[caption id="attachment_8992" align="alignright" width="225"]cycling - triathlon - training - miles 100 Mile Bike Rides Are Now The Norm
Source: Cafe Press[/caption] #CycleSeptember was a personal challenge to myself to ride 650 miles in the month and they all had to be outdoors.  The reasoning behind #CycleSeptember was two-fold:
  1. My buddy Jeff rode 150 miles in one day and I thought to myself. What can you do?
  2. I want to have a big base of bike miles build into my legs so that when Ironman Chattanooga training begins I am not starting from scratch so to speak.
At the time I figured that 650 miles over 30 days would require me to average 22 miles per day or just over one hour.  Obviously, I could not ride everyday and still wanted to get in running and as much open water swimming as I could get.  The open water swims were going to start to dwindle with the change in seasons bringing in colder weather and the later the sun rose the harder it would be because of having to get to work. As I started my cycling and the miles began to pile up I realized that I could easily surpass 650 miles by just doing a bit here or there and then loading up on the weekend.  I was starting to find routes that would get me 25-28 miles which could be done in 1.5 hours and not have me struggling to get in other workouts.  The rides on the weekends consisted of one of two options:
  1. Weekends when we had the little guy I would get in 28 miles after Karen ran and the next day would be 60+ miles for as close to 100 in the weekend as possible.
  2. Weekends when we didn't have my step-son would consist of two long rides of 60+ for 120-150 miles.
The plan worked out so well that I wound up with 747 miles of cycling and of course throughout the process began to consider if I could do 800 miles in October and thus #OchoInOctober.  Of course, if I accomplish this then we are looking at #NueveInNovember.  Before we get to November let us figure out how I am going to get to 800 miles in October since they will not be all outdoors and would require time on the trainer. Using the math that 1.5 hours would net me 27.5 miles I figured I could do 1 hour before work and then 30 minutes after work.  The hour in the morning would be using videos from The Sufferfest and the evening ride would be a simple recovery ride that I could maintain a Zone 2 effort.  Using this theory I would need to do this 3 times during the week for a total of 82.5 miles.  On the weekend another 117.5 miles whether they are 60/60 or 100/20 and I would average 200 miles per week and hit that 800 mile marker in October. [caption id="attachment_8991" align="alignright" width="300"]cycling - triathlon - training - miles This Is What 4 Idiots Look Like At The End Of 124 Miles Of Cycling[/caption] Because the miles in October will be primarily on the trainer my goal is to learn to push the efforts during the early rides and work my threshold level so that I could go harder at a lower heart rate than I am currently.  With September I was able to work on my bike handling, learning cadence turnover on climbing and getting comfortable with riding in aero while climbing and turning.  All of these attributes will help me during races. With these types of numbers and time on the trainer I am looking for partners.  Which of you is willing to join me in the #OchoInOctober challenge?

What Is The Most Amount Of Miles You Have Put In Cycling In One Ride? One Week? One Month?

Published in Train

Embrace The Suck.

Embrace The Suck

Embrace The Suck

If you repeat the phrase Embrace The Suck enough it soon begins to get easier.  What am I talking about?  I could be talking about life, but I am referring to riding the trainer.  Putting your bike on the trainer for 1 or even 2 hours is not a big deal, but once you go past that point you have to begin to embrace the suck.  The trainer, like the treadmill, is all mental.  You know it is not going to be fun but you also know the benefits of riding the trainer. I bring this up because this weekend the weather was going to be brutally cold, and not just for Texas.  The temperature at 8am on Saturday was going to be 32* with a feels like temp of 29*.  For me if it is below 45* at the start of the ride I am contemplating riding the trainer because my hands and feet get so cold that there is no benefit to me being outside since I will not be focused on the ride but instead I will be focused on warming up.  Knowing that I was getting on the trainer I asked Maria to set me up with a trainer ride that will make the time go by.  4 hours is not a big deal to me as I have done 6 hours on the trainer before but if I have the opportunity to shake up the work out I will. The program that Maria sent off included easy sets, progressive sets and a Sufferfest video.  There was a rhythm to the workout but there were times where I muttered embrace the suck and by doing that the time flew by and I was ready to start running before I knew it.  As a person, similar to Emily and the treadmill, who enjoys the trainer there are still times I wonder what the benefits are.

Embrace The Suck Benefits:

  • No Stopping or Coasting.  As any cyclist knows there are times where you will coast or have to stop for traffic or stop lights.  On the trainer there is neither and thus you are working from the first pedal stroke until the last.
  • Workouts Done To Perfection. Since there is no stopping if your workout calls for 20 minutes at Ironman pace you know that you will get that in without being interrupted.  You can also include interval sets that will be completed without hesitation.
  • It Takes Less Time. Maria cut 30 minutes off of my overall time for the ride because of the trainer.  Theory holds that the trainer can be 20% less than the road because it is non-stop so if you ride the trainer you are going to spend 'less' time riding.
  • Weather Is Not An Issue. Neither Is Daylight. Just like the benefit of less time, there is the added benefit of doing it whenever you want.  Setup your trainer in front of the TV or the laptop and start.  No need to worry for sun rise or if the weather will hold up.
Riding the trainer is not all unicorns and rainbows though as there are a few drawbacks as well.

Embrace The Suck Disadvantages:

  • No Hills. There are no hills when it comes to riding on the trainer so if you are looking for a 'hilly' ride this is not going to benefit you.
  • Bike Handling. Bike handling is important, especially if you are racing a criterium.  Being able to handle the bike in any situation will give you confidence when riding and there is no bike handling during a trainer ride.
  • Boredom. It is easy to get board and then have your mind sway and lose focus on the sets that you have laid out for yourself.  When you are not focused your cadence can drop and the workout can suffer.
Is riding the trainer a substitute for riding outdoors?  No, but it should be included in your routine.  Why?  Besides the benefits listed above remember that change is the key to consistency and muscle adaptation.  During the week my bike can be found on the trainer as I crank away 1-2 hour sessions with 5-6 layers of clothes on working up a tremendous sweat so that I can mimic the weather that I will face in San Juan at IMTX. [caption id="attachment_7366" align="aligncenter" width="300"]embrace the suck - bike trainer - triathlon - ironman Embrace The Suck But Make It As Enjoyable As Possible.[/caption]

How Do You Embrace The Suck?

Published in Train