Fit Recovery

Home » 2012 » June (Page 2)

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Plans For The Near Future

Workouts have been really willy-nilly for me the last couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago I felt like I didn’t work hard enough – to many slow cruises, not enough hard efforts.  Last week was the exact opposite – almost all hard efforts with the exception of one easier(ish) cruise.  I’m certainly not sweating anything like an injury coming on, I feel great (or my approximation of great).  Still, I absolutelydo notwant to end up with an injury.  The reality is that my workout plan, or schedule if you will, has pretty much been pedal to the metal for the last year – go as hard as I can as often as I can for as long as I can – if I’m feeling sore or tired, change-up and throw in a recovery ride.

After reading a year’s worth of blog posts by real athletes over the last seven months, I know I’m “doing it wrong”, but when I mull over an actual workout regimen I would have to stick to I always come back to the same question:  Why change?

I have no desire to compete, even though probably I could with a little more effort, time, energy and an easier job (two of which I don’t currently have – time and an easier job) – I can already kick the snot out of 80% of people who clip onto a bike if not more.  The point is, if I’m already happy with where I’m at, why bother going any farther…  I have no good answer to that, especially when considering the fact that I’m not single, nor do I have a desire to be.

That said, I do have to pay attention to recovery days if I’m going to continue riding, running and swimming on a daily basis.  Last week I gave an all-out effort way too often, and I’m beginning to think that my recovery rides are too fast as well.  For instance, my normal recovery pace is only 1-1/2 to 2 mph under my “race pace”.  What got me off on a tangent was my ride yesterday.  It really got me thinking about how I’ve been doing things.  I was battling a steady 15 mph north wind on the way out and I knew I was riding hard tonight at the group ride, so I really took it easy…  15 mph into the wind, 18 with a cross wind and 23 with the wind at my back for an average of 17.8 mph…and even that was probably a little too fast.  Either way, my legs are starting to come back after last week’s grind.  Another problem is a lack of planning and the Tuesday evening ride really throws a wrench in the works – it’s on exactly the wrong day because if it’s my every other week Tuesday I have to take it easy on Sunday and Monday – and that, I don’t like.  Otherwise, I have a tendency to go more by feel so I end up with weird weeks like the last two – either all off or all on and that’s just a little silly.

If that’s not bad enough and to add to the melodrama, riding with Tim the other day on the roads after the trails, if knocking 20 minutes off a 13 mile trail run wasn’t enough, I realized that I’ve morphed into something of a strong(ish)  cyclist…  While we were out looking for the ladies we were pushing it pretty hard to find them, but certainly nothing ridiculous, when we happened upon a few skinny tire road bike riders, full kit decked out, and blew by them on a series of rollers.  I drafted behind a one of them for a minute just to be funny (mountain bike, cargo shorts etc), but when I went by I didn’t inch by – I tore him up…  So that gets me to thinking that the way I am doing things isn’t so bad after all.

Truth be told, this crap is confusing every now and again.  Ah well, it’s a good problem to have…  I’m not injured, I don’t have any major aches or pains, and instead of sitting on the couch I’m worrying about how much is too much rather than how little is enough.  I’ll take it, till I get this figured out.

Would You Like To Lose Weight Without Taking Pills?

I had a chuckle listening to my favorite radio station…  “Would you like to lose weight by taking only one pill a day?  We have too many pills to give away and not enough participants….”

No kidding.  Would you like to cure your gout?  It’ll cause your balls to fall off and your hair to turn purple.  Where can I sign up for that?  Want to cure jock itch?  Assuming that you passed on the gout pills that will make your balls fall off (if you didn’t just give those pills a minute), you can luckily now have your jock itch cured at the expense of your heart, liver and kidneys!  Woohoo!

You hear some of these commercials lately; “do you want to lower your cholesterol with only one pill?  It’ll rot your gut, but you don’t need that small intestine anyway, do you?”

Hell, you can even have potato chips that make your sphincter leak!

Whiskey-Tango-FOXTROT!!!

Here’s a thought:  Would you like to lose weight without taking pills?

Get off the freaking couch and move that ass!  Nobody looks down on you like you think they do:

Hell, the vast majority of us – and by vast, I mean like 80-90 freaking percent of us – are cheering for you!

MOVE THAT ASS, and keep your sphincter in tact!  WOOHOO!

