Mock Triathlon!


Or Most of One at least!

On Tuesday  I decided to do a mock Olympic Distance Triathlon- just for me. This wasn’t to go race pace at all(although I did mix in some surges).

Swim

This started out at the pool, I swam ~2k Meters total.

This included a 400 Meter Warm up, and somewhat of a 100 Meter cool Down lol. This was pretty comfortable and I was able to keep my swimming “mostly” efficient.

Total time :1:10 including warm up and cool down.

Event time: 48 Minutes

I want to bring this down some more before the “main event” because there is a 1 hour time cut off. And I want to err well on the side of caution for this. The Bike and Run both have 90 Minute cut offs(after the the previous event’s cut off). So I feel more than confident that I’ll be fine on time for them.

Bike

Next I drove home and jumped on the trainer for the bike portion.

The first 15 minutes sucked, I could barely keep up speed and keep down my HR. Turned out, I had the tension set too tight on the wheel platform. readjusted this real quick and BAM! I was flying. Since it is a trainer- I feel it is easier to maintain speed, but harder to maintain comfort lol.

Got in the full 25 Miles here!

Time: 1:20

Run

After getting off the bike I felt tired, but still pretty strong. I had kept up my nutrition throughout the ride, and making sure to get more into me for the run.

I ended up only running a mile. This was fortunately not due to me dying off. I had chosen to just run around the lake next to my apartment. Well this was a bad idea as 85% of the loop around the lake was water logged or just straight under about an inch to 3 inches of water. That one mile took forever, but it was a great stretch!

All in all I was impressed with myself. This was not an all out effort, but it was a good steady push. And I passed my expectations.

Knowing that I can do this a month out, with no real taper or major rest beforehand makes me even more confident of my performance come April 12th!

I am excited and can’t wait to see how I do. My goal is to finish. But I want to make sure I don’t finish with a full tank 🙂

Thanks for reading guys. Let me know what you think!

 

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A Long Weekend of Fun!- warning Long Long LONG Post!


So I got a lot of good training in this weekend! It was a rough one and I’m still feeling it, but man was it worth every second of the pain and mental toughness I had to pry out of me!

Friday!

I Started off with a 1 Mile Swim on Friday night. This was a 1 Lap at a time Mile(25 Meters). This is actually the first time I have made myself do an entire Mile, so it was a bit rough.

I am not an efficient swimmer. I’m not a graceful swimmer. I’m a strong swimmer, and as such, I spend most of my time defeating myself by not keeping correct form. I also have a very hard time breathing correctly(with form). Keeping my head low and in the water, under my recovering arm and against my leading arm, is very difficult for me, as I have not yet ingrained the muscle memory. I am getting better though, so one step at a time. I mostly worked on my breathing on this workout. I probably swam too fast to really make it good(around a 33 minute 1600- and the Garmin only picked up 1575 meters, because I didn’t start it on one of the lengths 😦 lol ).

I took about a 30 second to one minute breather each length, to recover. I still have a hard time not kicking too much and my swim technique combined with poor form makes one length of the pool a grinder of trying to breath and keep my heart from not exploding in my chest!

All in all though, it was a great workout! You can see it here.

this workout felt great afterward and I feel it was a bit of an accomplishment. I am not where I need to be for the Swim portion of my upcoming Olympic Distance Triathlon. But I am one step closer 🙂


 

Saturday!

Saturday Pic
At the Beginning

 

Saturday was next on my destination of pain weekend. I had already decided Saturday was going to be a long Ride. So I tentatively mapped out a 60 Mile course. I wanted this to be my longest ride to date- but only by a few miles.

I took Pics often
I took Pics often

So it was basically a 30 Mile out and back Course. Pretty easy. The weather was supposed to be nice so, I got up early, had some coffee and oats, rested a bit, got my gear on and got on the road!

The day was a bit chillier than I really liked. I didn’t wear my thermal leggings, although I did wear some knee warmers and Calf Compression Sleeves. I also left my full finger gloves and shoe covers at home- like an idiot. I was a bit cold, but nothing too uncomfortable and once I got warmed up, I was good to go.

