Sunday, 30 November 2008

Gently Does it...

It's been that long since i've had any sort of injury that i've forgotten how fustrating it can be. Got on the bike last weekend for a 50mile run and the pain in my knee kicked in again after 12 miles. I decided to turn back and let the wind take me home. After some thought, I decided a few days of layoff would be the best thing for recovery. I did a bit of walking which I always find helps balance the muscle groups out, and thankfully things are now feeling much better. This week I started out with some light 1 hour sessions on the turbo, with the view that i'd stop if I felt any pain. Plenty of stretching as pescribed by the physio was the key I think. It seems to have cleared up rather nicely now, and I managed to put in some 10min Sweet Spot efforts last night on the turbo, with no problems at all.

Today i'm heading for a walk before lunch, then an easy spin on the Mountain Bike in the afternoon. That is if the weather clears - it's sleeting heavy and 1 degree here with black, moody skies.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Did the Hundred!

Ok, a we while ago I mentioned I was following a 6 week plan to train for 100 pushups. I've incorporated the plan into my own core-strength workout which I do twice per week. I'm glad to say that as of tonight, I just did the final test and hit 100 pushups. I wasn't feeling too energetic to be honest but decided to give it a go anyway. I started out pretty steady, trying to focus on breathing as I always seem to hold my breath when doing them for some reason. I hit 60 pretty easy then started to feel a bit of a burn. At 75 things were starting to get a bit tough, so I stopped at 80 for a few seconds and regained composure with my arms locked. Managed up to 98 after that, the last two were damn tough, but I did it! Whey!

Enjoyed it so much that I think I will do a "100 test" monthly, and try to keep up the pushup form by maintaining the last couple of weeks of the program. In terms of bike performance, I think the program has futher increased my core strength to the point that I could sit in the drops on my road bike at any intensity for as long as I like. A year ago I'd get a sore back after 5mins.

Pushups Rock!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Winter Niggles and Power Training

Well that's me coming to the end of my first 3 week block of training. Next week i'm keeping things easy. Got in some fair quality for this time of year, and doing some different stuff in the gym and that has been fun. It's great to be back in shape. I think i'll be killing the upper body stuff in the gym and reducing to light weights from now though, I seem to be packing on muscle up top which is never a good thing for a climber like myself :D

However, along the way I appear to have picked up a little knee injury. My physio (thanks Pete) tells me it's from the Fell running down hill. Woops. The medial ligament on my left knee is inflamed due to the hammering it's had from running down hills, and is rubbing on my knee bone causing some discomfort. I've been told rest and ice until things return to normal. Lucky I have an easy week coming up! On the bike it's pretty uncomfortable, so i'm going to just lay up and do some walking/jogging/swimming and core work next week. You can see the inner Medial Collateral Ligament below. Pesky blighter!

On the plus side, i've got myself a new Turbo trainer with wattage readout. For those of you that don't know, a Turbo is something I mount the bike to and train indoors on those crap winter nights. It's a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, with power computer and i'm led to believe from reviews and the like the power readout is fairly accurate as it has been Powertap calibrated. It's certainly the best "feeling" turbo trainer i've ridden. Having the numbers in front of you really does give you something to focus on. After doing some 20min "Sweet Spot" intervals the other night (which is where you train just below or at your threshold power), i'm knocking out 350Watts over 20mins. Ok, so that hurt quite a bit, but it's quite a pleasing figure. That means at 145lbs i'm sitting at a healthy 5.3w/kg. Kind of figures for an Elite class rider. If I could increase this to 400W over the winter (not likely but it's an aim), i'm good for 6w/kg which puts me at a pretty darn high level - enough to dice with Pro riders. Something to aim for in the long term at least. Check out my "green" machine... ;-)

Anyhow. Time to lay up the knee and chill out for the weekend. That will be the end of fell running for the time being unfortunately. It was fun, but I can't afford to do something that's going to jeapordise my bike training.


Monday, 10 November 2008

One Hundred Pushups

I've always been a fan of pushups as a great core and strength workout and i've always felt they work in really well with cycling and help hone your form. However, i've only ever been able to do around the 50 mark, until now that is! has this cool 6 week training plan which is low intensive (and free bar a few mins of your time a week) to help you reach 100 pushups. Fits in great along side my other training - and I usually do each scheduled workout at lunchtime before eating so don't really notice the added time. I'm on week 5 at the moment so not long to go! It really is quite suprising how you can improve by following the plan. Let's hope I can reach the 100!

Check it out!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Back in the Saddle!

Well this week is officially the start of my winter training. I can't tell you how good it feels to be back out on the bike - especially with the current crisp winter weather we have right now, clear skies and hardly a breath of wind. Whacked out 30 miles tonight to get the legs turning and I must say, i'm feeling great. Definately starting this winter with great form - so hopefully this is a sign that 2009 will be another good year for me.

I'm mixing things up a bit more this year - doing a bit of cross training which includes running and swimming, and also gym work on upper, lower body and core. Quite enjoying the running as well, it's great to balance things out, and i've even been doing a bit of Hill/Fell type stuff which is fun! I must say though, it is embarrassing how bad a swimmer I am, but I enjoy it all the same which is the main thing, and it's nice to do a few lengths to cool down after a session in the gym.

As the months progress, my idea is to shift my focus further towards "on the bike" time. I think this is the key to finishing a year of racing mentally and physically strong, as I think last year too much focus on the bike from November all the way through to September resulted in me feeling a bit "fried" in my last couple of races. One thing is for sure - running and swimming sure make you realise how good cycling is ;-)