andy: 2011年4月アーカイブ


Two 5 am starts in a row. I love asaren. Being on the road when everyone else is still in bed is a great feeling. Get back nice and early and you can still put in that all important family time!

2 bananas in the pockets. 2 bottles on the bike. Go!

It's still quite chilly in the morning at this time of year. Arm warmers and leg warmers are necessary. I'm enjoying the feel of my new Assos shorts too. Great pad and great fit.

2 and half hours at high end tempo pace. Still got the tailend of a cold so don't want to push too hard. A day on the beers also takes it's toll!

Back by 7:30. Shower. Breakfast. And out for the day... hiking? the park? the beach? the onsen? so many options....


Saturday's asaren:

coast road Teradomari return (82 km, 250 m climbing, 33 kmph)

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Mr. and Mrs. Tazaki, おめでとうじょんのび!


Yesterday, Luke and I went to Niigata for Tazaki san's wedding. Luke's long awaited first ride on the shinkansen and first taxi ride. The first beer went in on the 10:30 shinkansen. A quick one as it only takes 20 minutes to Niigata. It was a wonderful day. Great to meet lots of friends. Great food and drink too. Tazaki san, また弥彦で。。。。

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Not feeling too good on the climbs this morning. Struggling to breathe well in the 4 degree air. Fast on the flats and rolling terrain though.

Friday's asaren: 352 / 252 loop & Nota loop

TT Ishikawa Dam ~ Yasuda (R252, R12)
38:08 mins, 23.7 km, 132 HR, 40 m climbing, 37.3 kmph

(70 km, 550 m climbing, 31 kmph)


The last three years at Tokyo~Itoigawa, I've ran an average speed of 34 / 35 kmph. To ride 8 plus hours at this speed you have to be comfortable on the bike and focused on maintaining a steady effort for the duration. I know how hard I want to ride in terms of HR (about 150 AV) and in cadence (about 90 AV) but it has to feel right too.

In cycling lots of training time is given to base training (low intensity, aerobic), followed by high end work at lactate threshold and above (hill climbing, intervals etc) interspersed with rides for recovery.

Little time is given to riding hard aerobically. One good way to train in this area is time trialling. Record your time between two fixed points. It doesn't matter if the points are 10km, 30km or 300km apart. The main focus is in doing a sustained effort, be this flat out, at a given heart rate or at a given level of perceived exertion.


Today I did two 20 min T Ts and two 40 min T Ts. I didn't pay too much attention to HR, rather tried to ride at the tempo that I want to ride in Tokyo ~ Itoigawa:

TT1 Kita Sabaishi ~ Kariwa (R73)
17:47 mins, 10.1 km, 138 HR, 35 m climbing, 34.1 kmph

TT2 Kariwa ~ Kita Sabaishi (R73)
17:11 mins, 10.2 km, 134 HR, 35 m climbing, 35.3 kmph

TT3 Yasuda ~ Ishikawa Dam (R252, R12)
41:07 mins, 23.7 km, 144 HR, 170 m climbing, 34.6 kmph

TT4 Ishikawa Dam ~ Yasuda (R252, R12)
40:21 mins, 23.7 km, 138 HR, 40 m climbing, 35.2 kmph

(Total: 90 km, 310 m climbing, 33.6 kmph)

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As boys growing up in northern England, we'd never let rain spoil our fun. We'd be out playing in all weather. It wasn't till you stopped playing that you realised just how cold and how wet you were. Memories of mum helping me untie my shoelaces at the door as my hands were too cold to. The piercing pain of a hot shower on cold toes.

Today as I headed out of the door it started to rain. The further I went the harder it got. At this time of year rain's not a problem so long as you don't stop. To get a puncture in this weather? It doesn't bear thinking about.

I took in a loop of the coast road and back on R116. R116 isn't likely to find itself in any cycling guide books. It amazes me when I hear of people riding this major trunk road just 2km in land from the beautiful seaside line. I usually avoid it. It is however good training for Tokyo~Itoigawa. Rolling all the way, there is little flat. Cars and trucks in the mix too. Need to get used to riding in traffic.

Really crappy weather but you just have to get your head down and get on with it. The hot bath and beer make it all seem worthwhile.

Today's training: coast road / R116 loop (75 km, 400 m climbing, 33 kmph)

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It only seems like yesterday when Luke started walking. Now he's running around everywhere. Pretty useful with a ball at his feet too. Rich and Claire, thanks for the kit!