The miles just kind of flew by. I set an alarm to keep me in HR Zone 3- to conserve energy for this long haul. My HR avg was 145, and it only peaked over 150 a few times- usually when climbing a local mountain(bridge) or if I would try to “safely”make a light.

As you can see
As you can see

I say safely, because if there is traffic at an intersection I won’t even think about “making a light”, but if it is clear and I have good line of sight of all directions, I’ll push it :). I did try to maintain a nice high cadence, and came away with an 85 RPM Avg. Which I thought was pretty good, as I prioritized HR over Cadence for this ride. I found even when pushing a light gear, my HR would want to climb when I got around the 95-100 Mark. I figure this is still me getting used to moving my legs this fast on the bike.

And Usually at signs!!
And Usually at signs!!

As I continued, I felt better and better, especially with this low speed and easy to maintain cadence. I took a break at the 20 Mile Mark. I felt great!. I had filled two water bottles, one with water, the other with Heed. I also brought along a zip lock baggie with Perpetuem in it, for later in the ride.  After that break, I closed in quickly on the 30 Mile Mark of the ride. Then passed it. I decided I would do a bit more. And then a bit more. And then a bit more. Before I realized it, I was at 51 Miles!!

 

 

Now the way I mapped the course out, there were several “shortcuts” built into the ride, so if I needed to, I could be home in fewer miles if I needed to.

Whew Made it to Lunch!! I'm still alive!!
Whew Made it to Lunch!! I’m still alive!!

I decided it was about time for some lunch, so found my self a Starbucks. Had a good bite to eat and a latte, as well as finished off my water and Heed bottles. I had also been hitting my normal 10 minute rotation of some sort of nutrition every 10 minutes for this first 50 miles. I brought along enough calories to go twice as long(time wise) than I had estimated my ride would be, so I had plenty. I chilled and rested for about 30-40 minutes. Got in some good stretches, got my water bottles filled, mixed in my Perpetuem, re-organized my nutrition in my jersey pockets- for easy reach, and got back on the road!

As I headed back, I had the option to Take a few Short cuts. At first, I thought I would take one of these, as I was going into a pretty stiff headwind. Although my

This was the city I actually turned around in- at like the 40- something-eth Mile
This was the city I actually turned around in- at like the 40- something-eth Mile

speed suffered greatly, I spent most of the day comfortably in the drops. I kept my HR low and my cadence high and it went along pretty smoothly. I really wasn’t feeling exhausted at any point. I did feel the beginning’s of leg muscle fatigue at around the 70 mile mark. My Longest Ride Ever!! This was my last “big” cut off. I stopped for a few minutes for a breather and a quick Self Evaluation.

How do I feel?: Well, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m not tight and I’m not feeling a loss of energy.

How is my nutrition?: I have about 600 Calories worth of chewable nutrition left, and about half of a bottle of perpetuem(which was mixed about half a scoop too rich- just in case hehe).

Well, what do you think?: Heck, lets go for it!!.

I plotted out the course going back on the exact same route as I had began that morning, this would give me about 10 miles to my next “cut off”. I’d see how I felt then.

So I rolled on, The next 10 miles were fast, with a super low HR and a cadence I was proud of, I flew right through the 10 miles. At this point, I knew it was in reach. I hadn’t given the notion or a fully formed thought of it all day, it was just a slight tickle or whisper in the back of my mind. But now, almost at mile 80, I felt it.

I can do a Century today! I can do it. I can complete this on my own!!

Yep, gotta take a minute to honor our Veterans!
Yep, gotta take a minute to honor our Veterans!

So I continued on my path. At this point I just added one of my normal weekly rides to the course(it was the same road I was on, so it was easy). This course is usually around 25 miles, with  about 1.2-2 of it being from my apartment to where I intersected it with my current course. By combining the cunning use of trig- calculus- and geometry that would make many mathematicians and physicists proud- I subtracted 2 miles from 25 miles and got 23 miles. Then added 23 miles to 79.5 miles- and got about 103 miles!! I know I know, you’re impressed with ma maph skeelz.

