2014年6月アーカイブ

drive.jpg

I'm a big fan of the bike. I'll get up at 3am to ride 90 km for a 6am rendevous. Nothing beats riding to the start of a race too.

But sometimes. In the heaviest rain. In rainy season. The car can be a cyclist's friend.

Drive out to Ishikawa Pass today. Steep and rough in parts. Isonobe's little sister. Some more hillclimb repeats.

  • Ishikawa Pass x 4

28 km only. Half up. Half down. So a 14 km hill climb. Broken into quarters.

The heart rate is sluggish after yesterday's effort. Surprisingly it responds quicker after each climb. Grind it up and over 170 HR by the top.

Monday's training: Road (28 km, 1000 m climbing)

quitwin.jpg

A rest on Saturday. A day on the booze. In bed by 8pm. Ready for a big ride Sunday.

Heavy rain through the night. A 3:10 am mail from Andrew. Our Yahiko attack postponed for another day...

"Rain in the summer is the same as sweat on the rollers".

Chuck the bike in the car. Head for Isonobe. 22 km inland.

This climb is the beast. My everest. 10 percent average. With a road surface like Paris~Roubaix in places.

Heavy rain. 20 degrees. Perfect climbing weather!

The heart rate responds well. Up and over 170 HR. I find myself holding back on the first 3 climbs.

I always say "If you can climb Isonobe, you can climb anything".

It's like being in the ring with a heavyweight boxer. Nowhere to hide. It never lets up.

1 round is good. 2 rounds can knock you out. I manage 7 today.

7 climbs of Isonobe! I don't need Strava to tell me that nobody has done that before.

  • Isonobe x 7
quitwin2.jpg

Each climb is a similar effort. Hovering around 170 LT HR. I feel I could do a couple more. Best to quit when you're winning!

Sunday's training: Road (65 km, 2400 m climbing)

quietloud.jpg

A quiet ride on Thursday. Sit up and breathe. Recovery time.

Asaren on Isonobe on Friday. Lunch hour on Komura Pass. 32 degrees. 3 bottles in an hour.

  • Isonobe x1
  • Komura Pass x 1

Another quiet one tomorrow. A rest day.

A big ride planned for Sunday.

Thursday's training: Road (50 km)

Friday's training: Road (90 km, 900 m climbing)

Saturday: rest day

togebaka.jpg

Two more days of climbing.

Ishikawa Pass on Tuesday. Wind it up to 170 HR on the upper reaches.

  • Ishikawa Pass x 3

Isonobe with Nishihiro san on Wednesday morning. Later a chance to climb Yakushi Pass.

  • Isonobe x 1 + SFR x 10 min.
  • Yakushi Pass x 4

I can feel it in my legs tonight.

An easy ride tomorrow. A tough ride on Friday. A rest on Saturday...

Tuesday's training: Road (70 km 900 m climbing)

Wednesday's training: Road (125 km, 1400 m climbing)

traijour.jpg
I will race one race each month this year.

So far:

March : Tokyo Enduro
April: JCRC Gunma CSC
May: Tokyo~Itoigawa
June: Uchinada TTT & RR

It's been an interesting journey.

Winter base training before Tokyo Enduro. Group rides before Gunma CSC. Long rides before Tokyo~Itoigawa. TTT training before Uchinada.

Next up is Norikura Skyline. 3 weeks to become a hill climber. Climb, climb, climb!

If it goes to plan, I'll try to carry the form into the summer and August's Yunotani Hill Climb too.

July: Norikura Hill Climb
August: Yunotani Hill Climb (?)

Komura Pass today. Some tempo paced climbing.
  • Komura Pass x 3


Monday's training: Road (65 km, 950 m climbing)

uchi2014.jpg

This is a great event. This year I entered the team time trial and road race.

The team time trial was our main focus. We’ve been training hard for this. Training in the wind and rain. So we are happy that it’s raining on race day…

Team Time Trial

4 member teams (3 have to finish). Two laps of a 10 km circuit (20 km). Pancake flat. A few technical corners.