There's a little climb 5 minutes up the road from where we live. It's 1300 m long, 85 m in height, well surfaced and of constant grade all the way up. I imagine if I lived in Holland or somewhere, I would love this climb. However, with the number of bigger, tougher and more varied climbs around here, it gets largely overlooked.


However, the shortness, easiness and uniformity of this climb also have their benefits.

Yesterday I was talking to Enosan about the importance of variety in training and in climbing in particular. When climbing, taking the climb tempo or taking it full on, are often the only decisions we make. However, climbing in different ways: light gear, heavy gear, high cadence, low cadence, sitting, standing... are all important to become a “complete cyclist”.


This little climb is perfect for more structured and focused training. Today I did some big gear repeats.

Monday's training:

Climb 1: 53 × 27
Climb 2: 53 × 24
Climb 3: 53 × 21
Climb 4: 53 × 19
Climb 5: 53 × 17

(36 km, 470 m climbing)


Today was a real hard day in the saddle.

I've been down with a cold the last few days. After heavy rain on Saturday, Sunday was forecast sunshine, so I was determined to get a long ride in. Saturday night I did some Graeme Obree “water training”. A pint of water before bed. Wake up an hour later needing the loo. Wee, blow the nose, clear the throat, another pint of water, repeat.

Up at 5 and feeling better than I perhaps would have done otherwise, I forced down some some breakfast and was on the road by 6.


I headed out to Teradomari with Kitano san and Ohya san. We are all focussing on next month's Tokyo~Itoigawa. We rotated all the way. How easy it is to be on the back! I cleared the nose and throat back there. On the front, I rode hard, taking care to stay aerobic. Despite a tough headwind, we kept the speed in the 35~40 kmph range and made it to Teradomari in a an hour.

We met Andrew in Teradomari and headed for Yahiko. I was looking for any excuse not to climb it, the niggling cold, the mist shrouded summit... but both Andrew and Kitano seemed keen.


A few seconds into the climb and “clunk” a spoke on the rear snapped. Luckily I have sensible training wheels with plenty of spokes. Wrap the broken spoke around its neighbour. Open the break arch a little. Good to go.

We had to dismount a couple of times to get around a rock slide. Then up to the gate.

This time Andrew and I kept the chatting up well beyond the gate. Riding tempo. Neither of us wanting to go too hard, too soon. Andrew is also recovering from a cold last week so we sounded like a couple of grumpy old men climbing Yahiko today.


Eventually Andrew took the initiative and raised the pace on the front. I locked onto his wheel. In hill climbing, you don't want to be directly behind the rider pacing you. The best place to be is on his right or left. Overlapping slightly. Your shoulder in line with his bum. Shadowing. Ready for any sudden moves.

I was happy to sit here and see how things panned out. Through the steep section. Taking care to hold his wheel. Not to end up on the front.

Then the second hairpin. I have a little dig. See if Andrew can keep up. To the top of the rise. Contemplating the big ring. Glance back. He's there. Ooops, the cat becomes the mouse.


Now it's Andrew's turn to shadow me. Luckily the early morning sun is on our backs. I'm keeping an eye on his shadow back there. Counter any encroachment with a little more speed. Here comes a shaded section. He's a wise old fox Andrew. He may try to catch me by surprise here. Raise the pace again. Just to keep him in check.

It seems neither of us are keen on a long attack today.

Here comes the last right-hander. 3 rises up to the finish.

I raise the pace up the first one. Not full gas just yet. Over the lump. A little flat. In to the big ring. Try to carry some momentum into the second rise.

The second rise - up we go. Time to move back into the small ring. You need to get the right gear here. Too light and you'll spin out. Too heavy and you'll lose momentum. Russian roulette time. Shift down a couple on the back. Drop into the small ring on the front. Click, click, clunk. It's a good one! Time to lay the cards on the table. Full gas. “Oh arghh!”. Words of submission from behind?

Over the rise. One more rise to go. Keep going. Keep going. Check left. Check right. Goal.


Another Yahiko. Another game of cat and mouse.

I was lucky to get the better of Andrew today. Come summer when he has his dancing explosiveness back, I'll have to think of other ways to beat him up there than just ride him off my wheel. Looking forward to the challenge Andrew!

At the top, Kitano san did the whole climb in the big ring! Ohya san, first Yahiko – good job!

We descended back down to Teradomari. Looking forward to the tailwind home, we were a bit disheartened to find the wind had changed in to a headwind. And what a corker it was too!


