Monday, March 22, 2010

Cool idlers for our RAAM bikes from Terracycle!

Terracycles recently sent us pictures of custom idlers they are doing for our RAAM Carbent HPV bikes. Nothing like a little bling to make you faster! (note the external cabling was done special for Sandy's bike...normally we route the cables internally)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Training for RAAM - Nutrition

In the ultra-cycling community, there are endless conversations about nutrition. What works best varies from person to person and from situation to situation. But I want to take a different tack. I want to talk about nutrition off the bike.

For the last couple weeks, I haven't felt good on the bike. I've mentioned it to JV (my coach), citing difficulty completing workouts and difficulty staying in the higher power zones. About a week ago, JV suggested more protein. It didn't solve any problems. On the way back from my ride last Saturday, JV calls and confirms that my intuition was data shows that I am not making any progress.

Often, good training is about finding your limiters, and working around them. During that conversation, we found another limiter. Pure and simple, I'm not eating enough. As we came to this revelation, my first thought was "of course, I'm trying to lose weight." But, in addition to feeling awful on the bike, I wasn't really losing much weight! Basically, I was "starving" myself, and my body had shut down. I wasn't able to produce any power and my body was conserving everything it had to stay functional.

So, the solution was simple...go eat! I've doubled my caloric intake and feel MUCH better on and off the bike. I'm also nailing the workouts better. We will check out the numbers in another week to see if they back up my intuition.

So, why am I bringing this up? Sometimes the limiters to your training can be so obvious and in-your-face, that you completely miss them! How could I possibly think that consuming 2500 calories per day would be effective while training at a high intensity? It's obvious now, but for some reason, I just didn't see it!

So, as you continue to pursue your goals, athletic or otherwise, make sure to take the time to examine the obvious limiters. What's holding you back could be right in front of your nose!

Ride safe!

Friday, March 05, 2010

More Carbent frame pictures

Last week, you all saw the roll wrapped tube on the main frame of a Carbent HPV Raven. This week, I've taken some detailed pictures of a filament wound frameset. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Training for RAAM in more detail

I get quite a few queries on RAAM training, so I thought I would post a series on the training that I am doing, why I am doing it, and how we measure progress.

First, I use a Powertap hub. A Powertap hub has eight strain gauges inside to measure torque being applied to the hub from the cranks. The resulting output is displayed in watts. Similar to training with heart rate, I have a variety of wattage zones, and my training is geared to keep me in specific zones for various amounts of time. One key difference between heart rate and power, though, is that power is displayed immediately, in real time (1s delay), so you get immediate feedback regarding your performance. Heartrate tends to be a bit slow in responding to changes in your workout.

At the beginning of training, I did a power test to determine my "threshold" level of power. It came to about 230w. This is a level of power that I can hold for 30 minutes, up to even an hour, if necessary. All of my training levels are based on this number. When I am training at "threshold", I try to keep the wattage between 210 and 240. "Tempo" is between 175 and 210, and can be held for several hours at a time (with the correct fueling).

This week, I am doing two intense, shorter workouts during the week. These entail 40 minutes at threshold and 30 minutes at easy (just below tempo). The best way to do threshold workouts is on a hill - I use Sepulveda Blvd. Since it is almost 11 minutes to the top, I do the climb four times. I then scurry over to work, keeping the wattage between 130 and 170.

Between these workouts, I commute at easy level. This does not imply that I am taking it easy. I still need to maintain 130-170w.

On Saturday, I will do a longer, three hour tempo ride (two hours at tempo, one hour easy). Tempo gets really hard if you aren't managing your nutrition well. I've found that I don't get enough protein, so this week I am consuming more and observing the effects.

Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Cross Country and beyond for a great cause!

A good friend of ours forwarded the link for this Crazy Guy on a Bike journal. Ken and Jen are doing a 7000 mile tour on their trikes to increase awareness of organ donation, among other things. Enjoy their journey!