Wednesday, November 26

Tuesday nights are full of.....pain

Training last night was interesting. Wet, dark, windy and cold. My most hated combination. But still i persevered. Loads at the session, maybe 16 close to 20 i reckon, and it was a good tough session.

Started off with the usual modified mini me warm up course on some pretty soggy ground. Then had a nice little 10 lapper on it. Felt good during the race and wasn't far off the main bunch finishing, nowhere even close to being lapped which is a good change. Did some more alternative line work on the same course, then out came the running.

Same course but with a 50m dismount/run/mount section thrown in to mix it up. Did a few laps on this and then another mini-me race. Managed to hold on for 5th which for me is great! The running deffo helped and i felt strong and fast for it.

Did a bit more racing and then came the real running. Up to the big hill and a new course was set. Nice hard climb on the bike, slippy turn at the goals, then a savage run and off camber descent onto the tarmac, another quick slippy corner then back on the hill. Felt ok for the first few warm up laps, then the race came. 2 laps in stepped up a gear, and come the final gap i still had a gear to go. First time this has happened in training and i felt great! Finished with the bunch albeit a little back as i snotted myself on the last remount :(

Getting better on the cross bike, looking forward to transferring these skills onto the MTB this Spring/Summer and kicking some ass!

Monday, November 24

Tymon Park South Cross Race

I had a nice 3hr session to do on the bike on Sunday. So i rode out to the track and meet Will and the kids to go for a spin.... to a cross race. I know i was supposed to be doing an endurance session. I just can't resist the MUD!!!

Freekin cold does not even describe Sunday. So so cold, and the wind just made it worse. But the kids didn't turn up so Will decided to drive out to the race. If we hadn't had the car it would have been a quick spin back home and no racing.

The race itself was evil, pure sweet evil hell. I both loved and hated every minute of it. Great course with some excellent sections that you had too run cause the mud was so deep you had no other option. Sure as hell couldn't ride it!

Did ok, finished +1 but felt much better than last time. Average HR was 173 and maxed out at 186. Felt like i could push for a change and could keep the power on for longer than last few times. Was good, still need to work on getting it going for longer.
Rode home after the race, what should have been a 45 min spin took nearly 1:30. Simply put i was wasted. Took it easy for the rest of the day, ate, drank and lived in my compression gear. Feeling much better today and went out for a nice 50min run to stretch the random is that!

New Season; New Goals; Recap

So i decided its about time too think and talk about last season.

Did i achieve my goals?
Well frankly no. I was aiming for top 5 at the track nationals, i made 8. Sure i was sick, but to be honest i didn't do enough in the gym last winter and it showed on my top end power. I failed to go sub 5 in the HIM, and i didn't get a new PB for 200m, cause i didn't spend any time on the track. However, i got a new sprint distance PB, i raced some unreal endurance races, and i now know i am capable of racing for 7 days straight.

Am i happy with my training last year?
Well yes and no. I had a look at my time in each area from last year and i broke it down (season was 2/Nov/07 - 31/Oct/08)
  • Road/Tri bike 156.8 hours - less than the year before, but still good considering it was final year. Not sure how much of this is track time
  • MTB 89.8 hours - Happy enough, should have been more but college and all that, does include the Transwales
  • Running 22.5 hours - piss poor. No other way to put it. I've probably done half of this already this season
  • Swimming 7.2 hours - ??? no fucking way this is right. I could go through a years data, but i am not arsed. In the end i did not spend enough time in the pool and it showed.
  • Race time 30 hours - WOW, add in a week for the Transwales and we have about 95 hrs of racing, that's allot.
Did my power output change much?
Yes dear god yes. Average power for the season last year was about 175W. Now that includes allot of training for endurance. Average wattage during races was about 200-220W which was grand but i need to be putting out higher wattage on the TT bike. Peak power was up about 1,296W. Little down on last year, maybe 100W, but not by much which is good. Still have the ability to power up when i need too.

So now a new season has started, 24 days in and how am i feeling?
Well i've done a few cross races, doing allot more running, and gunning it on the bike. So i feel good. Allot of changes needed to happen for me this year. I'm sub 80kg and that's the borderline. I will not get heavier, i want to race at sub 75kg this summer to do this i need to balance the muscle gain in the new year with the fat loss that is going on. I feel Strong and confident, even though i've had a few lapses in my training i reckon i am capable of racing strong next summer. Not setting down concrete goals until i meet with Rich next Monday, but i have some ideas.

In short?
Bring it.

Tuesday, November 18

Cross racing, velodromes, and beers

Its been a good two weeks. Cross season has finally arrived and in the spirit of all things Belgian i have also been indulging in a spot of beverage. Not too many, but way more than normal.