We stopped at the Save On to refuel. Sagara san and 3 other guys come flying past. We see these guys every week. Track training? High pace on the flats. Support car in tow. Usually they're going the other way to us but today they are heading our way.

“A free ride home!”
“Let's get on that train!”
“Wait, where's Kitano san?”
“In the loo!”
“C'mon, let's go!”

They had a minute start on us. Three cats on the chase. Going as hard as we can. What a delight to see Kitano san going full gas in the drops on the front!

We're going fast but we can't see them up ahead. Whether or not we catch them is irrelevant really, we just need the focus. The target. The motivation.

Here comes one guy fallen off the back. Pass him. Keep pressing on. Another guy. Just two to go now.

From behind, Vroom, Vroom. It's the support van. Motor pacing the 3rd man back to the front. He's flying! Must be doing about 60!

The last climb behind the power station. In the middle of the season and with good form, I can hold 30 kmph to the top. There's our man again. The mouse. The carrot. Keep in the big ring. Keep on the aerobars. Keep 32kmph. AJ!

I can't say for certain, but I reckon the front guys were being paced intermittently, which explains why we couldn't catch them.

From here I said goodbye to Kitano san and Ohya san. 100 km and 800 m of climbing on the clock. Time for that bit extra. 50 km in the hills around Kashiwazaki.

I was worn out by now but determined to do a long ride. More importantly, I was determined to put in some of those miles that hurt. When all you can think about is getting home.

Today's ride had a bit of everything. Perhaps a little too hard considering the cold but you have to make hay when it shines....

Thanks guys!

Sunday's training: Kahiwazaki ~ coast road ~ Mt. Yahiko ~ coast road ~ Fisherman's Cape ~ Tanne ~ Kujiranami ~ Shindou ~ Nota loop

(150 km, 1150 m climbing, 30 kmph)

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This crack behind the bottom bracket on my carbon bike has been bugging me for some time. Today I decided to do something about it.

The original monocoque frames were just that, one piece of moulded carbon. These days although still referred to as "monocoque", most frames consist of two pieces, the front and rear triangle, moulded together. This is why you can look at a bike and say "it has the front end of a TREK and a rear end of a PINARELLO". It's also one of the main reasons why carbon frames have become cheaper to produce. No need to waste money on design when it's so easy just to copy.

This crack appears right in that location where two pieces of carbon fuse together. This is perhaps the strongest part of the bike (it has to be around the BB). The crack can be seen on the surface, but it's difficult to determine how deep it goes. Carbon bikes are weaved, with layers and layers on top of each other. Unlike aluminium which can fail dramatically and suddenly, carbon cracks tend to grow and grow like a peeling apple. If you are lucky a noise will appear before sudden failure. This is what happened with my first carbon bike which also cracked.

Anyway, time off the bike today, taking pictures and trying to push for a warranty claim. Bit of a cold too. Hope I'm feeling good enough for some asaren in the sunshine tomorrow....

Saturday's training: rest day


Today I tried the aeorobars on some rolling terrain. Whichever way I went I seemed to have a headwind but that is what aerobar training is all about. I took in a climb of Takejima Pass too. By the end of the ride, I was feeling quite worn out. I guess a few hours tucked up on the bars does that too you. Maybe take a rest tomorrow if it rains, and enjoy the sunshine on Sunday.

Friday's training: Aerobars - Kashiwazaki ~ Kita Jo ~ Minami Sabaishi ~ Takejima Pass ~ Kita Jo ~ Takayanagi ~ Sabaishi Dam ~ Kashiwazaki

(98 km, 550 m climbing, 31.5 kmph)


I put the aeorbars on the bike for today’s ride. It’s the first time I’ve used them since last year’s Tokyo ~ Itoigawa. When you use areobars, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Why don’t I use these all the time?” The difference in speed is immediately noticeable. Likewise when you take them off, the bike feels slow and your position lazy.

Most races don’t allow the use of aerobars for safety reasons. The exceptions are time trials, team time trials and (unofficially) Tokyo ~ Itoigawa.


For a short TT, you want the bars down low to maximize the aero effect. Speed is more important than comfort.

For a 300km race like Tokyo ~ Itoigawa, I want to stay on the bars for long periods. Comfort is more important, so I set the bars slightly higher. Even with the bars set up higher than this, there is a good aero benefit as has been seen with the “praying mantis” TT position.

Each year I set the bars up at the same initial angle. As I get used to riding them again, I’ll tweak the position, lowering the bars gradually, trying to get that perfect balance of comfort and speed.


