Sunday, March 30, 2008

Crunch Time

It’s crunch time. Three months until the BC Bike Race . Time to ramp up the training. No more sissy base rides for me…its time to build.

This will be the first time I’ve ever followed a training program. I’ve always just biked a lot to increase fitness. But I’m pretty serious about this crazy race Kari and I signed up for considering the magnitude of the race...oh and the cash we dropped to do it is kinda motivating too.

Unfortunately this part of the training is beginning during a transition season. Some of you might be thinking I’m kidding myself. Transition season? Its still winter, sister. It will be another 3 weeks until we can even think about the crappy time of year where the lines between winter and spring are blurred. Admittedly, winter may be around for a while longer and a lot of you are still skiing but I am so over it. Winter, you are dead to me.

Anyhow what ever you want to call this weather, most of you will agree that it’s a tough time of year to train for cycling. Unfortunately, my training plan doesn’t care about the weather and this week it said I needed to get in a lot of hours on the bike. What’s a girl to do?

I chose to mix it up, riding outside & inside, cross-training and spin class. Here’s my week in review.

Monday: Rest.

Tuesday: Usual commute to work and yoga class at lunch. 1.5 hour evening spin with Mad-Dog Papa G at the RA Center; Mark’s music cursing in the background. This class is great; Gilles makes us work hard and since its heavily populated with Big Ringers, it’s always a good time. Tough core work at the end.

Wednesday: Sat my butt on the trainer and followed a spinerval DVD for 2 hours. I was so damn proud of myself for this (usually I’m lucky to make it an hour) until after when I saw that I was supposed to do 4 hours according to the crunch time training program Wtf!?! Who has 4 hours to train on a Wednesday??

Thursday: okay so today I really deviated from the program…I was supposed to do some kind of structured ride or something. Instead I rode to work with a little more vigor than usual and then went climbing that night. I’m assuming climbing is probably not useful during the build period. It is good for building strength and maybe short bursts of power but isn’t doing much for my aerobic fitness. But its fun and I couldn’t help myself. Will show restraint in the future.

Friday: So yeah…this day was supposed to be a rest day. I guess soccer isn’t really considered rest, is it? I played my last game of the season though so this will be a proper rest day for me from now on. I promise.

Saturday: Back on the program today. I need to spend 4 hours on the bike. How am I going to do this? I rode my bike to the RA center and sat on a spin bike for 45 min doing my own thing until the PowerFit spin class began. Sweated through an hour of standing climbs and power starts. After class I rode outside for two hours doing errands. It was a beautiful day. 4 hours complete! That wasn’t so bad.

Sunday: 3 hours on the bike is the agenda for today. This time I went to Good Life on Merivale for 3 spin classes in a row. To get an idea of what this was like, image spinning at a night club in Montreal (read: loud dance music) with a drill sergeant screaming orders at you. The class was in a huge room with ~40 bikes lead by an peppy instructor armed with a mic. It was like a spoof of a spinning class they’d do on SNL. I was suppressing a giggle for a while but once I got over it, the time passed fairly quickly and I sweated like Peter so I considered the whole affair a success.

So that was my week. Not bad, but I think there’s definitely room for improvement. Drop the soccer for another rest day and exchange the climbing for a ride. Keep the variety up. Follow the program.

Just a couple of more weeks until I can get outside for the long rides in the Gats! Then riding will be fun again.

This training rookie welcomes any advice or comments on how things could be improved.


the original big ring said...

What do you mean a couple more weeks until you can get outside?? What was wrong with today? Didn't you get the invite?! Beauty day - you missed a good one.

The Vegan Vagabond said...

oops I just edited it to say rides in the Gats which are way more fun than riding around Ottawa...I know I can ride outside now. I never stopped riding outside.

You said the ride today was going to be fast so I didn't think I'd keep up. I thought my legs might be tired from the previous days. Plus I only have my single speed, might have spun out trying to keep up...blah blah blah excuses, excuses.

Tobin said...

Doing good girl!
I'll be joinning you (ok?), share the plan as advance as you can and I'll try to make it happen here and there. :-) Let's get dirty!

Matt Spak said...

Not a bad start. You'll be kicking some ass in no time.

Peter M said...

Good work little sis! This weekend is looking good for some putting in some time. If you've only got the single-speed running I could be convinced to ride my fixie (a bike that has earned my respect and carried me beautifully through this nasty, nasty winter).

The Goat in a Turtle Shell said...

It comes down to the old Adage of Consistency. Best building block is just getting out there on the bike on a regular basis.

If your body is begging for it, take a rest day or just a easy spin. I got up this past Sunday with every intention to ride and my body flat out refused. So I agreed and stayed home. I didn't ride at all this past weekend and I'm sure I'll fare the better for it.

Also hit the roads on your mountain bike. Chris Eatough, 24 hour world champion a few times over, says he rides his mountain bike more often then not when riding the road. I've taken that to heart when I started looking at building a road bike again and just decided that money will go into building my geared mountain bike for mainly road use.

Keep it in the dirt and a smile on every ride.