Mike's Blog

Turning over the pedals

April was most productive month to date, even though it wasn't nearly as productive as I would have liked.  Sadly May is turning out to be even worse because of all this rain we're getting here, but I digress.

In April I took a threshold test with Mike Birner of Mid-Maryland Coaching.  I had taken the same test back in May of 2007 so I was interested to see if my winter work had paid off.  Suffice it to say that it did, and big; as soon as I get the compiled results I will post them, along with explanations, here.

I'm definitely stronger than I ever have been this early in the season and maybe even in the past three years total.  I've been getting a lot of encouraging words from my friends on the Wednesday night rides and a lot of people have been asking if I've lost weight.  All-in-all I'm definitely headed in the right direction.

On the weight-loss front, I've kind of stagnated at ~210 although I've been down to 208.  I think I need to reclaim the basement so I can start weight training again.

Here are my stats for April:

Week of Num Time
(H:M:S)
Dist
(mi)
Speed
(mph)
Calorie
Burn
Uphill
(ft)
Dnhill
(ft)
Difficulty
Avg
HR Avg
(bpm)
27-Apr-09 2 2:38:09 43.10 16.4 3,453 +2,526 -2,559  3.2 162
20-Apr-09 4 6:01:06 91.50 15.2 7,235 +6,655 -6,659  4.6 155
13-Apr-09 5 7:18:28 114.22 15.6 8,817 +6,891 -6,992  4.1 150
06-Apr-09 2 2:42:59 39.65 14.6 3,015 +2,617 -2,620  4.5 156
April Total
13 18:40:42 288.47 15.4 22,520 +18,689 -18,830  4.2 154

YTD

49 44:07:42 686.95 15.6 54,490 +28,838 -28,941  3.0 155

 Well, things have still been rather slow in my attempts to lose some weight and get into shape.  At the end of March I was down to 211 lbs, a bit short of my original goal of 200.  I've reset my goal of 200 to the end of April and will continue to try to meet my September goal of 190.  Both should definitely be doable since I should be riding much more in the near future as the weather warms up.  March was kind of a weird month.  I only did a few rides on the trainer; it was especially difficult to ride inside after having tasted riding on the road during a few of the warmer days in the month.

Next week I'll be doing a new threshold test and probably entering into a coaching agreement to help me achieve my goal of racing again this year.

Here are my March riding stats; sad I know.

Week of Num Time
(H:M:S)
Dist
(mi)
Speed
(mph)
Calorie
Burn
Uphill
(ft)
Dnhill
(ft)
Difficulty
Avg
HR Avg
(bpm)
30-Mar-09 1 0:29:41 7.44 15.0 551 +433 -423  2.9 154
23-Mar-09 2 2:38:42 40.16 15.2 3,128 +2,919 -2,922  4.7 162
16-Mar-09 2 1:54:40 31.33 16.4 2,412 +1,633 -1,637  3.4 165
09-Mar-09 1 0:54:37 13.89 15.3 1,021 +1,092 -1,099  3.9 161
02-Mar-09 3 3:26:22 43.69 12.7 4,288 +3,421 -3,372  3.4 152
YTD
36 25:27:00 398.48 15.7 31,970 +10,149 -10,111  2.6 155

 Well, more than I expected it turns out.  Its been two weeks now that I've been working out, although admittedly its been limited to the bike mostly, but I'm getting into a routine and missing it when I'm not working out.  I did manage one day of core muscle workout last week, but I need to straighten up downstairs to make room for myself to do it more often.

For my cycle workouts I've been following the advice of Mike Birner from Mid-Maryland Coaching.  Essentially, I've been trying to build some base miles, but with limited time (because who really wants to sit on a trainer for more than an hour) I need to get the most bang for my buck.  The way Mike has me doing that is by working at just below my lactate threshold in order to help my endurance, which we found out a couple of years back is a big weakness of mine.  I started out working at around 165 watts trying to keep my heart rate ~170.  This didn't feel like enough work, so after cosulting with Mike we decided on 185 watts and a heart rate of ~180 (my max HR is 193).  That is the wattage I worked out at last week but my Saturday workout showed that this wasn't enough work, as I was unable to get my heart rate up to 180 during the intervals, so I'll be moving up in wattage in the coming week, probably to ~195 watts.

 On the weight front, I started off 2009 at 228.5 pounds.  Yesterday morning I weighed in at 222.5, so I've lost 6 pounds in two weeks.  I'm sure excercise has contributed to this a lot, but I have also been doing a better job at managing my protions and eating a bit better as well.

