andy: 2013年11月アーカイブ


Thursday's training:

  • Swim x 120 laps (3 km)
  • Rollers 150 HR x 45 mins
  • Free squats x 800

Wednesday's training:

  • Road (50 km)
  • Football (2h)

Forty five minutes on the stepping machine. Forty five minutes on the rollers. 45 minutes of strength work.

3 activities of relatively short duration. Variety is the spice of an interesting training program.

Tuesday's training:

  • Stepping machine (level 20, 900 m climbing) 45 mins
  • Rollers (50>52>54>56>58v kmph x 2) 45 mins
  • Free squats x 1000

During the season, I plan:

When to ride? Where to ride? How to ride?

Long? Recovery? Intervals?

During the off season, I plan different kinds of cross training, strength work and bike specific work.

Variety is key for cross training. Keep it interesting.

Rest is key for strength work. Never on consecutive days.

Specificity is key for bike work. Endurance is gained cross training. Strength is gained with strength work. Focus on pedaling, leg speed. Most riding is in HR zone 3. Raise the HR once or twice a week.

This week's plan:

  • Monday: swim + rollers
  • Tuesday: stepping + rollers + strength
  • Wednesday: football
  • Thursday: swim (or stepping) + strength
  • Friday: rollers

Monday's training:

  • Swim x 100 laps (2.5 km)
  • Rollers 150 HR x 45 mins

It's time to make the change. Take the focus away from riding on the road. Focus on cross training. Strength work. Rollers.

The forecast looked good this weekend. Two 100 km loops planned. Winter base training.

Saturday morning? Rain. Asaren with Nishihiro san cancelled.

I decided to take a rest day. A bigger ride planned for Sunday. A 130 km Yahiko loop.

Sunday morning? Rain! But Tojo san has come all the way from Arai for a 530 start. Nishihiro san will ride too. And we'll meet Hayakawa san in Bunsui.

So we head out up R116 in the dark. The rain gets heavier. Heavier. Heavier. The road is like a river. Never trust a Niigata weather forecast in winter!

We abandon in Nishiyama. Wet and cold. Home before the kids wake up.

It's time to make the change. Asaren to yoruren. Night time rollers....

Friday: rest day

Saturday: rest day


  • Road 38 km
  • Rollers (150 HR x 45 mins)
  • Free squats 50 × 16 sets (800 reps)

The stepping machine is a great cross training tool for cycling. The range of movement is not the same. But the stepping machine targets the same muscles as cycling.

It's also low impact compared to running. Moreover, at level 20, it has me where I want to be. In the muscular edurance zone, HR Zone 3 (140-150 HR).

Add to that some free squats. And you have a great work out.

Wednesday's training:

  • Stepping machine (60 mins, level 20, 1200 m climbing)

Thursday's training:

  • Stepping machine (70 mins, level 20, 1400 m climbing)
  • Free squats 50 × 20 sets (1000 reps)

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Once you start cross training, you don't miss the bike much. No races for a few months. Time to step back.

Build the foundations for next year. Endurance and strength.

Monday's training:

  • Swim x 120 laps (3 km)
  • Football (2h)

Tuesday's training:

  • Swim x 100 laps (2.5 km)
  • Free squats 50 × 16 sets (800 reps)

Last week was real winter weather. This week doesn't look good either. But sandwiched between we had two beautiful days this weeked.

When the sun shines in Niigata in winter? You have to ride!

Base training. Longish rides of a constant effort. The Bunsui loop.

It's cold at 530 am. Need to wrap up warm.

Solo on Saturday. With Nishihiro san on Sunday. Training done before breakfast.

Saturday's training: Road (90 km)

Sunday's training: Road (100 km)


It's difficicult to explain 筋肉痛 "kinikutsu" in English. Muscle pain? More specifically it's the pain you feel the day after exercise. And, often more so, two days after exercise.

Riding the bike every day, I rarely get "kinikutsu" as my body is adapted to it. Cycling, second only to swimming, is also low impact in terms of muscle injury.

However, every year as I switch to cross training, I know I'll get it. That's why I waited till after last week's race to start cross training.

