It is still summer, but the short nordic road cycling season is eventually starting to near its end. After the trip to Belgium and a 200km brevet pretty early in the spring I had plenty of early season prep. The hockey playing seems to have transferred over quite well and it hasn’t hurt that I weight 5kg less than usually after the winter. There were couple of rainy weeks, but mostly weather has been amazing. So, at least so far, things have turned out alright with healthy mix of riding both on gravel and tarmac. Continue reading
Even though I’m still not all that serious about cycling I have found it a good idea to plan ahead a little bit. The upcoming events help me motivate myself during the long off-season.
- Start season early with 170km Ronde Vlaanderen sportive (end of March)
- Pirkan yöpyöräily 140km sportive (night in mid-June)
- Kauhava-Kokkola ride and/or Pukkilanharju 300km brevet (July)
- Turku Touring sportive 240 or 300km (August) or Helsinki Velotour 155km in 36km/h group (End of August)
So next year the idea is to up the ante a bit. No official goal for distance, but 5k would be great and I would still consider 3k a good accomplishment. If the local hipsters are up to it I will surely attend their track races and fixed-gear crits.
For 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
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
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
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.
I 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.
So 2016 was more or less the same than the years before. For 2017 I thought I would mix things up a little bit.
- Ronde Vlaanderen 130-180km (early April)
- 2nd Pirkan Pyöräily (mid June)
- Helsinki Velotour 150km in 33km/h group (late August)
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
After 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
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