and all. I look ahead, and there tons more water on the road. GAAH!! I'd gotten 17min into my Tempo, and was feeling GREAT. I've since checked my watts, and i had been averaging 270w. For fracks sake..

                I pulled the plug there, if i were to keep going, i didn't know how much further the road was wet, and it's pointless to have a 5min break in the middle of this type of interval. Ahh well, here's the brief summary:

                Ave Wts: 270
                Ave HR: ~170
                Ave Cad: 73
                Ave Spd: 32.1kph

                There was even a perfect headwind, so i wouldn't pick up too much speed downhill...gaah.. Not 100% on the HR, PowerTap head wasn't picking it up..

                So one new feature of my entries will be GPS data! The Garmin Edge 500 i ordered finally came in, and has some pretty sweet features! I *love* having the big Lap/Interval functions and visual. The worst thing about the PowerTap head unit is that it only displays 3 items. I typically have Watts, Speed and Time (or Cadence.) Now i have all that data right there..hehe.. Unfortunately it can't connect to my wired PowerTap unit (what i have on the road), so no power data, but just about everything else is in this file:


                If you're non-American, click on 'Metric' in the top right to make sense of it all. ;)

                Lots of neat stuff you can click around on...i love the mapping and elevation features. This will be even cooler when i get out on the MTB (esp. since it IS a wireless PowerTap.)

                Today i also did another Mt Doug effort. Last time i went up was Jan 21st, did it in 8min flat, averaged 310w. Today did it in 8:08, but only averaged 305w.. On the Garmin link above, it's Interval #7, if you want to check out the elevation data.

                So another thing i'm doing is posting ALL my wattage data, but instead of filling up my blog, i'm going to save it in Google Docs, so here's today:


                You can see the Mt Doug effort, the Tempo, the Garmin section (the same period recorded as the Garmin) and the entire ride, which has me riding to the shop, and back home from there. (I don't really feel the need to include my home address. ;)

                No major peaks, although my 1 and 2hr NP are pretty high, averaging 243w over 2hrs..that's a lot more wattage than i'm used to seeing over that period!

                The other news: i've upgraded my Niner RIP9 mtb to the orange frame i've been lusting over for months:

                Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

                It's significantly stiffer, and ORANGE!!! Hopefully will get out for a ride on Thursday...if not, Sunday. =)

                Calling it a night, g'nite world! (I'll update the rest of my last week soon!)


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                  Tuesday, February 09, 2010

                  "We Don't Like You Anymore."

                  That's the latest from my quads...hahaha..

                  Looks like i'm going to have to listen, today's training session is definitely a sign that i'm over-cooking it... But first:

                  Saturday - OBB Ride

                  Another lovely day, broke out the Ridley once again... It kept civil to Mattick's, and from there things picked up with a rather surge-y rotating paceline out along the farmland...not sure why people were picking it up like that...or chasing down some of the people who powered away..haha.. Ahh well.

                  Got to Sidney, and another strong group left from there...kept it civil until past Land's End, then things started to get spicy as we approached the airport, and it carried through until close to W. Saanich, and then it eased up again until Interurban.

                  Good fast paceline lead-up to the sprint, but as Steve D (visiting in New Zealand right now!) reminded me, i allowed myself to get boxed-in, and so the sprint was a non-feature on my part...some of the other guys were cooking tho!

                  Went for the Overpass with Ryan, but a commuter just flew onto the trail without looking our way, and i had to brake to avoid a collision...ahh well! Carried through at a firm pace until Estevan where i turned off. All the gory details:

                  Entire workout (195 watts):
                  Duration: 3:11:15 (3:22:57)
                  Work: 2212 kJ
                  TSS: 264.6 (intensity factor 0.915)
                  Norm Power: 243
                  VI: 1.25
                  Distance: 105.686 km
                             Min Max Avg
                  Power: 0 1110 195 watts
                  Heart Rate: 102 182 153 bpm
                  Cadence: 25 126 90 rpm
                  Speed: 0 67.2 33.3 kph

                  Fast. Actual watts HUGE. And an NP of 243w over The TSS reflects this. I was cooked. The peak hour was 260w NP, and 37.8kph...that's summer speeds! And a new high for TSS. Ouch.

