Trip report: Gran Canaria

20171109_112936For a number of years now I have dreamed about extending the summer by arranging an off-season training camp for myself. This November I finally managed to persuade “la familia” to join me for a trip to Puerto de Mogan in Gran Canaria. This was going to be my first real to chance to tackle mountains so I was bit apprehensive. In the end everything worked out more or less like I had envisioned. The village was nice, the mountains challenging and everybody is willing to do it again next year. Continue reading

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Season wrap-up 2017

I spent another season churning away. It wasn’t the warmest of summers, but there were plenty of sunny days to still achieve noticeable tan lines. In addition I managed:

  • Riding 3500km / 194 hours (excluding commutes)
  • Pirkan klassikko sportive in good company
  • Rode from Karstula to Kauhava on my route to Lappland
  • 6th place in Hellsinki fixed gear crit race
  • 33km/h group at Helsinki Velotour sportive

All in all it was another successful season with the sport I love. I spent lot of time on the saddle, but cycling did not start to feel like a chore. Plenty of variety (gravel, long, short, fast, slow) kept things interesting. To save the best for last I still have the training camp coming up in Gran Canaria. Continue reading

Training with power meter

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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

Hockey and cycling

new york rangers
I picked up ice hockey again year ago and it is such an amazing fast-paced sport. The 1,5 hours in the ring really flies by and you are absolutely drenched in sweat afterwards. The next few days your thighs are burning and you sure know you have really worked out. Now from cycling point of view hockey makes lot of sense as it is a great lower body workout and improves your balance.
Continue reading

Reality check

munkkikoski-004I had big plans for 2017, but I hurt myself ice skating month and a half ago. I was literally on the sofa for two weeks and out of sporting action for a month. My right leg has visibly shriveled during that time. I went for the very first pleasure ride yesterday and took it easy. Still the hurt leg was sore and aching afterwards. I truly dread the first time I will see the left-right leg balance numbers from my power meter. The spring is coming soon and trip to Belgium had to be cancelled, but hopefully I can recover during the summer.

Plans for 2017

TdH preli 011So 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

Season 2016 wrap-up

lenkki-004After the responsibility-fullfilled 2015 I had big hopes for 2016 as far as cycling goes. In the end I did manage to do quite a bit.

  • Riding 2500km (excluding commutes)
  • Giro d’Espoo in 32km/h group (fixed)
  • Vättern rundan close to 10h (not 9h)
  • Riding to Uimastadion and back with my 6-year old son
  • 6th place in Velorution track omnium competition
  • Participated in Hellsinki fixed-gear crit race (not last)

I woved I would go on a spending spree and this year I got no less than three new bikes (track, road and cx) and a set of watt cranks. Continue reading

Plans for 2016

Bergö, sommaröarna

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

Something done right

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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.

Season goals 2015

WP_20141225_002 It has slowly dawned on me 2015 I should not promise too much as far as cycling goes. With the new job and renovations at the apartment building there will be enough of other challenges. The only real goal is to enjoy myself outdoors and challenge myself on some epic adventures.

As far as mileage goes I don’t care, but I have to do 1000km before the trip to Sweden. Anyways I hope I get to ride twice a week and on the track a few times. Regular exercise is a good stress reliever after all. To mix things up some fixed-gear criterium races would be nice. In addition participating in some randonneur type events should be fairly easy to arrange. Continue reading