I’ve settled into the Experienced Competitor option for the Time-Crunched Cyclist Plan. I just completed the second week of the system and am looking to complete it the last week of March. That means that top form will definitely not have arrived by the Hincapie Sportswear Spring Training Series.
So, what did that week look like? A lot of time on the trainer, that’s what! Unfortunately, it was wasn’t enough time. I only put in 5 hours and 15 minutes of training in. It was supposed to be a total of 6 to 7 hours. Sure, I got in the intervals required, but not all the EnduranceMiles pacing called for.
The problem is that an hour on the trainer feels like 90 minutes on the road. That is partially due to the fact that the road is more interesting. However, a big part of it is that the trainer never lets up. There is no coasting — or for that matter soft-pedaling — when you are turning that hydraulic-magnet-thingie attached to your rear wheel!
I’ve got my weight down to a consistent 174 pounds. I’d love to reach 170 by the time spring gets here. Basically, I’m trying to be moderate in the kinds of food I eat and watching my portions. Other than that, I’m not doing anything drastic with my diet. Still, I’m a good 5 to 6 pounds lighter than I was at Christmas.
Another addition to my training is my home-brew core and upper-body workouts. Basically, it is made up of 80 resistant band repetitions each day. I stand on the band and do inside and outside lifts — 40 of these twice a day. Then I am doing a total of 138 to 184 pushups every other day depending on what the plan calls for. On the off days of doing pushups, I am doing 184 situps. Now those sessions are broken up into 4 times a day. Still, I’m definitely getting a workout!
The best thing is that I am starting to feel the difference on the bicycle. My upper-body is much better supported. That has translated into better posture on the bike, less upper-body fatigue and ultimately less stress on my hips. It is hard to explain, but I can just feel it — my core is holding together better than it has in years.
Yesterday, I got out on the bicycle. My boss gave me a project that morning and wanted it by that afternoon. So, what did I do? I extended my lunch break and rode my bicycle.
The bicycle is some of my best thinking time. I headed down to Cleveland Park and pushed it pretty hard for the first 30 minutes — 257 watts. I then backed it off for the second 30 to just ride how I was feeling. That was a more comfortable 203 watts. The last 30 minutes I was focusing on keeping my form right and cadence up. Still, I ended up with a comparable 202 watts.
I was happy with a total average watts of 240 for the 90 minutes (though the plan called for under 190 watts — oops!) However, more than that, I was happy to return to the office with my brain full of ideas that I dumped into a two page report. Of course, I did have to snack through the rest of the day to keep my hunger at bay!
Really, that is the best part of all of this training. It isn’t so much the ultimate goal of being competitive as it is the good things that the discipline and health the training brings you. Yes, I hope to race some this year, but even if I don’t the training will be well worth it.