On Saturday, I completed my April fundo (100 kilometer ride). This was my 3rd 100K ride of 2022 and my goal is to ride a fundo in at least 9 of the 12 months. I am now at 3/4 through April, so on track. I couldn’t round up any of the usual suspects so I headed out on the road on my own a little after 8am. I had to take my son Owen to a soccer game about 30 minutes away at 2, so I had a good window of 5+ hours to complete the ride, eat something and shower up.
Looking back on previous 100K rides, my moving time varied between 4:30 and 5:45, but my total time was more in the 5 to 6.5 hour range. Many of those rides had been organized rides with rest stops and friends, where we probably lingered a whole, especially late in the rides. So I set a goal to be back by 12:30, and knew that this meant I’d not be stopping much along the way. Also, I decided to do a relatively big climb, Old La Honda road, which is about 3.1 miles at 7.8% average gradient, about 1600 ft of climbing in around 30 minutes.
Well long story short, as shown below, I did the ride in 4:17 moving time, with just 12 minutes of “stopping”. That 12 minutes probably included at least half at lights, so really, I rode this with only 1 quick stop halfway through to peel a few layers and to fuel with some carbs.
This was a great day out, the weather was perfect, as it was nearly 70 degrees by the time I pulled in at 12:40 or so. And I felt pretty hungry but still fresh at the end of the ride. I am now 7 weeks into a 10 week training block to prepare for a 100 mile ride at the end of May, and felt like I could have gone another 37.2 if I needed to.
I am now in a “recovery week” where I am just doing some short rides and no real hard interval work. And I definitely feel like I need to recover after that effort. I slept like a log on Saturday night, had a nice easy spin on Sunday, a good gym session on Monday, and a nice ride chippy ride today (Tuesday). I feel like I am recovering from this effort faster and stronger than I can ever remember recovering from this hard of a ride. YEAH! And to top it off later that PM Owen had his first ever “Clean sheet” in goal, a 2-0 shut out win!
On the gear side, I am really liking the new Garmin 830 Edge computer, a great upgrade from my old trusty but rusty Lezyne Super GPS. The Garmin needs less screens, syncs better, and captures more data than the Lezyne did. Definitely worth the upgrade. I also just attached the Garmin Varia tail light/radar unit after my ride today, and “look forward” to being able to “see backward” on my next ride (Thanks again to John and Hema for the B-day gift!) . I’ll right up my thoughts on the Varia after a few weeks of using it. Stay tuned.
While I was at the gym, my very long time friend and now cycling confidante John N texted me and asked me, “do you use dumbells or what?, I want to add weight training to my routine”. I replied, “At the gym, I’ll write it up for you…”
So here’s my 2x/week Strength Training routine, I built this to be specific to cycling but also to add some additional “upper body” work for overall physical balance and strength.
Hip stretches – I have bursitis in both hips, so I do a fairly long hip stretching routine prior to riding and lifting, on days I don’t do Yoga
Planks – Front and both sides. 3 set, 1 minute, 45 seconds and 30 sec. I do front, side, side for 1 min as first set
Spiderman push ups. 1 set of 20, both sides
Renegade rows, 1 set of 25, each side
Weighted Pistol squats, 1 set of 20, each side
Weighted Bulgarian Split squats – 1 set of 20, each side
Kettleball 2 leg squat, 1 set of 25
Dips weight assisted (working the weight to be less) 3 set of 15-20
Pull ups – Same weight assisted, 3 sets of 15-20
Bench press 3 set of 20, currently at 90 lbs (self spotting machine)
Military press – 3 sets of 20, currently at 40 lbs + bar
The entire workout takes about 50-60 minutes, and I feel great after. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Want to share other ideas? It’s hard to assess the impact of this work on my cycling performance, but I definitely know that since I added this in October of last year, my weight has gone up a bit, but I am sure it’s all lean mass, not fat, and my cycling feels stronger and I feel better. Love it!
I’ve started this new blog category on my business site (that’s me in orange, second from right in photo), but do plan to make it it’s own thing! Here, I am hoping to chronicle my journey as a “later in life” cyclist, to share my story of the last two years when I have transformed my mind and body toward later in life fitness, health, and performance, to track my next goals, and to hopefully inspire a few others “older” athletes along the way. Some stats from the beginning of my journey in April of 2020
Weight – 178 pounds (if you don’t know, I am only 5′ 4″ so that’s kinda, as my kids used to say, “squishy”)
4/19 to 4/20 Cycling mileage – 540 miles
Functional Threshold Power on bike – < 180 W (estimate)
FTP W/KG = 2.2
Best 2019 time on Old La Honda Climb – 35:16
Compare that to today:
Weight – 150 pounds
4/21 to 4/22 Cycling mileage -5120 miles
Functional Threshold Power – 257 W (8 min interval test)
FTP W/KG = 3.78
Best 2022 time (so far) on Old La Honda Climb – 25:20
And yes, I am really super proud of these accomplishments, but I am only getting started and will in a bit share a few more goals along the way.
First, and I have a lot to say about all of these items on the list, here’s at the top level how I got this done, not in perfect order btw:
I committed to riding 3 or more days every week rain or shine (I still haven’t bought that indoor trainer set up).
I dived into learning about performance, started using training plans, and even had a coach
I added both Yoga (need more consistency still) and strength training into my fitness routine
There’s more, from gear to friends to clothing but these seven things were really at the crux of my improvement. Along the way, I had one bad crash (small fracture in elbow (lucky) and totalled bike, (no so lucky)) , had memorable rides with friends, replaced the road bike and bought a new gravel bike and still managed to run my consulting practice, coach and ref soccer and spend time with my amazing wife and kids and even take needed vacation and break weeks along the way. Lots of stories to tell, and lots of learnings to share.
Lastly, here are my current goals for 2022 –
Ride a 100K day 10 out of 12 months. (2 out 3 so far, hope to make it 3/4 this weekend)
Ride one organized 100 mile fundo or century ride
Break 24:30 on Old La Honda and 33:30 on Kings Mountain
Get better on gravel, get more gravel miles in, including Dirt Alpine local climb
AND my BIG DECADE GOAL – Be faster at 70 than I am at 60. Ambitious FOR SURE. Doable, we shall see. Regardless I hope it’s a great journey that you will join me on…