andy: 2012年5月アーカイブ


It was a long winter. After waiting so long for the passes to open up, I just can't get enough of the local "toges".

Just 20 minutes from my front door. Toges like Ishikawa Pass and Komura Pass offer a good climb, little traffic, and fantastic scenery.


Just to climb these passes would be good training. But with a little planning you can really get good training done.


This week I've visited these passes each day. I've done one climb in the big ring each time. Strength training on the bike. I'm not thinking of the Utsukushigahara (July) or Norikura (August) hill climbs. More the power I'll need for the TT in Uchinada.

Thursday's training: Road - Komura Pass - sfr big ring climb (48 km)


”先に逃げてます 中田→あぜやのトンネル→塚山峠でゴール勝負です!”







Wednesday's training: Road - Tsukin + Tsukayama Toge / Ishikawa Toge loop (72 km)


Usually I wouldn't do intervals on two consecutive days. Today on Komura Pass, it just feels right...

  • Climb 1 - long seated intervals / short recovery (60 s hard / 60 easy x 8 sets)
  • Climb 2 - short standing intervals (30 s hard / 60 s easy x 8 sets)
  • Climb 3 - sfr - big ring climb

Tuesday's training:

Road - Komura Pass x 3 (77km)


Monday's training:

1. Run: shuttle run 20 m x 109

2. Road: Ishikawa Pass x 2 (46 km)

  • Climb 1: intervals
    30 s hard / 60 s easy x 5
    45 s hard / 70 s easy x 3
  • Climb 2:
    sfr - big ring x 50 ~ 60 cadence

On Saturday I took part in the official reconnaissance of the Uonoma Long Ride route. Enosan, Murayama san and I rode the course, while 2 guys from the organizing committee drove it in the car.

These are two really nice guys. They provided great support: food and drink on the road, lunch, onsen, dinner and beer. They really wanted our input on everything from course layout to food at aid stations.


I rode the course at race pace to give an idea of the time checks and of any hazards on the road.

Murayama san rode on my wheel, saving his legs for today’s race in Tsunan (!). I sacrificed today’s race and put everything I had into the course. So there will be a DNS next to my name today.

Later over drinks Murayama san would tell me “Never, ever, even if your dieing, let them put a DNS next to your name!”


First there is the gentle descent into Koide. Next some rollers through town. The first big climb starts at about 25km. 5km peaking at about 13%. I rode 180HR all the way to the top. A big gap on Murayama san who was holding his HR at 140!

A nice descent with great views. The second climb loops round a dam. The road surface is poor and the descent very technical. Hopefully we will cut this out of the event.


Next lunch. Murayama san on his pre-race meat only diet. Me on a pizza. After a fun lunch we are on the road again.

R252 provides a nice warm up for the big climb. This one is a cracker. You can see the observatory on the top for most of the climb. Winding and steep. Mt. Ventoux meets Isonobe! Again a maximum effort from me. Murayama san closes to me on the upper reaches, unable to resist the urge any longer. More fantastic views at the top.


Two more short stiff climbs over small passes before descending back to R252.

From here we jumped into the car to check out a potential addition to the course. R252 winds up the river valley. Climbing all the way through snow sheds and open road. A nice climb with splendid views. We all agreed that this would be a good addition to the course.


Back down R252 to Koide village. In the drops. 150 HR / 90 cadence. 45 kmph plus most of the way. This is how I wanted to ride TOITO. Today I have the pleasure of Murayama san encouraging me from behind.

The last climb up to the start / goal area. 10 km of easy grade. With the wind on my back and Murayama san on my wheel, I average 35 kmph to the top. All out じょんのび!


Next we are treated to an onsen, dinner and as much as we can drink. I knocked back about 10 beers and Murayama san about 10 small bottles of sake. The 5 of us had a real good time talking about so many different things. I saked Murayama san for one piece of advice:

“Never, ever, be satisfied with your condition. You will never peak. The engine can only become stronger and stronger…..”

A wonderful day on the bike. Thank you Enosan for helping to organize what will hopefully be a fantastic event.

Saturday’s training: Road (107 km, 1800 m (?) climbing, 30 kmph, 142/181 HR, 2749 kcal, 86 cadence)

Sunday: rest day


There are many great things about being a cyclist in Niigata. One is the natural springs.

They're everywhere. Icy cold. Even in the summer months.

They become check points on any route in the mountains.


Today I rode to the picturesque Tanne village. Just to fill up my bottle. Easy spinning in anticipation of a tough ride tomorrow.


Tonight dinner and a bath at Kashiwazaki's Salt Spa.....

Friday's training: Road (36 km)

francesco style.jpg

Franseco Moser takes on the hour

My next main goal for the season is just a month away. The individual TT at Uchinada 10km against the clock. 15 minutes of all out effort.