In 2008 Tokyo ~ Itoigawa, I did a solo TT from start to finish. I stayed on the bars pretty much all the way. That year there was a strong headwind, so the aerobars helped me to set a good time.

In 2009, a week after the early arrival of Luke, I wasn’t as strong as in 2008. The aerobars gave me an extra edge that I needed to set a good time again.

In 2010, I had the pleasure of riding with Nishitani san. I used the aerobars when on the front to keep the pace high. Their biggest benefit however was getting back up to Nishitani san on the flats around Lake Suwa after he had dropped me on the rolling terrain before Fujimi Pass.


Today, I just wanted to get back into the swing of using them. The flat coast road with few cars and a bit of wind is the perfect training terrain.

Riding out to Teradomari, there was a strong head wind. They say that aerobars give you about a 10% increase in speed. I was driving into the wind at around 33 kmph, perhaps when I would usually be knocking out around 30.

Once you find the sweet spot on the saddle and the bars, you feel like all your power is being transferred to the road. You want to hold this position. Rises in the road offer a chance to stretch the legs and body, often opting to stand rather than spin through the gears.


At the foot of Mount Yahiko, I remembered something Andrew often says “If you ride all the way out to Yahiko, you may as well climb it!”. I rode up at tempo pace, pushing a heavier gear (and a heavier bike) and enjoying the views.

On the return to Kashiwazaki, the wind was on my back. This is where the fun is in aerobars. The back of your body catches the wind behind. Your aerodynamic position cuts through the air up front. 40 kmph plus, 90 cadence, 130 HR, this is probably how Fabian Cancellara feels on a Sunday ride....


Thursday’s training: coast road ~ Mt. Yahiko ~ coast road ( 108 km, 800 m climbing, 31 kmph)

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cold out on the bike today...


Luke's looking cool in his new suit for the cycling wedding of the year...

Yesterday, I missed the chance of a longish commute by bike and took the car.

Today, it was drizzling lightly and I decided to get my training done while commuting. “The bike needs a wash anyway”.

Today’s destination: Takayanagi. If it’s drizzling in Kashiwazaki, you can guarantee it’s raining hard in Takayanagi!

There is an “S” curve in R252, where the road crosses the Sabaishi river at Minami Sabaishi. This “S” is like a port hole into another world. The weather changes here like someone has flicked a switch.

The frantic movement of windscreen wipers coming from the opposite direction, give away what’s to come.

Here comes the rain. Getting harder and harder. Head down, Keep an eye on the paddy fields. The circles on the water are my guide to how heavy it’s falling. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Nothing like rain to get me to work on time!

Today, like yesterday, was really cold. I was underdressed and didn’t even get a sweat on. Hands bright red. Clenched fists. Desperately trying to keep them warm.

The biggest challenge of riding to work in the rain is getting your clothes dry for the ride home. The one good point of cold weather is that the heaters at work will be blazing so I can dry my clothes.

Is it really mid-April already?

Wednesday’s training: Takayanagi commute (50 km)

Tonight’s jobs: wash the bike, put the aerobars on, get my kit ready for tomorrow….

Tomorrow’s plan: long ride on the aerobars!


too wet for me, took the car to work today...


this is hardcore: this old lady, bike loaded up front and back, pissing down rain, about to take on the climb behind the power station...


I don't usually ride the trainer after March. The rollers are a little different though. A few weeks off them, and when you get back on you notice their training benefits immediately...

Since November I've been working 3 nights a week in addition to my day job. Gotta keep the kids in shoes. Keep me in inner tubes!

Through the winter, I got into a really good routine of coming home, onto the rollers for an hour, a beer from the fridge, a bath and some time with Shinobu. A great way to wind down and refresh.

Since spring came around, I have been squeezing rides in in the daylight. (Evenings have become a bit of a booze fest!)

Today I was planning a rest day. But after a hard day at work (by my standards anyway!) I decided to hit the rollers.

No plan in mind. Turn the lights down low. Turn the music up loud. The Strokes second album.

The first album was the soundtrack to my first summer in Japan. Fond memories of camping on a beach on Sado Island.

For some reason, I'd neglected subsequent albums. Didn't realise what I'd been missing!

Tuesday's training:

Rollers – ride to the music, the strokes' room on fire

(60 minutes, 52.9 km / kmph, 141 AV HR, 101 AV cadence)


Musical Motivation: the strokes – please don't slow me down, if I'm going too fast....


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78.8 kg on the scales this morning. That'll slow you down! Maybe that's where 2 minutes went yesterday.

