You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2011.


Interval

6/23

90 s Hill

6/27

90 s Speed

7/7

90 s Hill + Heat

7/14

60 s Speed

7/22

90 s Hill

7/29

90 s Speed

1

445

451

425

473

482

431

2

412

407

445

451

494

407

3

412

423

399

424

483

351

4

405

411

410

466

467

343

5

442

432

387

443

434

363

6

448

395

409

449

410

349

7

   

395

483

413

337

8

     

474

439

325

Mean

427

419

410

458

453

363

For completeness I am posting the last of my 90 second interval set. The results are dismal, but it does show that you can’t have breakthrough workouts every time you want them. A breakthrough workout is essentially one that pushes you beyond what you have already adapted to. These are stressful workouts that provide the stimulus for improvement. Even though I schedule a couple such workouts each week, the breakthrough sometimes cannot be planned. You just have to be ready for it by giving what you have at the time, and occasionally you’ll achieve that higher power output, or faster pace. During this workout I was experiencing a lot of fatigue in my legs. Although I wasn’t able to deliver much, it was still a great workout because I had to try to focus enough to push as hard as I could, and push to just finish the workout.

I had a very similar experience on Tuesday, 7/26, when I tried doing a threshold workout of two 18 minute intervals. My power for the two intervals was 320 and 290, much less than my 337 threshold power. The drill was good, trying to keep the power up even though my legs were fatigued and I was struggling. Interestingly though, later that same day I went and did the TCSD track workout with Jim Vance and had a great workout. Jim’s workouts are fantastic. He really emphasizes the need for flexibility, technique and rapid turnover to run efficiently and fast. Following a long warm up, dynamic stretching and drills, the workout was 12X400 meters with a 100 meter active recovery (very short/incomplete recovery). I struggled to finish, but managed to keep my intervals at 90-95 seconds for the entire workout. This isn’t real fast, but it is the best I’ve been able to do for a long time, and was definitely a breakthrough workout.

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The R-12 award is given by Randonneurs USA for completing a 200K brevet or permanent every month for twelve consecutive months. This is a challenge that I was interested in when I started randonneuring just a few years ago. The goal of completing an R-12 seemed like a great way to stay in shape throughout the year. Initially I didn’t think it would be that difficult to do, but my first R-12 ended up being really tough. I was in my internship, occasionally having months with very few days free to do a ride that usually took 8-10 hours to do. There were a couple months where I wasn’t able to complete a ride, and questioned whether I would even complete the R-12 or not. After finishing that first R-12 (February 2009) I decided to take five months off from randonneuring. I did another brevet in August 2009, and on July 16, 2011 I finished 24 consecutive 200K+ rides, earning my third R-12.

Here are the brevets/permanents I’ve done in the past 12 month.

Date

Event

Distance

Time

8/8/2010

Sunset Beach Safari

227K

10:08

8/29/2010

Rainbow Prelude

200K

7:58

9/11/2010

PCH

400K

16:45

10/24/2010

Sunset Beach Safari

227K

10:56

11/7/2010

Rainbow Ramble

200K

9:10

12/5/2010

Rainbow Prelude

200K

8:25

1/15/2011

Rainbow

200K

6:37

2/5/2011

Orange County

300K

15:25

3/5/2011

Orange County

400K

22:00

4/27/2011

Rainbow Ramble

200K

8:40

5/11/2011

Rainbow Prelude

200K

8:55

6/18/11

Rainbow Prelude

200K

8:26

7/16/2011

San Clemente

200K

6:45

 

The last two R-12’s were much easier for me to complete than the first one. There were definitely challenges, but I’ve become much more used to the long rides. For now I plan on attempting a fourth R-12. The challenge for this one will be living in Illinois where I’ll probably have to travel during bad weather months, but the adventures should be awesome.

Thanks to all the permanent owners, RBAs and volunteers that have made these great routes available.


During my current block of training I’ve been doing intervals, alternating one week with hill climbs, the other week with speed on flats. Today I did another series of 8 intervals on the same sill that I did the previous two hill sets on.

Interval

6/23

90 s Hill

6/27

90 s Speed

7/7

90 s Hill + Heat

7/14

60 s Speed

7/22

90 s Hill

1

445

451

425

473

482

2

412

407

445

451

494

3

412

423

399

424

483

4

405

411

410

466

467

5

442

432

387

443

434

6

448

395

409

449

410

7

   

395

483

413

8

     

474

439

Mean

427

419

410

458

453

 

Today my best 60 second split was at 493 Watts, better than the 483 Watts I did last week when I was focusing on shorter intervals. My best 90 second split today was even higher, at 494 Watts. I was putting out a lot more power today. I was hurting big time, and as you can see I was fading fast on the second half of the workout. Even though the second half felt horrible, the power was pretty close to what I was doing the first day I did these intervals.

If I just look at the first half of my intervals today, compared to the best four intervals on 9/23, the averages are 482 vs. 437, a 10% improvement!