Last night I was reading about how Francesco Moser made his attempt on the hour record. The aerodynamics, the nutrition, the training. He revolutionized cycling, bringing it into an new era.

Today I did some of his favored SFR training. Climbing in heavy gears.


the first time to push myself on the bike since Saturday

  • Shindou ~ Komura Pass TT (150~160HR / 90 cadence)
  • Komura Pass x 1 - Intervals: 30 s hard / 60 s easy (7 sets)
  • Komura Pass x 2 - SFR: big ring (160 HR / 60 cadence target)

you are what you eat - 5 count 'em dishes

Thursday's training: Road (55 km)


It's summertime. Sunshine forecast for every day. Shorts. Short sleeves. Perfect cycing weather.


It's taking me longer to recover from hard efforts as I get older. Still can't get out of first gear. Low heart rate. Heavy legs. Don't push it. Keep spinning. Nice and easy. Wait till I'm ready.


Luke and Mark are asleep for 7pm. They'll be up with the sun at 5am. Luke will ask for "Flaming Lips" at breakfast time. This was my soundtrack to my first summer in Japan 10 years ago. Now Luke and Mark are into it too. Luke sings the words. Mark bobs along.

Look outside - I know that you'll recognize it's summertime

Wednesday's training: Road - Shiba Toge loop (70 km)


Saturday's race has really taken it out of me. No strength or speed in the legs. No fire in the belly.


Another recovery ride today. Really slow. Checking out some of the beautiful back roads and rindos around Betsumata.


Tuesday's training: road (45 km)


Cyclists often talk about the "damage" done by a race. They say the Tour de France takes a year off your life. TOITO must take a fortnight at least!

I always feel worst two days after the event. Where hurts?

First tenderness in the points of contact with the bike: the feet on the pedals, the bum on the saddle, the hands on the bars.

Second its the dull pain in overworked muscles in the legs and bum.

Third it's the sharper pains in the neck and shoulders from being on the aerobars for hours on end.

And finally the upset stomach from being forced to to take a horrible cocktail of sports drinks and energy foods......


To sum it up in one word? Knackered. Two words? Shagged out.

A recovery ride today. A nice spin up Komura Pass. Breathing deeply. Taking in the scenery.

Tuesday's training: Road (40 km)


This weekend was Tokyo~Itoigawa. じょんのびTIME's start list? Over 30 riders!



The night before we stayed at a winery in Yamanashi. The evening sunset during the BBQ and the night view from the rotenburo was fantastic.


toito 12c.JPG

Starting at 6am, 4 じょんのびTIME guys (including Tom - thanks for everything!), 3 guys from another team and one more guy, making a total of 8.


Riding on the front most of the way to CP1 (95km) I recorded the best time.



From here, time lost was due to two things.

1. The guys from the other team refused to come to the front. If we got them on the front they would drop the pace on purpose to force us to push on again.

(I tried a few attacks, but they were strong enough to hold my wheel, which made it even more frustrating)

2. In this situation, spending long periods on the front, you are conscious of the prospect of pulling them all the way to Itoigawa only to be jumped at the end. And so you can’t ride full gas…

Tick, tick, tick goes the clock.




Tick, tick, tick goes the clock.


Before reaching Nagano I was in a group of 3 with 2 guys from the other team. We were going at cycling pace. They refusing to work. Me getting more and more annoyed (hey, I’m a difficult person to make angry!) Bloody hell I've pulled them this far. They won't come through. I stopped once and they stopped with me! And I can't seem to get away…

I played a dirty trick. And I'm quite proud of it. I faked a cramp entering the tunnel just before the split in the road at Nagano. Never seen them move so fast! Like 2 kids on the final bell before the school holidays. They went left. I went right. Full gas through town. Up the long climb to Nojiriko. CP3.



The long descent into Joetsu. Not as fast as usual due a super strong headwind. I feel alright. I'm confident I'm building a good gap. So much so I even jump into 7-11 for a couple of bottles of coke.

Down the coast. Wind on my back. Flying now. 40 kmph all the way.

I post the best time between CP3 and the goal. Cross the line. Stamp the card. Pose for a victory photo...




But wait! I’m only 7th…..

I was disappointed but when I saw the results and saw that Kondo san (5am start) had won, I was almost happier than if I’d won myself. Congratulations! To return the trophy to the guy who I took it off 4 years ago and to a guy who I really respect, doesn’t feel bad at all. I’ll be coming back for it next year!

By the way, the new course is much more scenic, and arguably much tougher!

じょんのびTIME guys well done!





