Sunday, November 27, 2011

Log: 27/11/2011

Training Principles - 6:

Individualization, Periodization, Progressive Overload, Balance, Specificity, Reversiblility, Evaluation, Rest-Recuperation-Diet. 

"Just as fitness gains (adaptations) occur at a certain rate in response to training, so too does
the loss of fitness follow a predictable time course in response to inactivity or a reduced training load. 
This must be accounted for upon a return to training after injury or illness, during the transition to the off-season, and when tapering/peaking, which is defined as strategic manipulation of training variables to enhance or accentuate supercompensation and produce peak performance for selected events. " Howe 

26/11/2011 - Road | Muntanyes

    Duration:      4:52:17
    Work:          2449 kJ
    TSS:           321.9 (intensity factor 0.854)
    Norm Power:    226
    VI:            1.48
    Pw:HR:          4.56%
    Pa:HR:          10.42%
    Distance:      107.519 km
    Elevation Gain:        1534 m
    Elevation Loss:       1549 m
    Grade:         -0.0 %  (-14 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Altitude:        58    574    194     m
    Crank Torque:    0    117    16.8     N-m
    Temperature:     10    16    12.5     Celsius

No real rain to speak of after the deluge the previous evening. Very wet roads and high humidity/drizzle saw us hit the bottom of the KL climb pretty waterlogged from the hips down - but it wasn't really cold, so no real fuss. Just the one KL ascent this morning, it was a spirited effort, and happy to have sustained ~4.45 watts/kilo for the duration (this signifies a consolidation of good progress for me). Good to have Power/HR decoupled by <5%, Joe would be pleased..

Perhaps a well executed taper next week might yield a minor performance increase - but for all intensive purposes, the ToB prep is done.. Whew!..

Quick Stats:
    Weeks 15
    Distance 5263km
    Climbing at FTP+ 1467min
    Body Weight -5kg
    Ascent 45794m (actual climbs - not bumps in the road on the way to climbs)
    FTP(20min) +18.7% (from output achievable after Ballarat accident & assc. break)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Log: 26/11/2011

Training Principles - 5:

Individualization, Periodization, Progressive Overload, Balance, Specificity, Reversiblility, Evaluation, Rest-Recuperation-Diet. 

"“Variety” is often cited as a training principle, but it is often desirable for training composition to vary little for weeks on end (such as a period of aerobic conditioning), and while it is important to avoid boredom and remain motivated, variety simply for its own sake can produce sub-optimal training.
Instead, it is better to strive for optimal balance in a training program, which depends on the event being prepared for as well as rider characteristics.  For instance, if preparing simply for a long, flat, relatively “isopower” time trial, an appropriate training balance will include little anaerobic capacity training, if any at all.  At the other extreme, competitors in the 4,000 meter team pursuit must strive for the most nearly “perfect” combination, or comprehensive balance, of anaerobic, maximal aerobic, and threshold capacities, plus adequate neuromuscular power – after a period of rather unvarying aerobic conditioning
which is identical to that needed by road competitors.

More generally, periods of competition must be balanced with structured training.  Racing (especially criteriums) and group rides impose specific neuromuscular demands as well as wide, rapid variations of intensity that structured training does not normally replicate, leading some to place excessive emphasis on the notion that ‘the best training is racing,’ however, it is not as effective as 2-3 hour steady-state tempo rides or long (40-60 minute) intervals at lactate threshold in creating consistent aerobic demand and increasing muscle respiratory capacity.  After a period of competition, aerobic endurance and lactate
threshold need rebuilding through structured workouts." Howe 

It's about 10 days between posts. Have been maintaining the general principles put forward in plan for the closing weeks of prep. Maintain aerobic engine, some speedwork, more climbing, and Vo2 work. CTL ~120 & ATL is not crazy high. Just doing enough to maintain some elements (slow responding), and sharpen others (quick responding).

