Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Log: 28/09/2011

28/09/2011 - Road | Muntanyes

Mid-week muntanyes.
I couldn't believe the temperature outside as I got ready to depart in the wee-hours. So mild - but I've become hard wired over winter to just bring something warm in case, and as it was I just couldn't leave the house without a gilet on even though the radar was pinging 19c all around Melbourne..

Union Rd.

Much more fresh than last Wednesday - couple of quality climbs. My body weight is coming down and I'm starting to notice it on the bike - feels good. Still about 1-1.5Kg to go.. Slowly Slowly, 10 weeks to go.. 

Will be interesting going back to compact crankset after 6 weeks on a more standard setup up front with 12/25 behind...

Scoreboard - Cracticus tibicen: 0, Me: 0
Very windy/gusty - on the outbound leg I imagined magpies coming in for the "belly-flop on helmet" maneuver and being taken off course by a gust of wind and slamming my back or rear end. I wondered if they had the confidence to be out dive-bombing in treacherous conditions.. Seems not.. On the return leg I imagined magpies doing all they could to stay in the trees and keep ther nests and babies from blowing away - probably didn't even notice me..

Duration:      2:56:32
Work:          1795 kJ
TSS:           203 (intensity factor 0.832)
VI:            1.23
Pw:HR:          8.33%
Pa:HR:          -24.99%
Distance:      74.94 km
Temperature:     17    23    19.4     Celsius

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Log: 27/09/2011

Detraining (in brief):

There are a number of studies out there that have demonstrated the immediacy of detraining upon cessation of training. Detraining occurs as quickly as 3 days after training ends and within 1-3 weeks, performance can be expected to drop by 25-30%.

The mechanisms behind these fitness losses are equally interesting: In just one week of training, athletes can lose 50% of additional mitochondria produced during 5 weeks of training. Once lost, up to 4 weeks of additional training are needed to regain this mitochondria (Olbrecht, 2000). This 4:1 rule is pretty commonly touted among coaches and seems well supported by the literature.

Similarly, glycogen stores rapidly decrease upon cessation of training, with losses of 40-60% to be expected following 4 weeks of de-training (Wilmore and Costill, 1999). This has direct implications on the athlete’s work tolerance upon resuming training. Even following 1 week of de-training, the athlete will often not reach pre-break training volume until 1 month or more of training resumption. (These words are courtesy of Alan Couzens).

Progress (in brief):

In relation to the above, where used as a rough guide - I should take in the order of 8+ weeks (well, a minimum of 8 weeks) to regain lost fitness. I'm 6 weeks along that journey at present - and interestingly the average output in watts over threshold intervals for each given week has climbed by 2% week on week.

Note - week 1 there was no threshold work, week 2 serves as the baseline, so really it's a measured increase of 2% per week over the last 4 weeks. Average is based on ~two hours of accumulated threshold work within each week. To be more specific - only time during threshold specific intervals contribute - each of these contributing intervals is of a minimum 20min duration.

If the trend continues, then I will have regained the approximated 12-15% loss in another 2-3 weeks. I don't know if this will pan out - as experience has shown that as I get closer to previous performance ceilings, the gains get harder to yield.. Time will tell :)

Back to the Log:

Joe tweeted yesterday "In order to do really hard workouts you must first do really easy workouts. Balance is the key to training."

CTL has still been climbing fairly aggressively and am starting to feel it. Am just at the precipice of where CTL ramp will start to plateau given the average TSS/d sustained week on week. CTL currently 110 and will bring it up to 120 over the next four weeks. The ramp will tail off to +2 CTL per week soon so I hope to be generally a little more fresh and better able to smack down sessions as designed..

Saturday track racing resumes in 2 weeks - can't wait. Timing for the L5+ work (of which there will be plenty) is good, so it fits into the overall scheme of things. Downside is Blacky velo will now be regularly inhabited with ppl holding track dedicated training sessions - sprint or whatever, which means I'll no longer have free reign... Harsh. Really going to have to just get up early and avoid any clashes - which will beat the heat too, so is not all bad..

Club just reported that 130k has been allocated by the council to go toward track repairs, and that work will likely commence post summer.

Should have my Look 595 rebuilt this week. Have really settled into setup of Giant so will need to set up fit of Look to be as close to Giant as possible - at least to start with..