Next week will be 90 second speed intervals. This will be the last of 90 second intervals, and then I’ll be moving on to something different.


Date: July 16, 2011

Distance: 200K

Route: San Diego to Dana Point and back

Today was the scheduled San Clemente 200K Brevet, put on by San Diego Randonneurs. Since Jim’s killer was found guilty this week, and the route went by where Jim was struck, it was very fitting to do this brevet in memory of Jim Swarzman. There was a good turnout for the early start ride (5:30 AM), and we were given memorial bracelets. I really think of Jim frequently, so I don’t need a bracelet to remind me that, but I still like the bracelet. I hope it provides me the opportunity to share Jim’s successes in life, and the tragedy that happened. It’s a message that people need to understand, whether they are cyclists of any variety and/or a motorist.

Molly has been back on the bike now for about a month now. After the accident in October (right after we got back from Kona) where she was run off the road into a parked car, she had a lot of knee and shoulder pain. Fortunately her knee is fine now, but her shoulder kept causing her a lot of pain so she took a long break from riding. Come to find out she has a labral tear, that will not heal with rest or rehab, so she is having surgery in a couple weeks. With that knowledge she decided to get back on the bike and in after last weekend’s ride she decided to give the 200K a shot. She did great, with a time just under 8 hours and 30 minutes!

I had already planned on doing the brevet on my time trial bike to get time in the aerobars, and to see if I could set a new PR for a 200K (currently 6:37). I figured I should be able to get under 6:30 at least, but ended up with an official time of 6:45. After reviewing my Garmin file though I noted that we actually started a little late, because my time was 6:40, total ride time was 6:17. The route was coastal which means there are a lot of lights and stop sign. I did opt to not ride on the I-5 though and went through Camp Pendleton in both directions, which definitely added time, and possibly a little distance. I ended up clocking 129 miles.

Time is an okay metric, but overall doesn’t mean that much when you can have power. I was hoping for a high power for the first three hours. I thought of comparing it to some of my best long rides.

Normalized Power for First 3 Hours (Rides were from 5-7+ hours in duration total)

Date Event Normalized Power
11/22/2009 Ironman Arizona 259
7/24/2010 Santa Cruz 200K Brevet 276
10/9/2010 Ironman Kona 269
1/15/2011 Rainbow 200K Brevet 269
7/16/2011 Swarzman 200K Brevet 259

I was hoping today to generate closer to 280 watts. One difference was that I didn’t really have anyone on my heels today as I did on the other rides. The aerobars felt good, and I am getting a good sense that I can hammer for 2+ hours in them pretty well at Superfrog on 9/11. There isn’t a lot of climbing along the coast, about 4200 feet of elevation gain today, but I tried to push fairly hard up the hills. There were many times that I wanted to give up the push before the summit, so I kept reminding myself of Jen Voigt:


The last three weeks I did 90 second intervals. This week is a rest week and I did 60 second speed intervals. I expected the power to be a little higher since they were shorter intervals. My all time best 60 second power is 573 on 9/15/2009, and my recent best is 479 on 6/23/2011, with a new ‘recent’ 60 s best of 483. Not great, but I’ll be hoping that next week I surpass my 6/23 powers when I do 90 second hill repeats again. Here are the results:

Interval

6/23

90 s Hill

6/27

90 s Speed

7/7

90 s Hill + Heat

7/14

60 s Speed

1

445

451

425

473

2

412

407

445

451

3

412

423

399

424

4

405

411

410

466

5

442

432

387

443

6

448

395

409

449

7

   

395

483

8

     

474

Mean

427

419

410

458


 

I know I’ve said it before, but my run has been really bad for the past year and a half. I used to love running, but I haven’t been able to find much joy in it, and the runs just didn’t feel good like they used to. With a more consistent running plan over the past six weeks I’ve started seeing great improvement in my threshold pace, and the long run is even starting to feel a lot better. Today I did a 14 mile run at Mission Bay, where it is cool and flat. I did the same route two weeks ago, so I thought I’d compare the two.

 

6/26/11

7/10/11

Total Time

1:01:40

1:57:45

1st Half

58:05

59:37

2nd Half

1:03:35

58:08

Last 3 miles

28:13

24:15

 

Today I started with legs that were exhausted and sore from this week’s workouts, but I settled on a pretty even pace. Although my pace wasn’t as high as I would have liked, I was very pleased to find I was running an even pace, and even a negative split. I feel the benefit from the long run is really in the final three miles, which is why I showed the split for the final three miles.


Saturdays I usually get my long ride in, and if I don’t have a race or brevet I’ll try to ride with the Canari-Navy Team. Today’s ride was a coastal 60 miles. I was really hoping for something with a lot of climbs where I knew there would be some hard efforts, but since it’s been so hot lately the cool coast was a great option. You never know who’s going to show up, but we had a good mix of strong riders with different strengths today. I took the opportunity to take many attacks, which just fired up Mike Brown ended up reacting to every attack of the day (there must have been at least 20), and he managed to crush them all too. I was pleased to discover that I set a new personal best for 30 second effort at 692 watts. My previous best was 671 watts set on 9/15/2009. Sure, I’ve probably ridden over 15,000 miles since then, but now I’ve finally set a new 30 second best. Yeah, I’m pretty stoked about that because I’ve had a lot of personal bests recently. I was commenting the other day to Dave Platfoot that at some time you are the best you’ve ever been, but you probably will never know it when you are there. I hope I keep setting new personal bests for some time.