26/11/2011 - Trainer

    Duration:      1:00:04
    Work:          617 kJ
    TSS:           46.8 (intensity factor 0.687)
    Norm Power:    182
    VI:            1.06
    Pw:HR:          6.79%
    Pa:HR:          3.99%
    Distance:      29.564 km
    Elevation Gain:        18 m
    Elevation Loss:       0 m
    Grade:         0.1 %  (20 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           4    255    171     watts
    Heart Rate:      68    157    135     bpm
    Cadence:         49    136    83     rpm
    Speed:           15.2    35.1    29.5     kph
    Pace             1:43    3:57    2:02     min/km
    Altitude:        167    187    179     m
    Crank Torque:    0    37.7    20.1     N-m
    Temperature:     19    19    19.0     Celsius

Kinglake in the lead..

Vo2/hill repeats yesterday - am not entirely depleted today - but want to be fresh for a longer, more intense session tomorrow. Looking at the Poll, Kinglake & Flat Rock Rd route has won. Much to my delight - this is just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Log: 15/11/2011

Training Principles - 4:

Individualization, Periodization, Progressive Overload, Balance, Specificity, Reversiblility, Evaluation, Rest-Recuperation-Diet. 

Progressive Overload.
"The story of Milo of Croton from the 6th century B.C. illustrates this principle perfectly.  Every morning, according to legend, this greatest of ancient Greek athletes of would lift a
young calf overhead and carry it across a pasture.  As it grew, Milo lifted a little more each day, until he could carry the full-grown bull.

Similarly, training adaptation, and hence improved performance, is induced by stress loads that “challenge” the body (exceed existing fitness levels) and fatigue it to an appropriate degree (see Seth Hosmer’s fine summary of the workout/recovery cycle for more).  As an old and fundamentally useful maxim runs, “Train where you are, or slightly beyond, not where you want to be.”  In response, and after adequate rest/recuperation, the body’s plasticity allows it to “defend” itself, and “supercompensate” or rebound to reach a higher level of fitness.  It is in quantifying the imposed stress load, especially at higher/variable intensities, that power-measuring devices and analysis software are most useful." Howe 

15/11/2011 - Velodrome
Threshold work (SST). Hot out today - felt difficult, high HR & low Power..

    Duration:      1:23:09
    Work:          723 kJ
    TSS:           68.8 (intensity factor 0.707)
    Distance:      38.472 km
    Heart Rate:      76    169    136     bpm
    Cadence:         31    182    94     rpm
    Temperature:     21    30    28.1     Celsius 

15/11/2011 - Road
Recovery with Ol.. 

    Duration:      36:35
    Work:          116 kJ
    TSS:           6.9 (intensity factor 0.339)
    Norm Power:    92
    VI:            1.72
    Pw:HR:          n/a
    Pa:HR:          n/a
    Distance:      9.524 km
    Temperature:     24    27    25.4     Celsius

Monday, November 14, 2011

Log: 14/11/2011

Training Principles - 3:

Individualization, Periodization, Progressive Overload, Balance, Specificity, Reversiblility, Evaluation, Rest-Recuperation-Diet. 

"Training programs are organized by periods of time, each with a specific purpose and
emphasis, the aim being to make performance consistent and predictable while preventing overtraining and injury, by applying the appropriate training stress, in the proper amount, at the proper time, thus avoiding excessive and rapid changes in training load and its three variables (frequency, duration, and intensity). This process is often likened to the structure of a pyramid, perhaps Aztec or Mayan rather than Egyptian, since the targeted event or period of competition is more accurately represented by a plateau rather than a
classic peak.  Another analogy might be to higher education, where introductory courses that are broad in scope provide the basis for advanced courses where knowledge is applied more narrowly, as related to a particular area.

Similarly, physical training proceeds from general (i.e., aerobic) to specific conditioning, while overall training stress must be increased gradually, consistently, and incrementally.

Typical designations for the pre-season preparation period are “Base” (or “Foundation”), “Build,” and “Specialization,” followed by periods of competition and recuperation/rebuilding, then finally off-season phases of “Stabilization” and “Maintenance.”" Howe

14/11/2011 - Trainer

20min Recovery..