I could certainly feel yesterday's effort in the legs this morning. Usually I feel good the day after the race. Strong and explosive. Probably due to adrenalin and other naturally produced goodies still floating around the system. It's not till Tuesday that I usually feel the fatigue.

This time however, I really felt it today. Must be age catching up with me at last! I used to ride as much as I like and never get tired, eat as much as I like and still lose weight. Those days it seems.... are over!

Time to RE cover RE flect, RE think, RE focus and RE build.

A nice recovery spin today. No desire to go hard anyway. A bit of a chill in the air. Nice and fresh.

A couple of days of rain are forecast, so a nice chance to take a break.

Then it's time to refocus. Change bike. Aerobars on. How low can we go? Head down. Cadence up.

A shift from short efforts at lactate threshold and above to long paced efforts at around 150 HR. The training I love. The riding I do best. My niche.

Build, build, build. So I can go hard and go the distance at Tokyo ~ Itoigawa.


Monday's training: Recovery on the flats around Nota (32 km, 100 m climbing)


sunrise - always sunny in Gunma!

Today I headed out to Kusatsu. I left at 4:30 in the morning and arrived at 7:30. I went to the hotel where Enosan and co were staying, changed out of my pajamas for my race gear and headed for the start area.


Fuji boys

I did my 40 minute warm-up as planned. I met many friendly faces: Kitano san, Tazaki san, Ono san, Kenta san, Noguchi san, Clayton, Type R, Azumino guys... the start time came in no time.

On the start line I was having a fun chat with Tazaki san when a voice on the loudspeaker announced “5 seconds to go!” A large chorus of “What!?”. 3,2,1, GO!


Despite messing up clipping in to the pedals, I got in a pretty decent spot near the front of the group. Clayton was off the front sparring with one of the guest pro riders. Inspiring stuff!

But then, from the left, from the right, riders are gradually passing me. Why? I feel comfortable enough but I just can't follow the wheels. Always the slow starter!


I ended up in a second group of 4 riders, 2 from Fuji cycling, 1 from Ovest and me. The group wasn't gaining on us and with a bit of cohesion, I thought we could bridge across. However, as the course passes through the gate, the pace picked up and the top group splintered apart. Our group of four also broke up.


Familiar ground for me. Get a rhythm going. Solo TT time.

I gradually picked up and passed those falling out of the back of the top group. Kenta san, Fujita san, Kitano san. Slow starter!


Niigata boys

I crossed the line in 38 mins, 12th place. Behind me in 13th was Kitano san – well done! Tazaki san 4th! Clayton 1st!

After that, the Niigata boys enjoyed a climb up to the highest national road pass in Japan. The road, free of cars, the scenery, fantastic!

Back down in Kusatsu, we enjoyed a fantastic open air onsen.

Next up, Tokyo~Itoigawa. Can't wait!


touring time



知り合いにたくさん会った: Kitano san, Tazaki san, Ono san, Kenta san, Noguchi san, Clayton, Type R, Azumino guys...あいさつしていたら、すぐにスタートタイムになりました。スタートラインまで行きました。スタートラインで田崎さんと楽しく話していたら、サイドから"スタート5秒前"と言われました。 WOW!!3、2、1 GO!





big pass, small ass



the highest national highway in Japan




hairpins make a great race course




Kusatsu Onsen stream



Enosan, nice guard!

Kusatsu 2008 36:00 / 5th
Kusatsu 2009 36:55 / 3rd
Kusatsu 2010 40:01 / 6th
Kusatsu 2011 38:00 / 12th


return at sunset

Editor's note: Recent renewed interest in the working relationship between Lance Armstrong and controversial Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari have brought the spotlight on our own rider Andy Wood. Some readers have expressed concern about the working relationship between the lanky British rider and Tokyo based Kiwi consultation guru Dan Underwood. Andy went on the record saying “any meetings I have with Mr. Underwood are never prearranged, always by chance, usually involving him sneaking up behind me and shouting “Alright Big Fella!” or vice-versa.”.

When challenged about what they were talking about so secretly 3 minutes before the start, Andy responded “Dan simply told me to go with one jersey as only girls wear an undershirt”. Asked if the advice was beneficial, Andy stated “Mr. Underwood is a professional consultant, so any advice he gives needs to be respected. The jersey advice combined with a few weeks of high alcohol training could be what led me to smash 2 minutes off my best time this year!”