At this point it was later in the day and the road were busier. I popped an extra gel, to make sure I kept my sugar with some blood in it(yeah, at this point I was seriously not the sharpest tool in the shed). I wanted to stay alert enough of vehicles on the road, as I was also in a busier section of town. I honestly should have called it quits. But I was not sane enough to make that call lol.

This portion of the course was an out and back loop of about 7 miles total and then another 12 mile loop(6 out and back) with a return loop of around 3-4 miles.

I made this first loop and felt a lot more fatigue than I had thought I would. The last half of this little loop was deep on into the wind again and I struggled to maintain good form and breathing. I got to the 12 mile loop, and decided to take it head on!(remember where I said I wasn’t all there? Yep, here is proof lol). So I slowed down a lot, kept a high cadence, just pushing a super easy gear( I later found I was still doing around 15 MPH- which I was ecstatic about- to explain further. I didn’t want to be emotionally affected with a slow speed. So, to make sure that speed was not a factor at all in this Day’s ride, I removed it from my main screen on the 910xt- So I pretty much never knew my speed all day hehe). About 1-2 miles in, I started to feel great again. Still taking nutrition and water when my 10 minute beeper would go off, and really just enjoying the ride!

I took another break at the turn around for this loop- less than 10 Miles to go!! I hit the head, drank some extra water and partially filled it back up(I was at a gas station- I actually passed this gas station 3 times, including rest stops, for this ride haha). Took a 10 minute breather and got back to it!

Going in the opposite direction, the wind was coming at my back from an angle. I would have the wind to my advantage for all but the last 2 miles of the route. So I sat up, put my hands on the horizontal bars( I call them the tops, I don’t know if they have a “real” name lol) and used my back as a wind sail. I maintained the same rhythm and patterns as the rest of the day, and I felt like I was flying!!  I was only hitting about 16-18 MPH(via later inspection of the route data) but man I felt great! I felt so good, that when I turned back into the wind, I kept up the pace, and pushed that last little bit out!

I crossed the 100 Mile Mark! Threw up a fist in victory and kept chugging along! I am sure a few people saw some crazy dude on a bike, in a Marine Corps Cycling Jersey, looking like a crazed maniac rolling down the side of the street! But I didn’t care! I just completed a Century!! But now to get home!

I stayed in the drops and finished out the ride strong and feeling great!!

I got home and stretched and ate for about an hour or two haha. Took a good bath and called it a day!!

You can see the route data Here.

This was a really big confidence booster to me. As I did not think I could do my first century, and live, quite yet. I also did not think my first century would be a self supported one!

There is a Houston to Galveston Century near the end of this month, and I am thinking of doing it now. This would be my last big ride(and is scheduled to be my last big ride weekend anyway) before I do Kemah on April 12th and then the MS150 on April 18-19th. The first day of the MS150 will be a century as well.

I am feeling more and more confident of my cycling, every day.


 

Sunday!

Next up was Sunday! Now my legs didn’t feel like jello, but they didn’t feel up to much abuse either. I rolled them and stretched them and babied them most of the morning.

In the early afternoon, I decided I wanted to get a short swim in. So I decided on an 800 Meter swim. It was slow. Most of it was the same as Friday night, just breathe. Learn to breathe. Be comfortable breathing. And try to keep my heart from jumping out of my chest!!

This was a lot more rough, as my legs were sore and didn’t want to kick. Although, this ended up being a good thing! Since my legs didn’t want to kick, I wasn’t kicking!! So I wasn’t over or under balancing my body. My strokes were a lot more even. And my breathing almost even felt semi-comfortable…. Almost.

In the future I am going to continue minimizing my kick. This seems to save a lot of energy and allow for a more extended period of swimming! This is just what I need to make sure I can really perform well at Kemah next month!