Here are the stats from last week, again from Bones In Motion, and again with incorrect heart rate data (average should be 164):

Week of Num Time
(H:M:S)
Dist
(mi)
Speed
(mph)
Calorie
Burn
Uphill
(ft)
Dnhill
(ft)
Elev Net
(ft)
Difficulty
Avg
HR Avg
(bpm)
12-Jan-09 3 1:58:15 30.42 15.4 2,595 +3 -3 +0  2.5 149
OVERALL 3 1:58:15 30.42 15.4 2,595 +3 -3 +0  2.5 149

On another note about cycling, my friend Ben opened a bicycle shop (Ben's Peformance Bicycles) in Woodbine, MD, and has asked me to be very involved in its promotion and success.  I really want to see this shop succeed and I think so far its off to a good start.  Ben has assembled a road racing team for 2009 , which includes Mike Birner.  That has been a blessing because Mike knows just about everyone in the VA/MD/DC cycling community so he has really helped get the word out.  In addition, Mid-Maryland Coaching, Karrie's dad has also agreed to sponsor the team with his company Blue Mountain Apothecary.  Lynn has been working with some of Mike's athletes, advising on nutrition and supplementation to help them oprimize their game.

That's it for me.  Maybe one day, someone else will post an article on here.

Mike

So, I'm getting ready to close out the 2nd month of my attempt to get into cycling shape.  I don't know that I'll be in great shape by the time the weather warms up, but I'll be in the best cycling shape I've even been at the start of previous seasons.  For the most part I've managed to get in at least three training rides a week, although not all of them have been ideal.  I'm really starting to get bored on the trainer and need to find a way to spice it up.  So far I've watched the following while riding the trainer:

  • 2008 Giro de Italia
  • 2008 Tour de France
  • Napoleon Dynamite
  • Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  • ROTLA: The Temple Of Doom
  • ROTLA: The Final Crusade 
  • Planes, Trains and Autmobiles (just started tonight)

In the last couple of weeks I've also started doing some weight training 3 times a week.  Nothing too serious or specific, just general workouts trying to kick start my metabolism and firm up the ol' saggy parts.

My cycling fitness has improved quite a bit from when I started.  For my first workout in January, the work portion of my intervals was at 16.5mph or ~175 watts.  Currently I am able to do 19.2 mph or ~240 watts.  According to the coach I need to be at ~300 watts if I want to be able to hang with the A ride on Wednesday nights.  In reality, I need my power-to-weight ratio (watts/kg) to be 3.0 or better, so the more weight I lose, the less power I need to acquire to meet this goal.

On the weight front, I started the year at 228.5 lbs; yesterday morning I was at 219.5, which is the lightest I've been in more than a year, albeit still a good way from my goal of 200lbs by April.  Its been a struggle honestly, the dieting thing, although I hesitate to call what I'm doing a diet.  Mostly I've been trying to eat a little bit better (and a very little bit at that) and manage my portions better.  Instead of eating until I'm stuffed, I've been trying to stop when I'm satisfied.  I say trying because there have been a few times where I've basically overeaten and put some weight back on.  At any rate, the process is going much slower than I would like.  Karrie and I are considering starting the Abs Diet soon to try to help both of us shed a few pounds and just live a bit healthier

Anyhow, enough babbling.  Here are my cycling numbers so far this year.   Oh, the 2nd week of February I actually did go out and ride the new bike for about 15 minutes which is the reason for the elevation numbers there.

Week of Num Time
(H:M:S)
Dist
(mi)
Speed
(mph)
Calorie
Burn
Uphill
(ft)
Dnhill
(ft)
Difficulty
Avg
HR Avg
(bpm)
05-Jan-09 3 1:56:18 29.18 15.1 3,221 +6 -6  2.4 140
12-Jan-09 3 1:58:15 30.42 15.4 2,595 +3 -3  2.5 149
19-Jan-09 3 1:42:21 26.39 15.5 1,830 +0 -0  2.1 157
26-Jan-09 2 1:23:05 22.03 15.9 1,539 +0 -0  2.2 161
02-Feb-09 3 1:48:16 29.93 16.6 2,140 +0 -0  2.1 157
09-Feb-09 5 3:05:46 51.80 16.7 3,779 +298 -298  2.3 153
16-Feb-09 4 1:58:06 34.51 17.5 2,624 +0 -0  2.0 158
23-Feb-09 1 0:41:02 12.26 17.9 936 +0 -0  2.3 161
OVERALL 24 14:33:09 236.52 16.3 18,664 +307 -307  2.2 154

 

Well, I'm off.  Started riding the trainer last Thursday and it felt pretty good, but my workout was "butt" limited.  Friday I worked late and then met Karrie and Brady for dinner at the Shumake's home; we didn't get home until after 9pm so I didn't work out.  Got back on Saturday while Brady was napping and again Sunday, but once more my workouts were foiled by very sore sit-bones.  I'm hoping this will improve as I spend more time in the saddle, but in the meantime I'll do what I can.

I'm not sure why Bones In Motion (where I keep track of my activities) is having an issue with heart rate data, but the average for the 3 activities listed below should be ~167, not 140 bpm.

Week of Num Time
(H:M:S)
Dist
(mi)
Speed
(mph)
Calorie
Burn
Uphill
(ft)
Dnhill
(ft)
Difficulty
Avg
HR Avg
(bpm)
05-Jan-09 3 1:56:18 29.18 15.1 3,221 +6 -6  2.4 140
OVERALL 3 1:56:18 29.18 15.1 3,221 +6 -6  2.4 140