Readers, it seems Mr. Underwood practices what he preaches and one suspects his uni-layer fashion choice was instrumental in him knocking a massive 3 minutes off his best time this year!


Ohya san and Kitano san warming up in Kusatsu town


warming up in Kashiwazaki with Luke


geting Luke and Mark ready for bed

These last cople of weeks I've done what I consider to be a good block of training. The only thing that has been lacking is a good sleep pattern, surviving on 5 or 6 hours a night. Last night I had a few early beers and turned in with Luke - 8:00pm ~ 7:00am. Tonight I'm aiming at 8:00pm again with a 4:30am planned start to Kusatsu.

Most people I've spoken to about Kusatsu say they're going for the onsen and beer. They say it's too early to have good form. To early to get a good result.

Yesterday, I got a mail from Michi:

ANDY! I believe that you will win the Championship!Don't never give up. Good Luck to you! Good bye.

Michi, THANK YOU! I don't think I can win but I will do my best.

I'm not going to Kusatsu for the onsen! I'm going to Kusatsu to race! がんばるじょんのび!


I love the few days leading up to a race. No training you do will make you go faster or make you go stronger. On the contrary, any hard training is likely to slow you down. It's time to rest up and get your equipment ready.

Today I dug out my hill climb wheels. Washed the bike. Cleaned the cassette and chain.

Then I took the bike for a quick spin to check the wheels and gears run okay.


A short ride to the pass between Shindou and Kujiranami. A gentle ride up to check the gears. The 25 is rubbing the spokes a little. Need to check that.

It's 25 degrees and I've got the legs out for the first time this year. Feel like a real cyclist at last!

Reach the top. Check the watch. 8 minutes! 8 minutes from my door to the top of this little pass!

When my dad visits Kashiwazaki he always says “It's like you live in Switzerland around here!”

I can't go home now! A 16 minute ride!?


Drop down to Kujiranamai. Nice head wind but downhill all the way.

Next up, the small pass over to Tanne. Tanne village is indeed like a picture on a box of Swiss chocolates. The pass is barriered off to cars but clear of snow. Swiss paradise!

How good it feels to be on the bike taking it easy. Check the watch. 20 minutes!


Time for a quick climb up to the two Tanne lakes. The road is steep up here. But no pushing today. Spin, spin, spin.

Right, the bike seems fine. U-turn and back home in less than an hour. Barely a sweat on.

An early night tonight and I should be ready to go on Sunday.

Today's training: Tanne return

(28 km, 450 m climbing)

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What goes up, must come down!

This week I've been enjoying “asasanpo” early morning walks with Luke. He loves going to the park but in Japan, you don't have to go far to find a quiet shrine with a couple of swings and a slide.

“Slide noritai ne! Swing noritai ne!”

In just a week, I'm amazed how good he's become at using slides and swings. A natural athlete it seems. He must get it from his mum!

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Thursday's training:

Isonobe x 1 (Tempo pace, 160 HR max)

(59 km, 550 m climbing)

time to rest, rest, rest .....


setting up right is all important for a good warmup: towels, drinks, music...


a month off the rollers and it takes a little while to get back into it

a new routine, requires new music: Underworld's barking

A routine is just that, a “routine”. I've been using the same warm up routine for a few years now.

For 2011 I've decided to try something:

  • simpler
  • shorter
  • good for the rollers

2011 warm up routine

1.Tempo – 130~140 HR / high cadence (20 mins)
2.Tempo – 150 HR (10 mins)
3.Lactate threshold – 140~170 criss cross HR (10 mins)
Total: 40 mins

Wednesday's training:

Rollers – new warm up routine + 20 mins 150HR

(60 mins, 50 km, 0 m climbing!)


Baby Mark doesn't know night and day yet but Luke certainly does...


Kashiwazaki's coast road, Mt. Yoneyama in the distance


Small shrine on the rocks at Banjin beach


The place for summer evening dips, Toonowa beach


Stormy seas and strong winds hitting Kujiranami seashore


5am Wednesday morning:

“Daddy, Daddy, DADDY, DAAAADY!”
“Morning Luke!”
“Daddy, sea iku?”

Wednesday's asasanpo: Banjin beach ~ Toonowa beach ~ Kujiranami beach


I think it is important to ride listening to your body - the sensations in your legs, the depth of your breathing, the passions in your mind. But listening to your body can also mean tracking your heart-rate, your cadence, and your power output!


feel the road!


