Tag Archives: training

Spring Riding

How does life get to be so busy that I just can’t find the time to blog?

Fortunately my busy life has included some incredible outdoor riding in some unseasonably warm spring temperatures.

Normal temperatures for Maine this time of year is in the 40-degree range. Lately many days have been in the mid 50’s. We even had several days this past week in the 60’s.

Several Portland Velo Club women joined me on rides this week. We even joined another women’s ride Wednesday for a total of 17 riders that night.

This has been a long drought of snow. I think our last significant snow storm was in December or January. But it’s been fine by me because I’ve been able to be outside biking a fair bit this winter. Now the weather has been unseasonably warm, driving more of us out on our bikes.

Today I managed to get out for an early morning group ride with the PVC Women followed by 90-minutes of yoga. I left the house at 6:30 am and managed to return at noon. Two things I love to do but took up half my day. Now, that doesn’t mean that it always take up half my day, it just worked out that way.

The weather is turning cooler next week but with Daylight Savings Time I’ll still be able to be out on the road after work for some training rides as long as we don’t see any snow.

My New Toy

This post has been a while in the making. Unfortunately I’ve just been too busy to get to it.

Several weeks ago, for Valentine’s Day, my Valentine gave me a power tap for my bike, which I have been wanting for a long time.

So I’ve had the device installed on my bike for a couple weeks now. I’ve used it outside and inside. It’s actually kinda cool. And as we all know, it’s the best way to measure performance and thus progress in training and fitness.

Since it’s only been a couple weeks I can’t actually say much about it. It’s going to take some time to learn more about it and how to get the most out of it. It will probably require me to purchase a book on how to train with a power meter. At the cost of <$20.00 that’s a pretty inexpensive must have.

For the time I have spent using the power meter and getting used to the software it’s been great. The software is super easy to use, read and gather data.

Luckily the weather here on the coast of Maine continues to be really nice with now snow in weeks and what precipitation we did have fell in the form of rain. And with temperatures predicted to be in the upper 40’s and low 50’s it’s going to be a great weekend to get out and use the power meter on the road.

Back to Work

Last week was a very enjoyable rest week. I spent too much time off the bike, that’s for sure. I rode Monday during lunch and then nothing for the remainder of the week. I missed my normal Wednesday night spin class because I got held up at work. Thursday and Friday I was experiencing some muscle spasms in my back.

Now that the week is over it’s time to get back to work on the bike and I did just that Saturday. Temperatures were in the mid 40’s so riding outside was my best option. It was a bit windy but still managed to ride 30 miles.

Today was even windier, making my interval work daunting. Still, it was nicer to ride outside than inside on the trainer.

As is typical after a rest week, and time off, it’s taking me a while to get my legs back under me. I was pedaling squares over the past couple days but should smooth that out by the end of the week.

Tomorrow is an easy day. However, temps are predicted to be in the upper 40’s so I will take advantage of a little sun and warmth to ride easy outside. My plan is to spin early Tuesday and Thursday with yoga in the evenings. Wednesday I’ll be spinning at night with my spin class.

I have my fingers crossed that we’ll dodge some snow later this week to manage to ride outside next weekend again.

Outside Riding

The weather has been a bit warmer than normal here in southern Maine recently. Temperatures have been in the mid-30’s. With a significant high pressure system over our region we’ve been spared all the snow that the mid-Atlantic states have received over the past few weeks. In fact, most of our front and back yards are snow free.

I took advantage of the warm weather to get in a few lunch time rides this week, the first on Wednesday and the other Friday. The rides were short – only about 30 minutes each. However, it was a nice way to spend a portion of my lunch and re-energize my training and give me a reason for spending so much time on the bike inside.

Of course that weather continues into the weekend so I rounded up a couple friends for a nice 30+ mile. It was a bit windy but manageable. I’ve ridden in much windier conditions but this time of year, with the wind out of the northwest, it can be quite brisk.

This week starts another rest period. Even though I felt like last week was after no real intense workouts since Monday’s spin class. (Normally on Wednesdays but was moved this week.) Still, I’ll stick to the schedule this week but I won’t take the week off completely. There will be spin class Wednesday and I anticipate some intervals during that session. I’ll also be on the bike to do some active recovery.

If our luck holds out with the lack of snow then I’ll try to get back out on the bike again next weekend.

Last Week Before My Rest Week

This is my last week before a rest week. I posted previously that I was going to see how my second 4-week block worked before changing to a 3-week block (is that a triangle?) for training. During some exhausting moments of last week I was beginning to question the 4-week block. It might have just been a rough week so I’m going to see how I feel this week before making any decisions.

After this block it’s going to be time to pick up some intensity and work in some intervals. The spring criterium series will be here before I know it and I’m going to need to be prepared. (If you’ve never done a crit, it can be pretty intense efforts throughout, especially during premium laps, where prizes are awarded for the first one to cross the line.) I need to start training my body to deal with those intense efforts.

A Tiring Week

This week was a very long and tiring week.

After my rest day Monday I was up early Tuesday morning for a spin because I had a happy hour after work. I decided to get up early Wednesday morning to spin again and I had my weekly spin class Wednesday evening. Thursday I thought wouldn’t set my alarm but if I was up early I’d work out again. But I didn’t – I needed the extra hour of sleep and then planned to go to yoga that evening followed by a local club social, which also included the movie, Bicycle Dreams.

With a couple early mornings and something going on after work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, it was an exhausting week. Not to mention that work itself was crazy as well.

I thought early morning spins would be good way to get my workout in if I couldn’t do it at night. Perhaps I bit off a bit more than I could chew. Still, I felt good that I was able to keep my training going and not pushing it aside. I also like working out in the morning – I can manage to get out of bed at 4:30 for a 60-minute spin, though I’m not sure I can get up at 4:00 for a 90-minute spin.

Today, even though I didn’t sleep as long as I expected to, I feel much more refreshed. I had hoped to make it out on the road for a ride today but didn’t. For starters, it takes a lot less preparation to spin inside than to put on all the layers for a cold ride outside. Secondly, it’s easier to do specific workouts on a trainer without fluctuating terrain or wind speeds. I opted for a 2-hour indoor spin instead.

Next week isn’t quite as crazy but still requires me to adjust my schedule accordingly to make sure I manage the hours on the bike needed.

Rest Day? No Way!

Mondays are typically a rest day for me. However, I didn’t rest for a couple reasons.

I left work early for a dentist appointment today. My 3pm appointment meant I would be home a bit earlier than normal. Since I was getting home earlier I could get a decent workout on the trainer without it being too late when I finished.

While I don’t doubt my ability to get up at 4:30am for a Tuesday morning 1-hour workout, I do question my ability to get up at 4:00 am for a 90 minute workout, as was my plan for Tuesday. So I felt it would be easier to get in the longer workout tonight.

Another factor is that although Saturday’s snow shoeing event wasn’t an arduous workout, yesterday’s 1-hour run (er, jog?) was. Working out again today allowed my to have two relatively hard days followed by one rest day.

Tonight’s plan was to manage 90 minutes on the bike and I’m sad to say it only turned out to be 75 minutes. I used a video I had created that had several blocks of tempo at varying lengths followed by some recovery sessions and then 3 sets of out of the saddle efforts followed by in the saddle effort, tempo and recovery. I could have extended the program slightly but it’s okay for what it is.

I need to make more of these video workouts because watching the video of being on the road really helps get me through some of these sessions. I also need to make sure I take my video camera with me in the summer months to capture more material for video projects. Having more riders in the video would definitely make it more interesting.