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Log: 13/11/2011

Training Principles - 2:

Individualization, Periodization, Progressive Overload, Balance, Specificity, Reversiblility, Evaluation, Rest-Recuperation-Diet.

"This  exists  in  varying  degrees; stated  in  the most  general  terms, to  get  better  at  a  given activity, you must do  that activity, e.g,  riding  the bike  is more specific  to cycling  than  running  is, even though  both  have  similar  training  effects.   Thus,  “supplemental”  training  activities  (e.g.,  cross-country skiing,  speed  skating,  running,  etc.)  should  be  limited  to  periods  of  injury  and  “active  recuperation” during the off-season.

Aerobic conditioning (base training) consisting of prolonged (90 minutes-4 hours), moderately intense, fairly steady-state rides is specific to all road competition, but to optimize performance in a given event, you must train (stress) the systems that underlie it in a way that more closely mimics event demands.

Thus, after a sufficient period of base conditioning, training becomes more specific, i.e., narrowly focused or specialized in reference to the task (event) being prepared for as it draws near: to get ready for a longer (30+ minute) time trial, do long (~20 minute) repeats at threshold intensity on a course like the race route (the actual course is best, if possible); to be able to bridge gaps or prepare for prologue TTs, shorter (1 minute) intervals at ~150% threshold power are indicated; to improve at climbing, climb hills of similar grade and length to those you will encounter, etc.  

A broader concept may be simulation, which includes specificity but goes beyond it in attempting to duplicate race conditions, as well as physiological demands, as closely as possible.  What is the general lay of the course, and what are the particular characteristics?  Where does the road narrow?  What are the road conditions?  What is the weather forecast?  Is it likely to be rainy, hot, cold, sunny, cloudy?  What are the prevailing winds, and where are they most likely to be a factor?  What is the elevation range of the
race course?  What time of day do you normally train, and when does the race take place?  Have you prepared in these conditions?" Howe

13/11/2011 - Road | Muntanyes

Warburton ice-creamery was closed when I arrived this morning. I took another approach at getting x2 scoops..

Today's hostess with the mostess - Ms. Donna Buang

Beautiful weather and good company rolling with Fausto, Mal, Stuey and Ray.

    Duration:      4:19:23
    Work:          2075 kJ
    TSS:           224.2 (intensity factor 0.735)
    Distance:      85.847 km
    Elevation Gain:        2243 m
    Elevation Loss:       2221 m
    Heart Rate:      63    170    128     bpm
    Temperature:     15    26    18.5     Celsius

13/11/2011 - Road

Recovery with Ol.

    Duration:      33:32
    Work:          109 kJ
    TSS:           8 (intensity factor 0.382)
    Distance:      7.557 km
    Temperature:     22    23    22.7     Celsius

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Log: 12/11/2011

Training Principles - 1:

Individualization, Periodization, Progressive Overload, Balance, Specificity, Reversiblility, Evaluation, Rest-Recuperation-Diet.

"Training prescriptions must be shaped by the fact that different individuals may respond
in significantly varying degrees, and have varying recovery needs, for a given workout or training load. Other factors to be taken into account are age, training status/history, individual characteristics (e.g., strengths and weaknesses, as assessed with Power Profiling), weather, training opportunities (e.g., local availability of roads/trails, terrain, traffic), work schedule and other responsibilities, competitive priorities and preferences (which races you want to do well in, which you want to use for training, and which you enjoy the most, since motivation will determine how diligently you train), role within a team, etc." Howe

12/11/2011 - Road


    Duration:      1:29:32
    Work:          701 kJ
    TSS:           54.4 (intensity factor 0.606)
    Pw:HR:          -12.04%
    Pa:HR:          -0.18%
    Distance:      35.25 km
    Elevation Gain:        441 m
    Elevation Loss:       430 m
    Cadence:         30    218    91     rpm
    Temperature:     20    30    27.1     Celsius


    Duration:      40:20
    Work:          102 kJ
    TSS:           8.1 (intensity factor 0.35)
    Distance:      7.515 km
    Elevation Gain:        69 m
    Temperature:     24    26    25.9     Celsius

