Oh have I got a treat to share!!! Matt, the owner of my LBS, put together a photo package for my kids so they could see what France is like – both of my daughters are huge Tour de France fans (as is their father, we started watching coverage together last year). Matt was there in 2004. There are so many awesome photos that I can’t possibly put them all in one post so I’ll put these together in a series – marked with its own category (TdF). Without further ado:
When it comes to my fitness and competition with others, there are some things I can live with and some things I can’t.
When it came to running I was perfectly happy with an 8-9 minute mile pace, that was the best I could do with the time I was willing to put into it. My fitness life has always followed an equation: G(oal)= I(nvested) T(ime) x E(ffort) / R(eality) / F(easability) x D(etermination) or GIT ‘ER F‘in’ Done if you like.
Cycling has proved to be a little different. Not being able to keep up with some of the fastest guys in the Tuesday group isn’t sitting well with me, and my drive to keep up is rare – I believe that I can be fast enough, it just comes down to a question of how much do I invest, in terms of time and method, in the effort. In other words, how far do I go to get there?
I had kicked around actually following a regimented training plan to meet the goal but that would indeed pull some of the fun out of my daily riding – call it a sacrifice of ‘now’ for later satisfaction. My LBS pro suggested rather that I just enjoy myself and let the rest work out in the wash – and that’s exactly what I’d planned on doing… Until I came up with a way to do both, sans regimented riding.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
For now I’ve upped my daily miles – my normal daily ride was 16 miles. For the last few days and for the foreseeable future I’m moving that up to 25, while keeping the 16 miler for days when I’m short on time or when I need a recovery ride. The additional nine miles only adds 27-29 minutes to my workout. I’ll still keep my 30 mile ride on Saturday (with my run) and my normal Friday 35.5 unless time requires the distance be shortened (as it will tomorrow morning). The 16 mile ride was anything but stale but it’s been a little too short lately. This will help my endurance as I’ve been tiring out around the 15 mile mark over the last couple of Tuesday evening rides (imagine that, eh?).
The only other major change will be how I view hills. I’ve begun attacking them and then soft pedaling on the way down to catch my breath in lieu of just getting up them. There are some pretty decent hills on the Tuesday ride and I’ll have to be a little stronger on those once I get my endurance right so I may as well start now rather than wait to find out that I should have been doing this all along.
I turned in a pretty solid performance over the last couple of days with a 19.2 mph average in stiff winds on Tuesday and a 19.8 mph average in a 7 mph breeze yesterday (355 watts average on the last four miles into a the wind with a few peaks at 500 W on the uphill grades – 7 mph headwind, 1% grade, 20 mph average according to the cycle computer) and I’m a lot happier with the 25 mile ride even if the pavement is quite a bit choppier on most of the loop.
So basically, nothing really changes, I’m just upping my miles as time allows a little bit. I get the best of both worlds; increased endurance and I enjoy more time on my bike – all that remains is to see how that intersects with reality.
As for the 10% axiom (only increase mileage week over week by 10%), I’m awesome enough not to have to worry about that. The legs are feeling quite good this morning after two straight solid efforts. No pain or stiffness whatsoever. If that changes for any reason, I know what to do.