Near the end of the ride (after climbing Torrey Pines) we met up with Navy Triathlon stud Cam Loos. He decided to join us for our traditional sprint down Santa Fe Dr. after going through Rose Creek Canyon bike path. Somehow I broke away and (maybe a light?) finished the challenge with at a tempo pace. I had no legs left anyway for any kind of sprint. Since I was there early I captured the sprint finish:

Mike Brown destroyed it, and that was pretty much how the entire ride went. I’ll admit, on the first attack downhill at Torrey I figured it was his TT bike that kept him up there, but he managed to destroy the hills just as easily. Josh and Brad (and occasionally Steve) were also formidable foes.

Also, Molly rode with us for the first time in a long time. She told us to not wait for her, but every time I looked back she had caught up to the group. I asked her what the two dozen guys that she passed along the coast did (they usually frown in disapproval when passed by a girl) but she never noticed because her focus was to stay within inches of the wheel ahead. This is a skill that a lot of people seem to have trouble learning, but with only a few years of cycling experience she is doing awesome.


I wish I was the one creating the heat, but the sun beat me down. I went out to do some more 90 second interval, this time seven up them up a steep climb. This is my third consecutive week of these intervals. My legs felt good, but I was severely limited by the heat. I drank four water bottles in less than 2 hours, and I don’t think that was enough. Below is the temperature graph:

To remind you, two weeks ago I did 6 intervals up hill, then last week I did 6 intervals on level ground. Below is a comparison of the three sets:

Interval 

6/23 Hill

6/27 Speed

7/7 Hill + Heat

1 

445 

451 

425

2 

412 

407 

445

3 

412 

423 

399

4 

405 

411 

410

5 

442 

432 

387

6 

448 

395 

409

7 

   

395

Mean 

427 

419 

410

Analysis? Overall I’m pleased with the workout. I wasn’t sure I could finish it, and didn’t think it was ‘blog worthy’. It shows the effects of heat though. The workout didn’t provide the strength training I was hoping to get, but it provided high exertion with reduced blood flow to the muscles because of more blood flow to the skin for cooling. Also, it will provide heat acclimatization training which should pay off if I end up riding or racing when it is hot.


Wednesday I had a pile of workouts. First was a 2 miles of swimming where I managed to swim a 6:11 500 yd and 3:00 250 yd. Then I did a 10 mile bike, followed by an 8 mile run. The run included ten 1 minute sprints. Just a few weeks ago doing these I was struggling to get the pace below 7 minutes, but now I am managing to get down to 5:35 min/mile pace. Then I went out to Fiesta Island to join the Tri Club of San Diego for a practice time trial. It was very windy, and I left the aero helmet and race wheels at home. My goal wasn’t so much my time, but to test my new threshold of 328 watts that I set on Saturday. It took me just over 28 minutes for the 20K TT, but I kept going in order to have 30 minutes at threshold power. I ended up with 337 watts. The progress I’m currently seeing in all three disciplines is incredible right now. I feel that for over a year I’ve been floundering a bit and not making much progress in anything until now.


Two days a year we try to do a “family tradition” race – Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day. The tradition has mostly involved Molly and I, but occasionally we get one or both of our kids out, and we certainly see friends out at these races.

This year we did the Old Pro’s 10K Run, and we did it in 2009. Since I did a long run yesterday, it was more of a tempo run than a race, but it was fun getting out with the crowd just to run anyway.

I figure I might as well compare my splits to those of 2009. My weight was pretty much the same, so I can’t use that to explain any differences.

Mile

2011 Time

2009 Time

2011 NGP

2011 NGP

1

6:35

5:44

6:03

5:14

2

6:42

5:46

6:11

5:35

3

6:22

5:50

6:15

5:45

4

6:41

6:03

6:15

5:59

5

6:52

6:18

7:06

6:10

6

7:05

6:13

6:38

5:57

6.4

2:31

2:23

7:12

6:43

2011 30 minute best pace: 6:31 (NGP 6:16)

2011 30 minute best pace: 5:53 (NGP 5:41)

NGP is Normalized Graded Pace. It is a mathematical correction of the actual pace that considers the grade (+ or -) so that you can compare splits more evenly.

Last week during my tempo workout I had an average pace for 30 minutes of 6:45, resetting my Threshold Pace from 7:05 to 6:45. Now I will use the 6:31 pace from today to reset my Threshold Pace again. Although I was running quite a bit slower today than two years ago on the same course, I have been seeing great improvements that past couple weeks.

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