 

Sorry, I don’t know what came over me…  I suppose I just had to figure out a way to constructively use the word “sphincter” in a post.

Trail Riding For Noobs – Part One, Equipment

Off of my awesome trail experience yesterday I managed to concentrate on exactly what I was doing right and where I could have improved.  After crunching the data in my head this morning, I’m going to put together a series of short posts in five parts.  Today’s first part will have to do with equipment, because that’s the most important and easiest to do something about.

I’ve written before, but I’ll reiterate, the three most important accessories besides the bike in mountain biking are (in this order):  The Helmet.  If you plan on riding on anything more than a two-track, you would literally be insane, stupid or single with no kids to attempt mountain biking at speed without a helmet (believe it or not I saw one guy out there yesterday – absolutely nuts).  Falling is simply too commonplace, and on some of the steeper climbs, it’s easy to catch your tire and fall over backwards if your weight is too far back.  Second in order of importance is glasses.  If your trails are through wooded areas, as ours are – chances are you’ll be hit in the face by low hanging branches no fewer than 20 or 30 times every time you go out.  Third is clip-less pedals and mountain biking shoes.  The climbs and descents are more manageable when you’re not worrying about your feet slipping off of the pedals.

The most important piece of equipment for heavy trail riding is obviously the bike.  We’re talking about technical mountain biking here, not rail trail riding – leave the hybrid at home if you plan on moving fast, you’ll need the wider tires.  At the very least if you are on a hybrid, put knobby tires on it and watch for passing traffic.  Otherwise, the major choices are:

Cantilever or Disc Brakes?

Cantilever brakes are cheap but don’t work as well as disc brakes.  It’s not rocket science.  If you can afford the disc brakes, you want them.  I ride a standard issue Trek 3700 with plain old cantilever brakes – the better brakes are important, but not entirely necessary.

Full Suspension or Hard Tail?

The suspension question gets tricky.  For straight dirt riding there’s nothing better than full suspension.  Speed is your friend when mountain biking (within reason of course) and having front and rear suspension will keep the tires in contact with the ground more than only having front suspension.  In addition, with no rear suspension, the rider has to absorb the bumps with their butt and back or their legs with their butt off of the saddle.  On the other hand, if you’re going to be riding on rail trails or roads with your bike, the rear suspension will rob you of efficiency because some of the power to the crank will be lost on flexing suspension parts.  If yours is going to be a multi-use mountain bike, get suspension components that can be locked out or a hard tail.

Gearing?  Opposite that of the Road Bike, there are no points for bigger chain rings and smaller cassette sprockets.  So called granny gears are good.  In fact, many people do away with their biggest chain ring – you probably won’t need it except in extreme circumstances – I went through 22 miles yesterday and never once touched the big ring.  This will change if you’re putting road tires on your mountain bike – you’ll need that 44 tooth big ring.  For the cassette, 8, 9 or 10 speed, they’re all good, just make sure you get a few nice bigger rings in there for the lower gears, they make climbing a breeze!  I’ve got 21 speeds on my 3700 – in 1st or 2nd gear I can climb hills with ease that would be very difficult to walk without grabbing tree trunks on the way up.  Just be careful to keep your weight evenly divided if not a little forward – it’s easy to fall over backwards in those lower gears – lots of torque.

H2O:

If you’re doing it right, at 11-12 mph on a decent trail you’ll be working just as hard as if you were cruising 18-19 mph on a road bike on incredibly bumpy/sandy/rugged terrain.  Getting a spot to take a swig on a mountain bike isn’t the same as on a road bike where the roads are more than likely reasonably smooth.  Camelbaks are good.  Besides, your water bottles, being low to the ground, will get dust and dirt all over them.  Of course, a little dirt never hurt anyone, but let’s not get too silly.  Just watch your center of gravity with a Camelbak.

Tires:

When it comes to knobs, bigger isn’t necessarily better.  My buddy Tim runs Kenda Small Block 8 tires and he’s fast as hell.  I still have my Bontrager Connection Trail 26″ tires that came with the bike (in ’08) and they’re great – again, with the smaller knobs and with a continuous strip in the middle for smoother road riding.

Gloves:

Show your hands some love with some good fingerless mountain gloves.  Just make sure they’re padded; your hands, arms and shoulders will thank you for it.