                  Sunday - Short Ride w/Climbs

                  My week's TSS value was well over 600, and i was feeling fried, so i opted for a short ride. I actually haven't ridden Mt Tolmie (at least in recent memory) so opted to swing by there, and do a couple out-of-saddle climb efforts, as well as to scout it as a potential training spot.

                  The south side (off Richmond) is pretty steep, about the same as Mt Doug i'd say, with a short flat section. Did it in 2'52 at 330w, 56rpm. 567m.

                  North side (off Cedar Hill) is much flatter.. Did it in 2'53 at 318w, 64rpm. I got 634m on that side. I think the starting elevation is a fair bit higher there too. Will know when the Garmin Edge 500 i order comes in...will be neat to include elevation data as well!

                  Getting more used to standing and climbing. From there i got up to MacKenzie, and crossed over to Caddy Bay, and rode the 'water' back, to the end and back to my place near OBB. Started cloudy, took the winter bike just in case, closed with some sun. =)

                  Entire workout (206 watts):
                  Duration: 1:13:31 (1:14:26)
                  Work: 904 kJ
                  TSS: 96.1 (intensity factor 0.888)
                  Norm Power: 235
                  VI: 1.14
                  Distance: 33.383 km
                             Min Max Avg
                  Power: 0 626 206 watts
                  Heart Rate: 72 181 147 bpm
                  Cadence: 32 114 86 rpm
                  Speed: 3.7 65.7 27.4 kph

                  In hindsight, i went harder than i should have...

                  Tuesday - EM w/30min Tempo

                  Monday was a full rest-day, no climbing.

                  Headed out on the Ridley again (nice day - sunny but chilly), hoping to do a 45min Tempo in the same spirit as last Thursday, where i SMASHED it! 269w over 40mins, i think that's my best sustained-effort ever done. It was 4w short of my 30min PB (273w), and i held it 10min more...nice.

                  So, today.. Bad omen's all the way. Legs felt like hamburger. Poor output. Heart rate was waaay too high. Met up with Kevin out on Lockside just before Maddicks, and tried to figure out what i should do.... The smart option would have been just to do a 'ride', hold my EM pace, go for ~2hrs, and then focus on my interval on Thursday.

                  I decided to ignore my better advice, and began my interval on Martindale. Legs got the power up alright, and i felt okay... 10mins in, still doing okay, but legs were feeling it.

                  It's funny...i *felt* like i was pushing the watts i needed to, although it was an effort. It looks like the right watts are coming up on the screen....but alas, i must only be looking when they're high..haha.. I decided to just do 30mins, and it came out like this:

                  Ave Wts: 256
                  Ave HR: 178
                  Ave Cad: 74
                  Ave Spd: 34.8kph

                  Ouch. Watts were too low, and HR was insane for that effort! My 40min effort on Thursday at 269w was 177...!!

                  Crap. I overcooked it.

                  Lesson: figure out and use the Performance Management Chart in WKO. I know the basics, but i think it can be used to help prevent this type of meltdown... Keeping an eye on the TSB value (Training Stress Balance, or 'Freshness', good WKO jargon descriptions here.)

                  I think i need to manage my training to try and keep it a bit higher.. This will prolly mean shorter Tempo intervals...but i think it stands to reason that doing 30mins at the right wattage is better than doing 45mins at 10-15w lower than i should be at...and feel better doing it all as well!

                  Here's the whole ride:

                  Entire workout (200 watts):
                      Duration:      2:21:56 (2:23:02)
                      Work:          1699 kJ
                      TSS:           161.6 (intensity factor 0.828)
                      Norm Power:    219
                      VI:            1.1
                      Distance:      71.079 km
                                          Min    Max    Avg
                      Power:           0    718    200     watts
                      Heart Rate:      90    188    163     bpm
                      Cadence:         25    118    85     rpm
                      Speed:           4.1    56.9    30.1     kph

                  The average HR is HUGE. Even a hard ride should be 10bpm lower.