This swim was a big eye opener and I am really going to keep up using that same technique. It was a bit slower- like 2 minutes for a combined 1600 meters slower, but the amount of energy used felt like a lot less. I don’t know if it was just me not trying to overcome bad technique as much or what, but I seemed to glide a lot more through the water. Making is so much easier to feel more “fluid” in the water as well.

You can see that swim’s data Here.

I got some more stretching and rolling in later that night to really help me relax.

Had some good food to keep things clean and wrapped up the weekend. We will see how things go! I am supposed to do a 10 Mile run tonight- Monday night, and if the weather doesn’t hold out, that may have to be on a treadmill. Which will not be fun.

All in all, this was a great weekend. Lots of activity. Lots of physical and mental testing. I came through it all. And was insane enough to enjoy it!

My over all confidence for April has skyrocketed!

I have a big Trail Run coming up on this next Sunday. It is a supported “free” run put on by Trail Running Over Texas(TROT). It is going to be a blast and can’t wait! The course is to be a loop of about 4-5 miles. You just do as many loops as you can between 6 AM and 1 PM(last loop cut-off is at noon). I am really hoping I can complete this at around a 50K(my first at this distance). Since I won’t really have a lot of training time the rest of the month- as I need to taper everything for next month’s madness. This weekend and next weekend, are to be my big tests and self evaluations!

After this, I’ll mostly just be doing maintenance miles, and easy workouts. I’ll do one “moderate to heavy” workout per week, but that would be like a 6-7 opposed to my current 8-9 lol. With lots of rest before and after it.

This next little bit(including this past weekend) is Testing my over all conditioning, gear, nutrition, freak of nature will power, and trying to stay somewhat sane throughout the whole thing!! April is to be my “Devil’s Three-way” and I plan on making it a memorable one!!

Thanks for reading everyone! Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions- and sorry for the book of a post!!

 

 

 

Rest Days are Tough!


So one of the big parts of training- bigger than any other actually- is Resting. Mostly cause it just takes so damn long to recover after destroying a workout.

And it is so damn hard to do this part of Training!

After this weekend’s suffer fest of fun, my legs felt like jelly most of Monday. Tuesday, I was feeling a lot better. The Legs still felt the weekend, but they were feeling much more rejuvenated. A bit of stretching and rolling and I was feeling pretty limber.

Today, my legs felt great! I had planned on getting out and putting on some miles, but Mrs. NGC and I went out and found ourselves some good trail running shoes 🙂 .  This took too long and we didn’t have the time to get in and get some miles on the legs for the night. But now we can attack the trails without too much worry of bruised feet hehe.

Now that the evening is coming to a close(and I am way to full from dinner to think much about running haha) I am realizing how “tired” my legs were. Not that they were sore, or that they were tight, they were just… Tired? Like they didn’t want to move much, if at all lol.

So now that I am thinking a bit more about it. I have “built in” rest days for training. And I have never been one to push past what I know/feel my current limits are, I’m not so full of machismo I can’t admit I need some time off. But I also don’t really “look forward” to them either.

Between fear of overuse  and wanting to make sure I can keep increasing my training on schedule, I don’t want to lose sight of the goal(making it through April without injury) in trying to make every single work-out the hardest it can be.

With this being laid out, like that, I make my hard workouts-Hard. Like really really hard. Like Arnold is crying hard. My easy days are laughable. Granny rolls by on her 12v scoot-a-round and makes a rude joke about needing to get my training wheels. My medium days or just the this side of the “uncomfortable”.

I don’t want to reach my goals. That isn’t the plan. Or the point. Or the way I do pretty much, anything.

A fighter throws a punch- not at his/her enemy, but through them. They aim past their goal(the contact of the strike). This is my approach to a goal. I look at it, understand it, and know that once contact is made, I must go past it.

In this way, I am aiming past the small stepping stones to what lies beyond them. Will they be easy- Hell No(and if it were they wouldn’t be worth it). But I know that my aim cannot end at the “event” I am training for. There must be something more, something greater, harder, something that means a great deal to me. Only by looking at the mountain can I reach inside and muster the strength to beat the hill.