26/09/2011 - Trainer

Super easy 20min on trainer. TSB is way low after last week.

27/09/2011 - Road | Velo

2x20 scheduled for today. Got 5 min into 1st 20 and knew I was flailing around in a pit of fatigue. I generally start the 1st 20 at FTP to gauge where I'm at on the day and then adjust from there. Today I had bad feelings in the legs and decided to wind it back to 92%. Rode out the interval at 92% and then ditched the velo - headed for the road and tapped out the remainder of the session at AeT. Plan says Mid-Week Muntanyes tomorrow - sacrifice intensity today for better quality tomorrow..

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Log: 25/09/2011

24/09/2011 - Road

AeT for x2 hours. Keep the aerobic engine ticking over while allowing for some recovery. 2.5% decoupled, no complaints.

Duration:      2:02:47
Work:          1087 kJ
TSS:           114.7 (intensity factor 0.75)
VI:            1.22
Pw:HR:          2.49%
Pa:HR:          8.89%
Distance:      49.615 km

25/09/2011 - Road | Muntanyes

King Lake via Flat Rock Rd. Not many of the team out today as racing at Blackburn Cycling Club Damian McDonald Memorial Regional RR and Club Championships. Congrats to Brad James (@Elmanetes) for taking M123 Club Champ honours!

I stuck to my numbers on King Lake climb which was pleasing considering there were some matches burnt on the way there. Weather was glorious - albeit a little cold in the lowlands (4c no gloves - ouch!!).

Duration:      4:53:32
Work:          2646 kJ
TSS:           369.6 (intensity factor 0.916)
VI:            1.32
Pw:HR:          13.68%
Pa:HR:          7.02%
Distance:      115.773 km
Elevation Gain:        1541 m
Heart Rate:      67    172    136     bpm
Temperature:     4    28    11.5     Celsius

Gardiners Creek

25/09/2011 - Road

After a generous bowl of pasta and some couch time I was back on the bike with J11 Jackrabbit. We hit the bike trails along Gardiners creek and cruised for a few hours.

Duration:      3:18:53
Work:          536 kJ
TSS:           38.3 (intensity factor 0.355)
Distance:      38.339 km

1st 150km+ day in a while. Hoping I can now last the distance to stay awake for the men's road race - world championships. Go the green and gold!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Log: 22/09/2011

22/09/2011 - Trainer

AeT effort on trainer / active recovery.

Duration:      1:00:03
Work:          543 kJ
TSS:           44.7 (intensity factor 0.671)
Pw:HR:          4.88%
Pa:HR:          0.59%
Distance:      27.495 km

23/09/2011 - Road | Muntanyes

Fresh - definitely in comparison with Wednesday. 50min quality climbing at threshold over a couple of longer intervals (1x27min, 1x23min). I'm now enjoying that the second climb has some interruptions - lesser gradient, or at times negative gradient. Pushing through those sections breaks the rhythm - but I think in a good way.

Specificity - want to race in the mountains? Train in the mountains.
Enjoying the change in routine. Pre-Melb to Ballarat I was spending time putting in threshold work on the velodrome. Effective - yes, but sterile and repetitive.

Apparently someone trying to recover a level of fitness level they previously reached will have an easier time than someone who is in figuratively "uncharted waters".
The body apparently "remembers its former self" much easier than it "imagines a new self".

Am yet to reach "uncharted waters" - still on the comeback trail..

The Basin

Scoreboard - Cracticus tibicen: 2, Me: 0
x2 on the outbound leg. I took an alternate return route - just wasn't in the mood for more uninvited, hostile aerial visitations on this fine sunny morning.

Duration:      2:52:27
Work:          1750 kJ
TSS:           215 (intensity factor 0.866)
Pw:HR:          17.23%
Pa:HR:          -2.11%
Distance:      72.765 km

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On Suffering: 2

"For me, suffering has two meanings. Suffering can be negative. If you try to suffer for it's own sake, that's bad. That's unhealthy. There's something wrong in your head. But when you talk about suffering  that you must get through, and that you can survive through enormous effort, that is something else. That is positive, good and beautiful. Beautiful because you think of courage, of stamina, loyalty, the willingness to make sacrifices, modesty and love. From this perspective, the suffering during training, during sporting competitions, while doing one's job, which all require great effort, is the same as religious suffering. It is love. It is beautiful. I like that..."