Muntanyes tomorrow. Hoping legs are not too DOMSy from efforts over previous few days.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Log: 11/11/2011

11/11/2011 - Road | Muntanyes 

Climbing Vo2max/Threshold intervals:

  x3 15 minute sets with 10 min RI:

    3min @100% FTP
    2min @110% FTP
    3min @100% FTP
    2min @110% FTP
    3min @100% FTP
    2min @110% FTP

I could feel the intervals from the last 2 days in my legs.
1st set was tidy and to the numbers - last two were progressively more messy. Hit the targets but it was tough. Have enjoyed the change to the climbing workout, and it/variations thereof will become steady diet for the next few weeks. Need to go by feel, but once I feel I'm nailing the 45 minutes (if that happens!?) I'll change things up incrementally..

    Duration:      3:09:04
    Work:          1735 kJ
    TSS:           196.3 (intensity factor 0.791)
    VI:            1.39
    Distance:      76.217 km
    Elevation Gain:        1361 m
    Temperature:     15    24    18.8     Celsius

Friday night in the traffic - what a sad state of affairs. People yelling, spitting.. What has our society become reduced to? No basic respect or common courtesy to fellow citizens - just contempt, open & fuming contempt. What a sad state of affairs...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Log: 10/11/2011

More time on the trainer, more Vo2 intervals. Still doing some introductory work - not want to demolish myself. Acclimatisation..

10/11/2011 - Trainer

AeT/Vo2. 70% FTP with x4 115-120% FTP (x2min blocks).

    Duration:      1:00:34
    Work:          676 kJ
    TSS:           62.5 (intensity factor 0.79)
    Norm Power:    213
    VI:            1.15
    Pw:HR:          13.06%
    Pa:HR:          6.35%
    Distance:      31.07 km
    Elevation Gain:        0 m
    Elevation Loss:       12 m
    Grade:         -0.0 %  (-12 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    362    186     watts
    Heart Rate:      69    175    143     bpm
    Cadence:         54    139    85     rpm
    Speed:           13.8    40    30.8     kph
    Pace             1:30    4:21    1:57     min/km
    Altitude:        74    86    80     m
    Crank Torque:    0    46    20.9     N-m
    Temperature:     19    20    19.5     Celsius

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Log: 09/11/2011

Not a lot of training to date this week. Not how I either expected or wanted it to be..

No major cramps on Saturday but a few good nibbles here and there. When I ride through cramping spasms I get bad DOMS in the days that follow. Makes sense - on one level the muscle is involuntarily contracting, and on another I simultaneously load and stretch the spasming muscle through the length of the pedal stroke. This makes for much tearing of fibres and associated soreness and swelling.

I'm a little distressed at the CTL falling the way it has this week - but realistically, having been operating at CTL ~120 for a while now I have enough in the bank to blow on some needed post race recovery. Training camp this weekend will somewhat balance out the week. I will of course be far better off arriving at camp with good legs rather than sad legs..

Dargo Feed Station 1  (c/o ActionPactPix)

Working in some Vo2 elements now. Build blocks have been all threshold focus to this point.

Q: What was the limiter that saw me off the back on Sat?
A: Veee-Ohh-Tooo.. 

Mind you, Dargo was always a "B" priority race in the sense that all my prep is targeting Bright, so I was always going to hit the start line a somewhat unfinished product.
Having said that - the effort that saw me let the selection go was 5 minutes at 4.92w/kg - a very Vo2 effort for me as we're talking 120% FTP. There's no reason for me to believe that this wouldn't again happen at Bright in a few weeks time - so it's a timely kick in the backside to get on with some Vo2 work..

09/11/2011 - Trainer | Early


    Duration:      1:01:35
    Work:          634 kJ
    TSS:           56 (intensity factor 0.742)
    Distance:      30.313 km
    Temperature:     22    23    22.5     Celsius

09/11/2011 - Trainer | Evening


    Duration:      1:05:18
    Work:          697 kJ
    TSS:           68.7 (intensity factor 0.797)
    Norm Power:    215
    VI:            1.21
    Temperature:     22    29    27.4     Celsius

Good to have my legs back. 18min of 110-120% FTP (x2min chunks) mixed into x2 hours of AeT. Strong focus on not letting wattage drop below AeT after the Vo2 efforts thus requiring recovery while still working..

