A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ride the Rockies 2015 Training: Rain Delay


One week ago I posted optimistically about kicking my Ride the Rockies training into high gear. My plan was to ride to and from work several days this week (a 50-mile round trip). Then the rain came, and kept coming, and hasn't stopped yet. Actually it's is supposed to turn to snow tonight and tomorrow, which would make it the second straight snow on Mother's Day here!

One perspective is to truly be prepared for Ride the Rockies, you should train in all weather conditions. After all, last year on Day One we encountered thunder, lightning, hail and snow! But I have no plans to go out riding in the snow tomorrow morning. I personally believe in avoiding adverse riding conditions whenever possible :)

So this week I hooked my bike back up to my CycleOps Fluid2 Indoor Trainer and logged 57.5 miles in a variety of workouts mixing up intensity and spending more time in my third ring (yes, I ride a triple and will be very glad I do when we tackle the Royal Gorge climb on Day Six!). That brings my total to 791.5 miles since January 1, compared to 1,315 by May 9 last year. But my legs feel strong and I logged my fastest ever 10-mile time on the trainer this morning (27:35. 21.8 mph).

That little bump starting at mile 50 is a steep climb up to the south rim of the Royal Gorge on Day Six. 
According to Google Earth , the climb is nearly 750 feet in 2 miles!  That's an average grade of 7.1.
Hopefully I'll be able to get outside to ride sometime again soon. There's simply nothing like riding on real hills to prepare for riding on real hills!

Ride on!

Daren

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kicking Ride the Rockies 2015 Training into High Gear

How can it possibly be May already? That means Ride the Rockies 2015 is NEXT MONTH! Holy cow. Time to kick my training into high gear!

I'm testing a new training idea this year, focusing less on logging miles and more on building strength. For the past two years my goal has been to ride 2,000 miles between January 1 and the start of RTR. I fell just short of that goal in 2013 with 1,863 and only made it to 1,625 last year. This year I didn't set a mileage goal.

As of April 30 I have ridden 734 miles since January 1, all but 85 of that on my indoor trainer. My guess is I'll break 1,000 by the end of the month and end up around 1,200 before June 13. Instead of just racking up miles I have been adding variety to my workouts, both on and off the bike.

On the bike I have added in one day a week riding in a higher gear (literally) at a lower RPM (60-80) for a shorter ride (I usually try to keep it between 80-100 RPM on the trainer). My hope is this will build leg strength to help me get up the steep grades of Grand Mesa and Royal Gorge climbs, which routinely get above 8% grade.

It's not too late to add this 30-day Ab/Core Challenge to your training routine. In 30 days you will feel a noticeable difference in your core strength. 
Off the bike I have worked on building core strength. Last year I struggled with back, shoulder and hip pain throughout the ride. My hope is building core strength will help my body cope with punishment of riding an average of 66 miles per day for seven straight days! I started with a 30-day Ab/Core Challenge my daughter gave me (above) and kept going after I finished it, adding in burpees, push-ups and this routine (below) my friend Anne (aka the Feedyard Foodie shared with me (which she got from her daughter!).

As much as I abhor doing core strength work I think it is really paying off. I'm up to a 4:00 min. plank and can definitely tell a difference. On my rides to/from work this week I could feel my core engaging more and my legs felt strong even with the reduced miles and lack of riding outside on actual hills! I also noticed that my body posture on the bike has improved and I can hold myself in a "power position" longer.

I do plan to start riding outside more in the coming month. After all, May is National Bike Month and there is no better way to prepare for Ride the Rockies than actually riding in the Rockies. In fact, I'm headed out the door right now to enjoy a sunny Sunday ride along the Front Range :)

Ride on!

Daren

The Feedyard Foodie's Daughter's Core Workout

Cardio 5
1 min. wall sit
30 sec. rest
1 min. burpees
30 sec. rest
20 crunches
10 pushups
20 crunches
1 min. of lunges
30 sec. rest
1 min. of burpees
2 min. rest 


1 min. wall sit
30 sec. rest
1 min. burpees
30 sec. rest
20 crunches
10 pushups
20 crunches
1 min. of lunges
30 sec. rest
1 min. of burpees

2 min. rest

3 min. of shadow boxing

CHALLENGE! 5 min.
1. Plank until you can't plank anymore
2. Switch immediately to leg raises as long as possible
3. Finish with crunches until the 5 min. are up 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

My 30 Day #ProteinChallenge Results



May 1st was the final day of my 30 Day #ProteinChallenge but it certainly won't be the last time I focus on getting enough protein in my diet. I think it is safe to say the past 30 days changed the way I will eat for the rest of my life. The biggest "aha moments" for me were learning that I have been under-consuming protein, significantly, and particularly at breakfast and lunch.

As I shared in my last post, adding protein at breakfast and high protein snacks throughout the day helped keep me feeling full all day long. I felt like I was eating constantly but making better choices in all areas of my diet, not just protein, to ensure I am getting the nutrients my body needs to function properly.

The first five days of the challenge are simply keeping a journal of what you eat.
The key for me was keeping track of what I was eating. I used the MyFitnessPal app to log all my meals, snacks, drinks, etc. After doing this consistently for the first five days of the Challenge I found myself being mindful of the foods I was eating and the essential nutrients they provide per calorie.

The Protein Challenge provides several tools to help you track your food choices, including a food journal (pdf) and a protein cheat sheet (pdf) that lists the protein content of a wide variety of choices including meat/eggs, fish/seafood, nuts/seeds, grains, dairy, and beans. This list of "on the go" protein snacks helps me get more protein into my diet throughout the day. The site also has some great tips for dining out and getting more protein at every meal.

By the way, it's not too late to do the 30 Day Protein Challenge. The daily e-mails begin the day after you sign up, allowing you to start whenever you are ready!

Next up on BEEFMAN: Training for Ride the Rockies kicks into high gear!

Ride on!

Daren