Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ramping It Up

Well, with this silly little ride that I am planning on doing in June being a mere 138 days away (as I type this) it is time to get some structure to my riding/training. While I enjoy riding and just "ride lots" normally, this is to hopefully make the most of the limited time I have on my bike. 

I must be scared because I have re-read the excellent "Base Training for Cyclists" by Thomas Chapple and am trying to set up an appropriate training plan. I have also dragged the wind trainer out for the times I can't leave the house for a ride!

To self coach from my own limited structured training experience is a little tricky. By that I mean sure, I can set out a plan, I can follow it but the real art is knowing what is working and what isn't. I don't have a lot of time to waste on going down the wrong path through not noticing that I am training inappropriately.

The obvious answer is to engage a real live, personal coach. They have the experience to not only set an appropriate plan for you but to see if it is working as intended. If not they can make rapid changes that will benefit one's fitness. The down side to this coaching is that even a low-level plan is very expensive. 

Yes, I know I need to weigh up the total cost of this venture versus the few hundreds of dollars that a personal coach will cost. It is sort of like the analogy of a multi million dollar racing car team being brought to a standstill when a $2 part breaks. Yes, if you like, I am the $2 part and the coach is the multi million dollar team.....but I digress. I am looking at an online plan from the very reputable Training Peaks organisation in the US and that may prove to be a cost effective method to receive a level of personalised coaching. It is cost effective because they have coached tens of thousands of athletes and I am simply another 40 something that can use a 40 somethings plan for ultra endurance racing. I will keep you updated with regard to how I go here.

The main problem is that I don't have an open ended budget. This ride is requiring a new bike build, quite a bit of specific gear, flights, accommodation and food on the other side of the world and I am sure many other as yet unseen costs. I have to watch my pennies somewhere but I am burning time while I make up my mind.

Well, not totally burning time, more like burning calories over time. I have been on a solid regime of base building rides over the last few weeks. These have been solo efforts as well as group rides and I have to thank my riding buddies for accommodating my slower pace. 

Yep, I am keeping my effort level low and off the bike working on strengthening my core. My legs can't pump the pedals all day if they are held in place by a limp-noodle midsection. Can I just say though, I 'effing HATE core work! It hurts, it isn't glamorous in the least and there is no hiding the fact if you don't do it. I hate it!!

But the riding has been fun. We have had a LOT of rain this past week and it put paid to a bikepacking trip that was planned this weekend. So, a few of us went for a wet weather MTB ride along bike paths to breakfast, then return. 

88km(48mi) wasn't a bad effort for a day that was looking like a total write off. I managed to back it up with a 105km(65mi) road bike ride today. All riding was done at a gentle pace so took forever but both were with good company so it certainly was time well spent.

I am off to work tomorrow for the week but hope to get a few decent rides in while in Perth. I should have nutted out a fix to my coaching dilemma by then and have a solid idea of the way forward.

For now, cheers.

Borrowed without permission from the excellent blog of Val and Josh Kato. I hope they don't mind but happy to take it down if they do. ;)


  1. Ha! I thought I recognized that last shot. "Official" permission granted :))

    Keep that training going. We are approaching June quickly. See you in Banff!

    1. Thank you! I was working on the basis that it is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission!
      You have some great photos on your blog. May I ask what camera/software you guys use?
      Yes, June isn't too far off. See you there!

  2. Wow, kudos to you for all the training and effort to make a dream come true.

    I don't envy the core workouts at all.

    1. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.....and other some such crap I keep telling myself!

  3. Interesting.... what training program where you considering from Training Peaks.

    Good luck with the prep :)

    1. Hi Glenn. I have gone with the 40+ Masters XC base build with the 5-10 Day Bikepacking plan on top of that.
      The volume is way down on what I am doing now but it will pick back up.


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