                  A'ight, that's it for now... Short climb at the gym tomorrow, and the OrganicAthlete Victoria AGM in the evening, and then for Thursday......i'll keep an eye on my TSB, if it's still pretty low, i'll just go for a ride. ;)


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                    Friday, February 05, 2010

                    Call My Quads "Jack Bauer"

                    Call my quads "Jack Bauer", because they're gonna resist whatever torture i put them through...haha ;)

                    Part two of my recent updates here. I should also highlight that i've started an email list/discussion group called Vegan Power:

                    It's aimed at vegans who train with power, for inspiration and discussion, both about training with power, and vegan nutrition. It also features a spreadsheet that highlights all the power peaks of list members - we've got some really strong peeps on board, here's a direct link to the spreadsheet:

                    If you're a vegan who trains with power, please join us!! Doesn't matter if you're particularly strong, or particularly weak like me - everyone is welcome, and hopefully this will help inspire you to continue progressing. =)

                    Anyway, to continue with the regularly scheduled blog updates:

                    Sat (Jan 30th) - OBB Ride

                    It was a wet day, my Ridley streak was broken...a record of six consecutive rides!

                    I sold my 170mm Campy Chorus cranks to Emile, and finally swapped my winter bike over to 165mm Red cranks (why don't Force come in 165mm..??) I have had a lot of bad experiences with FSA, so they're out of the question. Nothing wrong with Red tho. =)

                    There's all the bits.....

                    And the bike is ready for them.

                    The new BB systems are so easy to it!

                    Looks great!

                    Felt even better...the winter bike now feels 'right' when riding it. Why 165mm cranks you might ask? Stems from the track for me...that's the length most sprinters use, and it makes for a very smooth, efficient spin. On 175's, i feel like my legs are flailing around in circles. 170's aren't too bad, but still not 'right'. 165's also work nicely in crits, as you're much less likely to scrap the pedals in corners. And finally, they're great for your TT position, as you can get lower because your knees aren't coming up as high.

                    Anyway..enough about the cranks... Wet OBB ride, the regular mashers were out:

                    Just a little damp..

                    Good steady pace out to Sidney, and then we carried it through Land's End and back down the peninsula. Pretty tame past the Observatory, the group kept together for the most part.

                    Despite feeling good, i opted not to sprint: the chain on the winter bike felt pretty slack on the cranks..and i was worried that it might slip under power.. (I replaced the chain this week, it was quite stretched.) ProCity Tom was doing a strong pull up by Interurban Camosun, i was on his wheel...he was slowing up a bit, so i took over, and started picking up the pace. My target was the base of the final hill...blow myself up by that spot...

                    I put down my head and jam it...i crest the first hill, carry the speed over and barrel down..speed is great, up over 60kph. I get close to the bottom of the hill and pull over to let the sprint go... I sit up... No one's there...??!! I wait another few seconds, bracing...finally i look back, and the rest are just starting to reach me!! WTF!!

                    Turns out when i took over the front of the pack, there were a few people on my wheel that apparently just got dropped! That created a fairly significant gap that no-one wanted to i just wheeled off totally solo..hahahaha!

                    Lesson: look back! Had i looked back fairly on, i could have stretched out my effort, and gone for the 'long bomb'....that day i might have actually succeeded..

                    Ahh well. Continued back into town. Scott challenged me for the King of the Overpass, but he was in too light a gear, and i managed to hold him off. ;) Which reminds me - the previous week Mike Elkink raced me for the KotO, and took it. That gave him 2nd in the sprint, and 1st there..hehe

                    Kept the pace up back into town with Tom Skinner and Scotty, and went out to Estevan again. Here's the finer details:

                    Entire workout (188 watts):
                    Duration: 3:18:18 (3:26:49)
                    Work: 2224 kJ
                    TSS: 255.1 (intensity factor 0.88)
                    Norm Power: 233
                    VI: 1.24
                    Distance: 104.458 km
                              Min Max Avg
                    Power: 0 1195 188 watts
                    Heart Rate: 93 182 153 bpm
                    Cadence: 26 222 93 rpm
                    Speed: 3.7 64.6 31.7 kph

                    TSS a bit short from last week's OBB ride, but still a pretty fast ride considering the weather!