First cross race of the season was in Corkagh Park for me. unfortunalty i was out until quite late the night before and was wrecked come race day. Went through the motions of warming up, but it was plainly obvious that i was not on form. Raced anyway and finished in the points but still +1lap. Still was good to get the legs going even if the mud was making my bike try to kill itself.

Last week was a bit of a sham as i had loads to catch up on after the conference and that pretty much messed up everything. Luckly it was an easy week on the training front and it didnt afect me as much as the week before.

Went over too manchester on Thursday with Peter and met Pauline and Carys over there for a nice trip to the Velodrome to watch some serious *cough* track racing. Great night and the nice cheap beers made it even better. Wandered back to Fallowfield after where the rest of the Irish group who were over joined us for a few more cheap beers...and at 3am we were kicked out of the pub. Went to an IceHocky match on Sunday. Slept alot after.

Back to training this week. Lets hope its better than the last two weeks!

Roller racing at the Velodrome

Mike (Red) vs Junior (Blue)

Junior aka Enda Doranoran apparently....

Tuesday, November 11

Gregory May Bsc.

Graduated yesterday. Turned out to be a little more than i thought it would be as i was expecting a bit of an anti climax. Long day with lots of photos and so on, but then some food and a few drinks made it worthwhile with friends and family so good day all-round.

Friday, November 7

St Annes Cyclocross Race course

Did a quick ride about the CX race course in the park the other day on the way to college.

Give you all an idea what we have planned!

No the best idea trying to hammer around a course when you have a full bag on your back with your laptop in it. Makes re mounting harder by far!

Monday, November 3

Jesus the Snowman

When it snows, you have to make snowmen.

Waggers decided to make a snow effigy.

We called him Jesus.

And yes... Waggers is wearing a swimming cap.


Sneg = Snow in Russian.

Man its been great, so cold and so little wind for a change. Friday was spent in town buying a new suit for my graduation next week, but on the way in i noticed the snow on the local mountains. A quick suggestion to Wagger's about hitting the trails in Wicklow and it was arranged. Snow biking on Saturday!

Hopped in the van nice and early and spun out to Wicklow. Decided to do a nice loop from Glendhalough up over Mullacor and back too the van for soup in Lynhams Pub in Laragh. Freekin cold on the way out and only passed 2 or 3 walkers. In the shade for the first 30 mins until we broke above the tree line and finally got some sun. First 10km nice climbing with a bit of downhill in some slop. But pretty much climbing to the top of the hill. Great views over too Lug and the south of Wicklow. Snow every where.

Quite exposed up on the ridge so we didn't spend much time, took a few quick snaps and made a snowman then dropped off the steep side of the mountain. So funny coming back down towards hill walkers at full tilt dropping off stepdowns into snow with no idea what was in it, how deep it was, or if there was a hole or not. Just as we hit the bottom of the mountain and were heading back for the second ridge, Waggers derailleur was shunted into his rear wheel and 3 spokes decided to part company. Ironic as we were only chatting about how he had never had to re-true the wheels in 3 years.... Unfortunately this meant the end of the spin, so we freewheeled back down the fire road to the van and picked up some soup.

Best part of the day : Trails to yourself cause the hill walkers are scared of a little snow

Worst part of the day : Descending on fire roads, frozen hands and brakes that work too well in snow

Luckiest part of the day: My front wheel quick release coming un-done as i was riding a set of 20 steps at full tilt, beside a groups of tourists, on the bank of a 20 foot drop into a waterfall... yeah....I'd rather not think about the consequences.

Cold wet and windy

Winter has arrived and its here with a kick in the head. It's cold, very cold and in a way its kinda nice. I don't mind cold on the bike, or running, and it tends to be warm indoors in the pool! But when it gets windy i just die. I hate being on the bike in the wind and i cant stand how much i have to drop off running when its windy. Add in the dark nights coming in earlier and earlier and it gets hard to train and motivation becomes a much more valuable commodity.

However the last couple of weeks have been going well. Training volume has slowly been creeping back up and harder sessions have been making their way back into my training. Bike volume is nice and long but the intensity is slow and steady...unless i want to push it a bit :) Still getting out on nice 3 hr spins but not at any mad pace. Mixing it up between on and off road work at the moment, but spending allot of time on the cyclocross bike even going as far as doing road sessions for 3 hrs on the bike with my cross tires. May as well train on what i race i say.

Running is going much better than ever for this time of the year. Getting out for 2 runs every week between 45 and 1:30 mins. Actually finding that my pace is not going up but i am able to stay out for longer at the same pace. Did a nice 18km run the weekend before last with 10km on rad and 8km on local trails. Felt great and kept the pace up on the trails that i had on the road. Getting easier too run for longer now, feels great to be out in the mud too!

Swimming...well i always find it hard to get into a pool, way too much of my childhood was spent in one and i still don't have the best relationship with one so the less said the better. I'm still in 2 times a week, but i should be in 3 times, i just never seem to make that 3rd session.....