Hell on wheels, 2005.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Log: 21/09/2011

21/09/2011 - Road | Muntanyes

Mid-week muntanyes. Same route as last week: Basin --> Olinda, descend Wall, Patch --> Sherbrooke Forest.

1st 20min of climbing at high intensity and then just tapped out the rest. Still feeling fatigued so committing to a very easy day tomorrow then back out climbing Friday. Neck feeling better today. Still stiff, but better..

Scoreboard - Cracticus tibicen: 4, Me: 0
One incident on the way out, birdy friend didn't actually hit me but cracked off a beak snap next to my ear as he raced passed within inches "Clack!!", me "WHA??..   Oh.. Yer.." Roll-eyes, pedal on.. grin..
Return leg was properly tackled 3 times. First bird was just one knock into the helmet and that was it.. Second I'm sure was my little mate from last week - this bird is seriously loco. "Crack", "squark-squark-squark-squark-squark" four, three, two, one.. "Crack", squark-squark-squark-squark-squark". Two heart starter moments, first because it's unexpected - the second because it came around again too quickly.

Sherbrooke Forest

Duration:      3:07:14
Work:          1734 kJ
TSS:           205.8 (intensity factor 0.813)
VI:            1.26
Pw:HR:          11.66%
Pa:HR:          -14.24%
Distance:      74.732 km

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Log: 20/09/2011

19/09/2011 - Trainer

Rest Day. 20min on the trainer- easy effort..
Pretty heavy legs from last week - had accrued 1019 TSS. Bit heavier than usual, but I trained on the Monday which is usually not the case..

20/09/2011 - Road | Velo

Still heavy legs in the morning. Once I got on the bike they felt great.

2x20min at Balcky Velo. 1st 20 - Just floated through it, too easy. Easiest since I can remember, no chain interval. Cool - starting to feel strong.
2nd 20 was an effort - back down to earth. Started to feel the fatigue in the legs that I expected during 1st interval.

Duration:      1:22:27
Work:          845 kJ
TSS:           109.9 (intensity factor 0.897)

Distance:      37.485 km

Muntanyes tomorrow. Weather - please hold out..

Monday, September 19, 2011


Picked up my frameset today. It's back from SUN graphics who were responsible for repairing paint/clearcoat issues with the bottom bracket (getting pretty bad), cosmetic damage from the recent crash, and general knocks and blemishes accrued over the last couple of years.

The paint workmanship is excellent, and the clearcoat application is floorless.Thanks again Steve. SUN provide a number of services, including: custom frame painting, custom helmet painting, frame repairs & decal reproduction, sign writing & vehicle signage.

Bike will be built up this week with a mixture of old and new components - the major difference being a move from Shimano to SRAM derailleurs, brakes and levers. Going to be like new when rebuilt - can't wait :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Log: 18/09/2011

Last night's sleep was interrupted. Neck kept going "twang". Every time I woke I'd go through a routine; check the time, "I can't go training in the morning with my neck like this", back to sleep, "twang", check the time, "I had better go training - Monday's a rest day - you've a day to heal.. just stay seated in the climbs - keep your upper body relaxed - you'll be OK..", back to sleep, "twang", check the time, "I can't go training in the morning with my neck like this"..

I did get up to go train, and outside it was a balmy 12c - fantastic. Rubbed on a fistful of Ibuprofen gel, drank cup of coffee, muesli bar, and x2 Ibuprofen orally..

1st Sunday team ride in about 6 weeks. Traditionally a hit-out in the hills, today we rolled to a different theme - Beach Run..

Profile is pretty flat with a couple of climbs in the middle - short and sharp stuff. Was disciplined enough to stay seated for the entirety of the majority of them - and where I did stand was very neck conscious - no leveraging off the bars. Being first time ride with team for some time was interesting to "see where I'm at" in comparison with peers, and while I wasn't exactly smashing off the front, my seated efforts were keeping me mid-front pack. Ok for now as only x1 week out of base period (6 weeks behind schedule) - if this is still the case in a few weeks I'll be getting a bit panicky - but I'll shelve the panic for the ifs and whens..

Some of the group went longer after the coffee stop and banked 160k for the day in prep for the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic. I opted to skip the extra K's today as already my TSS for the week is plenty much with a CTL of +8!