That mainly wraps up the equipment.  Clothing is a lot more laid back in mountain biking than road riding, so you really won’t have to sweat that too much.  You’ll see everything from cotton tank tops and cargo shorts to full cycling kit.  It’s rather up to you there.  I wear a lightweight cycling jersey with cargo shorts over my cycling shorts (so I can carry my car keys).

The Best Sunday A Guy Could Ask For

Yesterday was about as good as they get. I slept in till about 6 am, read a few blog posts, wrote one of my own and started getting our normal Sunday breakfast together: Scrambled eggs with ham, toast with homemade blackberry jam and bacon (of course). While that was cooking I remembered to tell my wife that my running buddy Tim had asked yesterday if we all wanted to go riding out at the Island Lake State park. Mrs. BDJ agreed so I let Tim know we were in – the cool thing about Island Lake is that it’s huge and 100% bike friendly. We’ve got miles of paved trails, roads and a 13 mile double loop of highly intense mountain bike trail…

After breakfast I started loading everything up, the girl’s bikes in the back of my Escape, and put the rack on the back for mine and the misses bikes. We hit the road just after 12:30. Tim was supposed to bring his girlfriend so the ladies were going to ride the paved trails while Tim and I hit the trails. The backup plan, if Tim’s girlfriend didn’t show, would have me hanging with my girls while Tim hit the trails.

We got to the park right on time and I started getting the bikes ready. Tim and his girlfriend showed up shortly thereafter. A quick Snickers and we were ready to go.

We hit the trail hard right out of the gate. This was only my second time actually on trails and the last time I hit the dirt twice in the first three miles trying to keep up with Tim – he’s some kind of awesome on a mountain bike.

I wish I could have snapped a few pictures, but we were going too fast (imagine that). The last time I rode that trail I went down on two downhills – trying to keep up with Tim – the roots and rocks, and bouncing associated with each on a hard tail prove to be a lot of trouble for me. That was last August, I had only been riding seriously for three months, since I was a kid, about 27 years ago. This time around I was in much better shape and I’m A LOT more fundamentally sound when it comes to shift timing and I’m more comfortable throwing a bike around. Tim’s normal time around the trail is around 1:06, his fastest is around 58 minutes. Last August we did it in 1:29. This time around was an absolute blast, and FAST. On the hard tail so navigating the downhills was still a touch ugly (and slow), but this time I was a lot stronger and about ten pounds lighter – I caught back up on every climb. We made it through the 13 mile trail in 1:08. I knocked 21 minutes off of my first attempt (and didn’t fall down LOL).

On finishing, we headed down the paved trail to meet up with the ladies who had stopped by one of the lakes for a dip in the water. After about a mile and a half I came around a corner to see my youngest, a grin from ear to ear. We rode back the rest of the way together, both my daughters and my wife telling me about what a great time they had. They got in a little more than 5 miles – not bad for a five year-old…and Isabella, my oldest, stuck with Tim for the last mile, who proudly informed me on our arriving back at the car park that (according to Tim’s computer) she’d hit 16 mph on the flat – with a 20″ 6 speed mountain bike.

I have no doubt we’ll be heading back again soon, though next time I’ll be hanging with my wife and girls.  I feel a need to be a part of that and the fact that we didn’t have more ride time together was the only negative of the trip.

We got home at about 4:30 and Mrs. BgddyJim got dinner together while I unpacked the bikes and all of our gear. On the menu was a fresh garden salad and slow cooker barbecue chicken quesadillas. Oh my, they were GOOD!

It just doesn’t get any better than that for a Sunday.

Oh, This Is Going To Be A Fun Topic…

On my hunting buddy Bill’s iron deficiency, I decided to take a look at some research rather than rely on common sense.  Sure enough, it’s pretty much just like you’d figure – and it gets better…  For those of use who are considered “athletes” or “endurance athletes” (a group of which I would finally place myself in), iron is even more important because it is required in blood to transfer oxygen to muscles.  In addition, a lack of iron has serious side effects:

“According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world.  It can be caused by a low dietary intake of iron, poor iron absorption, or excessive blood loss.  Signs of anemia include: constantly feeling weak and tired; short attention span; irritability; decreased performance at work or school; delayed cognitive development in infants and young children; decreased immune function leading to increased illness; swollen and red tongue (glossitis), and difficulty maintaining body temperature.  Several groups are at an increased risk for iron deficiency including children and adolescents, pregnant women, women of child-bearing age, athletes,  and older adults.”

