Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cycling: a progress report

My cycling hasn't received a lot of attention here recently, but it's going well.

I built myself a real base last year, and I'm feeling like I'm actually making new gains now, rather than starting over again. I know, it's kinda obvious, but it feels as if I've now finally turned a corner with my cycling, once and for all. I've said goodbye to scared-y Kate once and for all (though there are some things I'll NEVER like), and I'm learning how to avoid hitting my cycling wall as the rides get longer.

Here's what's been happening this week, cycling wise:

Monday: 45 boring minutes on the trainer. No comment- except that I'm now riding my trainer on resistance level 2, after spending the last couple of years on "L" (i.e: not even 1)

Wednesday: 55 minutes of spin at the Cambridge Tavern. We do an aerobic workout not too dissimilar to the sessions Paul gives us- with one-legged drills, some super-spinning, and plenty of big gear work. Oh, and lots of choice nineties music to listen to. The reason I want to talk about spin is because it's made me realise just how much stronger I am now. I watch my HR and my cadence on my Garmin, and when we do our big gear work, it just seems I don't have enough gears ;) On Wednesday, I was working hard not to overdo it, because I was shocked by the gears I was riding, but every time Mark visited me, he'd flick my gears UP. I almost had a heart attack when he pointed out I was riding in a higher gear than Phil, and asked if I kicked his ass on the road!! But then we realised it's because Phil's sadistic trainer increases the resistance exponentially when he's producing more power.. Oh well- I was stoked for a few seconds there!

Saturday : Saturday was our longest ride so far. Phil planned a fairly unforgiving 72k loop, that took in most of the half ironman course (basically, we did the Maungatautari loop from Roto-o-rangi Road, but skipped Norwegian Rd, and finished at home, not in town!) Our legs were stuffed when we started, but we soon started feeling much, and on the whole, it was one of my most successful "long rides" ever. The hills in this route weren't as brutal as the hills on our usual Cambridge rides (Norwegian/Kairangi and Te Miro/French Pass), but there were definitely some steep climbs, and it was one of those rides that was very rarely flat, so you were always concentrating, or climbing, or recovering. The main things I noticed about this ride were that my climbing cadence was much higher than usual, and that I wasn't struggling as much to keep up with Phil. Phil's average power for the ride was 137, and his normalised power was 174, I think. That's pretty good for a "with Kate" ride, and although my numbers would obviously be lower (I'm usually a little behind, and Kate+bike weighs- a wee bit- less than Phil+bike), I can still use Phil's numbers as an OK indicator of my performance, relative to other rides with Phil). One thing I can now say for sure is that I won't be doing the Karapiro half, at least not for a PB!

Sunday: We did our Norwegian/Kairangi/Norwegian route. It's a lovely country loop (including some bits of the Half IM course) with some jolly steep climbs, some fun and some technical descents, and what is (usually) a very fun roller coaster (but wasn't so fun with a headwind). We were both pleasantly surprised by how good we felt after yesterday's efforts and, although our pace was slow, our average and normalised power were pretty good (average 128, norm 172).

So, all in all, a very solid week of cycling, building up on some other pretty solid weeks. Cycling at the moment is my favourite discipline- who ever would have thought it??


Mike said...

Shit! ... I'm mentally preparing to keep in front of you on the run at Rotorua. What happens when you pass me on the bike?!? Hadn't factored for that ;)haha ... sounds like you're making great progress. Am very jealous that you're able to get out on two great rides at the weekend and not feel guilty. Must be great to have a partner who wants to get out on the bike as much as you do! :)

Kate said...

Haha. I'm a LOOONG way off from passing you on the bike (...or, dare I say this, passing you on the SWIM????). I'm sure you'll take some comfort if you look at my pace for all those rides.

Westy said...

Awesome Kate.
All about the base... all about the base... Spin class sounds good... keep it up :-)

Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

WOW - they are some impressive distances!!! I need to get back on my bike asap! Just not enought daylight these days :(