Monday, November 7, 2011

2011 Stratford to Dargo KOM

Detail: A 105km Road Race with 3 major climbs from Stratford to Dargo via Beverley’s Road with the finish at Hibernia Road, 16km North of Dargo on the Dargo High Plains Road. The final 10.58km rises 918m with an average incline of 8.3%. Distance includes a 3km neutral zone out of Stratford.

Dargo: Located in the foothills of the Dargo High Plains is one of Victoria's most remote communities, which originally served as a supply town to the Crooked River Goldfields at Grant and Talbotville.

Final climb out of Dargo

I caught up with Wayne (@Duke6amer) on Friday night and we headed out to Gippsland on quiet roads. We bunked down for the night at Wayne's parents place at Glenmaggie, some 20 or so minutes from Stratford. Morning came around and pre-race sign-on ran through without a hitch. Representing 6am-ers were Wayne Flint, Mick Villani & Myself. Was good to see Classix contenders Mat Marques & Dave Tennant preparing to suffer under the capable support of Dave Anderson.

Cam Senese, Mick Villani & Wayne Flint   (c/o BraveDave)

We knew it was going to be hot, & riding without support - Duke & I each picked up a 600ml bottle of water from a local service station to store in jersey pockets as part of a brief pre-race warmup. We had planned to consume these bottles before the first major climb at the 37km mark. The idea was to then consume additional x2 750ml bottles on bikes through to Dargo, and then refill via neutral water station at Dargo before the final climb. There was an element of risk to this strategy, but it seemed feasible that this would be enough fluids.

We rolled out under control, not long after the neutral zone was cleared there was some pressure exerted at the front-end of the field - a bunch started to drift away. Duke and I had a quick word - he thought there were no M2 riders in the breakaway - I thought there was one, so I quickly jumped to bridge the gap. Turns out Wayne was right, and by the time my life signs had normalised a little and I glanced around - the peloton had also bridged to join us. Somewhere around this time David Sturt had slipped away on a solo attack. Reportedly he eventually caught the A/B race up the road and managed to stay away for the remainder of the race - winning the Masters 4, and Masters 2/3/4 divisions. Things settled down from here for quite a while, until the climb out of Iguana Creek.

Iguana Creek   (c/o BraveDave)

Immediately after the bridge crossing Iguana Creek (plank bridge - caution) the first 10.5km climb commences. After only 5 or so seconds it was apparent that nobody was waiting for anybody else to get across that bridge before commencing the climb in a somewhat spirited fashion. After about 4-5 minutes of back to the wall above threshold climbing, Dave Tennant, myself an another rider were dangling 15 or so meters off the back of a small group up the road containing Gabriel Carey, Mick Villani, Sean Wilkenson, Wayne Flint, and maybe 2 more who were in pursuit of a then smaller lead group consisting of Ciaran Jones, Andrew Weightman and maybe 2 more. Dave Tennant let out a brief vocal exclamation (couldn't make it out) and jumped across to the next group. I considered following but couldn't get the final climb (and the rest) out of my mind, and being already 27c it had made the perceived effort of the previous 5 minutes seem enormous. Given there was still another 20 odd minutes remaining to the summit - I pulled the pin on the idea of bridging and settled back into a solid tempo. The rider that remained with me briefly pulled alongside and exclaimed "there's a long way to go..". We climbed together for a few minutes and I got to wondering about strategy from here. I was betting that the pace up ahead would later take it's toll on some, but also kept having the thought that I should have bridged because realistically the pace was unsustainable for most - and was bound to settle down at some point - I should have just sucked it up and bled for a little longer, yada, yada, yada.. Before I knew it some more had bridged to us and a group of 8 or so had formed around me.