Special thanks to Duke and the LG for the surprise gift at coffee today.

Spent the afternoon in the front yard: Father/Son gardening session. It was the perfect day for it, and I'm really satisfied to have it done.

Duration:      4:30:14
Work:          2068 kJ
TSS:           284.4 (intensity factor 0.838)
Pw:HR:          -10.13%
Distance:      113.332 km

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Log: 17/09/2011

17/09/2011 - Road | Muntanyes

"Ezi-Saturday". Mission statement: 6:30 start, a few casual climbs in the Dandenong Ranges, coffee and return home. Beautiful morning - I was overdressed. Today was the classic Ezi-Sat route: 1in20, Perrins Creek Rd and then the Crescent.

Duration:      3:23:40
Work:          1551 kJ
TSS:           216.2 (intensity factor 0.868)
VI:            1.4
Pw:HR:          2.52%
Distance:      70.32 km

Track cancelled due to juniors racing at Casey Fields.

I have strained my neck (actually some days ago now) and man it's bad this afternoon. It felt good when I got out of bed - best it had in days..

I really need to train tomorrow. A beach ride is scheduled - which means little climbing. Neck should be Ok as long as I don't stand too much (at all). Pretty sure powering up 10% grades out of saddle this morning is the reason my neck has regressed so badly. Work hard Cam - but just stay seated matey...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Log: 16/09/2011

Spotted one of the owls that lives in my backyard this afternoon. I finally got around to doing some quick research on these beasties - turns out they are not owls after all, but are Tawny Frogmouths. More on these guys later - I don't want to seem too bird obsessed..

14/09/2011 - Trainer AM

50 minutes at bottom end of L3 with x2 minutes L4 every 10 minutes..

Duration:      1:00:52
Work:          604 kJ
TSS:           54.9 (intensity factor 0.739)
Distance:      30.051 km
Tunes:      JJJ FM

14/09/2011 - Trainer PM

30 minutes at bottom end of L3 with x2 minutes L4 every 10 minutes.. Was meant to complete 50 minutes again but things got hectic with work and I was stuck on the phone 'till 7:00pm - just plain ran out of time..

Duration:      40:18
Work:          390 kJ
TSS:           35.8 (intensity factor 0.734)
Distance:      19.286 km
Tunes:      RRR FM

Looking forward to sunny times this weekend :)

Early morning session tomorrow (Muntanyes), then helping out at the track in the afternoon with the juniors. Is a pre-season/opener skills session. Father/Son velodrome time in beautiful weather - fabulous..

Log: 15/09/2011

14/09/2011 - Road | Muntanyes

Build period is here, and with goals in mind, it's time to bring on the mid-week muntanyes. Morning started out sunny, and ended up in heavy rain for the last 15 or so minutes. Mountain Hwy magpie encounter, very few riders out.. Training goal met? Check!

Nice to see aerobic decoupling down below 5% (Ok - just..). Will keep my eye on this over the coming weeks. I will be ramping up the intensity of this session from next week, so week-week comparison may not be completely valid - but nevertheless, whatever the intensity I want to see that figure stablised at 5% - or ideally less than..

Duration:      2:55:09
Work:          1802 kJ
TSS:           212 (intensity factor 0.853)
Pw:HR:          4.97%
Distance:      74.517 km
Temperature:     10    16    12.4     Celsius

"Fast on the Flat. Fit in the Ferns.."
15/09/2011 - Trainer

Bit of a rest day following x2 days at intensity (plenty of L4 work).
50 minutes at bottom end of L3 with x2 minutes L4 every 10 minutes..

Duration:      1:00:10
Work:          609 kJ
TSS:           56.2 (intensity factor 0.751)
Distance:      29.04 km
Temperature:     17    18    17.4     Celsius

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Garmin Vector 500 - More details

Since the announcement of the Garmin Vector 500 there has been much interest in the first commercially available pedal based cycling power meter system. It's an exciting development in the power meter space, and all over the web I have seen many questions raised about the specifics of how the Vector will work (and other related questions) - but to date have seen few answers.

DC Rainmaker has had the opportunity to interview Garmin's Clark Foy (Metrigear founder) on the topic & has answered many of those common questions.