There’s more:  “An active female athlete involved in a rigorous training program has an increased risk for iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency is common with or without anemia, decreases performance for the athlete, and often is not detected on a standard blood test. The capacity to transport oxygen to the cells of the muscle via myoglobin is impaired (energy production is limited), which is vital for competition.  Male endurance athletes and vegetarian athletes may also be at an increased risk for iron deficiency.  To ensure optimum iron stores, athletes should eat meals or snacks that contain adequate quantities of iron-rich foods and, in some cases, see a physician for a recommended iron supplement.”

Now, Bill eats venison, but only when he’s got the time to cook it himself (his wife refuses to “handle it”).  One would assume (as all of us fellas did at the running club) that this would cover any iron needs – even taking into account.  I mentioned that first and foremost during his explanation of what was going on, but according to his doctor, venison is too lean to rely on as a decent supply of iron and that he should therefore rely more on beef (cow).

Going back to the linked article:  “There are two forms of iron – heme and non-heme. The iron in meat is about 40 percent heme and 60 percent non-heme. Much of the iron in the diet, however, is in the non-heme form. This is the form found in plant sources such as fruits, vegetables, grain products, and in iron fortified foods. About 25 percent to 35 percent of heme iron is absorbed, yet this percentage drops to 3 percent for non-heme iron. This difference is important because heme iron is found only in animal flesh. Vegetarians in particular need to be aware of the low absorption of non-heme iron.”  The article does mention that for vegetarians to absorb more non-heme iron, eating fruits and veggies high in vitamin C in the same meal as the iron rich foods will increase iron absorption.

And one of the few knocks on coffee:  “Other factors may decrease the availability of iron. Coffee and tea consumption at the time of a meal can significantly decrease iron absorption. Tea can cause iron absorption to drop by 60 percent and coffee can cause a 50 percent decrease in iron uptake. The tannins in both tea and coffee adversely affect iron availability. Phytates in some legumes and grains, phosphates in cola drinks, some proteins in soybeans, and possibly calcium and fiber may interfere with iron absorption. These may be important factors if the diet already is low in iron.”

So, how much is enough?  From the supplemental for endurance athletes:

“After carbohydrates and fats, protein provides energy for the body. Exercise may increase an athlete’s need for protein, depending on the type and frequency of exercise. Extra protein consumed is stored as fat. In the fully grown athlete, it is training that builds muscle, not protein per se. The ADA reports that a protein intake of 10 to 12 percent of total calories is         sufficient. Most authorities recommend that endurance athletes eat between 1.2-1.4 grams protein per kg of body weight per day; resistance and strength-trained athletes may need as much as 1.6-1.7 grams protein per kg of body weight. (A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.)

Japanese researchers demonstrated that “sports anemia” may appear in the early stages of training with intakes of less than 1 gram/kg of body weight per day of high quality protein. To calculate your protein needs, divide your ideal weight by 2.2 pounds to obtain your weight in kilograms. Then multiply kilograms by the grams of protein recommended.”

Other important articles that discuss the benefits of eating red meat are here, and here.

Fortunately for me (and my kids), I took care of my daily requirements at dinner last night…  mmm Burgers…

 

UPDATE:  This post was not produced to point to a glaring deficiency in a vegetarian diet.  I have no problem with people living such a lifestyle, unlike the vegetarian lobby that continually attacks meat consumption.

 

A Big Time Sammich

Today was scheduled as a BIG workout day. I’m getting back into shape for our running club’s Olympic Tri’s and I had a little fire in me about two overheating blowups that I went through last week.

The weather this morning was perfect, not a cloud in the sky and about 68 degrees – and no wind (for once) as I wheeled my bike out onto the front porch. Yes, it stays in the house.

My wife was gathering the girls to head over to aunt Esther’s house to hang out with grandma so Mrs. BDJ could come down and run with us (YES!). Yesterday’s ride was a hard effort so I decided to take it easy on the ride down so I’d have some left for the run and ride home. The first twelve were done at 18.4 mph.

