The old wisdom is you can only improve something you can measure. I had the opportunity to measure myself at the HULA ergometer lab last year. I got lot of fancy charts on lactates and CO2 levels, but the main recommendation was that I should be riding more light endurance training (under 135bpm) instead of constant Strava segment induced intervals.
The three key metrics were the following:
- Aerobic threshold (AeT) 130W 127bpm
- Anaerobic threshold (AnT/LT) 210W 170bpm
- VO2max 292W
Essentially the key take-away was that I can ride little over 200W for extended periods without worry as AnT translates to FTP pretty well. I was bit disappointed in the numbers, but it is good to know the baseline. Knowing you are going too easy or hard is important especially on longer hills or doing time trials. I don’t do much of either so it is more a question of pacing myself in right training zones. Continue reading
In May we spent a week traveling around Scotland in a campervan. The scenery was amazing and we drove almost 1400km. I did not bring along my road bike, but after seeing how the locals drive and how the road shoulders are almost non-existent I don’t really mind.
Some of the highlights of our trip:
- Climbed Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh
- Seafari wildlife tour to Corryvreckan. Thanks Claire!
- Seafood stand on the Oban pier
- Hired a downhill bike and rode the Red Giant trail on Ben Nevis range
- Coasteering adventure in Skye with Skye Adventure. Thanks Sarah and John!
- Driving up Bealach na Ba road to Applecross
We also did some of the must-see spots like Eilean donan castle and Loch Ness, but my experience is that they necessarily were not worth the time. The best time we had wondering on the secluded beaches and taking the less beaten track in general. Next time I want to walk up some Munros and maybe attend a closed-roads cyclo sportive.
So 2016 was more or less the same than the years before. For 2017 I thought I would mix things up a little bit.
So to keep up there has to be plenty of off-season training in the spring and start on the road early. In addition I will try to ride plenty on the track (incl. Velorution) and fixed-gear crit (Hellsinki crit cup). Continue reading
I broke my pretty new frame in a freak accident. For some unknown reason a driver decided to start backing up all of a sudden. I managed to dodge to the side, but fell over. The top tube suffered a crack and the frame is pretty much toast. It may be the high modulus carbon’s inability to take any load from the side or I just got real unlucky. Needless to say I’m not too happy even thought I escaped with a bruise in the shin. Rest of the season is ruined as it will take time to sort out things with the insurance company. The only good thing is that I may have a chance to cut open the frame to see what’s inside.
It is new year again and this year I will become officially old. I will be turning 40 and become eligible for senior sports. The good thing about cycling is that you regularly see old geezers still managing to keep up with the bunch, show panache and even fight for the win. So there is still hope and I have no intention of giving up on my ever broadening plan of becoming a real cyclist one day. For this season I’m looking forward to overcoming strenuous physical challenges on newly built bikes. Continue reading
During the last few weeks I haven’t been riding much. Earlier I did some MTBing in the forests close by, but lately it has just been too dark and gloomy. Yesterday we got the first snow so I guess the season 2015 can now be wrapped up. I was aiming to do whole lot of things, but the biggest goal was to enjoy and challenge myself. I think I did well. Continue reading
This autumn I will be taking it easy cycling wise. I will have my hands full with the plumbing renovation and new client at work. To be make my life simpler I made a decision to skip TdH and other sportives. The only bit of cycling will be commuting on the days I don’t have to take the kid to pre-school. The only question is what bike can I use for the 60k round trip. Continue reading
Last weekend I took part in the 297km Vättern Rundan cyclosportive and I’m quite happy with the result. This time I rode with TUT-EIK group and it proved to be a good choice. Their jolly company and the much better 2:52 start time gave me a real chance to better my dismal result from last year. The weather in Motala was just great and the bike worked like it should. Of course there are always things to improve upon, but I couldn’t really hope for a much better trip over all. Continue reading
After the first three rides of the season it seems I have done something right during the winter. I did gain some weight, but riding on the road everything feels great. It seems I’m in a fairly good condition and most importantly performance just has not dropped as drastically as it did over the previous off-seasons. There are probably some good explanations for the way things panned out.
I never ended up running to work, but I kept commuting daily through the winter. I did some short runs before Christmas and some excellent weekend single-track rides on the snowy trails. Also I had ended the season late in Italy and now I have been able to start quite early. My asthma feels better as the roads have been cleaned up early. I may have also been in much better shape to start with. So it seems it was combination of things that did the trick.
Of course the great feeling may also just be the difference between a steel frame and carbon. Now we have had some bad weather (snow, sleet, rain – your pick) and I have missed some opportunities due to a flu. So I’m little unsure about my current shape after a two week hiatus from riding. I will also be very busy at work, renovating the new flat and there is a trip coming up next week so I really need put some miles in whenever the weather is warm and sunny like today.
If I just manage to find the time to it shouldn’t take too long to get back into shape. I’m starting to feel the pressure of VätternRundan already. Riding the 1000km recommended before mid-June is going to be tough.