Thursday, February 9, 2012

Working And Cycling

Working at NB has been fantastic. The team creates an atmosphere that (for better or worse) encourages an early start and a late check out. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how to maximize my ability to get in the training around work and travel. Writing this email I find myself on a flight back from Colorado. A few jogs hit the spot but I haven’t been on the bike since Monday. Based on most of the conversations I’ve had, the guys I’ll be racing this year are putting in 15 – 20 hours a week on the bike. I’m doing well if I get in 12 on a normal week and maybe 8 on a travel week. In this regard, running is much more convenient so I try to do as much as I can while keeping my knees somewhat healthy. But its not enough and its not really going to build fitness. Once the Spring kicks in the early morning rides outside will be much more tolerable. To this end I should point out that I am not a morning person – given the fact that I have issues falling asleep – and struggle to get up at 5:30 to do 2+ hours before work. Some people can, and I may come across as soft, but its not that important to me and I’d rather get the sleep and do less. The trainer as much as I hate it has been my friend around the long hours and I’ve decided the best way to train is to go hard for an hour to 1.5 hours with no real structure and on the weekends get out for 2 days of volume. It should work but I imagine I’ll struggle early season in the longer races. Either that or I’ll surprise myself and feel fresh. I spoke with Jason Donald, former Garmin-Chipotle rider, while on my market trip around Denver. Great bloke. He gave me a ton of advice and I’m going to keep in touch. He reckons getting in some running and keeping fresh is fine. Sometimes we absorb what we want to hear. Often I search for the advice I want to hear! Many riders have told me to get up and do long sessions on the trainer, or do double days on the trainer. But Jason told me exactly what I want to hear, emphasize recovery and sleep, do some running and get out on the bike when ever I can. He also told me to use power to get the most out of short training sessions so this is what I’ll do.

Last weekend was the annual Arc-En-Ciel LBL ride and about 30 blokes and 1 female showed up. The weather was fantastic and I felt great. After a bad start, 2 punctures in the first 5 miles, I got rolling and never felt tired, not at least until the end when myself, Amos Brumble, and Mark McCormack broke away and hammered along in a rotating paceline for the last 8-10 miles. The cross winds made it tough but I was never really in trouble and it seems Amos and Mark were on equal levels of fatigue as I was. We maintained a hard pace for 20 minutes and then cruised in the last 2 miles. Good training and a nice confidence booster. 

This weekend is the NB Indoor Games in Boston so I have some work on but I’ll try to get out early on Saturday and Sunday with Skip Foley and his crew. Sacrificing my weekend nights out on the sauce is actually quite easy these days. It might mean I am getting old and mature, but I doubt that to be the case. I think I’m just getting more caught up in the biking game.

Peace and Love


  1. I hope Jason Donald said that you should spend quality time at altitude, in Boulder Colorado, riding with your great friend John Tribbia.

  2. That would make me a happy camper......

  3. "Cycling really is a funny game, here Skip tells me he is hanging on going up hill and then ten minutes later I can't hold his wheel in a sprint. I'll be long done before I figure it all out."

    First of all, I hope this comment is easily posted and it reaches you!

    Secondly, I have to confess that I read your post and let it sink in before I commented.

    Thirdly, I was listening to Spencer when I had a possible epiphany about how to best phrase how you can get the best out of cycling because it seems you're mixed up! So hear me out.

    Lastly, but not really last, I will share more of what I know which is not much.

    1. If someone can beat you in a sprint, it probably means they are smarter than you in a bike race. (or training session)

    2. If said person can beat you in a sprint then you don't need to worry about learning how to sprint because you have them beaten already.

    3. You probably have everyone beaten already.

    4. Learn how to bullshit your opponents more. Remember in The Wolftone's Club playing snooker and poker. As cycling usually consists of long hauls, bluffing comes into the equation therefore gamesmanship is highly recommended.

    5. If you can't train more than your teammates, see #4

    6. Suck wheels as much as possible. #4

    7. Eat loads.

    8. LRBM