Wednesday, 24 July 2013


WOW…  it has been a while since I logged in and now that I have done so, the desire to post an update has been ignited.  There is so much to share that my head is abuzz with where to start, should I do reviews on my new bike and or wheels, or concluding thoughts on last season’s race performance, or goals for coming season, or how social media benefits my cycling, or state of self after rest block. Seeing that the rest block was most recent let me start there.
The first week of July marked 14 weeks of consistent training in the bag since the Argus Cycle Tour. It was a good solid training block, starting with base, culminating with 15min intervals, within a structured framework.
When some important work commitments took preference in my life at the end of June, it was expected that I would experience extreme tiredness by the end of my work audit week. This was accompanied by a total lack of motivation to swing a leg over the saddle. It was time for a rest from my sport, and for the next 2 weeks I left my bike alone. I did occasionally give it an admiring glance, or stroke the handlebar as I walked by.
My rest block coincided with the start of Ramadan, the Muslim Holy month of fasting. This meant that comeback rides would be in the dark predawn hours, allowing sufficient time to have a bite to eat before the fasting day started. Those first rides last week were totally AWESOME. The light rain on those first few mornings made it even more rewarding. I felt very fresh coming back to the road, my mind had been cleared.  My legs felt like they could go and go. The bike felt smooth and svelte. Everything came together so perfectly.
Over the course of a training block I tend to become engrossed in the amount of time I am training, what intensity or zone I am training in, what power profile I am able to attain, what my weight is, and so on. This break has caused me to rethink why I train, and this has created a refreshed approach, filled with a rejuvenated desire for the season ahead.
Do you apply scheduled rest periods in your programme, and how do they work for you?  
Let's Ride

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Email to my Coach

It has been a while since my last blog post, and it does feel good this morning to once again be putting my cycling thoughts to file.
I am a mid of the pack racing vet (masters) cyclist, no podium finishes (yet), and I have been utilizing the services of a cycling coach for about 2-3 years now. Every once in a while, like most average racing cyclist, I question the benefits of having a coach. What do you think?

Below is an email I sent to my Coach this morning,

Hi Michael,
Yesterday morning I woke at 04h15 for my FTP session. I was really not in the mood to get out of bed, and dragged myself to the bathroom. I was contemplating whether to go out, whether to postpone to the pm (risk cancelling altogether in the pm) etc. Was also thinking what (good) excuse I am going to give you for missing the session and so on. Eventually got dressed and got out onto the road, still in 2 minds, swept with laziness. 30 min later I was at the start of my lap, and feeling warmed up, but still a bit lethargic. As the intensity of the climb picked up, I got into it more and by the time I reached the top I was happy to be out and take in the views on the horizon, the quietness and freshness of the morning.
By the time of the 3rd lap, it was lighter, and I could better see my power numbers on the Garmin. I decided to try and micro control my power output to try and keep it more constant. I found that my attempts were working, and I was quite eager to see the graph. From the graph below you can see the difference on lap 3.
Next week I will make a change with my lights so that I can have visibility on the Garmin throughout the 4 laps, and again work on keeping a more constant output.
The other point is that Lap1 – 294W, LAP2 - 297W, LAP3 – 301W. LAP 2 is better than LAP 1 because LAP1 was a lethargic start. LAP3 was higher because of my more constant power through the lap. I am also happy with the spike at the end of the lap.
Your thoughts?
My third point is about my coach. If it was not for him I would probably have skipped yesterday’s session. And, because of his inputs I am working on my micro control of power output (keeping it more constant), which is leading to improved performance.
Thanks coach.  

Let's Ride !!!