Thursday/ Friday: rest day

Saturday: Toito (9h 05 mins, 310 km, 33.5 kmph, 145/177 HR, 7236 kcal, 85 cadence)

Sunday: rest day


the last snows melting on Mt. Kurohime


Mark leads the way, time to rest up...

Wednesday's training: Road - Shiba Toge loop (75 km)


Tuesday's training: Road - R252 / R403 loop (85 km, 32 kmph)


150 HR. 90 cadence.

These are my ballpark figures for Tokyo~Itoigawa. Something to aim at.

An hour at this intensity today. It feels hard but comfortable. The question is can I hold it for 8 ~ 9 hours this year?


Ogonoshima TT

1. Yasuda ~ Ogonoshima (31:09, 19.4km, 37.4 kmph, 151/162 HR, 89 cadence) (uphill / tailwind)

2. Ogonoshima ~ Yasuda (31:23 19.2 km, 36.8 kmph, 147/162 HR, 87 cadence) (downhill, headwind)

Monday's training: Road (55 km)


Luke's birthday today, so it has to be a rest day! 3 years old! How time flies!


Lots of bikes on the coast road. Shinobu and I are like Paul and Phil in the car.

"Too many clothes!", "Saddle's too high!", "Don't stop pedalling!", "He's fast for a pensioner!"


A nice day for the beach in Teradomari.


And then to the Nihonkai Brewery. Is it really 7 years since we had our wedding party here? How time flies!


It's nice to be joined by Andrew and family this time.


It's hard to choose between Sunset Lager, Koshihikari Lager or Koshihikari Stout. Best to try them all!

Sunday: rest day


Kitano san, いつもありがとうじょんのび!

Every year before TOITO, I like to do the じょんのび200 course as my final preparation. The plan was to do the course in reverse, taking in the long climb from Nagano to Nojiriko. The bike in full TOITO mode – deep rims, aerobars, two full bottles, pockets full of food.... My race set up is heavier than my training set up!

Today I met Kitano san at CS Enosan at 5am. Just as we met it started to rain. The sky didn't look promising either. The plan? Ride to the first checkpoint in Tsunan and see what happens.

We were riding well and I was over 170 HR trying to hold Kitano san's wheel on the long pass over to Tokamachi. The first time we've ridden together this year. Always great training.

But the weather got worse. The rain heavier. The temperature colder. At the 7~11 checkpoint in Tsunan, we decided to make a loop home via Matsunoyama.


wet and dirty, the bikes are ready

A new tunnel goes straight under the old pass, so R353 links up Tsunan and Matsunoyama quite quickly.

6 degrees in Matsudai and I've lost all feeling in my feet. Nothing to do now but drive for home. On the aerobars. A hard effort from Takayanagi back to Kashiwazaki.


the best 289 yen ever spent

Only 100 km. No big rides before the main event. But riding hard in those conditions gives me confidence and I felt strong till the finish which is a good sign....

Saturday's training:

Road – Kashiwazaki ~ R252 ~ Toakamachi ~ R117 ~ Tsunan ~ R353 Matsunoyama ~ Matsudai ~ Takayanagi ~ Kashiwazaki (110 km, 32 kmph, 134/171 HR, 2343 kcal, 83 cadence)


Luke on the "ashi ura massage course" at eki mae park

Rest day today. Save the legs for tomorrow. Hope to do a big ride taking in R18 between Nagano and Naoetsu on the TOITO course.


mum gets the "accel vibe" treatment, me next!

A long bath. A big dinner. And a massage.

Friday: rest day


A cold and wet commute. Spinning nice and easy. I want to keep the legs fresh. Should've worn leg warmers....

Thursday's training: Road (40 km)


Climb 1: Isonobe - Intervals (40 s hard / 80 s easy) x 8 sets


1:2 ratio. 40 seconds "hard" feels long on the steep inclines of Isonobe. 80 seconds "easy" is also difficult!


Climb 2: Shiba Toge (Tochigahara climb) - tempo

Wednesday's training: Road (72 km)


isonobe is now cleared all the way to the top


Tuesday's training: Isonobe x 1 (59 km)


April 2011

One of the great things about keeping a blog is that you can check back on your training. Compare your condition and progress. Not only the specific values. But also the way you are thinking and feeling about your riding.

Today I did some more time trialling in preparation for Tokyo~Itoigawa.

TT1 Yasuda ~ Ishikawa Dam (R252, R12)
38:53 mins, 23.7 km, 150 / 171 HR, 170 m climbing, 90 cadence, 36.6 kmph

TT2 Ishikawa Dam ~ Yasuda (R252, R12)
33:38 mins, 23.8 km, 114 / 164 HR, 40 m climbing, 86 cadence, 42.5 kmph


May 2012

Today’s figures are great. But values don’t tell you everything.

