Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The other side, weight loss, and the plan

Last weekend was a bit frigid. I knew that it would be, so I rode on Friday. Being a weekday I couldn't venture far, so I chose to do a really big loop around Longmont and break on through to some of the roads farther East of I-25. I'd been over there once and didn't love the roads - they just weren't that scenic and for some reason they were far more bumpy, muddy and washboard infested. The second time wasn't a charm.

Something about the dirt there doesn't make for the best riding. I'd planned on a five hour tour and these roads were a bit too bumpy and sluggish to keep up my usual pace. I cranked what I could but still got down to the wire on time (I had lights but the temps go down fast with the sun). Somewhere around 50 miles in my right knee started complaining a bit, so I decided to take the easy route home. By easy I mean paved. There wasn't much in the way of options for making this shorter, but at least I could do easier. About an hour after I stepped off the bike the knee really started talking back. This lasted the next two days, but abated thanks to vitamin I and the RICE gang. It was kind of a bummer, because otherwise I was feeling fine on this ride, and my legs felt like I could go farther.

So why did this happen on a bike I've ridden so many times? My theory is that it was a combination of a few different things. The bibs I wear are great, but a little restrictive. They're Gore Fusion with windstopper through much of the legs. I don't know what it is about them but they do seem to put an unhealthy pressure on this joint. I'd probably be better off in a size up for these bibs just to have a little more movement. For a couple hours at a mellow pace they're fine but I was out for 77 miles and really trying to push. Add to this the fact that I had the bike fully loaded to do this route without stopping and I think we have our recipe: not a lite bike + water and gear for 5 hours in winter + clothing that's restrictive on this joint + pushing to keep up a fast (for me) pace = a bit too much strain.

Dropping 7 Pounds
Ah well, live and learn. At least I got some great news yesterday - my frame should be finished by the end of this week or early next week. Woohoo! Awesome timing as this gives me the lighter ride for my next big training day (closer to 6 hours). I'm really not loving the long rides on Virgil. I keep joking that it feels like I'm dragging a boat anchor (BA-Virgil rather than BA-Baracus) and it's beating me up. The Vaya is a fine ride, but doesn't want to go fast. Every time I ride Virgil I feel it in my quads. I never really got that on the lighter CX bike, even on long rides. At 24 pounds I'll be dropping nearly seven pounds just off the bike when the new beauty arrives.  Same wheels, but everything else is considerably lighter.

The original BA

New Training Plan
I'm self-coached now and began a new training plan for DK200. It's rather different than what I was doing before. Esentially I'm following a 12 week plan that's aimed at doing a 200mile brevet from this book. I simply added another four weeks to the front of the plan following the template of progression. The training plan has little mid-week riding, but one long ride on the weekends. Based on a four week cycle each block looks something like this:
  1. Ride time base
  2. Middle distance (3:30-4:30)
  3. Ride time base + 1 hour
  4. Recovery week (2-3:00)
Weeks two and four are always the same length of ride time on the weekends, but the long ride time continues to bump up nearly an hour each ride. The midweek rides are all no more than 90 minutes (two at tempo and one or two active recovery) so there's plenty of recovery time between the long weekend rides and the very long rides are each two weeks apart. This is a much greater focus on pure endurance and works out perfectly for the timing of the long events I'm already doing. For example San Ysidro, AntiEpic and Voodoo Fire are all two weeks apart. Ironically though, to stay on this schedule of progression I'd have to shorten the AntiEpic and do some more riding after I finish the Voodoo Fire race. Perhaps I could do another lap ;). My only concern is that this schedule calls for a 12 hour training ride two weeks before the peak. I'll have to see just how fully I'm recovering between these training rides and races before making the call to ride this far. Two weeks is a good amount of time when it's all recovery, but I want to make sure I'm 100% when I roll up to the line in Emporia.  

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