We pushed along together through to the 60km feed station, picking up some from up ahead and losing others off the back. Before the feed station there was an agreement to reform the group straight after and some made gags about how well we were all getting along so well (nobody had said a word since the first climb). I pushed through the feed station and stopped to take a natural break while others slowed to grab their feed bags. I chased back onto the group and was feeling decidedly less "good" than before I stopped. To this point I'd sat at the front end of the group - I was now sitting at the back wondering what had happened to my legs.

A couple more got shelled climbing out of the feed station, then there were some long fast descents before another 4km climb just before Dargo. Back to feeling good again and working off the front of the group on the climb. We descended into Dargo where I picked up some neutral water - emptying the neutral bottle into a biddon on my bike.

Three riders were about 40 meters up the road once I was through Dargo - everyone else had evaporated behind and were out of sight.. At some point between Dargo and the climb there were sheep on the road and the three ahead slowed to avoid them. I'd basically caught them but felt no urgency to push right up to them. It was now 34c and the focus of my attention was quickly internalising.

For the first section of the final climb there were a few riders around me, an official support vehicle, an ambulance, rider support vehicles, no shade, taste of exhaust fumes in the hot air - it felt crowded and hot - really hot.

A couple of younger riders came past - including Ross Hamilton the surviving member of the early 2 man breakaway in the C grade race. Only meters up the road, Ross veered left and dropped his bike down onto the shoulder shortly followed by his body collapsing into the dirt  behind the ambulance. Ambulance stopped and medical staff pounced on him with cold water as he cried out at the heat and fatigue. (Well done to Ross & Cam Bush for working the breakaway for as far as you did). My Edge 500 is now reading 36c and I've got Dave Tennant for company, sometimes by my side, sometimes up the road - no chatting, just introspection.  A Hampton Cycles rider from my group is dangling ahead of me - sometimes near - sometimes far. At some stage early on Mat Marques tapped his way past on his way to 4th place in C grade. I wished him well and before too long he was out of sight.

Final Climb  (c/o BraveDave)

The climb itself has been aptly described by others  - and I'll just borrow some favorites to save me inventing my own: "I have done several Mt Baw Baw Classics and I don’t know if it was the weather or what (Baw Baw is held in cool to mild conditions) whereas Dargo was hot (30 degrees) but this climb was much harder. The climb goes for 11 km at an average gradient of 10% – it seems much steeper (eventually the climb intersects on the Mt Hotham climb near CRB hill). Apart from one small section of downhill (a few hundred metres), each bend is met with another and then another and then another pitch upwards. It is unrelenting." Dave Tennant

"Truth be told, I didn’t expect the climb to be this ridiculous: 10km of climbing over grades of 20% or so. I recall at some stages I was doing 4km/h, running a 50×34-11-29, so spending most of the time in 34×29 (yes, you are reading that correctly), spinning a very low cadence (circa 60rpm), having to stand up, sit down…it was utter carnage. It was about 27 degrees according to my trusty Garmin, and you could tell. Guys were getting shelled; it was the walking wounded. Gutted souls sitting bent over the bars heaving air in as they stared up the road, scarcely believing it." Ex Machina Racing (2010)

I don't really remember a lot of the 2nd half of the climb. I chatted for a minute with the Hampton rider at one stage, and I recall his cries of pain and frustration as cramping robbed his ability to turn over the cranks toward the finish line - the final pitch at nearly 20% was walked by many. I remember Tim McGrath and Miranda Griffiths making their way past, I remember heat, I remember wanting to vomit, and I remember finishing. Pushing on and eventually finishing was a massive relief.

Finish Line   (c/o Marisa Farrell)

4:02:25 - bit outside my targeted time of sub 4hr, but close enough to be satisfied. 5th place Masters 2, 11th place Masters 2/3/4. Big congratulations to Michael Villani 3rd Place Masters 4, and Wayne Flint 4th Place Masters 2.

I think I'll be back next year rockin' a 50×34-12-29. 27 was doable, but I think a little more spin & a little less grind might go a long way on the clock..