                    Sunday - 2hr EM w/Kevin

                    Was planning to MTB, but plans fell through, so hit the road instead.! Kevin and i went out to the Observatory. I was happy to get in another out-of-saddle effort up an extended climb.

                    Kevin went back down for a second go on the last portion.

                    The weather was pretty good...and the roads were dry..

                    But i brought out the winter bike instead...i was expecting wet roads. Ahh well, i'm enjoying riding this bike much more with the shorter cranks.

                    Entire workout (192 watts):
                    Duration: 2:04:22 (2:35:01)
                    Work: 1415 kJ
                    TSS: 147.3 (intensity factor 0.847)
                    Norm Power: 225
                    VI: 1.17
                    Distance: 58.079 km
                             Min Max Avg
                    Power: 0 743 192 watts
                    Heart Rate: 90 191 148 bpm
                    Cadence: 52 149 95 rpm
                    Speed: 3.7 63.2 28.3 kph

                    And that concludes my 'easy-ish' week; back at it!

                    Tuesday - EM w/35m Tempo

                    Felt good, and thought i did a good job on the Tempo workout, but unfortunately the numbers weren't so good:

                    Ave Wts: 257
                    Ave HR: 167
                    Ave Cad: 71
                    Ave Spd: 33.9kph

                    Only 257w!! I tried something a bit different: i braked when the speed picked up, to ensure i kept under 75rpm..

                    Funnily, i don't think i can sustain power on the pedals and brake at the same time...i'd start to brake, and the power would just drop... Ahh well...

                    Good effort for the ride overall tho:

                    Entire workout (220 watts):
                    Duration: 2:32:09 (2:36:03)
                    Work: 1992 kJ
                    TSS: 194.9 (intensity factor 0.88)
                    Norm Power: 233
                    VI: 1.06
                    Distance: 79.431 km
                              Min Max Avg
                    Power: 0 840 220 watts
                    Heart Rate: 94 182 160 bpm
                    Cadence: 27 122 86 rpm
                    Speed: 4.1 59.9 31.5 kph

                    Thu - EM w/40m Tempo with Chad

                    Chad made it out again, and i seem to have better Tempo sessions with someone in front of me, so especially happy to have him along. He motored off to do his own effort for the 40mins, but took a while to get out of my line-of-sight, so he was a carrot in front.

                    This time i didn't brake, and if my cadence got over 75rpm, so be it. I'd just maintain the intensity (trying to hold 270-280w.) And the result:

                    Ave Wts: 269
                    Ave HR: 177
                    Ave Cad: 75
                    Ave Spd: 36.4kph

                    Cadence was a tad high, but the power was AMAZING. That's the most watts i've held for one 'effort', that's for sure! (I've done 'harder' workouts, holding 300w for over 30mins, but there were a few 1min rests in there too.)

                    Pretty pleased with that. It was interesting to note that when my cadence got below 70rpm, my power just dropped.. As expected, lower cadences are killer for me.. I'm much better, but still not great. Also neat to note that Peak 20min was 270w, and Peak 30min was 269w, so it was pretty consistent.

                    Let's hope i can keep this up for a few more weeks...i was pretty smashed after this, and it'd be nice to get a few more solid efforts like this in. Will be aiming for 45mins after this...