There will be many hills in my future. But I can see the Mountain and it can see  me. It knows I’ll get there. I’ll have to work hard. I’ll have to work long. It will hurt. I will be exhausted. And I will rest when needed. Push when it is called for.

Now this doesn’t mean that I will always set myself up for something that tests me to within an inch of my life(at least not all the time). However, that does mean that I need to always have something to aim for and that it must be something that “means” something to me. Whether it is emotionally based, physically based, or whatever. The point is to make goals and move along. Rejoice in the moment and cherish it. But we cannot live the moments of yesterday forever. We have to make some new ones.

I always remember to smile after a challenge of any sort, and know that my Will cannot be beaten.

And to look up and let the Mountain know that there is still a challenger. 😉

In conclusion, this line of thought gets me through rest days. Thoughts of how hard the next workout will be. Of how hard the challenges to come will be. My personal and professional goals.

I guess on some level I feel like I use the tough days to “justify” the rest days. And, in turn, use the rest days to justify the tough ones haha.

 

This Weekend- Oh What a Time!


This weekend was a Heavy Training weekend.

Saturday morning it started off with the Wife and I taking a run!

The Beauty!
The Beauty!

 

 

 

We ran a warm up mile. Then ran 3 x 1 Mile Repeats. This was a big day for me, as all three of my “repeats” were under 8          minute miles(7:52, 7:42,7:51-respectively). This had me stoked as I have not been able to do that for a long long time(before      my 3 year fitness sabbatical lol). Guess this shows that something is working right haha.

 

 

 

 

My year long goal is to have a 1:40 Half Marathon Pace. With results like this I can feel that day coming… eventually 🙂

I'm always this ugly. Don't be alarmed!
I’m always this ugly. Don’t be alarmed!

Mrs. NGC also did Great! She had taken a few weeks off, however, you wouldn’t have noticed it as she was flying on her runs!

 

 

 

After this, I went for a 20 Mile Bike Ride.

Half-Way through
Half-Way through

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second half was a rough ride for me, I started to die down on energy, although I was eating and drinking per my usual 10/10 schedule.

 

 

By the time I was done, I was literally done. I did not bonk(which I am proud of), but I did not feel a lot left in the tank for the day.

Yeah, I am as tired as I look!
Yeah, I am as tired as I look!

That night, I splurged and ate an Italian Sub-Sandwich from a local pizza place(toasted). It was great, filled me up and, almost immediately, I started feeling a lot better. This carried on into the evening as I continuously stretched and even “rolled” a few times to help my legs feel less like jello and more like powerhouses! By the end of the night, I was feeling recharged and human again.

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning was a group run with a Facebook Page called “Running Adventures Around the World”. This was a 12 Mile loop that was going to done twice by some, so they could hit 20 Miles for the day. I had only planned on doing one loop, as I had a Cycling Safety Class scheduled for the Afternoon.

Starbucks to start it Off!
Starbucks to start it Off!

This was to be a group run for fun, without any real race pacing or trying to kill each other trying to keep up.

Bridge found in Kemah!
Bridge found in Kemah!

As you can see we had a lot of fun!

We spent a lot of time finding great places to use as photo Ops!

A Sign as Proof
A Sign as Proof

 

 

 

We took our time and enjoyed the run. We all carried nutrition, I brought along my Hydration-Pack, so I was able to offer extra water to those with smaller water bottles.

We took breaks often too!

Even for a Rocky Sock Situation!
Even for a Rocky Sock Situation!

 

As we continued our journey we found a couple of Signs we were able to photo Bomb.

 

I was behind the camera!
I was behind the camera!

We had a Great time! With such an awesome group of runners. At Mile 10 we had a nice stretch!

A picture taken while taking a picture ;)
A picture taken while taking a picture 😉

 

All in all, this was a good experience.

 

We ended up enjoying ourselves too much and by the time we got done, I was late for my class 😦 . there are others, so I will be able to make sure I get my class so I’ll be safe haha.

 

After this, I rested for about an hour and some change. Then went to another Group Run, with Team RWB.

