2014年4月アーカイブ

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The wind seems to be coming from all directions today. On the coast. On the aerobars.

Tired legs after some long rides. Don't push too hard...

Wednesday's training: Road (70 km)

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Two more 130 km rides. It's all fun stuff...

On Monday I got a flat at the top of Nakayama Pass. Tried to fix it but didn't have the right bits. Shoes off. A five kilo run to the village of Nota. Ouch! Ouch!

Swap my bike for a shopping bike. A 15 km ride home on the "mamachari". Full kit but bare feet. Just about make work on time. Swap the bikes back over on Monday night. Some sealant in the tyre. It seems good to go....

A 330 am start today. At 5 am in Teradomari the same tyre is losing air. 40 km along the river to Nagaoka. A race against air loss. Weight over the front wheel. Drving hard for the rendevous...

Borrow a pump at 6am at Cycle Shop Fins. The tyre seems to hold again (sealant is a wierd and wonderful thing). Join the team Fins group ride briefly before heading home for 730 and breakfast...

Monday's training: Road (130 km)

Tuesday's training: Road (130 km)

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Last Sunday I rode 185 km with Team Fins. Tokyo~Itoigawa training. Another long ride today. This time solo. 4 am start. It's light at 4:30. Next time I'll start earlier!

Down the coast. Izumozaki. Teradomari. Maze. Over the pass behind Yahiko. Bunsui. Along the river to Nagaoka. Oguni. Into the mountains. Kawanashi. Matsudai. Takayanagi. Home. 190 km on the clock.

I didn't hammer it. Rode at a steady pace. Practiced the fueling. Constant eating. Constant drinking:

6 bananas, 6 soy joy bars. 1 Samuride caffeine drink. 5 bottles of water.

6 degrees at 4am. 25 degrees by 8:30. The layers come off gradually.

I feel good. The 25 mm tyres on the new Astuto rims seem to dampen road shock. No stiff neck or shoulders.

A bit of pain in the left foot. A bit of pain in the right knee. 190 km is a long ride. Careful not to over do it.

The time is now for riding. Light mornings. Warm sunshine. I'm 75 kg (79 kg at last year's TOITO). I've got the legs. Got the desire.

"Lick my legs, I'm on fire. Lick my legs, I'm desire" sings the great PJ Harvey. I feel like that right now....

Saturday: rest day

Sunday's training: Road (190 km, 1200 m climbing)

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Third day in a row to ride 130 km. Some decent climbs too. Isonobe. Komura Pass.

Rest day today. Big ride tomorrow.

Friday's training: Road (130 km, 1400 m climbing)

focucfoc.jpgGetting ready for Tokyo~Itoigawa I have time on my side.
I've got the aerobars set up. These give you about 10 % extra speed. Ride 33 kmph where you'd usually ride 30 kmph.

More than that, they give you focus. Tucked up aero, they encourage you to focus on your effort. To focus on your form.

Asaren too gives you focus. Cold out. Push on. Need to be back before the kids get up.... Focus, focus, focus.

I've done big rides the last 2 days. Another big one tomorrow....

Tuesday's training: Road (40 km)

Wednesday's training: Road (135 km, 1100 m climbing)

Thursday's training: Road (135 km, 1100 m climbing)

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The power to weight ratio.

The more the power, the less the weight, the faster you go! Especially uphill!

As a big guy who can climb a bit, I've got the power! But as a big guy who likes a beer, I don't worry about calories too much.

A healthy diet. Little junk. A few beers to keep me sane.

Input Vs. output. is the key. Burn more calories than you use. Lose the weight.

Shinobu is on a diet now. Weighing everything. Counting calories. Me? I'm counting the miles.

2.5h on the rollers on Monday. 130 virtual kilometres.

The weight is trickling off. 75.6 kg (78.4 kg this time last year).

I always think of 75 kg as my fighting weight. The first time I've been here in a while! I'm intrigued to see how far I can go....

Monday's training: Rollers 2.5 h

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Every year before Tokyo~Itoigawa it's the same preparation. 2 or 3 big rides at a decent pace. You don't need to do the full 310 km. 170 to 200 km is a good distance. Just enough to push you into the uncomfort zone.

Set the bike up like race day. Deep rims. Aerobars.

Today a group ride with Team Fins. I always ride the 35 km to the meeting point.

Sub freezing on Sochi Pass. I make CS Fins by 530. 6 starters at 6 o'clock.

We seem to be lucky with the wind. Longish turns of around 2 minutes on the front. 38 to 42 kmph.

As always I feel stronger and stronger as the ride progresses. Adachi san is flying at the moment - fresh off his JCRC win. So I'm happy I can match him on the tough ascent of Yakushi Pass.

By the time we reach the hills after Oguni I start to feel it in my legs. This is the crucial part of today's training. Keep pushing. Keep driving. Ride through it.

By Kawanishi I'm feeling good again. Fast through and off back to Kashiwazaki. I leave the guys here. They'll have to fight the headwind back up the coast.

Hayakawa san was strong as always - fast, constant and great stamina. We are quite similar riders.

Working together we should be able to do a great ride at Tokyo~Itoigawa. よろしくじょんのび!