                    Entire workout (210 watts):
                    Duration: 2:43:09 (2:46:48)
                    Work: 2047 kJ
                    TSS: 204.9 (intensity factor 0.871)
                    Norm Power: 231
                    VI: 1.1
                    Distance: 85.126 km
                              Min Max Avg
                    Power: 0 752 210 watts
                    Heart Rate: 74 182 158 bpm
                    Cadence: 27 124 86 rpm
                    Speed: 3.7 61.4 31.5 kph

                    That's for tonight, gonna hit the hay, group ride tomorrow! Hoping the roads are dry and will get back on the Ridley. =)


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                      Thursday, February 04, 2010

                      Ensuring A Dry and Warm Winter

                      I think i figured how to make the winter dry and warm in your area - load up on new cold weather gear, and grow a beard.

                      Well, that's about all that's different this year, yet it's been remarkably dry and warm! I've taken out my new Ridley Noah a record six consecutive rides before last Saturday..and twice this week so far. Got a ton of riding in through January as well - nearly 44hrs spent on the bike! That may actually top what i was riding some months last summer...feeling really great regardless.

                      Also made a new home for the Ridley, running out of potential spots to hang bikes in my pad:

                      Got some catching up to do, last week was an 'easy-ish' week, just did a few 'steady' EM-paced rides with no big efforts... Let's see where we left off - this will be a two-part blog.

                      Wed (Jan 20th) - Climb

                      Will just do just one summary for the climbing: had a couple 'rough' weeks, didn't seem to be progressing much...hands not feeling like they're really recovering.. Keeping at it, working on easier routes and doing some laps and climb-downs to try and increase strength. Still working mainly on 10c's & d's.

                      Thu - EM w/30min Tempo and Mt Doug

                      Went up Mt Doug again, did it standing up the entire way...seems like it's the way to do it....i went at it pretty hard, averaged 310w and got to the top in 8min flat. Cadence was so low, ~56rpm..i think standing is required. As far as what might be my potential fastest time... I should be able to average 340w, and that ought to get me closer to the 7min timeframe, but i doubt i'll be cracking 7mins.

                      Chad and i atop Mt Doug (actually that was on Tuesday, previous blog entry, d'oh!), continued out to Sidney, and did a 30min Tempo interval:

                      Ave Wts: 257
                      Ave HR: 169
                      Ave Cad: 72
                      Ave Spd: 35.5kph

                      HR was quite high for that i suspected i'm in need of some rest, which prompted my easy-ish week.

                      Deets for the rest of the ride:

                      Entire workout (211 watts):
                      Duration: 2:29:03 (2:36:01)
                      Work: 1870 kJ
                      TSS: 189 (intensity factor 0.875)
                      Norm Power: 232
                      VI: 1.1
                      Distance: 74.281 km
                               Min Max Avg
                      Power: 0 951 211 watts
                      Heart Rate: 74 189 158 bpm
                      Cadence: 28 122 82 rpm
                      Speed: 3.8 58.1 30.1 kph

                      Sat - OBB Ride

                      Good solid pace from Land's End to Interurban, i somehow ended up on the front of the group on the climb past the Observatory....weird being on the front, but pretty much ensures i'll be in there for the end!

                      The sprint was a big group, and i was near the back in the final stretch...pulled out to move up just before the hill and then it exploded! Dan Skinner, Craig, Scotty and Mike E launch, and i'm hot on their heels, but can't make up the ground...still, 5th in that company isn't shabby.

                      Been riding a bit further as well, i normally turn off at Richmond, but instead continue around the water to Estevan. If i turn off closer, it's usually around 98km. This way i'm doing over 100. ;)

                      Entire workout (187 watts):
                      Duration: 3:15:52 (3:37:35)
                      Work: 2187 kJ
                      TSS: 261.5 (intensity factor 0.898)
                      Norm Power: 238
                      VI: 1.27
                      Pw:HR: -1.9%
                      Pa:HR: 4.32%
                      Distance: 105.65 km
                                 Min Max Avg
                      Power: 0 1221 187 watts
                      Heart Rate: 78 188 151 bpm
                      Cadence: 24 128 89 rpm
                      Speed: 3.7 66.3 32.5 kph

                      I think that's the highest TSS i've gotten for a Sat ride so far...we've really been moving. An NP of 238w over 3.25hrs is also HUGE for me. I'm feeling much stronger later on in rides, which is a big change for me. Normally i get progressively weaker and weaker through a ride...i seem to be gaining some 'depth'.