HRM turned upside down, riding on instinct

Tuesday's training: Isonobe x1 Mountain Goat style TT

(59 km, 550 m climbing)

Isonobe climb: 16:59, 174 HR AV / 182 HR MAX, 85 AV cadence

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Today's walking:

Asasanpo: Akasakayama Park (3h!)

Yusanpo: Central Beach (1h)

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Monday's training: rest day, early morning hiking with Luke - the boy's got stamina!

Yume no mori koen (2h)


This last week or so I've shifted from base training to more intensive hill climb work. Four days on Kashiwazaki's toughest climb, Isonobe, gradually increasing the intensity each time.

Today, one week before Kusatsu, was the icing on the cake. Two climbs of Mt. Yahiko at race pace.

I got on the scales this morning. 78.5 kg. Alright for rolling courses but hardly a hill climbing best. I'd like 76 / 77 kg but the joys of being a new dad and the over indulgence that goes with it mean alas no.

Coast road

I rode out to Teradomari with Kitano san in just over an hour. 40 kmph plus with little effort due to a nice stiff tail wind.

There we met Andrew and headed for Yahiko. Is it really the first time we've met up at the Save On this year? Last winter was too long!


Climb 1

On the climb, we enjoyed chatting up to the gate. After the gate there is a long stretch at 11 % and although never spoken, from this point it's race mode.

I dug in on the front and pushed my HR up to 180. This is what I love about hill climbing. You put your cards on the table. If the others can't follow, you're away. If they can, you're vulnerable to an attack.

Andrew and Kitano san were up to the task. This is what I've been missing in training so far this year. In hill climbs, your ears are more important than your eyes. Listen to their breathing. Listen to their gear changes. Are they suffering? Are they comfortable?

At the top of the steep section, Kitano san came on to the front. My heart rate dropped down to the high 150s. A good sign. This is were interval training has its benefits. The ability to recover quickly, ready to go again.

We rode up taking turns pulling till we met Tazaki san on his way down. A quick U-turn and we were a foursome.


Andrew was on the front, spinning a super cadence. Then came the steep section. The place were the hill climb race in September is usually decided.

Kitano san! Big gear! Out of the saddle! Attack!

Shift up one. Keep in the saddle. Dig deep to go with him. We are a two.

Into the thick mist. In these conditions, just a small gap and you can be away. Out of site, out of mind.

Around the hairpin and the gradient picks up. I can hear Kitano san fluff a gear change behind. Little dig. Look back. One or two metres. Not enough.

Kitano san takes a turn up front. It's so much easier to follow than to lead. Even in hill climbs, drafting plays a key role.


Looking back, I can see someone coming through the mist. Got to go faster. Take a long pull. The final corner. Look back. I've got a gap. Big gear. One ramp up. The tunnel. Two more ramps up. Goal. AJ!


Climb 2

About 8 of us started the second climb. Same drill. Nice and chatty up to the gate.

This time Hnd san is on the front. A bike length, then Kitano san, me glued to his wheel, Tazaki san glued to mine.

Soon it's three of us Hnd san, me, Tazaki san. Stuck in an F(t) Racing sandwich!

In hill climbing a good way to suss out your rival is to ask them a question which requires more than a yes or no answer.

Andy “you must be getting nice shelter from the wind back there” / Tazaki san “I can't really notice!”


As the gradient picks up just before the fast section, Hnd san attacks. He has a nice gap. Over the lump. My territory. Put the bike in the big ring. A millisecond. I hear Tazaki san behind do the same. A fast drive. Past Hind san keeping wide right. Another 50 metres. Don't want to burn all the matches just yet. Into the small ring. Look back. Both of them on my wheel!

Here comes the steep section. Tazaki san attacks. Hnd san follows. They're over the top. But wait, neither wants to set the pace. My chance to bridge. Got to go now. Back on.

Tazaki san goes again! So does Hnd san. Round the hairpin. The two of them bombing up the road.


It's all or nothing now. Into the big ring. As hard as I can go. I'm closing on them. Past Hnd san. 10 more metres. Onto Tazaki san's wheel. Hnd san Counter Attack! Tazaki san goes too.

Keep going. Keep going. The gaps not really closing.

The last corner. Tazaki san has gone. The race for second place!


Back into the big ring. First ramp. Getting closer! Through the tunnel. Second ramp. Getting closer! Got to surprise him. Hnd san looks back. He can see me. Crap!

I can't close the gap but I can put it all out. Out of the saddle. Eyes closed. Goal. Look down. 190 HR. That what we like to see!



