Monday, July 20, 2009

Needs must!

Sometimes you just have to get it done, no fancy views, no ocean breezes, no stunning mountain descents, sometimes you just have to get on and go. That pretty much summed up Sunday’s ride. Rationalizing that the 40 minutes drive to the ocean would be about 10-11 miles riding which would add up to 20-22 in total with the return trip I choose to simply ride around the local area; loop after loop. Target distance 90 miles…close but not quite, about an hour short by my reckoning still an surprising elevation gain of nearly 10,000’…not sure how exactly though!

My cycling skills are coming back slowly but try as I might my average speed still hovers around that 15-16mph, my cadence is up around the mid 80's and for a short ride in the early 90's. I know it’s the engine that counts but there has to be something in the machine that makes a difference, I am still lusting after my Roubaix…maybe when I get that I’ll go up a notch.

Cyclists any advice?


  1. Nice ride! Like you, I'm a runner learning also to be a cyclist. Been doing a lot of riding (w/hills) this month to prepare for the bike leg of a triathlon next month, as part of a team. To be honest, I'd rather be running, but I'm starting to enjoy the cycling, too. I ride a Roubaix...but mine is a Fuji. Paid $1000 back in '02 and it's a great bike. Good luck w/your training!

  2. That Specialized is a NICE bike. Got some friends with it and it FLIES if it fits you right. I've still got my beater in my 2003 Giant, but I've tweaked it a bit and it's running strong! Are you riding with a triple or a double? I just switch to a double which is great for the flats, but I've got yet to do any major climbs with it. (Hmmmm)

  3. I am new to cycling but one piece of advice given to me was to work on your core, which will improve your cadence and speed.

  4. Sooo, a new bike will make you go faster eh? :) It probably will if you're on an old boot at the moment; but didn't you just get your bike serviced so it must be sweet already?

    You sound tired.

    Conscious that you're putting in some serious miles on foot and 2 wheels at the moment, maybe a few days off spent planning might help with your strength?

    Even so, sweet wheels.

  5. I even think it's better to not have great views when training. At least, it always distracts me.

  6. I don't even own a bike, so I am no help. Sorry.

  7. Nice long ride Stuart. If you climbed 10k ft on the ride that would kind of explain the average speed. But knowing Garmin's altitude recording ability it is a crap shoot. Try taking the GPX file and parse it via the or similar site to get better idea of the actual climb.

    If you want to improve cadence you need to practice it - easy gear and spin, spin, spin for a minute and then take 2 minutes recovery (or longer). What also helps is to do single leg drills - unclip one leg and spin your pedal with the other one (again in very easy gear) - do 30 seconds and switch to the other one. Then take 1-2 minutes recovery. Try to build up to 1-1:30 min of single leg drills. These are bike specific workouts that will help you get better technique on the bike.

    To build biking strength - it is very similar to running - you want to work on raising your threshold. Estimate your current threshold by doing a 20 minute all out time trial (best on flat road or trainer). Then work in intervals of above threshold or threshold intensity into your program.

    But question is if you really want to do high intensity work on bike in addition to the insane amount of running you already do. That is up to you to ponder over ;-).

    My training this year was a lot of cycling drills in the early season, then bunch of long rides (up to 4.5 hours on the trainer) and bunch of medium to long rides with threshold work (something like 1 hour warm-up at up to AeT power, then 2x (45 min at AeT power, 15 min at FTP), 30 minutes recovery spin. You can also try spin-ups - on your ride throw-in 5-10 efforts of going to maximum cadence w/o bouncing in the saddle (again easy gear) with 2-3 minutes recovery spin in between. There is a lot you can do to improve biking. Principles are similar to running training - build base, improve threshold and VO2max, work on technique.

    Good luck.

  8. Sounds like my runs on the River-just get 'er done.

    I have no advice b/c I am a weak cyclist :) but I do applaud the extensive cross-training!

  9. still learning here too, so no advice, but I know you'll get it all figured out :)

  10. What little I know about cycling is keep your cadence 80-90; you seem to have that down, so I got nothin'.

    But having a bike you love makes it sweeter . . .

  11. The primary reason for a high cadence is to not drain the glycogen from your legs by grinding. If you aren't going to run off the bike, then I don't think its such a big deal.

    Evidently, if you want to be a good cyclist, you need to have thighs the size of my torso. Not so good for (ultra) running though :-)


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