                      Monday (Jan 25th) - 1hr Ride w/Chad

                      Skipped riding on Sunday, pooped and rainy to boot. Talked Chad into joining me, and just did my 1hr Power Hour loop. Nothing too crazy, obviously went fairly easily, good way to start my 'easy-ish' week. ;)

                      Entire workout (160 watts):
                      Duration: 1:17:55 (1:22:15)
                      Work: 744 kJ
                      TSS: 55.4 (intensity factor 0.656)
                      Norm Power: 174
                      VI: 1.08
                      Distance: 34.926 km
                               Min Max Avg
                      Power: 0 496 160 watts
                      Heart Rate: 67 152 121 bpm
                      Cadence: 28 114 84 rpm
                      Speed: 3.8 57.2 27.1 kph

                      Max of 496w - i meant business! ;)

                      We stopped at the top of King George Terrace:

                      Yep, it's teh suck to be in Victoria in January.

                      Tuesday - 1.5hr EM

                      A weird was totally dry as i was getting ready to head out. Hop on my bike, the sun is shining, and it starts to sprinkle!! Drat!

                      Plan was to ride out the Goose to Lagoon Rd, and do that loop, but the further i got out of town, the wetter the turned around by the hospital and took the water back in..just a steady pace.

                      Entire workout (199 watts):
                      Duration: 1:38:57 (1:41:48)
                      Work: 1172 kJ
                      TSS: 103.6 (intensity factor 0.795)
                      Norm Power: 211
                      VI: 1.06
                      Distance: 48.392 km
                               Min Max Avg
                      Power: 0 589 199 watts
                      Heart Rate: 79 171 143 bpm
                      Cadence: 20 126 93 rpm
                      Speed: 3.7 51.4 29.5 kph

                      Thursday - 2hr EM w/Kevin

                      Kevin was able to make it out, and we headed out along the water, and did the Lagoon loop. It's actually pretty nice, and we're taking the new paved Goose out to Colwood. I think this'll be a fairly regular ride for me if i'm not doing any intervals...nice change of pace.

                      Entire workout (197 watts):
                      Duration: 2:04:47 (2:08:43)
                      Work: 1465 kJ
                      TSS: 133.1 (intensity factor 0.803)
                      Norm Power: 213
                      VI: 1.08
                      Distance: 59.751 km
                                    Min Max Avg
                      Power: 0 890 197 watts
                      Heart Rate: 74 173 146 bpm
                      Cadence: 24 126 92 rpm
                      Speed: 3.8 67.2 28.9 kph

                      Will pick up last weekend's OBB ride in the next post. =)

                      Happy February!


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                        Tuesday, January 19, 2010

                        Four Rides in Five Days


                        Been a solid few days of riding! Got a little catch-up:

                        Monday (Jan 11) - Climb

                        Been slacking off in keeping track of my climbing...mainly working on the tougher 10c's and d's.

                        Tue - Ride w/30min Tempo

                        Just out of interest, looked back to last Feb/Mar to see what i was doing for my Tempo workouts, and i was holding ~255w. So up 10w a year later, not too bad!

                        Tuesday was MISERABLE - it held off until i got to Martindale, but when i began my interval, it just started to was weird, the rain splashing in my face was REALLY distracting!

                        I've managed to find a good 'loop' tho..basically following in the OBB route to the stop sign in Sidney, then turn around there and head back out Lockside, up through part of the old TT course, then turn around at the stop sign there. At my Tempo pace, it takes 20min to do a full loop...not ideal, but it works.

