2012年8月アーカイブ

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Last Sunday I tried a 180 HR / 80 cadence TT at Norikura.

This Sunday I'll enter another hillclimb at Tokamachi. This time I've decided to strip everything off: the computer, the speed and cadence sensors, the magnets.

I want to try to do this one on feel alone. Stay near the front as long as I can. Follow the moves.

While taking those things off, I may as well take the bottle cages off too! Like a true hillclimber!

I'm not a weight weenie by any means. I always choose comfort and durability over a few less grams. But it doesn't hurt to look the part....

Friday / Saturday: rest days

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Climb 1 - intervals

  • 30 s hard (standing) / 90 s easy x 4 sets
  • 45 s hard (standing) / 75 s easy x 4 sets (170+ HR)
  • 60 s hard (sitting) / 60 s easy x 4 sets (170+ HR)

Climb 2 - tempo

Thursday's training: Road (67 km)

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Still feeling tired after Norikura. Not much desire to do anything like real training.

I need to ride to commute though. All flat. All at tempo pace.

The one reward of commuting on the bike is meeting up with Shinobu and the boys on the beach after work.

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We pretty much have the sea to ourselves these days......

Monday's training: Road 20 km

Tuesday's training: Road 50 km

Wednesday's training: Road 55 km

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Ouch!  I was beaten to the top of Norikura by 129 riders, but I suspect few of them dug as deep as I did.

Suffering with a splitting headache and dodgy stomach from Saturday morning. Heat stroke? I went along anyway.

Tazaki san did my uketsuke for me (talk about the Champion doing the domestique’s work) and I rolled in at about 730pm. Asleep by 8pm. I’ll probably be fine by the morning…..

Up at 430am and the headache’s worse. All I want to do is sleep. No appetite for breakfast. Get the bike out anyway. Just to see how I feel.

To ride or not to ride? Now that’s the question. If it was training, I wouldn’t even consider it. But here I am at the bottom of one of the most beautiful alpine passes on what promises to be a beautiful day. I think about Tom Simpson’s tragic passing on Mont Ventoux on a mixture of speed and alcohol. How I wish I just had some paracetamol……

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On the start line I latch onto the back of the Champion’s Class. 325 riders this year. I’ve decided to TT it. 180 HR / 80 cadence.

From the start I feel surprisingly good. Passing riders slowly but surely. Not pushing too hard. This is a 20km hillclimb after all.

By the 10 km mark I’m at 31 minutes. Chance to beat my best 64 minute time?

But I forget how much steeper the 2nd half of this course is. The hairpins especially. I’m losing momentum. Struggling to get the cadence out. On a good day 34×25 would be plenty. How I wish I had the 27 on the back today.

The HR drops too. Perhaps as a result of altitude gain? Concentrate on the effort. I feel I’m on the limit all the way.

By the last 5 km I’ve had enough. Counting down the kilometers on the computer. I cross the line like Stephen Roche at La Plagne.

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AJ? Triple AJ!

130th, 1:10:38, 17.5 kmph

Tazaki san - 2nd to Morimoto san in a sprint finish – CONGRATULATIONS!

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Norikura 2006 - 1:05:04

I can't believe it's 6 years since I last raced at Norikura in 2006.

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Norikura 2005 - 1:04:40

And 7 years since one of my first ever bike races at Norikura in 2005.

Since coming back from the UK I've had two weeks to get back to racing form and shed the 5kg I gained.

A couple of local races, some long rides, intervals and few hill climb TTs.

I'm not expecting too much. Hopefully I can find someone to share the pacing with. And hopefully I can beat my biggest rival..... 30 year old me.

Friday / Saturday: rest day

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the long and winding road to Mt. Yahiko

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Sado Island across the water

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looking down on Teradomari and its beaches

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evening dip - does life get any better?

Thursday's training: Road - Yahiko x 1 (125 km)

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Inspired by recent asaren spottings of Murayama san in his one-piece sleeveless skinsuit (who needs pockets?) and Andrew's advice on no-sleeve jerseys, I took the plunge with full arm nakedness today.