We do 2 laps of the course as a warm up. Get used to the circuit. Look for any danger spots. The best parts of the road to ride on.

Each group goes off at 30 second intervals. We are late starters. A few carrots up the road.

The order is Hayakawa san < Adachi san < Morikawa san < Andy.

Lap 1

3-2-1 GO!

A good start. Up to speed quickly. We are passing a few groups.

Through the first 90 degree corner.

The second 90 degree corner. I overcook it. The gear is heavy too. An effort to get back on.

On the back straight. Morikawa san is fading. I remember last year. Almost the same spot. Where I couldn’t hold Tazaki san’s wheel.

“Hold his wheel! Hold his wheel!” We keep together here. But at the end of the first lap we are a 3.

We are making good time though. The first lap is race winning pace.

Lap 2

No mistakes now then. Adachi san and Hayakawa san are strong. They take the longer pulls. My pulls are shorter. No room for ego in a TTT.

It’s raining heavy now. Lots of spray. Visibility is really poor.

The first 90 degree corner. The second 90 degree corner. Adachi. Andy. Hayakwa….. crash!

His bike slides from under him. We wait. We have to wait. We need to finish as a 3…

The clock is ticking. Is he okay? We are waiting. Waiting. Here he comes…

Adachi san takes the responsibility. A super long pull. Hayakawa san is struggling. We just need to get to the finish.

We finish 7th. About 50 seconds off the top. We probably lost 30 to 40 seconds with the crash. Next year we’ll go back and win!

Road Race

The road race was a bit of an after-thought really. The Champions Road Race is 5 laps (50 km) on the same circuit.

The start is delayed due to crashes in the race before. The race is cut to 4 laps (40 km) because of the delay.

Lap 1

3-2-1 GO!

The road is dry now. But the wind is strong. Down the home straight. It’s fast. But the size of the group makes it easy.

Crashes always happen on the first corner. I put in a little attack. Just to get me first through the corner.

On the back straight. A small group breaks clear. I watch as they get about 100 m.

I’ve always thought if 5 or 6 get away and work together, they could time trial to the finish on this course.

This could be the winning move?

Got to be in it to win it!

I jump the main group. Before I know it I’m in no-man’s land. Stuck between an escape and the pack. This is make or break time. The biggest effort of the day. I pass another guy who’s given up. Somehow I bridge the gap. Onto the back. Into the rotation.

Lap 2

The home straight. Lap 2. Time to get organized. 6 of us. Two guys in yellow from the same team. It’s a headwind here. No time for messing around. We start to rotate.

One of the yellow guys wants a free ride. His mate goes through and off. But he sits on the back. He’s watched too many TDF videos. I take Bernard Hinault’s role. I give him an earful. But he thinks he’s Greg Lemond…

It takes a Chris Horner special to get rid of him. His mate fades too.

Lap 3

By the third lap we are a 4. We are rotating smoothly. Like a well-oiled machine. The guy in blue is the weakest link. The guy in black (Trek?) is using his head – saving something? And the guy in green is really strong – the one to watch.

I think we can make it. Everyone is working. I’m even thinking how to jump them at the end…

But on the back straight they are coming. First a couple of JPT guys. Then the bunch. I look back to see Adachi san well placed near the front.

Soon enough he’s off the front. A Team Fins’ counter Attack!

Lap 4

Into the last lap. I enjoy a chance to breathe in the bunch. Exchange a few words with Trek’s David. I think I can go again…

But on the back straight there’s no way through. I’ve played my cards. On the last corner I can see Adachi san go through in 3rd spot. He’ll hold that to the line. Congratulations!

I role in at the back of the bunch. Satisfied with my ride….

Next up is Norikura Skyline Hillclimb in July. Can’t wait!

tempcl.jpg
Nice and cool today. An easy ride planned. I find myself drawn to Komura Pass.

A beautiful climb. Not too steep. You can hold back a little. 140 ~ 150 HR.
  • Komura Pass x 3


2 days of rest before Sunday...