Team RWB Pearland Group!
Team RWB Pearland Group!

I ran with a buddy who does Triathlons like they are too easy not to do. We used a 7 Minute run, 1 Minute walk rotation that worked out pretty darn good. I was definitely feeling it, but I was able to keep up the pace and stick with him(although I am pretty sure he tried to drop me a few times haha). This was a 4.25 mile run and I was feeling pretty good even at the end, although I was tired, I wasn’t totally baked!!

After this we all went to a local restaurant (our usual post run hand out joint for some refueling food). This is a staple of the weekly diet, where I always have a Giro Platter and it is so delicious!

All in all, this was a tiring weekend. I am glad I was able to make it through. This is definitely a a good sign that everything is going well. I am excited about the next few months and can’t wait till all the “race days” coming up.

All though this was a “training” weekend, it was a lot of fun. Being able to enjoy amazing workouts with some really great people is always a good time(even if I want to cry after the workout!).

As always. Thank you for stopping by and hopefully having a good time. Let me know what you think and give me some of those great tips and tricks if you see something doesn’t quite “look right”.

Laters!!

 

Paying for Weight- “Weighing in on the Discussion”


So I have now been part of, privy to, or read about the famous “buy the lightest gear in existence” conversations.

Now to explain this I’ll tell you what I have heard from both sides. Then I’ll give you my “very well informed” 3 months of cycling experience and the “deep understanding” of the way the Universe works :).

I have read, almost everywhere, that there are many different factors that go into the “increased efficiency” category for riding. The largest or most popular method, that I have read about, to this is to buy lighter gear.

Now, I am a beginning cyclist and won’t even attempt to really “make claims”, but I am a very active person and have been very active for a majority of my life. Completing hikes of over 100 miles, running as a passion, kayaking, and many other hobbies. So with this experience, I would say Yes to “part” of that “Buy Lighter Gear to be a more efficient and faster Cyclist”. The “Lighter” Part, to be specific.

In each of the disciplines above, the ones I have more experience in of course hehe, the lighter the better. The less you have to trudge along with, the easier it is to trudge along.

Now I think a great many people truly and deeply understand this fact- the lighter something is, the easier it is to move- or to make move. What I think(my opinion here) is that people, as usual like to take the shortest route to a goal. With this “easy route” mode stuck in their minds, they lose all control or understanding of anything except the words “Weight” and “Lighter” when thinking of cycling and immediately look at a store shelf, instead of a mirror.  This pursuit of “lighter” isn’t a bad thing, in fact in many cases it can be the best solution. However, I do think that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

With this said, it’s time for the big statement that, I am sure, will make many people downright pissed off.

You need to shave weight off of your big ass before you need to worry about the weight on the bike :).

People will spend 1000$ to save 1 pound of weight for a bicycle component, but they have a Double Bacon Wrapped Deep Fried Three Patty Deep Burger for dinner(on a regular basis).

I don’t even understand how that makes sense inside someone’s head- excepting the above “take the easiest route possible” mentality.

Now I get wanting to have high speed low drag gear, who doesn’t. But if you are reducing the weight of your bike, thinking it will get you “real” gains in your cycling efficiency, I truly think you are going to be a bit disappointed, although you will see a small improvement.

I will continue this from my POV- so I don’t anger anyone lol.

I want to look at the whole picture. From this I mean that (from a weight) point of view, the Bike is not the only thing that has weight! My big Ass just so happens to be on top of this 20 lb steed(least that is what the Felt Website says it weighs lol).

So after about 2-300 miles I began to wonder what would make me a more efficient Cyclist(and that is how this post was conceived lol).

So I sat down and wondered- Being Lighter(that “whole picture” thing above again) would make it easier to move. Being lighter would mean that there is less mass to move, less drag from wind, less downward force to overcome the friction of sitting on it. So if I make the bike lighter that would make it go easier- But how much weight can I really shave off of a 20 lb bike? A few of you may be thinking “A Lot!”. So what is “A Lot” of 20 lbs? 5lbs= 25% decrease! Percentage wise that is huge! I would soar like and eagle and strike like lightening, I’d be so fast!! Umm, I’m not seeing that happen in the real world.