This was my first ever cycling jersey. A birthday present from Shinobu with some black shorts. It's all I wore for a full year. I even made my じょんのび team debut in it. In March!

Feels good in the heat today. A quick one hour ride including an attack of Komura Toge.

  • Komura Pass @170HR x 1

Wednesday's training: Road (30 km)

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On the coast. On the flat. In the heat. In the wind. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to do any "real" training.

Intervals are the way to go. In the 50 × 11. In the drops. Out of the saddle.

Gradually increase the work interval. Decrease the rest interval.

  • 30 s hard / 90 s easy x 3 sets (150 HR +)
  • 45 s hard / 75 s easy x 3 sets (160 HR +)
  • 60 s hard / 60 s easy x 5 sets (170 HR +)
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Tuesday's training: Road (80 km)

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Isonobe - steep at the bottom

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Isonobe - easing off near the top - 160 Target HR

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Shiba Toge - SFR (34 × 21)

Monday's training: Road (75 km)

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Really happy with my riding today. Made a long solo attack on the 4th lap. Then rode shoulder to shoulder with Murayama san to the end. He dragged me over 190 HR on the last climb. The sprint finish was spoiled by a car turning into the road. Fantastic training all the same.

  • 3h 35m
  • 115 km
  • 151 / 191 HR AV / MAX
  • 31.5 kmph
  • 80 cadence

Saturday's training: Road (145 km)

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I love this time of year. Every evening take the kids down the beach. A cold shower. Home with dinner on the table. All asleep by 7 o'clock.

Friday's training: Road (35 km)

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Isonobe TT

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Komura SFR

Thursday's training: Road (95 km)

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On Tuesday Andrew and I went to the 4h Enduro race at Maze circuit.

This is a 2 km circuit set in the side of hill between mt. Yahiko and the Japan Sea. The circuit is basically a stiff climb followed by a fast descent and a short stretch of flat by the pits and start/finish area.

2 or 3 rider teams compete against each other, taking turns riding solo, to see who can cover the most laps in 4 hours. Teams set up in the pit lane where the baton (a timing chip) is quickly exchanged. Riders fuel up, stretch, massage and chew the fat as they wait for their turn to come.

You are free to choose your own strategy for racing the course. We decided:

Andrew (1h), Andy (1h), Andrew (1h), Andy (1h)

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1st hour

After a delayed start, they were off. Kenta made his intentions known spriting up the hill. Within the first lap the field was scattered. Andrew chose wisely, riding a solo TT. Climbing the hill 15 plus times in an hour requires a controlled effort.

Andrew signalled his last two laps and I got ready.

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2nd hour

As Andrew came into the pit, Watanabe san was coming through the home strait. A quick exchange and I was off, digging deep to catch Watanabe san.

A pat on the shoulder, “Let's work together”.

After a couple of laps, it was clear how we would ride the next 40 minutes.

“You lead up the climb, I'll lead the descent”
“I was thinking the same thing”

Each lap was almost identical. Two riders working in harmony.

Watanabe san on the front for the climb. Our gear changes synchronized. Shift up through the chicane. Shift back down. Shift up a gain for the steep approach to the hairpin. Watanabe san would be out of the saddle here, gapping me briefly, before I pull back over the top. 180+ HR each time.

Me on the front for the descent. Pedal through the first few curves. Free wheel the steep straight. Chin on the stem. Bum off the back. Back down low. I can catch other riders who are pedalling away furiously. A short climb. Out of the saddle. Descend again. Take a drink. Drive through the home strait. Watanabe san's turn.

On a course like this, drafting is not so important. But having some one pace you up the climb or lead you through the descents is of great benefit.

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After 40 minutes Watanabe san came off. 20 minutes solo. It's difficult to keep the same momentum. I feel myself slowing and gradually a group of riders are forming on my back wheel. I signal to Andrew. Time to come off.

