As many of you know, it is difficult – some would say impossible – for me to say briefly what can be said at length. This will not be an exception.
After a casual year of cycling with no real goals in 2012, I decided to shake things up a bit for 2013. I started by looking at my constraints:
- I ski most weekends from December through March, and therefore have little weekend time to train on my bike.
- During the winter, the Tuesday/Thursday rides I lead (“Eastside Tours”) are often constrained by weather, so we only go on about half of the rides.
- Cycling is not the only thing I want to spend time on; the evening rides plus a ride of reasonable length (less than 4 hours unless it’s an event) on one day of the weekend is the amount of time I’m willing to devote.
I then looked at my goals:
- Have more fun
- Do some different events
- Finish RAMROD without hating it
It was clear that to reach my goals, I needed to be more efficient in my training, so I bought a copy of Carmichael’s “Time-Crunched Cyclist”, and dug in. I started with the “Experienced Century Rider” program, and then adapted it to my schedule. Fitting into the constraints of a group ride was a bit challenging at times; I needed to pick routes that worked for the group and then fit the assigned workout into it, so sometimes I would do 3 intervals on one hill, 3 intervals on the next, and then the final 2 on a third hill. I put all-out intervals on the weekends because they didn’t really fit in. All of the workouts were based on power, and the specific power levels were based on a field test I did. This was my first experience training using power, and being able to quantify the expected effort level makes things so much easier and more effective.
The training was quite successful; I ended up being leg constrained (ie my legs hurt from the lactic acid) on my climbs rather than being aerobically constrained, and that was a very nice outcome.
RAMROD was pretty good; I was much faster up Paradise than previously, but Cayuse turned into the usual suffer-fest, with me stopping multiple times. I think that the problems I had on Cayuse are related to me not eating enough; my later performances where I ate more were much better. So, chow down seems to be the order of the day.
Our California trip was very nice; I had great energy pretty much the whole time, and managed to do two mountain climbs (Figueroa and Diablo) at a high consistent power output and feeling reasonably good while doing it (I lucked out and had great weather on Diablo, but Figueroa was hot hot and that reduced my speed and increased my pain a bit).
And finally, I felt strong all the way through the Passport 2 Pain, staying ahead of the usually-faster riders from my group. I’m a little worried about attempting it a second time, as a look comparing my RAMROD performance to my P2P performance would make you think it was two different riders, and P2P may have just been one of those days when you have great legs.
In summary, a pretty good year.
|Distance (Miles)||3000 miles||2356 miles|
|Average speed||14.2 MPH||14.46 MPH|
|Total Elevation||215,052 feet||150,804|
|Longest ride||149 miles||107|
A 40% increase in elevation this year; some of that comes from about 25% more miles, but the remainder comes from a 12% increase in the number of feet climbed per mile, which is a pretty significant increase. The decrease in average pace is because of that; I have actually be faster on the flats this year than in the past but have been trying to stay within our 17 MPH goal pace for the Eastside Tours rides.