Saturday: rest day

Sunday's training: Road (185 km)

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Asaren with Nishihiro san today.

Light rain at 4:45. 5:00 start at CS Enosan.

60 km out and back to Sabaishi dam. The rain is heavy by Minami Sabaishi. Glad of the full winter gear.

The bike is performing wonderfully at the moment. I enjoy the climbs after Takayanagi.

The return is slightly downhill all the way. A tailwind. A slick road surface. We are flying.

Back to the 7-11 by 6:30.

Everyone is still asleep at home. Shower. Laundry. Newspaper the shoes. Breakfast. Back on the bike to work...

A rest day tomorrow. A long ride on Sunday.

Friday's training: Road (70 km)

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As I get older it takes longer to get my legs back after a race. The legs feel tired through till Wednesday. Ride easy. "Active recovery" as they say.

Today is the first time I feel like pushing a little harder.

Tuesday's training: Road (70 km, 700 m climbing)

Wednesday's training: Road (40 km)

Thursday's training: Road (100 km, 800 m climbing)

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Me: A good build up to this race. A light training load last week. 2 days of rest before the race. Raring to go!

The bike: Some new wheels from GS Astuto. Some new 25 mm tyres. A new cassette. A new chain. A full service by Enosan. The bike has never sung so beautifully! Probably the best condition I’ve ever had it!

The race: JCRC S class. 10 laps of the Gunma CSC hilly circuit. A 60 km road race.

The plan: I plan to attack with Hayakawa san. 2 of us off the front. “The rolling section before the hair pin. Lap 6”. If that doesn’t work, “the climb before the rolling section on Lap 8.”

The warm up: Going on feel today. Speed and cadence only. 2 climbs of the hill up to the CSC (600 m climbing!). 3 hard efforts for 30 seconds.

Race time!

A neutral first lap. Koyama san (EQADS) is attacking in the neutral zone!

This is my first road race of the year. It takes a while to get back into it. I’m with the motorbike at the back of the main group a few times. “When” and “where” to move up is important on this course. Particularly going through the S bends. You need to be near the front. Or it’s a hard effort, and a waste of energy, to get back on.

A few laps in. I’m back in the groove. Near the front. Nothing too hard.

The bike is working great. Each click of the gears is smooth. It feels really responsive too. This course is a good test. A bit of climbing. Some fast descending. Some tight bends. Some sharp accelerations.

I thought my GS Astuto 60 mm rims were great on this course. But new 50s are even better! A little lighter, they climb well. So much so, the hairpin feels less steep than usual. If this was just a few laps, I’d take it on in the big ring! They descend well and corner well too.

A few are active on the climbs. The young guns. Like souped-up “K-cars”. Quick turns of speed. Always revving their engines!

Me? I’m a 39-year old Volvo diesel estate car! In for the long haul. Strong. Relaible. And unstoppable when up to speed!

Closing any gaps that appear. The laps pass by.

The home straight entering the 5th lap. I’m on the front. Koyama san and 3 others launch from behind. Let them go? Or reel them in? I pull them back in slowly. It’s an effort. Not a super effort. But an effort. Down into the s-bends, back up to the rolling section. All back together.

The home straight entering the 6th lap. The four (soon to be 3) are off again. De ja vu! Someone else’s turn. I sit up and take a gel. Let the others through.

The pack is strung out. Trying to catch the break. But the break is stronger than the pack. Gradually they build a gap.

We’re on the 6th lap. Our plan was to attack on the rolling section here. But the pack is in pursuit. Full gas. Not the best timing for an attack!

The 7th lap. Up the climb before the rolling section. I ask Hayakawa san “Ikeru? Can you go?”. I think there is still a chance to bridge.

Out of the saddle. Not full gas. But enough to make a selection. Anyone interested? Driving through the rolling section. Look back. A small gap. One guy on my wheel. But he doesn’t want to come through. It’s not happening….

The 8th lap. Go hard again on the rolling section. Not really an attack. Just trying to liven things up. This group is breaking down gradually. About 10 of us now in the “chase group”.

This is turning out to be a survival test. Who is left at the end will be sprinting for 4th place.

And so it is. Down the back straight on the 10th lap. I try to visualize the sprint. Tuck in about 6th man. The place to be? Watching the Tour you get all these phrases thrown at you: “5th or 6th man”, “200 metres to go.” But this ain’t the tour. And my last name ain’t Greipel!

It goes much earlier than I expect. I suspect these guys have sprinted for the scraps here before. I roll over in 10th.

Not a bad effort. Really enjoyed the ride. I love this course. I know I can win on it. My time will come. There’s no point reflecting. But next time I’ll try to be a little more aggressive. Make the moves….

After the race we played on all the kids’ rides at the CSC. The last people there. They had to kick us out when the park closed!

I’m lucky to be able to go to races like this. Lucky to have a wife and kids who want to be along for the ride….

Thursday’s training: Road (tempo 60 km)

Friday: rest day

Saturday: rest day

Sunday: Road (warm up + 60 km race)

Monday’s training: Road (recovery 60 km)

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Before a weekend race, Wednesday is the last time to fire it up.