  • 1h
  • 169/183 HR AV/MAX
  • 35km
  • 34.5kmph
  • 88cad

3rd hour

An hour is not as long as you think. Get the fluids in. Some solid food. Stretch the legs and back. A massage of the legs. Check on Andrew. Time to go again.

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4th hour

My experience of two hard efforts in the JBCF Tsugaike HC and TT tells me that I can't go as hard 2nd time around. It takes me a few laps to find my rhythm. But soon I'm back into it. 170 HR average, 180 HR at the top of each climb.

I'm not as strong though. I find I'm using my emergency 50 × 27 gear more and more at the top of the climb. The cadence is lower too. About 30 minutes in I meet Kenta san.

“Let's raise the pace”.

Unfortunately I don't have that extra 10% to go with him. The last 15 minutes are damage limitation as I tick off the laps.

  • 1h 3m
  • 170/183 HR AV/MAX
  • 34.9km
  • 32.9kmph
  • 83 cad
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In the end we placed 9th (or 7th?) with 66 laps (71 laps for first place)

Not bad for two guys who've been off the bike for a few weeks and turned up just to “give it a go”. It was a great event despite the heat. I'd love to go back next year. On this circuit and in this heat, I think 40 minute stints would be better. Preferably with 3 riders, the strongest rider going last to finish things off.

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After the race we enjoyed cooling off and catching up in the sea across the street. My success in “janken taikai” continues. This time a top of the range aerohelmet. I'll put this in Enosan's shop for collective team use.

Andrew, great job on Tuesday. Always great to ride “together”!

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Back in Japan. Boy it's hot! Combine that with the jet lag and the boys are having a tough time of it.

I have a 4h enduro race on Tuesday. Between the hottest hours of 1100 and 1500. In August!

I need to acclimatise.

I did my first ride in over two weeks today. I skipped the coolness of asaren this morning and rode in the late morning heat.

I try not to go too hard. Get used to the temperature. Stop at each cold water spring.

3 laps of the じょんのび marathon course.

Sunday's training: Road (56 km)

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We have our annual team 100 (infact 110) km race on Saturday.

A bit short notice, but if anyone is in the area, come along. It's a tough course. 10 × 11km laps of up and down. Riders of a full range of ability with a few strong riders too.

Let me know if you are interested.

Info in Japanese below.

じょんのび野田100k 8月18日 土曜 8時現地集合参加費 1000円 現地徴収途中参加大丈夫ですので終わってからCS enosanで納涼会を2時位からやりますので納涼会のみ参加OK 2000円です多数の参加お待ちしてますm(_ )mm( )mm( )mm( )mm( _)m

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It's always sad when we have to leave the UK. Two wonderful weeks catching up with family and friends.

Like last year, these two weeks divide my cycling year in two.

I did an asaren run almost every morning. Trying to limit the damage of afternoon beer sessions and too much eating.

Now I'm looking forward to getting back to Japan to start training for the second part of the season.

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Tuesday: rest day

Wednesday's training: Run - Rochdale canal tow paths (1h)

Thursday's training: Run - Rochdale canal tow paths (1h)

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everybody's goin surfin, surfin U.K.

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4 days of asaren

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the south west coastal path

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rain and sunshine = Cornish weather

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Cagwith fishing village

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coastal moorland

4 days in Cornwall. 2 days trail running. 2 days road running.

Friday's training: Run (road) rolling hills (1h)

Saturday's training: Run (trail) SW coastal path east (1h 45 mins)

Sunday's training: Run (trail) SW coastal path west (1h)

Monday's training: Run (road) Cagwith hill climb x 5 (1h)

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London calling...

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Go Fumi! Go Bradley!

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Vinokourov

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Cancellara

3 days in London. Great to be in the capital during the Olympics.

Tuesday 31st: rest day (sightseeing)

Wednesday 1st: rest day (Olympic TT)

Thursday's training: Run - River Thames intervals 1 min hard / 2 mins easy x 10 sets (1h)

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