Saturday, February 13, 2010

Getting back to basics.

As the Counting Crows sang in, "Recovering the Satellites" the album title song,

Gonna get back to basics, I guess I'll start it up again. I'm falling from the ceiling, you're falling from the sky, now and then.

So goes the early season training, starting up again. Back to building the base. I'm going with what I have found to work for myself. What's that? Nothing crazy, no complicated training schedule. I'm doing what I've read about for many years now, in various bicycling, triathlon and running magazines. I'm doing what I've done the past few years now early in year-base miles first. How long? Well, there is not set "time frame" that I absolutely follow, I go by how I feel. Probably 3-4 weeks, at least, for base.

Then, I start mixing in some intervals and out of saddle "hill drills", as I call them. Starting with some lighter time drills, like this: easy warm up 10-15 minutes, get HR up. Start with 1-2 minutes out of saddle, recover with an easy spin 1-2 minutes. Increase the time out of saddle, 4-5 minutes, easy spin recovery for 2-3 minutes. Repeat 5-6 times early on. Cool down 5-10 minutes to finish.

Once I've done these drills 7 or 8 times, I can handle an increase to 10-12 minutes out of saddle, pushing a really steep gear. I was up to 15-16 minutes out of saddle last spring. Once I do a 45 minute session like this, my legs are fried. But I found, doing these hard gear workouts really helped, in several ways. One, my leg strength increased rapidly, helping me on the hills. Two, my cardio performance improved dramatically. This allows me to "push" my HR zones in zone 4-5 area, bumping up my upper HR limits. This probably helps my lactate threshold (LT) too, but I've never been tested for this-I'm just guessing here. I feel like my level of fitness is probably better than last year at this time; I can attribute this to running more, late into 2009, and not letting myself take so much time off, as I did last winter. Now, eating habits...there is another topic to address, for another day. More about snacking and portion sizes for another day (not so much what I'm eating, just some habits are hard to break)!

So, the long(er) distance, slower base miles now. Next month, intervals mixed in, along with a faster pace for runs and bike rides. Some pool time mixed in, too. I've got to get going on my swim-just to find the time to get to the pool, grin and bear it until I can work up to 1.2 miles, before mid July. This should not be a problem-I just need to make the time to get in the pool!

My view yesterday and today, a little change of scenery for the trainer!

Watched Stage 16 (7.21.09) of the TdFrance, Martigny to Bourg St Maurice, which included two big climbs, the hors catagorie col du Grand St Bernard and cat 1 col du Petit St Bernard. Speeds on the descents reached 77kph!

And all anybody really wants to know is...
when are you gonna come down?
Everybody really knows for sure...
That you're gonna come down

Soon to be posted:
1) Purchases I made late at night for the TT bike! Details will include revamping my position on the TT bike, new parts install, with pics...
2) Mardi Gras Pub crawl, Racine WI style...


  1. nice. can't wait for the pub crawl pics.

  2. Yeah. I've got to get one of my friends in Illinois to send me the pics, all were taken with her camera!