With some solid mileage completed over the weekend of May 20/21, it was time for a rest day, in order to prepare for the Wednesday testing. Usually, Peter just tells me to be at the shop without letting me know what he has planned for me. Not this week! Message was loud and clear – be at the shop and ready for a 20 minute time Trial Test. As much as I was nervous about the test, with the recent days I have had at work, it was nice to get on the trainer and take some frustrations out on the cranks. A couple of months ago, we did the exact same test, which essentially set the tone for our training regimen. However, I was not particularly pleased with the result from that test, so I really wanted to put in a good effort and demonstrate the progress I was making, due to Peter’s coaching, our plan and my commitment. At the end of it, I felt pretty good with the result and where I stand as I head into the summer months. Summer months will be crucial with some long rides to build strength and endurance.
Again, the weather did not cooperate throughout the week, as there was always the threat of rain, so I pretty much resigned myself to riding on the trainer. The rides were pretty easy throughout the week as the test was our focal point.
A few weeks back, the team had selected June 3rd as a small crew RAAM Simulation session. So, the plan was for me to lay low, rest and put in some easy rides/miles. This allowed me the opportunity to spend some time with my kids. I managed to convince my little guy to get out for a few rides, until he became bored and wanted to play soccer, hockey, basketball and whatever other sport he could invent. It is absolutely amazing how much energy this kid has. It makes me wonder how many hours he could put on the bike, if he could stay focused and not become bored within 5 minutes.
As I mentioned above, June 3rd is our first RAAM Simulation ride and we will have a portion of the support crew on hand to help out. The team and I will be heading north of Toronto in the afternoon and will be executing a 12-15 hour ride throughout the night. These simulations are key as they bring the team together, allow you to work on potential issues or challenges that would be experienced during the race and it gives me an opportunity to put in some long miles and train over the nighttime. I remember the Ohio Challenge and when we hit 3am, the ride became a little different because your body is expecting to be sleep. Once the early morning sun rises, you get a burst of energy, but it can be short lived if you have been pushing the cranks all night long. Personally, I don’t mind riding at night, except when descending hills at 50-60km. It can freak you out because as you turn corners, you have to wait 5 seconds before your support car turns and sheds more light on the road. That means you have 5 seconds with just your bike light, which doesn’t necessarily provide the same lighting. As this is the first one, and we are essentially a year out, I predict we will be having a few more of these simulations over the next 12 months.
Whenever you are training for an endurance event, you have that feeling that any free time you have should be spent on the bike. It’s hard to break free from that thinking, but the benefits of rest are incredible. Peter and I continuously discuss the importance of putting in good work, but also letting the body recover. This past weekend, I felt guilty, due to the low hours I put in on the bike. As I informed Peter of this, he quickly responded with the same points he has been stating. Rest is good and the time will come when you will have to put in long hours on the bike, but let’s ensure that you are ready and rested for those rides. This ride next week is going to be a long one, but I will be ready to go.
Some quick note on my riding during last week:
Monday, May 22 – A quick Zone 2 spin to keep the legs nice and loose. A nice little ride after a long weekend of riding helps the legs recover a bit quicker. That usually helps me. As most people know, not too hard on the cranks and keep the legs moving at a quick pace, but HR low Zone 2.
Tuesday, May 23 – Another Zone 2 spin to prepare for the 20min TT for Wednesday. Get off the bike, calm the body and get to bed. Sounds easier than it really is. Usually when I get off the bike, I am wired for about an hour or so.
Wednesday, May 24 – As I said above, I was looking forward to this because I had been feeling good as of late. It went well and I was satisfied with my numbers at this point. Remember, we are a year away, so it’s important to build, not peak at this moment.
Thursday, May 25 – After the TT the day before, a nice easy 1 hour spin to keep the legs loose. With the monsoon taking place out my front window, I was more than happy to be on the trainer.
Friday, May 26 – rest day. Knowing that my weekend was going to be pretty light, I was very tempted to jump on the bike and put some mileage on. It took a lot, but I managed to keep off the bike.
Saturday, May 27 – I am pretty accustomed to putting long hours on the bike indoors, but since I had the kids, I wanted to spend some time with them. I did manage to squeeze in a 60 minute ride that evening.
Sunday, May 28 – All good intentions to put in a long session, but only had 90 minutes available to me as I had to rush off with my son for hockey apparel fitting. It never seems to end.
With a light week behind me, time to prepare for another weekend of long riding in the dark. Normally, I am off on my own, but with the team there, I am sure there will be some stories to tell.