The way out is a gradual climb all the way. I was lucky to have a nice tailwind today. A 150 HR / 90 cadence combination had me zooming along at 40 kmph. I felt good and did the three climbs at the end in the big ring. Out of the saddle where necessary.

A quick banana and a photo. And back down the valley. This time I was lucky to meet a truck. I couldn’t resist the urge to draft if for a few kilometers. This is quite different to motorpacing, where the driver is looking out for you. The truck brakes and accelerates sharply. It requires concentration and fast legs to keep in contact.

Decent training in a short amount of time.

Monday’s training:

Road (63 km, 38 kmph)


On the road at 430. R8 to Kakizaki. Usually I avoid this road. But the punchy climbs and sweeping descents are good training for TOITO.


Despite only 4 hours sleep, I feel good. HR is high. Topping 160 HR on each of the small climbs.25 km to Yoshikawa village and the start of the climb of Ogami Dake.


From sea level to the summit. The best way to climb it. The fast approach to what looks like a green Ayers Rock is always fun.


Once you hit the rock, it's steep all the way. HR is quickly up to 175 HR. Hold it all the way. It's cold and windy at the top.


But the view of the sea and the mountains is always worth it. Drop down to R241 . Another stiff climb up the back of Sakurazaka Toge.

Asahi no sato. More climbing. Ishiguro. Ukawa. Nota. Fight the wind in the valley. Racing home for breakfast....


Sunday's training:

Road (87 km, 27.2 kmph, 141/177 HR, 2362 kcal, 85 cadence)


time to check the map

Too hungover to contemplate asaren this morning! Still it wasn't a wasted day. I took the opportunity to check the Tokyo~Itoigawa route through Nagano city.


two R19s - a fork in the road

I think this is a critical point in the new course. Multiple roads are marked R18 and R19. Nagano city is a real rabbit warren.

Also, if you take the route plotted by the organisers, you'll spend a lot of time at traffic lights. After the event, I imagine lots of riders will be talking about time lost here.


R18 and R19 meet

I plan to avoid the city centre all together. Today I plotted a route with Enosan and reccied it in the car enroute to Nagano's fabulous Dinosaur Park.


keeping on the right side of the river

Minor roads running on the opposite side of the river to Nagano city.


bridge over the river to Toyono

In the evening I checked out A R19 bypass / R18 combination. This also avoids the city centre. It's an urban drag similar to Matsumoto. It seems longer than the other route. But is perhaps faster due to the presence of cars - especially if there is a headwind.


Dinosaur park

I'll give it some thought before deciding which route to take. I'm glad I checked them both out. In these days of GPS and Garmin, there is still no substitute for putting roads to memory...


Go Junior! Go senior!

Saturday: rest day


じょんのびTIME BBQ today. The group ride to Takada via Nojiriko was cancelled due to heavy rain. I waited for the rain to ease off a little.

A strong headwind on the up - down of R8. I'm riding well though and I was happy to average 32 kmph to Kakizaki.


Here I meet up with Shinobu. Chance for some motorpacing. It's easy to sit behind the car at 50 to 55 kmph. It's also easy to get back on after traffic lights. It's only on the climb upto R18 at Arai that I have to dig deep to hold on. 172 HR at the top.

Now it's my turn to lead the car through the old shopping streets of Takada. With speed in my legs, it's great fun.


At Boon Suds the beer is flowing by 12:00. Everyone is catching up. Talking about their goals this year. Both on the bike. And off the bike.


Me? To be a great dad. And a half decent cyclist....

Friday's training:

Road (65 km, 37.2 kmph, 132/172HR, 1150 kcal, 87 cadence)

hfos1.JPG hfos2.JPG hfos3.JPG

Thursday: rest day

Overload! Isonobe with intervals!

Tired legs today. I could do with a rest. But it's a chance to push myself deeper. The overload principle. No pains. No gains.

  • 30 s hard / 60 s easy x 5
  • 45 s hard / 90 s easy x 4

Wednesday's training:

Road (55 km)

Rest day tomorrow...


May 1st. A real scorcher today. 28 degrees! I have to work. But I can't complain...


A 22km "ensoku" walk with the kids. I think it'll be easy. But 22 km in this heat. On foot. Feels like 220 km on the bike...


Try to spin it out on the coast. But the heat. Tired legs. And a crazy wind. Make it into a bit of a slog...


Back home, I take Luke and Mark to the park around the corner. The second boy will always develop faster. Mark can climb, slide and ride anything...

Do days get any better than this???

Tuesday's training:

1. Walk (22 km)

2. Bike (70 km, 31 kmph)



前のアーカイブはandy: 2012年4月です。

次のアーカイブはandy: 2012年6月です。





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