On the way back down I was greeted with a loud bang at about 50 kmph. The rear tyre blew. Luckily, it was on a long straight and I kept the bike upright. The damage, a 1 cm split in a brand new tyre with only 60 km on it!

No punctures at all last year. 2 in 2 days this week!

We did a makeshift job to get the tyre rideable back home.

Head wind

The way back to Kashiwazaki was a strong head wind as expected. 40 km at 170 HR. Sean Kelly training!


Post ride protein feast

In the door. Shower. Protein IN: tofu and chick pea salad, eda mame, fried tofu (atsu age) vegetable curry, protein milkshake


Enosan magic

Some metal, some glue, the tyre is as good as new! Enosan Magic!

Fantastic training today. Thank you guys!

Sunday's training:

coast road ~ Mt. Yahiko x 2 ~ coast road

(135 km, 1450 m climbing, 30 kmph)

comp1.JPG Daddy = "outdoor type" / Luke = "outdoor type" comp2.JPG

Luke = "daydreamer / Mark = "daydreamer"


Carbon = "1010 mm leg reach, 631 mm arm reach, 115 mm saddle set back"


Vitus = "1011 mm leg reach, 628 mm arm reach, 115 mm saddle set back"


Friday on Isonobe: 2 climbs, 1 flat tyre, 1 bent rear derailleur


feeling good today after a rest day / good night's sleep


climb no.1 - a little more gas, 175 ~ 180 HR

Fiday's asaren: Isonobe x 2

Climb 1: 175 ~ 180 HR
Climb 2: 170 HR
Climb 3: flat tyre / derailleur problems (NG)

(70 km, 900 m climbing)


Tired legs today but I went for an easy ride anyway. Where to go???


How about Ishikawa Pass???


Ishikawa Pass, still full of snow!


Betsumata, Mt. Kurohime in the distance


How about Komura Pass???


Komura Pass, still full of snow!


3 days of back to back hard training have taken it's toll, time for a rest tomorrow!

Wednesday's training:

Ishikawa Pass (NG) ~ Komura Pass (NG) ~ Ukawa climb

(50 km, 450 m climbing)

day2.JPG day2b.JPG

Tuesday's asaren: Isonobe x 2

Climb 1: 170 HR / 80 cadence
Climb 2: intervals (30 s HARD / 90 s EASY) x 10 sets
(67 km , 900 m climbing)

pi1.JPG pi2.JPG pi3.JPG pi4.JPG pi5.JPG

Monday's asaren: Isonobe x 2

Climb 1: 170 HR / 80 cadence
Climb 2: 170 HR / 80 cadence

(67 km , 900 m climbing)


Tour of Flanders live

thanks proracemechanic!!!!


Test bikes provided by BOMA

jgr2.JPG jgr3.JPG

Making good speed on R116


At the top of Yahiko with Tazaki san - 5 climbs planned for today!

Sunday's training: R116 ~ Teradomari ~ Mt. Yahiko x1 ~ coast road return

(125 km, 900 m climbing, 29 kmph)


Luke on his way to the hospital in Nagaoka - time for a power nap


A rare chance to see Mark awake


And back to sleep...


Sleeping all day!


Luke getting ready to call it a night outside the Super Sento in Nagaoka


Home safe and sound, sweet dreams.....


Photos: April 1st 2011

Text: based on a previous blog, March 2009

Monday's asaren: Isonobe x 3 climbs

Climb 1: 170~175 HR / 80 cadence
Climb 2: 170~175 HR / 80 cadence
Climb 3: intervals (30 secs HARD / 90 secs EASY) x 10 sets

(75 km, 1250 m climbing)

“そこに山があるからです”George Mallory (British mountaineer)は答えました。



今日はlactate threshold trainingで乗ってみました。2回170HRをキープしながら登りました。そして3回目INTERVALSをやってみまひた。


It’s 1923.


A New York Times reporter asks, “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?”
“Because it’s there”George Mallory (a British mountaineer) replies.

“Isonobe is there so I’ll climb it!”


Today I kept my HR at around 170 for two climbs and then did a third climb of intervals.

Isonobe is really steep so it doesn’t take long for your HR to rocket up. In order to keep my HR at 170 I had to hold back a little. Of course any climb of Isonobe is tough but by setting a target heart rate you can make it that little bit easier.

“Pacing” is all important in hill climb races so today’s training is good practice for that. I’ll give it another go soon. Ganbaru jyonnobi!



前のアーカイブはandy: 2011年3月です。

次のアーカイブはandy: 2011年5月です。





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