This year I tried to ease into the strength work. Warm up, no weights, warm down, stretch. But still I find myself walking around like a robot!

Weather looks good tomorrow. I'll try to spin it out on the road.....

Thursday's training: Road (40 km)

Friday: rest day.


In many parts of Japan, cyclists can ride all year round. Here in Niigata, we have heavy snow and strong winds for 4 months.

The winter can be a difficult time for cyclists. If you only rode your bike, you'd have little chance to get a ride in. Hibernation time?

I actually like this break from the bike. Cross training is good fun. It also has great benefits in the big picture. I'm not sure I would do it if the weather didn't force me. But I'm always happy to do some different things. Now is the time to focus on base endurance and strength....

Monday's training: Swim (1h, 100 laps, 2.5 km)

Tuesday's training: Stepping machine (1h, level 20, 1,200 m climbing)

Wednesday's training: Free squats x 400, Football (2h)

The last race of the season this weekend.

This season started in January. Asaren climbing mountains on the snow shoes. After the snow cleared - long rides on aerobars by the coast. Two big 170 km rides in April in preparation for Tokyo ~ Itoigawa. Summer training camp - 430 am every day - climbing, time trialling, sprinting.... All of this with Nishihiro san.

So it's a fitting way to end the season riding together at Gunma CSC. This is a 5 h enduro. How many laps can you cover in 5 hours? There are six categories: solo, duo, triple, quartet, quintet. We'll ride as a duo.

Some people dislike enduros. But on a course like this: climbing, descending, rolling, they are a great event. We decide our tactics. The weather is due to get worse and worse. So we decide on 3 turns each. Each turn shorter than the last.

The plan:
  • Andy and Nishihiro san: Parade x 1
  • Andy x 5 (6 including parade)
  • Nishihiro san x 6
  • Andy x 5
  • Nishihiro san x 5
  • Andy x 4
  • Nishihiro san x 4

First effort.

I'll go first. I feel the group will hold. There are a few strong riders in the mix. My job is to handover to Nishihiro san with a gap on the group so he can get back on.

The parade is surprisingly fast and I'm up to 180 HR on the climb. Into the race proper. The pace is high. I check the opposition. Two JBCF riders. One in green (duo). One in yellow (solo). These are the guys to watch.

I want to put 1 season's worth of training out on the road. I don't pay much attention to the other riders. For me this is a time trial. I know where to hammer it. Where to ease off.

The Astuto 60 mm wheels are made for this course. Super fast on the descents. More importantly the deep yet light rims help you to take this momentum into the following rolling sections. I gap the others each time here without trying. They climb well too. In the saddle. 80 cadence.

The Continental Gatorskin tyres are also a good choice. On a wet course with lots of fallen leaves they grip really well. Even at 9.5 bar!

4 laps in. The front group is down to 10 riders. I was hoping to ride them all off my wheel before the changeover.

Plan B then.

Sit back a little for the next two laps. 5th or 6th man. I know where the best place is to attack on this course.

The short steep climb. Drop 2 gears. Out of the saddle. Over the top. Look back. A decent gap. The rolling section. The hairpin climb. A controlled effort. Over the top. Still the gap. Drill it round the bottom and up the home straight.

Hand over the chip. "Keep in that group! Mark the guy in green!"

(6 laps, 36 km)


The group passes as we are changing over. Nishihiro san does a great job to catch the lead group. The green guy comes off next lap. Their next rider won't get back on. In the lead in the duo race...

Between rides is as important as the riding itself. Change out of wet clothes. Lots of extra layers. Fluids in. Gas burner on. Pasta soup. Coffee. Toilet. Fill the bottle. Layers off. Time to go again.

Nishihiro san wanted to come off after 5 laps, but I was in the loo.....

Second effort

The front group is now 3. Nishihiro san. The guy in yellow. And a guy in black. These two are fighting it out for the solo prize.

Change over. It's always hard to get going again. But I catch the guys on the descent. Two good climbers. But they know they can draft me on the remaining 80 % of the course. I don't mind. My job is to stop any team category riders catching from behind.