Thursday's training: Road (60 km, 900 m climbing)

winform.jpg
4 days to go before Uchinada.

Rest is important now.

In bed at 10. I wake at 4am as usual. Resist the temptation to ride. 2 more hours in bed.

Later an easy ride too. Just a commute.

The next 4 days?

Thursday: easy ride
Friday: rest
Saturday: rest
Sunday: FULL GAS!

Wednesday's training: Road (55 km, 250 m climbing)
yakushiboth.jpg

TTT and RR on Sunday. I feel my training is in place for this. Particularly for the TTT where we will decide our own fate. The RR is a bit more of a lottery....

Before resting up I'm focussing further ahead to Norikura Hillclimb in July. Some more hillclimb repeats on Yakushi Pass.

This is "my boom" at the moment. The climb squeezes the effort out of you slowly. A tight grip on you by the top....

  • Yakushi Pass Ishiji side. 2.1 km. 135 m up. 6.4 percent average. 3 × 10 percent sections.

I did the back (Nagaoka) side too for some variety. It's a steep start. A flattish middle section. And a steep finish.

  • Yakushi Pass Nagaoka side: 2.2 km. 145 m up. 6.6 percent average. 2 × 10 percent sections.


4 climbs of each side:

  • Climb 1 (Ishiji) 7:08
  • Climb 2 (Nagaoka) 7:24
  • Climb 3 (Ishiji) 6:55
  • Climb 4 (Nagaoka) 7:27
  • Climb 5 (Ishiji) 7:03
  • Climb 6 (Nagaoka) 7:29
  • Climb 7 (Ishiji) 7:08
  • Climb 8 (Nagaoka) 7:24


17.2 km of climbing. This tires the legs for sure. Again it's a consistent effort. An easy ride planned for Wednesday...

Tuesday's training: Road (85 km, 1300 m climbing)

festtime.jpg

I'm a serious cyclist when it comes to training. Off the bike I keep an eye on what I eat. Try to eat healthily. Keep an eye on my weight.

This weekend the Enmaichi festival rolled into town.

Two days on the booze. Two days of festival food.

Monday morning. 4am. Time to burn off some of the excesses.

Isonobe is my punishment. Nowhere to hide.

  • Isonobe x 1


Later on Ishikawa Pass. Grind the HR up to 170 HR for the last kilo or so. Repeat.

  • Ishikawa Pass x 3


More climbing tomorrow...

Monday's training: Road (110 km, 1400 m climbing)

tttno3.jpg

Third and final TTT training session on Saturday morning.

  • 4 laps warm up. Gradually increase the pace over 3 laps. The 4th lap easy.
  • 3 laps at race pace.

I expect the third lap will be the fastest. But the 3 laps are similar. Averaging around 42.5 kmph.

This shows we are riding smoothly. On race day, I think we'll be able to push a little harder.

Last year's winners rode at 47 kmph

Hayakawa san is confident we can do this on race day.

Last year we (well I couldn't keep up!) rode it at 45.6 kmph.

The final things to think about:

  • We've ridden together a lot, so we know each other well. This will be one of our advantages on race day.
  • With proper rest we should be all be ready (I plan 2 full days of rest on Friday & Saturday).
  • A proper warm up. Riding together. Through and off. For over 30 minutes. This will have us ready on the line.
  • We've been riding in the wind and rain. Rain is unlikely. But it is always windy. This too should be to our advantage.
  • We should ride the course early on Sunday morning. Practice the corners. Check the wind. Decide where we will ride on the road.
  • Final bits of aero kit? Skinsuits. Shoe covers. Strip the bike down.

Really looking forward to the TTT. We have a strong team. We are gelling well. Bring on race day!

Friday: rest day

Saturday's training: Road (90 km)

Sunday: rest day

ishiclouds.jpg

Ishikawa Pass

  • 3.5km. 250 m up. 7.1 percent average.

Not too long. But the profile is a good test. A few ramps at the start. Some winding constant grades. A couple of steep switch backs.

Focus on 80 cadence. About 80 percent perceived effort.