A summary of the major points as follows:

Crash Damage:
All moving parts for the pedal are covered under warranty from Garmin.
Garmin will take a parts and accessories approach to the individual components of the Vector system (for incidents not covered under warranty).  The following components will be offered as accessories:
A) Pedal Body (outside, the PR2 platform piece)
B) Pedal Cartridge (this is what the spindle lives in)
C) Cleats (both a 6-degree cleat and a fixed cleat)
D) Pedal Pod
A, B & C may be treated as a single component.

Pedal Pod Vulnerability:
Should you break the pedal pod (transmitter), the replacement part is available as an accessory per above. Expected to be approximately $50usd (seems they will be sold in pairs).

Data Transmission:
The two pedals work as a master/slave system.  The right pedal is master, and the left pedal the slave.  From a data transmission standpoint, the left pedal sends data to the right pedal using a non-ANT+ proprietary network protocol, which is then transmitted from the right pedal to the head unit using ANT+.
When transmitted from the right pedal to the head unit using ANT+, total power is transmitted alongside of % of power of the right pedal (which allows the head unit to do simple math for the left pedal).

In the event the left pedal is broken/removed/stolen/etc, the system will still transmit right pedal power.  However, if the unit loses the right pedal it will not transmit power. 

Calibration and Auto-zero:
Unlike most of the power meters today using foil strain gauges, these use silicon strain gauges mounted in glass on stainless steal.  With this change additional manual calibration doesn’t need to occur once it leaves the factory.

Auto zero of the unit will be possible – either manually or automatically.
Power (Trainingpeaks) Mertics:
The Edge 500, 800, FR310XT and the new Forerunner to be announced will all report the TrainingPeaks metrics of TSS (Training Stress Score), IF (Intensity Factor), and NP (Normalized Power).  These will be included within the same update reportedly scheduled for later this month.

Pedal Manufacturer Support:
Doesn't seem that other pedal manufacturers will be supported (Speedplay, etc). Garmin cite commercial factors as key driver..

DC Rainmaker's original article is very thorough, and really serves to fill those gaps in the detail around this product that seem to be absent from the public arena to date.
I recommend you take a look if you are seeking the detailed lowdown around the points mentioned herein. Full credit is due to the creator of the original article..

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Australian Magpie

Well, that time of year is again upon us - Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer, weather is fining up, and flowers are in full bloom. Magnificent! It's also the time of year that many magpies are busy tending to bright new wee-baby magpies. And such it is that around this time of year some magpie parents can become overly aggressive, and have a tendency to attack passers by.
Most of us have childhood memories of aggressive magpies (I myself have many) - and as a cyclist I can't recall a spring that's gone by where I haven't myself been attacked whilst riding a bicycle.

I was swooped a couple of times early this morning while out training - my first airborne assault for the year. This prompted me to reflect on all that it is that I know about magpies. Very little time had passed before I came to the conclusion that I really don't know much about magpies at all. I mean - I know that I admire magpies for their courage, I love their song, and I seemed to recall that they are intelligent - or are they? I did a little research to satisfy my curiosity - inspired by my new - black and white feathered friend..

Aggressive Behaviour:
A small percentage of birds become highly aggressive during breeding season from late August to early October, and will swoop and sometimes attack passersby. The percentage is said to be less than 9%. Almost all attacking birds (around 99%) are male, and they are generally known to attack pedestrians at around 50m from their nest, and cyclists at around 100m. Attacks begin as the eggs hatch, increase in frequency and severity as the chicks grow, and tail off as the chicks leave the nest.

Dr Darryl Jones from the Suburban Wildlife Research Group at Griffith University found through a survey that; of those birds that do attack humans, about half will attack only pedestrians, 10 per cent go exclusively for postal workers on bikes, eight per cent will attack bicyclists, and the remaining third will attack any of these.

Magpies may engage in an escalating series of behaviours to drive off intruders. Least threatening are alarm calls and distant swoops, where birds fly within several metres from behind and perch nearby. Next in intensity are close swoops, where a magpie will swoop in from behind or the side and audibly "snap" their beaks or even peck or bite at the face, neck, ears or eyes. More rarely, a bird may dive-bomb and strike the intruder's (usually a cyclist's) head with its chest. A magpie may rarely attack by landing on the ground in front of a person and lurching up and landing on the victim's chest and peck at the face and eyes.