I use the same tactic to get a gap on my 5th and last lap. This drops the guy in black. But the guy in yellow is too strong. I just won his race for him. Later he'll complain to Nishihiro san:

"He won't enter a rotation!" (Kind of funny when you are drafting someone for 80% of the time) "He never does!" was Nishihiro san's reponse. Hee hee.

A little sprint to give Nishihiro san a few seconds. But the guy in yellow knows he's onto a good thing. They are soon back as two leading the race.

(30 km, 33.5 kmph, 645 m climbing, 169 HR, 81 cadence)

Interval 2

More of the same. Get changed. Get warm. Get some gasoline in. It's really raining now.

Nishihiro san signals he wants to come off a lap early.

Third effort.

Just 4 laps now. The decreasing laps was a great idea. The guy in yellow is gone (Nishihiro san dropped him). So a solo effort.

A solo effort is always harder. Need to keep motivated. Need to keep focussed. Only the lead motorbike to inspire me.

4 laps. Job done. Hand over.

(24 km, 31.7 kmph, 390 m climbing, 162 HR, 79 cadence)

Interval 3

Nishihiro san has only 30 minutes. At 11minutes a lap. He only has time for 2. Finish the race with 8 minutes to spare.

The result:

  • Andy and Nishihiro san : Parade x 1
  • Andy x 5
  • Nishihiro san x 6
  • Andy x 5
  • Nishihiro san x 4
  • Andy x 4
  • Nishihiro san x 2

Total: 27 laps

(Andy warm up lap + 15 laps, 94 km, 1928 m climbing, 187 HR max)

That was the winning distance for all team categories. The yellow solo rider also covered 27 laps. Very impressive for a solo ride.

To stand on the top of the podium was great. But to do it with Nishihiro san made it so special. A full year of hard work brought us here.



Bad weather on Thursday and Friday. I can't wait to do some cross training: running, weights. But the first sessions always leave "damage". I want to have fresh legs for Sunday.

Gorgeous weather today. Asaren with Nishihiro san. Very cold at 6 am as the sun comes up.

Just a short ride to save the legs for tomorrow. We talk about our race plans (we'll ride as a duo for the 5h enduro race).

One lap of the じょんのび marathon course. Both of our HRs respond well. 180 HR over the steep climb. We are ready.

The only concern tomorrow is the weather. Heavy rain scheduled. But this is the last race. I want to put it all out on the road tomorrow... ganbaru jyonnobi!

Thursday: commute (20 km)

Friday: rest

Saturday's training: Road (45 km)


The Takayanagi loop on Tuesday. Warm in town. I threw caution to the wind. Shorts and a long sleeve jersey.

But as you go a little higher. And as the sun drops. It gets cold quickly. Cold fingers and toes....

Another beautiful day on Wednesday. I was a DNS for asaren. Not enough sleep. Sorry Nishihiro san!

Later a chance for a ride. Komura Toge in the big ring.

Again it's cold on the descent. The weather is gradually changing. One last race this weekend. Then it's time to wind down and enjoy some cross training...

Tuesday's training: Road (68 km, 700 m climbing)

Wednesday's training: Road (42 km, 500 m climbing)


Two 100 km rides this weekend. The Teradomari loop.

In the spring this is great base training. Now at the end of the season. As I let my fitness slip away a little. It's quite tough.

The last 20 to 30 km are the hardest.

This training is in preparation for a 5 hour enduro at Gunma CSC next Sunday. I'll ride as a "duo" with Nishihiro san. We rode as a duo on Saturday. I did it solo on Sunday.

Really looking forward to the last race of the season...

Saturday's training: Road (110km, 550 m climbing)

Sunday's training: Road (100km, 500 m climbing)

Monday: rest


This time of year is great for cycling. Not too hot for climbing. Not too cold for descending. You barely get a sweat on.

But as the leaves turn red. Then brown. Then fall. We know winter is around the corner....

Friday's training: Road (67 km, 800 m climbing)



前のアーカイブはandy: 2013年10月です。

次のアーカイブはandy: 2013年12月です。





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