Weight program: Core Exercises only
Tuesday: 1:15h Z2 Indoor Z2 ride
Wednesday: Core Exercises
Thursday: 1:15h Z2 indoor ride
Saturday: 4:00h Z2 ride (no SRM)
Sunday: 2:25h Z2 ride (no SRM)
Total Bikescore/TSS: 353
Total Training Time: 8:45h bike+20min Core Strength
Winter is definitely coming. It was a cold and foggy week, however, I had quite some fun. I need to get warmer gloves and note to self….do not forget shoe covers…
Getting Used To It
Last week I spent quite some time on the saddle including some long rides during the weekend. The good news is that I am getting used to spending 4h in the saddle. The other news is that doing Z2 for a whole week is not challenging enough. My SRM is still non-functional, so I don’t really have a definite number how much I am pushing myself, however, I am confident I am improving in a positive direction.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you
A note of caution here is that now is the off-season/base period so certainly not the time to set personal bests, however, you shouldn’t let your body get super comfortable. Therefore I am a big proponent of doing some (emphasis on some) high intensity workouts. That being said I will probably do a 20min Z4/threshold training on Monday the following week and possible some interval session over the weekend. Especially if it snows…I plan to substitute volume with intensity, because even I cannot imagine doing a 3-4h trainer ride!
Stopping on Longer Rides
Something I have been asking myself and never really been able to find a clear unambiguous answer is whether you should stop on longer rides (to rest, stretch, eat a sandwich, pee, etc.). Through trial and personal experience, I can safely say that stopping during endurance rides is acceptable because:
Training effect: My greatest concern has always been is that once you stop in a middle of a ride, at the end you are doing 2 (or more) shorter rides instead of one big one. From a pure physiological point of view, your body is not going to notice a 5-15min break (coffee!!!), and it is quite nice to reload so you actually finish the ride stronger. So as long as you don’t stop for a veeeeery long time (30+min), you should be fine. Taking precisely defined rest periods is extremely important during high intensity intervals where the goal is to make you push again while not completely recovered. During zone 2/3 rides you are not going into the intensity that forces you to build up lactic acid.
You train when you train, you eat when you eat: I take ‘regular’ food with me on the bike (peanut butter sandwiches, granola bars, etc.) so when I am bundled up with jackets and vests I prefer to stop and take my food out rather than fumbling with winter gloves into my pockets while avoiding potholes, traffic, etc.
In addition while fumbling for food and eating, my power drops low enough for long enough to screw up my average for the rest of the training. Call me obsessive compulsive, every minute of every training is precious to me.
Throwing wood in the fire: When the weather turns cold it takes more and more energy to keep warm. You can bonk without a warning when the fire dies (i.e. Thor Hushovd at Omloop het Nieuwsblad 2011??), therefore you need to eat more than what you are used to, so an additional stop to safely take out your food and quickly! (2-3min) ‘throw a wood in the fire’ is acceptable, especially considering the possibility of hitting the wall in the cold.
Water refill: Even now when the temperatures are not boiling hot I cannot do a 2-3h ride with just 2 water bottles so if nothing else I should stop for a water refill.
Unexpectedly Good Chain Lubricant – 10W40 Motor Oil
The wet roads on Saturday forced me to clean my drivetrain before my Sunday ride. After the usual bath of WD-40, I realized I was out of bicycle chain oil so I got the next best thing – motor oil I found in my parents’ garage. Although it seemed quite thick, after wiping off the excess and going for a ride, my drivetrain felt better than new! I rarely pay attention to things like that so it was quite a noticeable change. It was soooo smooth and quiet that I had to actually look down to make sure everything was ok and in the right place…
As the ride progressed the smoothness got even better, I assume since the oil penetrated deeper into the chain. I was hoping it was too good to be true and expected to find a black mess of a chain and cassette after the ride, however, after 2h on the damp roads all I found was some dark gray residue on the outside of the chain and very little mess on the rear cogs. I am officially a convert to using motor oil on my bikes! Most of us have some lying around and can spare 120mL which in my case are good for 2 seasons of riding.
Let’s see how long till the first snow…
The Dream is Alive!