Some tempo asaren tomorrow. Rest on Friday and Saturday. Two days rest gets me where I want to be physically and mentally. Raring to go!

Intervals today. The gears are all mashed up after switching wheels this morning. Still push on...

A rest interval of 90 s. A work interval which increases each time:

30 s / 40 s / 50 s / 60 s / 70 s / 80 s / 90 s / 100 s / 110 s / 120 s.

Ten in total. The first five on the flat. The last 5 on Nakayama Pass.

Wednesday's training: Road (55 km, 700 m climbing)

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Keeping with the climbing theme, 6 climbs of Yakushi Pass yesterday. The first time this year to be in shorts!

Tuesday's training: Road (80 km, 1000 m climbing)

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Gunma CSC JCRC Road Race this Sunday. 10 laps, 60 km.

That's 10 climbs up the hairpin. You don't need fantastic climbing legs here. But you need the legs to keep in the front group. And (hopefully!) the legs to keep momentum in an attack / breakaway situation.

Recently I've done some hill work. Trying to find my climbing legs. Getting comfortable on the bike.

6 climbs of Nakayama Pass today. A steep drag at 8 ~ 11 %. It's hard to get the cadence up on the steeper sections. More work to be done...

At night, rollers. Work up to 50 × 12 and 50 kmph. Save the 50 × 11 for another day...

Monday's training:

  • Road (55 km, 800 m climbing)
  • Rollers x 75 mins
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Two climbs of Yahiko this morning. The Nozomi approach. The steeper Dairo approach.

At 430 am. It's cold. The skies are clear. Yahiko's gates are closed. Just me and the birds as the sun comes up.

I'm still finding my climbing legs. I'm glad of the 34 × 25 on the steep side.

Beautiful blue skies suddenly turn black. A storm rolls in off the Japan Sea. I descend quickly. Meet the storm in Teradomari.

40 kms into a driving wind. Heavy rain turns to snow. Lose the feeling in my fingers and toes.

Once home straight into the shower. Helmet and shoes still on! Greg Lemond style!

Will rides like this make me stronger? Maybe!

Sunday's training: Road (126 km, 1500 m climbing)

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Bad weather Friday an Saturday. Asaren rollers.

On the veranda I have to wait until a sociable hour before waking up the neighbours. 6 am is fair game in Japan.

90 minutes watching the Finnish movie "cyclomania".  A new 11 ~ 25 cassette on the back. 5 × 5 min intervals at 60 kmph.

On Saturday morning I set up the rollers in Shinobu's parents' garage. 515 start. An interval training video for company.

I'm surprised how good this is. When I do intervals on the road, I decide the work and rest interval duration. A huge variation in this workout. There's so many too! It feels like it's never going to end!

The intensity is perceived effort. Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6.

I aim at:
level 3 - tempo 40~50 kmph
level 4 - 60 kmph
level 5 - 63 kmph (65 kmph for intervals less than 1 min)
level 6 - 68~70 kmph

It's a great session. Some intervals on the flat. 4 long level 6 intervals in the hills. More intervals on the flat. Finally some short hard efforts. Minimal recovery between each one. Great training!

Friday's training: Rollers x 90 mins

Saturday's training: Rollers x 120 mins

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On Saturday morning I climbed Yakushi Pass (a pass between Ishiji/Nishiyama and Yoita/Nagaoka) with team Fins.

This morning I went back for some hill climb repeats.

The climbs around Takayanagi are still covered in snow. The road surfaces wet and dirty too. A bike clean is necessary after each ride.

Being near the coast, this mountain is clear of snow. A little warmer and dry too.

It takes about 40 minutes to get to the foot of the climb. The same time as it takes to get to Takayanagi. So this is a good winter / early season option.

The climb itself is a good test. A gradual start. A steep section. A sweeping section. Another steep section. Another sweeping section. A steep climax. Then the gradient evens off at the top for one last effort.

Normally I would mix things up: TT, intervals, SFR, dancing etc. But today I want to find my climbing legs.

Work through the gears. Find the cadencnce sweet spot. Get comfortable on the bike. The varied terrain is good for this.

7 climbs today. Not a bad effort.

Thursday's training: Road (80 km, 1200 m climbing)

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A rest day on Sunday. One rest day a week. How to maximise it?

Saturday's asaren finishes at 8 am. Monday's yoruren starts at 7 pm. 1 day rest? Actually, it's 59 hours.

On the bike at 430 am Tuesday. Need to back by 730. Plan to attack Isonobe 3 times. 45 minutes to the climb. 30 minutes to climb and descend x 3 (90). 40 minutes home. That'll have me home by 725!

Unfortunately Isonobe isn't clear of snow yet. Still I enjoy climbing Shiba Pass and some other climbs.

Another 430 am start on Wednesday. Plan a 100 km out and back return. 730 is the deadline again. Need to make the 50 km turn by 600.....

Always doing the math!

Sunday: rest day

Monday's training: Rollers x 90 mins

Tuesday's training: Road (75 km, 900 m climbing)

Wednesday's training: Road (100 km, 400 m climbing)

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