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 3000km / 163 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.

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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

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

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

lenkillä 003

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

Training for season 2015

My riding has improved season after season, but during the short Nordic summer you can only get so far. It is pretty apparent that hard work is required also off-season in order to accomplish results. In the end it is no use training hard for three months then slack off for six just to have to start building from scratch. I would like to take my cycling to another level, but I’m lacking both in physical endurance and power. Some steps need to be taken and this is my plan for the long dark winter.

dry day

The odd dry day.

Continue reading