We're in rainy season now. The clouds are so low. You can almost touch them.

It doesn't take long to climb into the clouds. Like a mist shower. I really like it. 4 climbs today.

  • Ishikawa Pass x 4

4 days of climbing. A rest day tomorrow. Some TTT training over the weekend...

Thursday's training: Road (60 km, 1100 m climbing)

consistency.jpg

Yakushi Pass

  • 2.1 km. 135 m up. 6.4 percent average. 3 × 10 percent sections.

Yesterday I climbed Yakushi Pass 8 times. The second climb was the fastest. Each climb was slower and slower after that.

Today I returned to the pass. I approach it the same:

  • 80 cadence
  • full gas on the last steep section

Today I want to score a similar time each climb. 7:00 is the target. A hard effort each time.

  • climb 1 7:04
  • climb 2 6:55
  • climb 3 6:58
  • climb 4 6:54 (best time)
  • climb 5 6:57 (177 HR max)
  • climb 6 6:57 (177 HR max)
  • climb 7 (easy 8:51)

I'm really happy with the consistency today. I went hard each time. 6 times.

Hill climbing is a really controlled effort. You have to feel the climb. Shifting and cadence are really important. "Make friends with the mountain" is what they say.

I think I did that today...

Wednesday's training: Road (80 km, 1100 m climbing)

hillclimbproject.jpg
hill climb project = climb more + eat less

A record breaking 73.6 kg on the scales this morning! The lightest I've ever been!


I'm going to try to lose even more. The plan to get the weight off:

  • biggest meal for breakfast
  • big lunch (but smaller than before)
  • small dinner (cut down on beers too)

And to keep the strength up?

  • Hill climbing every day!

Monday

Isonobe on Monday morning. Wrestle my way to the top....

  • Isonobe x 1


Later a chance to climb Komura Pass.

  • Komura Pass x 2

Tuesday

Yakushi Pass on Tuesday. It's probably 3 km long. But I do the last 2.1 km from the hut.

3 ramps at 10 percent. This is a fun climb. It takes 7 to 8 minutes to climb. 3 minutes to descend.

8 climbs! Each one grinding up to 170 LTHR at the top. Each one slower than the last.

  • Yakushi Pass x 8

8 climbs = 17 km of climbing. Good preparation for Norikura in July

Monday's training: Road (120 km, 1100 m climbing)

Tuesday's training: Road (80 km, 1300 m climbing)

ttt2.jpg

TTT training today. As usual I plan to set out early and make it a long ride.

300 am. It's raining again. 75 km in the rain before the real training starts???

I load up the car. Another hour in bed.

At the Mitsuke start at 6 am. Everyone is aero today. I've got:

  • aerobars
  • aerohelmet
  • rear wheel disc cover

The plan is:

  • 1 lap easy / 1 lap hard x 4

The orders is Hayakawa san < Adachi san < Morikawa san < Andy.

Ito san is on the back observing and advising.

The first two hard laps are hard. Lots of spray. Following the wheels. Getting the feel for it. My stomach is still not great. A real effort to get on the back of the train.


*we need to be smoother. The 3 riders behind need to go through in a straight line.

The third hard lap is paced behind the car. This blows us apart. First I can't keep up. Then Morikawa san can't keep up. Still this is how I expect it will be in the finale.


*we need to keep an eye on each other. It's okay to drop a rider but the confusion can unsettle the train.

The 4th lap is best. Timed like on race day. We've taken the advice. We are smooth now. I'm not as strong as Adachi san on the front. Time to swallow the pride. Keep the pulls shorter. Keep the rotations smooth.


*stronger riders pull for longer

43 kmph on the last lap. We are getting there. One more chance to practice next weekend....

Sunday's training: Road (70 km)

goonthen.jpg

I didn't plan to ride. But I wake up at 3am. Too much sleep recently.

It's raining. Missed a couple of days training last week....

Go on then...

Rain shoes on. Up the coast. Out and back. 330am to 630am. A wet one hundred.