When I walked in the door my hunting buddy Bill was just getting ready to head out. He runs a crazy amount of slow miles, 70 a week at about a 9:30 pace. He was in for the 10 mile loop so I decided to run the 10k and hang with him to catch up on how things were going. He had just been through a crazy health issue that ended up with surprisingly good news. He was experiencing a lot of intense lower back pain so he went in to see his doctor. The initial diagnosis was stage three kidney failure so the doctor scheduled an ultra-sound. The results came back negative. It turned out that his diet was the problem. He was deficient of iron and potassium. The prescription was lots of steak and bananas – imagine that. It turns out his wife had him on a no red meat, turkey and chicken diet and that was the culprit (hint, hint). We did the first three at his pace and then I broke off and sped up mid-way through the fourth. That one went into the books at 8:40, the fifth in 7:54 and the sixth in 7:42 and I finished the last two tenths at a 6:30 pace. I was really happy with the 7:42 pace – I got that ‘I could run forever like this’ feeling and I was really digging it. I thought I’d slowed down a tick.

Afterwards, the guys and I sat down for a beef and bean chili lunch with a healthy serving of Frito’s – gotta have the carbs. 🙂

I let lunch settle for a bit, suited up and headed down the road for my 18 mile ride home. I was a little tight after the run but I loosened up pretty quickly… I tuned my Endomondo chick out and just hammered the pedals the best I could. Before I knew it I was heading down the home stretch to a shower and a much needed nap. 19.5 mph average, into the wind.

36.2 miles, 2,400 calories burned. One Olympic length Triathlon minus a little dip in the lake…good to go.

Now that’s how we spend a Fun Saturday morning.

How Much Faster Is A Road Bike Than A Mountain Bike… Part II – It’s Not Just The Tires

I spent some time looking back at some of my most read posts and at the top of the list was, How Much Faster Is A Road Bike Than A Mountain Bike? Initially I got the idea for writing the post as I was comparing results on Endomondo between the two after I put some miles on my 5200. The difference between the two bikes is profound, obviously, but I decided to click on some of the other links that show up on a search of the subject and came across this reply to the question:

“take it from someone who knows… the aero benefits of a crouched riding position @ 15mph for 20mins are miniscule compared to the gains you would get from slick tires on a mountain bike in less rotational inertia and rolling resistance.
This isn’t to say that the road bike isn’t going to be faster. It defintely will, but it won’t be because of the aero benefits of a different riding position (which equally apply on and off road… same air after all).”

Now this is an interesting take – and not without merit, though not exactly based on reality either… And it just so happens that I have data on changing to slicks as well, because I did exactly that for two Olympic Tri’s last year. I trained with standard knobby tires, and then two days before the first event I switched to the street tires (Specialized Nimbus Armadillo) and left them on for a month or so.

My average was 17.3-17.5 mph with the street tires on a hard tail (front suspension only) Trek 3700. I weeded out the slower, recovery ride, days because they skew the picture. The best I ever did on a mountain bike with street tires was 18.7 mph over 10 miles, on paved roads:

Cycling, sport
Start Time
Jul 28, 2011 3:08 PM
Distance
10.20 miles
Duration
32m:42s
Avg Speed
18.7 mph
Max Speed
24.2 mph

I can remember this ride – I wanted to see, specifically, how fast I could push it for 10 miles on my mountain bike. The weather was perfect, low 80’s and sunny, and those are my results. I’m in a little better riding shape today than I was back then, but I was still in Olympic Tri shape – in other words, I was in pretty good stinkin’ shape when I took that ride. If I deduct the two tenths I was at 31:35

To compare today’s results is a little skewed as well – I wouldn’t bother with a 10 mile ride anymore, I’m more about the longer distances now (16 being my easy days, 25 as my normal everyday ride and 50 for my longer days), but let’s take my best 10 mile performances from 25-30 mile rides (I left out my personal best of 26:33 which was due to a nice 15 mph tailwind) and I’m looking at 27:58.

But let’s do away with the bests and look at averages, because that’s what is important. Today, on my 5200, 18.7 mph is a little (a few tenths) better than a recovery ride over 25 miles (I had a 50 mile ride planned for the next day):

Sport
Cycling, sport
Start Time
Jun 15, 2012 1:48 PM
Distance
25.51 miles
Duration
1h:21m:55s
Avg Speed
18.7 mph
Max Speed
25.5 mph
Calories
1400 kcal
Altitude
650 ft / 860 ft
Elevation
381 ft ↑ / 236 ft ↓

So let’s look at averages:

My average with slicks was around 17.5 mph (1.5-2 mph faster than with knobbies). The average on my road bike over a distance double the mountain bike is 20 mph. The tires are obviously thinner on my road bike and offer less rolling resistance than the mountain bike with street tires, but aerodynamics has just as much to do with the increase in speed. Anyone who has ridden for any length of time will tell you there’s a big difference between riding with your head up and head down on a road bike, let alone riding upright vs. tucked.