In more recent years, the use of cable ties on helmets has become a more commonly adopted method of deterrence. Painted eyes at the back of the head (helmet) and/or rear facing sunglasses are reasonably common also.

The Herald Sun yesterday reported that Victoria's University of New England animal behaviourist Prof Gisela Kaplan says that helmets sprouting cable ties and eyes on the back of them, and even sunglasses, made cyclists look more menacing, encouraging magpies to defend their territory.
"They know humans, of course, but if someone wears all sorts of gear it looks like something from Mars, and that's what they respond to ... They don't mind the size of the predator. The more dangerous it seems, the more they have to act against it,"  Prof Kaplan said.
Her advice runs counter to Department of Sustainability and Environment guidelines suggesting cyclists wear helmets and draw eyes on the back to ward off nesting birds. Prof Kaplan said these "deterrents" could have the opposite effect.
"In fact, the magpie will alter the attack and try to attack around the neck or go for the face," she said.
Prof Kaplan said you were less likely to be swooped wearing no protection at all.

General Facts:
Well-known and easily recognisable, the Australian Magpie is unlikely to be confused with any other species.
The adult magpie is a fairly solid, sturdy bird ranging from 37 to 43 cm in length with a 65–85 cm wingspan, and weighing 220–350 g (8–12 oz). The plumage is pure glossy black and white; both sexes of all subspecies have black heads, wings and underparts with white shoulders. The tail has a black terminal band. The nape is white in the male and light greyish-white in the female.

One of Australia's most highly regarded songbirds, the Australian Magpie has a wide variety of calls, many of which are complex. Pitch may vary over up to four octaves, and the bird can mimic over 35 species of native and introduced bird species, as well as dogs and horses. Magpies have even been noted to mimic human speech when living in close proximity to humans. Its complex, musical, warbling call is one of the most familiar Australian bird sounds.

The magpie is generally sedentary and territorial throughout its range, living in groups occupying a territory, or in flocks or fringe groups. A group may occupy and defend the same territory for many years. Such energy is spent defending a territory from intruders, particularly other magpies, and different behaviours are seen with different opponents.

Don't hate the aggressive magpie, it doesn't hate you. Chances are that you and your bike are really freaking it out, and it's all just a big misunderstanding :) Oh, and maybe leave the cable ties to the cables - chances are that sticking out of your helmet they're exciting those overprotective parents even more??

Sources/credits:,,,, image source:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Log: 13/09/2011

2x20min - Blacky Velo.

1st interval really hurt today, 2nd was a breeze in comparison. It is generally the case that 1st is worst - but today I was really uncomfortable..

Windy, really windy. It's always windy at Blacky Velo but today I was hanging on to my bike at times. This is the only place that I ride where frequently there is a headwind for 360 degrees. Whole lap into a headwind - how does that work? Seriously - headwind 100% of the time. I have no major issue with it, but its a curiosity that always astonishes me..

Guy on a mountain bike lapping in the wrong direction when I arrived. He knew it, and turned around as soon as I looked at him. I knew what he was up to - 360 degree tailwind :)

Duration:      1:20:49
Work:          851 kJ
TSS:           105.6 (intensity factor 0.888)
VI:            1.21

Pw:HR:          5.36%
Distance:      36.363 km
Temperature: 18.8     Celsius

Tomorrow I plan to head for the mountains early AM. BOM says it might rain. I'm going regardless..

Monday, September 12, 2011

On Suffering: 1

"You go out riding your bike for seven hours, seven hours, seven hours. It's raining, it might snow - and then there's this one day of racing that you really did all these things for..
And this is why you realise, like - I invested so much time, and you know I put so much effort into it.
And now they really hurt me here - but it's only twenty more kilometers to go to the finish and I have to hang on now, I really have to do my best now.

I think suffering in cycling is basically the key to success."

Rolf Aldag - Chasing Legends.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mid-Season Base: Wrap-Up

Ok, so have spent the last 4 weeks loosely speaking - building some base back.
Post injury and illness I found that CTL had fallen significantly, so I designed a program of high volume, mostly lower intensity work designed to get CTL back up to ~100TSS/d while also tuning up the aerobic engine..

