Week 1 Training – Go Robotic

With the weekend in the books, I have finally found some time to mellow and relax after a pretty busy week.  Week one of training with Peter Oyler at Mindset Cycling was straightforward, as Peter is pretty easy to get along with, but make no mistake he’s all business.  After the previous weeks initial testing, this week he laid out the objective pretty clearly and ensured I had a solid understanding of his theory and training.  Hence, my self-proclaimed phrase of  “go robotic”, which was never more true as I quickly realized that it applied to more than just the bike.

Although I am a project manager at work, I am not for meticulous time management away from the office.  I tend to let things proceed on their own and try to go with the flow, but with the understanding that certain tasks have to be completed on a daily basis. However, since my team’s Race Across America (RAAM) campaign has started, I find myself being pulled in a lot of directions and have been scheduling a lot more activities and tasks for myself.  I absolutely understand this is likely temporary, but it requires my team and I to get through the next few months of preparations, events and other activities, which may seem a bit daunting.  That being said, my primary focus will always be on my 2 children, family and friends.  Oh, and of course my job, while my team and I do our best to make everyone aware of this amazing adventure we are about to take on and the necessary fundraising that goes along with it.

As one can imagine, injecting anything new into your life,  such as RAAM training and preparations can upset the delicate balance.  Although I made it through this week in pretty fine form, it wasn’t without a very hectic schedule.  On top of the normal activities (work, kids lunches, school drop-off/pickups, hockey games and Orthodontist appointments) that every parent has to deal with, I was not going to mess up the training plan my coach laid out for in the first week.  It meant that I would have to fit everything in and would require me to do tasks into the wee hours of the morning.  I guess that’s the life of training for a big event – hopefully for now.

My Monday / Tuesday are pretty much kids and work with at least one night of training, but the plan called for me to ride both nights for 65 minutes at an unbearably low HR / high cadence.  I used to think doing hard training efforts was painful, until I did these two rides.  I went along with it because I also had to meet up with Peter on Wednesday and felt that at least I would be fresh for anything he threw at me during that training session.  To my surprise, I showed up to do yet another 01:15:00 low HR / 95 cadence ride, which is not my normal training regimen.

Ok?  perhaps Peter wanted me to go easy and prepare for a tough weekend training session, as he scheduled an easy 01:30:00 low HR / 95 cadence ride on Thursday, followed by a rest day on Friday.  I decided that I would lay low Friday night and just rest in case I was put to the test on Saturday, as I was expecting a 3 hour leave it all on the table workout.  I showed up at 10:15 and I won’t lie that I was a bit anxious, but was quickly put at ease when I was told to do 01:10:00 at 165 Watts and keep your HR below 140.  This was followed up by some easily spaced interval work of 15-30 seconds, which included bursts between 325 and 375 Watts.  As I was doing this, Peter was constantly coming over and explaining why he had me doing this type of work now and over the course of the week.  Simply put, sometimes less can be more.

RAAM requires you to put out an effort every day for a maximum of 12 days.  To do that, you need to ensure your body is working optimally and efficiently.  This is obtained by keeping your heart rate low with best possible output Watts.  This isn’t about holding 350 Watts for an hour or even 2 hours.  It’s about maintaining a pace that will allow you to cross America under 12 days, while keeping in mind that you will be dealing with varying terrain and weather, while dealing with your own mental peaks and valleys.

With all the above in the last week, I made it through it and enjoyed all aspects of it.  But, it will certainly require me to “go robotic” a bit more, in order to fit it all into one day.

Bye for now!


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