Though the physics may not show much on paper, in reality the difference is huge – and we haven’t even discussed riding into the wind yet. I can hold a 20 mph average easily enough into a 5 mph breeze – there’s no way I’m maintaining 17.5 over the same distance into a breeze… But let’s go to the cycle computer app for the definitive power numbers on that, shall we?

Road bike, hands on hoods, 0% grade, 10 miles, 5 mph headwind, 20 mph: 303 watts

Under the same conditions, with a hybrid which has slightly better tires than the mountain bike with slicks, that same 303 watts produces a speed of 18.2 mph.

That 1.8 mph difference is mostly aerodynamics folks. Road bikes are meant to do one thing well, get your butt down the road fast – and they are exceptional at that task. Flat bar hybrids and mountain bikes with road tires are meant to increase your speed, but the notion that the average rider will keep up with the average roadie on a hybrid is silly – ain’t. no. way.

How Much Faster Is A Road Bike Than A Mountain Bike… Part II – It’s Not Just The Tires

I spent some time looking back at some of my most read posts and at the top of the list was, How Much Faster Is A Road Bike Than A Mountain Bike?  Initially I got the idea for writing the post as I was comparing results on Endomondo between the two after I put some miles on my 5200.  The difference between the two bikes is profound, obviously, but I decided to click on some of the other links that show up on a search of the subject and came across this reply to the question:

“take it from someone who knows… the aero benefits of a crouched riding position @ 15mph for 20mins are miniscule compared to the gains you would get from slick tires on a mountain bike in less rotational inertia and rolling resistance.
This isn’t to say that the road bike isn’t going to be faster. It defintely will, but it won’t be because of the aero benefits of a different riding position (which equally apply on and off road… same air after all).”

Now this is an interesting take – and not without merit, though not exactly based on reality either…  And it just so happens that I have data on changing to slicks as well, because I did exactly that for two Olympic Tri’s last year.  I trained with standard knobby tires, and then two days before the first event I switched to the street tires (Specialized Nimbus Armadillo) and left them on for a month or so.

My average was 17.3-17.5 mph with the street tires on a hard tail (front suspension only) Trek 3700.  I weeded out the slower, recovery ride, days because they skew the picture.  The best I ever did on a mountain bike with street tires was 18.7 mph over 10 miles, on paved roads:

Cycling, sport
Start Time
Jul 28, 2011 3:08 PM
Distance
10.20 miles
Duration
32m:42s
Avg Speed
18.7 mph
Max Speed
24.2 mph

I can remember this ride – I wanted to see, specifically, how fast I could push it for 10 miles on my mountain bike.  The weather was perfect, low 80’s and sunny, and those are my results.  I’m in a little better riding shape today than I was back then, but I was still in Olympic Tri shape – in other words, I was in pretty good stinkin’ shape when I took that ride.  If I deduct the two tenths I was at 31:35

To compare today’s results is a little skewed as well – I wouldn’t bother with a 10 mile ride anymore, I’m more about the longer distances now (16 being my easy days, 25 as my normal everyday ride and 50 for my longer days), but let’s take my best 10 mile performances from 25-30 mile rides (I left out my personal best of 26:33 which was due to a nice 15 mph tailwind) and I’m looking at 27:58.

But let’s do away with the bests and look at averages, because that’s what is important.  Today, on my 5200, 18.7 mph is a little (a few tenths) better than a recovery ride over 25 miles (I had a 50 mile ride planned for the next day):

Sport
Cycling, sport
Start Time
Jun 15, 2012 1:48 PM
Distance
25.51 miles
Duration
1h:21m:55s
Avg Speed
18.7 mph
Max Speed
25.5 mph
Calories
1400 kcal
Altitude
650 ft / 860 ft
Elevation
381 ft ↑ / 236 ft ↓

So let’s look at averages:

My average with slicks was around 17.5 mph (1.5-2 mph faster than with knobbies).  The average on my road bike over a distance double the mountain bike is 20 mph.  The tires are obviously thinner on my road bike and offer less rolling resistance than the mountain bike with street tires, but aerodynamics has just as much to do with the increase in speed.  Anyone who has ridden for any length of time will tell you there’s a big difference between riding with your head up and head down on a road bike, let alone riding upright vs. tucked.