                        The Tempo effort this day was a bit lacklustre:

                        Ave Wts: 255
                        Ave HR: 163
                        Ave Cad: 70
                        Ave Spd: 35.4kph

                        Full ride:

                        Entire workout (218 watts):
                        Duration: 2:23:20 (2:35:01)
                        Work: 1859 kJ
                        TSS: 189.3 (intensity factor 0.894)
                        Norm Power: 233
                        VI: 1.07
                        Distance: 75.242 km
                                   Min Max Avg
                        Power: 0 721 218 watts
                        Heart Rate: 67 175 155 bpm
                        Cadence: 30 120 86 rpm
                        Speed: 0 56.7 31.7 kph

                        Kinda strange, but it was a pretty fast ride, averaging nearly 32kph..

                        Wed - Rest Day

                        Opted to take the day off, climbing didn't work out. OA meeting in the evening too. Rest days are good.

                        Thu - Climb

                        Got in 2.5hrs, felt pretty good, improving on the climbs i'm working on.

                        Fri - 1hr Ride

                        Well, under an hour really... Day started awful, full rain, etc.. Afternoon got pretty nice. Didn't have a lot of time, but knew i'd feel gross on Sat if i didn't get out and work the legs a bit, so did a short ride when it was pretty nice:

                        Entire workout (204 watts):
                        Duration: 50:39
                        Work: 618 kJ
                        TSS: 68.5 (intensity factor 0.902)
                        Norm Power: 234
                        VI: 1.15
                        Distance: 25.029 km
                                  Min Max Avg
                        Power: 0 1253 204 watts
                        Heart Rate: 73 189 158 bpm
                        Cadence: 36 222 93 rpm
                        Speed: 3.9 54.5 29.7 kph

                        Worth noting: did a couple short sprints, and nearly topped my 1sec and 5sec PB's!! I have no idea why my legs are still able to turn over this kind of wattage, but they're able to pull it off for some reason...i'm not gonna complain! ;)

                        Sat - OBB Ride

                        Bit of an odd day, it was pretty dry, so took out the Ridley on a group ride for the first time. Lots of peeps from the Burnside group turned out, kinda odd. I rode with many of them out to Sidney, a few good efforts in there. They didn't want to wait for the rest of the groups to turn up, so left..i opted to stay. Formed a 'firm' group to ride with, and continued on.

                        Oddly, when we got around the airport, we caught the BSiders, and there had been a crash.. Turns out Anatolli dislocated a hip...ouch..hope he heals up quick.

                        Our group continued on, and we were then in the 'front', so the sprint was our..haha.. Did a fair bit of work along W. Saanich to try and break things up a bit, and on Interurban...solo'd for a bit, as did Mike Elkink, although Scotty shut him down just before Camosun. Group was together for the sprint..

                        There were a couple peeps in front of me, leading the charge, i felt them slowing down as we hit the hill, so i swung out wide, got out of the saddle for a few pedal strokes to jam up the speed, and sat to get up the hill..crested the top, no one near me, so got out of the saddle and continued to huck it..odd being out there alone!! Line was closing, but then Mike and Scotty flew by w/15m to was i was going to be able to pick up any more speed...bleh.... '3rd'.

                        Apparently i split away and launched pretty quickly..but couldn't hold those two smaller guys off, who have much favorable power-to-weight ratios going up that hill... Worth noting that i held 900+w pretty steady, for nearly 20 i did *something*! haha

                        Turns out my 3rd was really 6th tho, as there was another small group that had taken off ahead of the BSiders before their crash. D'oh.

                        Entire workout (180 watts):
                        Duration: 3:08:52 (3:28:37)
                        Work: 2016 kJ
                        TSS: 242.4 (intensity factor 0.882)
                        Norm Power: 229
                        VI: 1.28
                        Distance: 98.904 km
                                  Min Max Avg
                        Power: 0 1086 180 watts
                        Heart Rate: 79 190 147 bpm
                        Speed: 0 63.5 31.6 kph

                        Cadence magnet got bumped at start, so no readings. Peak hour NP was 253w, about normal.. I did a fair bit of work in our group.

