Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Cycling Update

I haven't done a general update of my "activities" in a while (since September). However, I have been doing regular updates on the significant rides (and milestones). I do like to write about them as much as I could - it gives me a chance to reflect on the event, ride, day and how I went and what I can do to improve and more importantly, allows me to be thankful for being able to achieve those milestones. It also gives me a chance to read them and then reflect on changes in my life, especially on days when I am feeling a bit low on performance.

Since I changed my "sport" from triathlon to just cycling, my training schedule has been manageable and I have been able to tick off more of my key sessions well compared to juggling the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running. With the addition of strength sessions since May 2015, it was just too much to balance training with work and life in general.

With regards to ticking off my 7 Peaks Challenge - I have done 5 so far! I have Omeo-Dinner Plain scheduled for this weekend and then Mt Baw Baw in February. I am actually scared about this ride and I will talk about it in a separate post. Since the challenge started in October, I had ticked off the following:

1) Mt Hotham - 25th Oct during the Bayside Tri Club Bright Camp
2) Falls Creek - 7th Nov
3) Mt Buffalo - 8th Nov (both Falls Creek and Mt Buffalo was done during a weekend away at Porepunkah with my friend Dale)
4) Lake Mountain - 15th Nov with the Domestique/Hells500 crew (and the Canadian and Dale too)
5) Mt Buller - 29th Nov (rode from Mansfield) with Dale

I have also done a few cycling events since I came back from my holidays in Japan:

- Amy's Gran Fondo
- Dirty Gran Fondo
- Around the Bay
- Giro della Donna

I have one more cycling event in 2016 (Audax Alpine Classic) before the big one in March. I need a few more 8-10 hour rides with 3500+ of elevation climbs under my belt before I am comfortable about tackling this event and making it within the 13 hour cut off. I have never had a fear of making the cut off time for Ironman but this is different - this event is actually a challenge and they warn you that if you can't make certain training goals and climbing segments comfortably, you have no hope of finishing within 13 hours (not as blunt and crude as that but it's close enough).

My weekly training schedule is pretty much as below:

Monday - Rest/Strength - depending if I had done a big event on Sunday the week before.
Tuesday - Spin on Wattbikes + Altitude with CF Racing
Wednesday - Strength
Thursday - Spin on Wattbikes, spin bikes at GESAC or road ride.
Friday - Rest/Recovery ride
Saturday and Sunday is different each week - it ranges from big rides on both Saturday and Sunday, big ride on a Saturday and then recovery on Sunday through to only doing one big ride due to the 4-5 hours of driving required to get to the big mountains for training.

With the long rides I have been doing over the last few months, I have been a bit obsessed with audio books (through Audible) - I have been able to get through 5 books since 25th Oct - pretty much one book per week (for every return trip out of Melbourne). It really beats listening to music which can be annoying when the reception gets sketchy outside of Melbourne and listening to one of the three CDs I have in the car - Chet Faker, Lorde or City and Colour.

I am still reporting to Chris at Excite on a weekly basis and this makes me accountable for my training - both on the bike and strength. We are currently on week 32.

My weight has not gone down the right direction but I know that my muscles in my legs have developed more than ever. My guts however have not shifted - I am putting this down to the lack of running and swimming and the fact that I am either sitting on the chair at my workstation, sitting on the saddle whilst cycling or on a chair at the sewing machine (sewing cycling caps). I am going to have to introduce some other cardio form of training such as elliptical trainer before my strength sessions to assist with that. I am still hovering around 65-66kg. I don't think the fat around my stomach weighs enough that if I get rid of that that I am able to get down < 60kg....

My bike strength has been improving and that is something which is the main priority and not necessarily the numbers of the scales. Mental strength on the bike has also been improving but I am putting that down to the naivety of exploring new climbs and training for new goals. I can climb for 3 hours comfortably (Mt Hotham) but I struggle to ride more than 2 hours on Beach Rd....

Nutrition wise, both The Canadian and I have gone pretty much vegetarian in our house. We still consume meat but its more like thin slivers of salami or prosciutto on our homemade pizzas and we still consume seafood and animal products such as diary, eggs and honey. We sometimes make vegan meals for dinner but this is not on purpose. The reason for this is to increase our intake of fruits and vegetables in our diet and not rely on meat for nutrition 3 times a day, 7 days a week.

Anyways, apart from not looking like a typical lean cyclist, I am looking and feeling stronger in my legs. My fitness on the bike is always improving especially with the Wattbikes (and added bonus of Altitude chamber) on Tuesday nights.

I am looking forward to my work holidays - you will see me riding more mountains, exploring new boundaries and napping.
Coffee, Donuts and Cycling Thighs

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