In reference to the PMC above:
A: Peak
B: Post injury and illness trough
C: End of mid season base (today)

CTL ramp was aggressive:
Wk1: +5
Wk2: +7
Wk3: +7
Wk4: +0

There was an element of risk associated with such a steep ramp; I hadn't planned on the back to back 7's but followed the training plan nevertheless as many days consisted of two separate sessions - allowing for recovery in-between.
Week4 was planned as a "rest" to acclimatise to CTL at 100TSS/d before moving forward. With the reduced volume this week I still felt tired toward the end of the week and did less than planned.
Progress from here will be at a rate of +3 to 4 CTL/week until reaching ~110-115. I have found from previous experience that once CTL reaches 100TSS/d I'm starting to feel strong and able to cope with longer, more intense and race-like training sessions.

FTP was down at least 11% from level realised at peak(A) (based on sustainable output over 2 back-back 20min intervals at beginning of week2). End of week4 this has climbed by 7%  which I'm happy with - but have 4% to claw back before any real inroads to progress can be made.. 

Build phase begins tomorrow.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


End of season (Road) goals are to:

1. Rebuild my fitness to a greater level than achieved for mid-season peak.
2. Shed weight - per competir en les muntanyes
4. Race the Tour of Bright 

I don't have a lot of time to achieve goal 1 - but even the most modest of gains would be great.

Goals 3&4 - Racing. Both are events that I have not competed in previously. I like events that are new. I put a different kind of pressure on myself. There is no measuring stick from previous, I don't need to raise the bar - I'm setting a baseline..


Disappointing not to have finished Melbourne to Ballarat.

Other mid-season goals obliterated:
Not able to race the Victorian Masters Road Champs the following weekend (major focus).

Missed last rounds (4 & 5) of the Blackburn Cycling Club/Kelly Coaching/Bikes DeVer Endurance Aggregate Series. I was holding an equal 3rd place overall and wanted to consolidate or better this position moving into round 4. Round 3 was very tight in the points race, which was for that round held over 80 laps. My major contender on the night (that was just pipping me in the sprints up to lap 70) faded badly in the last 6-7 laps, and I very nearly lapped him (extra 20 points). I couldn't quite catch this time but I placed 2nd overall (B grade) for the round. I was determined to come back for round 4 and get up for the win. The points race was to be an extra 20 laps (100) in round 4, and I felt I stood a good chance for the win this time with the extra distance to play with.. I haven't gone back to look at the overall since I have missed the last rounds, but safe to say I'm definitely out of the race so to speak.

So there was a week off the bike to heal from Ballarat incident. Week back on the bike limping around with cactus shoulder. Week off the bike with a virus. "Aaargh", form gone. Back to building some base..

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

101st Melbourne to Ballarat Classic 2011

Second time I have raced in this event. I wouldn't say it's 100% compatible with my preferences for a race course, and it's a handicap. But it is nevertheless tough - and that's a plus.

This year I lasted only 65km before being chopped from the right hand side by a rider cutting in from the closed lane. Was a big unit and it was literally a wall of backside that barged across my handlebars. I didn't get his race number..
I took down 3 or 4 riders behind me. I was comforted to have it confirmed from the other casualties that there was nothing I could do to prevent the accident. Lay down at 47kph - I slid for what seemed a long way, staring at the sky - waiting to stop.
It was a beautiful day and I still have that image of the blue sky and white clouds in my minds eye. I got straight up and noticed that I was in the non-closed lane, and that cars were stopped on the highway waiting for us to get up and out of the way. I immediately picked up my and another riders bike and headed for the shoulder. After only a minute or so my neck was already quite stiff and made the call to get it checked out in hospital. 

@Duke6amer, @ElManetes and Al came by the hospital on the way home to check on me - thanks guys. Next day my neck was Ok but my shoulder (AC joint) was very sore, and stayed that way for couple of weeks. Is still bugging me a little now - really taking a long time to heal, think I was lucky not to separate it.

Up until the 65km mark all was going according to plan - I was doing enough work for my group, but not shelling myself. I had survived all of the climbing, we had caught all but one of the other groups that were ahead - and the last riders up the road were in sight. I had just had a quick chat with young Camden Bush who has started riding with the CharterMason Cycling Team and that's about when my race ended in a blur..


A post to begin. Everything starts somewhere.. First some stuff from the past to give some perspective on the present..