Though the physics may not show much on paper, in reality the difference is huge – and we haven’t even discussed riding into the wind yet.  I can hold a 20 mph average easily enough into a 5 mph breeze – there’s no way I’m maintaining 17.5 over the same distance into a breeze…  But let’s go to the cycle computer app for the definitive power numbers on that, shall we?

Road bike, hands on hoods, 0% grade, 10 miles, 5 mph headwind, 20 mph:  303 watts

Under the same conditions, with a hybrid which has slightly better tires than the mountain bike with slicks, that same 303 watts produces a speed of 18.2 mph.

That 1.8 mph difference is mostly aerodynamics folks.  Road bikes are meant to do one thing well, get your butt down the road fast – and they are exceptional at that task.  Flat bar hybrids and mountain bikes with road tires are meant to increase your speed, but the notion that the average rider will keep up with the average roadie on a hybrid is silly – ain’t. no. way.

More On Overheating

I went out for a decent, before lunch ride today and killed it…and I could have been faster.  I started out fairly slow because I was a little tight from my run last night.  It’ll never cease to amaze me how much more slow runs hurt than fast runs (to a degree of course).  That said, I started out slow with a 15 mph first mile.  I started loosening up in the second and after the third I’d abandoned my plans for an easy ride and was on it.  I blew 3:20 seconds in the first three miles and finished about 3:30 under a 20 mph pace…  To simplify the math, my first three miles were at about a 15 mph pace, my last 25.5 were just under 20 mph (19.9) with stops.

My problems the other day were with the heat, and partially the wind.  We had a 5 mph breeze in lieu of an 18 mph wind and  today I had no problem holding 20 mph into the wind – but the big difference was that the temp was down about 23 degrees (72, down from 95) too and that’s what made the difference.  I kind of got the idea that I wasn’t overtraining right after I finished my ride Wednesday.  I was sweating to beat the band by the time I dismounted and the kids wanted to go swimming so I quickly changed into my suit, chugged a cold Gatorade – that’s when I realized I was cold and had been since I’d gotten off of the bike (it wasn’t just the cold Gatorade).  The cold feeling didn’t subside for another 15 minutes and I actually had to wait a few before I got in the pool…  I was close to heat exhaustion.  This really didn’t click till yesterday evening.  Oops.

I made a few mistakes when the temps started climbing.  For one, I didn’t acclimate – I just jumped in with both feet cranking as the temps jumped from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s – and there’s a big difference in that ten degrees.  Instead of hitting it hard on Monday and Tuesday, it would have been wiser to ease into it – maybe a 16 mph ride on Monday and 17-18 mph on Tuesday, that would have gotten me a little better accustomed to the heat.

Either way, no harm, no foul – so I looked up some tips to staying cool when the heat’s cranking.  The neatest tip was this:

“Wrapping a water-soaked bandana around your neck can do wonders to keep you cool. For maximum relief, you can go a step farther and do what a guy I know does. He folded a bandana in half and stitched up two of the sides, leaving the third open. He’ll shove that thing full of ice cubes and wrap it around his neck. Talk about an intense and lasting chill. And as the ice melts, the frigid water drips down your back and chest. Plus, that ice supply can be replentished as necessary, giving you a freeze that’ll last all day.”

There’s another long list here (scroll down to the comments section).  Most are common sense, but there are some winners in there:  “…at the first signs of heat exhaustion: back off! Greatly relax your pace at the very least and start sucking down the water like there’s no tomorrow, even (especially!) if the thought of drinking turns your off. If you’re healthy and in good shape, ten to twenty minutes at a walking pace while drinking lots of water should be enough to recover enough to get you back to a relaxed pace that’ll let you finish the ride. But if it doesn’t get better, IMMEDIATELY find air conditioning, or at least shade. And be prepared to call 911.”

Lesson learned – being a noob at cycling is so much fun

Does A Slow 5k Still Count As A Day Off?

Well I was all set to take a day off yesterday – I had my bike on the rack in the driveway for a thorough cleaning by 5 pm.  My wife informed me that she wouldn’t be running that evening because she just wasn’t up to it, so I ran…  But it was really slow, I promise!  9:40/9:34/9:04…well, except for that last 100 meters that I sprinted.

Ah well, it was kind of nice to get out and run.  I learned that I’d missed it a bit.

The bike is immaculate again – and ready to go for later today…