                        Sunday - Hilly Ride w/Kevin

                        Managed to catch him before he headed out! Was supposed to go for a MTB ride, but it didn't materialize.. Kevin wanted to do the Up'n'Over (Ross-Durrance) so we headed out towards Saanich. Felt a hilly ride was appropriate if skipping the usual MTB ride. ;)

                        Roads were dryish, so took out the Ridley again. =)

                        Fun to do the U'n'O, it's been a long time since i last rode it, and it seemed much shorter and odd. Kevin started with a pretty firm pace, so i just stuck to his wheel...but as we were getting to the top his lack of time on the bike was oozing out, and i found myself powering away...unexpected, but it will likely be one of the few times this occurs!

                        Love that section tho, beautiful road and nicely enclosed in the forest. =)

                        Ripped back into town along Millstream and back on the Goose near Colwood (it's paved out there now, surprisingly!) Rode back in and around the water. Great day, and fun to spend it with Kevin.

                        Entire workout (194 watts):
                        Duration: 2:32:43 (2:46:41)
                        Work: 1772 kJ
                        TSS: 211.1 (intensity factor 0.913)
                        Norm Power: 237
                        VI: 1.22
                        Distance: 71.458 km
                                  Min Max Avg
                        Power: 0 1191 194 watts
                        Heart Rate: 85 184 144 bpm
                        Cadence: 23 136 87 rpm
                        Speed: 3.7 52.9 28.2 kph

                        Interesting to note that my Peak 60min Normalized Power was 265w, which is actually higher than what i've got for my 1hr Threshold... I've suspected it's gone up, and of course Normalized Power isn't a perfect calculation...but i'm going to bump it from 260w to 265w...i think that's a safe bet.

                        Monday (Jan 18) - Climb

                        Rough night at the climbing gym...pretty knackered from the riding...hands just hadn't recovered...made the most of it, 2hrs out...

                        Tuesday - Ride w/35m Tempo with Chad

                        Gotta keep bumping my Tempo workouts up! Today Chad joined me. He pedalled on ahead to do his own workout, which was nice as i had a carrot in front of me to chase. We also rode up Mt Doug - i've been curious to see how much of it had been repaved...the descent is much improved, but near the bottom is still like a battlefield, having to dodge numerous potholes.

                        Solid effort today, managed over 34:56:

                        Ave Wts: 264
                        Ave HR: 167
                        Ave Cad: 72
                        Ave Spd: 35.9kph

                        Happy with that! It's such a weird workout, pedalling at 70-75rpm..legs get maxed out, but i'm hardly breathing any heavier despite the bigger watts.. It's funny because as i'm going, it looks like i'm in the 280-300w range a lot, but when you get it home and download it, it's another story.. Still, i'm holding 10w more over 35mins that i could last year in late Feb. That's pretty solid.

                        It was such a nice day, there was a steady breeze, but it felt WARM. 13C out, had leg warmers on, but just arm warmers, a jersey and vest. Very unusual for this time of the year.

                        Legs feel shot right now...mission accomplished!

                        Entire workout (211 watts):
                        Duration: 2:47:49 (2:57:50)
                        Work: 2109 kJ
                        TSS: 218.1 (intensity factor 0.886)
                        Norm Power: 230
                        VI: 1.09
                        Distance: 83.138 km
                                  Min Max Avg
                        Power: 0 683 211 watts
                        Heart Rate: 81 176 151 bpm
                        Cadence: 32 122 82 rpm
                        Speed: 0 63.2 29.9 kph

                        That's a pretty long ride for me for a weekday! As i was riding home along the water, i actually felt like extending my ride...very unusual.. After 2hrs, i'm usually itching to get off the bike. I'm insanely happy with my Ridley Noah! It's really something else to ride. =)

                        So, that's four rides in five days...TSS is getting up there - hopefully i can sustain this, and when it comes to doing even harder workouts, i can maintain the through the summer...

                        Tomorrow, prolly a rest day. Thursday will be another Tempo session, maybe 40mins. Climb Fri, OBB Sat, and hopefully MTB on Sunday. Yip!

                        Have a great week! =)


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