But what if I lost that same 5 lbs? I mean, what if I made ME 5 lbs lighter? Wouldn’t that be just as good? And no lying to yourselves here, who among us couldn’t lose a few extra pounds here and there? What if I decided to lose 20 Lbs? Now, I can currently lose about 25-30 Lbs without going below 12% body(yeah I’m a fatty at the moment and this is one of my goals hehe). And that is just me and everyone is different, but most people could lose a few and not miss them too much.

I’m not going to go into nutrition, or eating habits, or any of that crap right now. But I will say, those who want to lose weight do. Those who don’t, don’t. There is no secret to losing weight. There is hidden myth behind weight loss. If you expend energy and eat in a healthy and balanced style, you will lose weight. If you are never active, eat anything at all at anytime, and never make an attempt to change that- Do you really think you’ll lose weight? Ok, that is all on that- I’m not gonna try and tell you “how” to lose weight. But I am trying to “shed” light (see what I did there?)on the fact that, to weigh less, you actually have to decide you want to change and then figure out how that change works or will work for you. (insert promotional “I’m an Awesome Inspirational Speaker” plug here)

With this in mind- although I can’t lose 20% of my weight nearly as quickly as I can go to my LBS and get some high speed low drag gear that weighs almost nothing, if I did lose that weight, wouldn’t I be stronger for ME instead of doing it “only” to the bike and not worrying about my own weight on top of it? Wouldn’t I be able to cycle even more efficiently if I didn’t have the extra weight dragging not just the bike, but my body down? So instead of worrying about the bike’s efficiency, I just increased mine! Not to mention the increase in my own bodies efficiency for all of the other activities I like and a decrease in the physical stress associated with those activities.

Before you hate, I am not proposing that getting components that are “higher” end is not a good idea. I’m just saying that I think it is purposeless to have the most expensive gear you can mortgage your home for, and still have an extra stone on your gut! I think I should explain. By “higher end” I mean not only lighter gear, but gear that is designed to do it’s function more efficiently. This is sometimes forgotten, because at the same time the manufacturer makes it a better mechanical component, they also make it a “lighter” component. So people see this gear and think only one thing- lighter is the only thing that equals better. 

On this line of thought- I also believe that there are diminishing returns. Both in the weight of the bike and person. A slightly heavier person, with a bit more leg strength(dense leg muscles) may be able to outperform a person that does not have that extra muscle in their legs. But, get too much muscle and you’ve now made your “too much heavier” for that muscle to really give you an upper hand.

So I am saying that there is a point where a specific person’s weight should stabilize for their personal optimum performance. At this point, they could race themselves with two different bikes, set up with entirely opposite end of the spectrum components, and that would be a real test!

I, myself, plan on eventually upgrading things on my bike- drive train and wheels are on that list. And who knows where I will want to try and take myself in the future with cycling. But I will do my best to never attempt to “upgrade” something on the bike without making sure I can use the bike to it’s fullest as it sits(and I have a long way to to with my stock Z7 lol).

I know this is tired subject and there are many schools of thought on it. This is just my take, opinion, 1.4 cents worth, whatever lol.

I hope we all reach our goals and make new ones that are even harder 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

Saddle Adjustments and Comfortable Riding


Well,

After getting some great information from fellow Bloggers!!(keyword: FitRecovery), I took that advice and used it. Man, what a difference.

It took  me a few tries, as I ran into issues I have heard of others having, where the Saddle has “detents” for the angle/pitch adjustment.

This took some time, as I had to remove the Saddle Bag. the adjustment bolt was TQ’d to 22KN(kilo-newtons). After getting off and on the bike what seemed like one thousand times, I finally got my sit bones to where they felt solid on the seat- without feeling like I was going to slide forward or was putting pressure “elsewhere”. Using a 3 foot level I have, I was able to verify the the Seat(and the floor haha) was Level. I had marked where the forward and rear portions of the seat clamp rested- so I was able to get that set back the way it was.