Saturday's training: Road (100 km, 33 kmph)

bottles.jpg


2 days off the bike. 2 days in bed. Heatstroke. Dehydration.

Mad dog the English man they say. At least I got it early. I won't let it catch me again.

Asaren this morning. 2 bottles on the bike (1 frozen).

Drank one by the foot of Isonobe. Drank the second by the top.

  • Isonobe x 1


Fill up 2 bottles at the spring. Drink them before I get home.

At home a recovery drink. Orange juice. Milk. Breakfast.

Two frozen bottles on the bike and off to work....

Friday's training: Road (70 km, 500 m climbing)

heatstroke.jpg

The weather has changed this last week. In the sun it's up and above 35 degrees in the day.

Asaren avoids most of this. A cool 15 degrees or so.

However there's no avoiding the heat riding to and from work. And no avoiding the heat during the working day. I try to keep on top of my fluids.

But on Tuesday night I find myself with my head down the toilet. Heatstroke! The first time since Alp de Huez in 2004. Memories come flooding back!

Some medicine from the doctor. Lots of fluids. Lots of sleep.

Need to be careful from now on....

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: rest

focus.jpg

In training it's important to have focus.

Long rides to get ready for Tokyo~Itoigawa in May.

Group rides and intervals for Uchinada TTT and RR in June.

And .... I'm going to bite the bullet and do the Norikura HC in July.

Climbing focus!

Monday

On easier climbs like Ishikawa Pass, there is a chance to try a few different things.

  • Climb 1 - 80 percent perceived effort

  • Climb 2 - out of the saddle intervals 30 s hard / 90 s easy

  • Climb 3 - in the saddle intervals 30 s hard / 60 s easy

  • Climb 4 - SFR (50 cadence target)


Tuesday

On a tougher climb like Isonobe just finding a rhythm can be a challenge. Steep drags. Rough surface. Rarely can you get the upper hand. Asaren with the sun coming up.

  • Isonobe x 1 80 percent perceived effort


Top up the miles with a commute to Nishiyama. Some Uchinada cornering practice too.

Monday's training: Road (60 km, 1000 m climbing)]

Tuesday's training: Road (120 km, 600 m climbing)

likeold.jpg

Mt. Yahiko with Andrew today. He's celebrating 15 years in Japan. 13 years for me. A third of our lives for both of us. How much have we spent of that on our bikes?

Climb 1 - Nozomi approach

We meet at 5 am. The new entrance is steep. Enjoy chatting. Family. Bikes. Catching up.

Like the old days. We know when to knuckle down. The right hairpin. The steep drag. So often the decisive section.

I feel good. 75 kg. Gears to spare. Through the next steep section. Andrew on the front. Setting the pace.

He gaps me with an out of the saddle effort. Draw him back.

Through the tunnel. Two ramps to the finish. Big ring. Attack from behind.

I'm surprised how fast my acceleration is. Didn't know I had such top end...

Climb 2 - Dairo steep side

My turm to set the pace. 10 or 11% all the way. This side tells you a lot about your form.

The 80 cadence sweet spot. Flicking between the 21 and 23 gear through the switch backs.

Up to the exposed section. The wind. In the summer it's like opening the oven door. A nice cool wind slaps us in the face today.

A long steep drag. Grind it out. I gap Andrew here. Full gas to the top.

Climb 3 - Village side

Some steep sections on this approach. Taking turns to set the pace. This is great training.

At the top I back off a bit. Through the tunnel. Big ring. A carbon copy acceleration to the first climb.

I'm happy the diesel engine is still firing!

Climb 4 - Dairo steep side

The "endurance" one. We are apart on the lower slopes.

In the 23 all the way. Slip into the 25 on the uppermost steep section. Enjoying the sensations...

Thanks for the great training Andrew! Just like the old days!

I felt really good today. I'm at my best weight. Lots of miles in my legs. I wasn't planning on any hill climb races this year. But maybe I should give July's JBCF Norikura Skyline a go...

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday's training: Road (160 km, 2300 m climbing)

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