I snugged the Seat Bolt back up using the German Torque- “GhuudunTiiit”. Even got a nice positive click out of my elbow. I’ll get it Torqued to the recommended specs the next time I hit up the Cycling Shop. For now, I feel it is snug and not going anywhere, and I don’t think I tightened it too much.

After I was able to get it straight and level I then got in a 2 hour Training Ride on the Trainer.

This was an enjoyable ride, right up until Pete called for some play action(grr).

I was able to maintain a very steady average HR of 151 for the duration of the ride, but my cadence was a bit slower than I wanted- as it averaged 84 RPM.

The first 15 minutes were just a warm-up and I kept my HR relatively low at 140. With a very easy Gear and higher Cadence. After this I picked up the Gear and kept the Cadence fairly high(86 ish) with good breathing control. I kept this up for about another 40 minutes.

I seemed to hit a “sweet-spot” at around the 1 hour mark and picked up the Cadence with no real change in HR and continued to breath smoothly. At this point my cadence peaked at around 95 for a good 10-15 minutes. HR was strong and steady in the 148-152 range, and my breathing, while labored, was not an obstacle.

After this, I seemed to die down and bit. I let the Cadence drop as the HR tried to climb, until I eventually had to gear down to keep a higher than 80 Cadence.

Another 30 minutes or so saw almost no change in exertion(perceived) and HR and Cadence were both very solid.

The last 10 minutes I was able to pick the higher gear back up and still maintain a goal setting 95 Cadence, with HR never getting above 154.

All in all, I felt this was a very good Training Ride.  I can feel that as I continue to put on the miles, I can stay “stronger longer”(giggle worthy), keep my breathing a bit more steady, and keep my HR very close to exactly where I want it.

I am looking forward to the next Training Ride, but my next physical activity will be a 5-6 mile Run tomorrow evening. I’ll post on that later.

For now, thanks for reading and leave an comments or questions!!

Training- from my perspective


OK, so. Hot topic of the day…. TRAINING!!

I have done the same inter-web searches as everyone else. So here is my run down for my “I’m gonna train” plan.

I do not have a Power Meter- and, for now, one isn’t on the horizon.

I do have a

WAHOO RFLKT Bike PC

Cadence Sensor(on the left side if that matters) also from WAHOO

Phone(connects to the PC)- the app does the usual GPS tracking and such

Heart Rate Monitor(connects to Phone)

Two water Bottles- a larger volume, insulated, and a smaller, non-insulated one

The “will” to learn, both from other sources- online, advice given, and from my own experiences.

With that said. I have been reading up on using the Heart Rate Monitor to Ride to “Zones” or “HR Levels”. From what I understand so far, this is to workout different types of fuel consumption-like fat at lower HR Zones and carbohydrates at higher HR’s. This will help to increase my ability to ride longer and train my body to use fuel efficiently.  I have also been adjusting my gearing to accommodate an average Cadence of around 80-95.

My experience with this has been a bit mixed. By that, I mean that I have ridden four different rides to specific Heart Rates. Two were at higher Heart Rates, and I was able to maintain a steady exertion, keeping my cadence where I wanted it. The two lower HR Rides where a different story. I couldn’t keep my HR steady at the level I wanted it without adjusting my Cadence- idk if it might just be an aerobic issue at keeping that kind of speed on my legs. I also feel more tired after the Lower HR Rides(even for the same or similar duration). This may be because I am just not used to training like that at all.

I plan on continuing this for at least a few more rides. I want to get used to it a bit more and make sure that what i have been feeling so far isn’t just inexperience. I have also obtained a trainer from a friend! This will be thrown into the mix for training and saddle time. I have not yet, but will be researching training videos to watch while on it. And or programs to use for metrics to aim for during training rides on it.

My next training ride is later today- at a lower HR. I guess I should define that. By “Lower”, I’m talking sub-150 HR. “High”, so far, has been around 165+. I know this seems high, but even my Half Marathon running pace is an average of 171.

And here we go!