Friday, October 27, 2006

Off Season Training

I posted this on my team's Email list and was going to skip posting it here. Ah, but what the hell it's obvious that nobody is reading my BLOG anyway. Seems that we are all too distracted with the adventures of Olaf von Vanderbella and the Wonder Kitty to look elsewhere.
So I had a couple of free minutes and plenty of caffeine and I thought I would jot down some thoughts on Off Season Training that some might find useful. These are not intended to be the one true way, or the best way to structure an off season program, but just some ideas and things to think about.

Riding, Quality vs. Quantity:
I am sure we have all heard the mantra of building capacity through long slow miles, this is always a good place to start. At the same time some alternatives to consider are the quality of those miles and do you really have the allotment of time needed to get the benefit?
Typically for the physiological change to happen to develop capacity, very low intensity in HUGE volumes are required. Not many of us really have the time available to meet the volume required. The other question is, if you DO have the time due to work circumstances and family situations you must also evaluate if this is really the most efficient way to spend your time?
"Blasphemy, why would you say such a thing?"

If your event is typically less than 60 miles, churning out 4 or 5 hours of nonproductive junk miles several days a week may not be the best training plan. Most cyclists lack the discipline to do these miles correctly and without knowing it sabbotage their own goals.
Let's assume you recently came into a situation that affords you some substantial time to train. Much like coming into a substantial amount of money, creating a plan of how to efectively use this new found resource, or hiring a professional to help, would be a wise investment. Several things should be evaluated prior to committing time to exclussively the bike.
1. Strength;
Much improvement and capacity can be gained by a well structured weight training program. I don't mean go out and lift as much as you can and become Arnold Schwartsagovner, but there are some really good off season programs that can be implemented that will not only provide cycling specific strength but also cardio vascular capacity. Circuit Training, Endurance Lifting, even on the bike Low Cadence/High Resistance pedaling are good ways to develop strength.
Cyclists in the lower categories are still developing muscle and cardio capacity, these programs will do both by helping to develop exercise specific muscle fiber recruitment and working the cardio vascular system as well.

2. Form;
How many of us have perfect form and are using our energy/power resources efficiently?
If you answered "me" to that question, you are either fooling yourself or waisting your time on amateur teams and need to apply for a spot on Discovery.
In addition to the strength programs mentioned above, investing some time into improving your form on the bike can pay huge dividends. Again, we are talking about time well spent on the bike verses just churning out tons of junk miles.
Ask yourself these questions:
A. Is my pedaling in circles or squares?
B. Is my sprinting form/position producing the most power it can?
C. How is my position on the bike? Too forward, too far back, too cramped, too low, or too high?
D. Is my upper body stable when I am riding or am I a rag doll on a bike? (core strength issue)
E. Where are my knees? In? Out? Are they working in a good line with the pedals, or am I deflecting my power in every other direction. Working on this will also reduce the chance of injury. One may even consider the pedals being used (I changed from Speed Play to Shimano/Look type pedals) and the introduction of good orthotics (Aline).

Just some things to consider, and I invite some of the more experienced riders to add to or correct the ideas above.

Nome Agusta (pronounced no may gusta)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A proud father

My son is sitting in his room listening to my Ozzy Ozbourne Tribute CD.

It's a thing of beauty, I am all teary eyed.

Favorite Comedian

The long lost Steven Wright was back on Comedy Central last night. I haven't seen him in many years and have missed his unique and mildly twisted sense of humor.

He is one of those comedians that can suppress his laughter and tend to make himself sound mildly depressed and delivers his sometimes confusing one liners in a monotone voice.

Here are a couple of great ones from last nights show.

"I always wished I could have made "quote" the first word I had ever spoken... that way when I was about to die I could say... "unquote".

"I saw a hitchhiker carrying a sign that said "Heaven" on it... so I ran him over. I think he got to his destination... he looked like a nice person".

"I have been working on getting in touch with my self conscience, but every once in a while I speak fluently in a foreign language so that it doesn't know what I am saying".

"I am writing an unauthorized autobiography... I am going to have it published and then sue myself".

"If heat rises, wouldn't Heaven be hotter than hell?"

Here is a couple of old favorites:
"You know that feeling you get when you lean back to far in a chair and you are about to fall?
I feel like that all the time".

"I woke up this morning and someone had replaced everything in my house with an exact replica... I called my friend and told him and he said "who are you?"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wifey's first time...

in the dirt.

Who would have thought I would ever see the day.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Write-in candidate for Governor

This post is to request your write-in vote for Governor of California. The current candidates SUCK and it's time we had someone from the people give it a go.
These two jokers are so far removed from the people they couldn't understand a real issue if it fell from a tree and hit them on the head.

Here is my focus:
Bicycles and bicycle facilities get primary focus for transportation funding. We will create a panel of experts to come up with ideas to get people out of their cars and onto bicycles. This panel will not be made up of the dorks and Freds that currently serve as bicycle advocates, and who are responsible for some of the pure nonsense that is going on now. It will be made up of real riders who train, and/or race, and get how cycling works on a fundamental level.

Any driver found guilty of willful intent to harm a cyclist with an automobile will receive the death penalty, or near miss. They will be put on a bicycle and run down by their own car.

All highway transportation funding will be re-routed to the Joey O initiative.
All highways slated for HOV lanes will be outfitted with solar powered tail wind tunnels designed for bicycles instead. The tunnels will have a tailwind of approximately 15 to 20 MPH.

Damn near all of the Caltrans staff will be fired. Immediately! New staff members will have to meet a new standard for criteria that focuses on common sense, and they have to be an American born citizen. As a matter of fact we will pass a new law stating that ALL State Government employees must be American born citizens.

Special funding will be created for cities that host bicycle races.
Tax breaks will be given to companies and corporations that sponsor bicycle racing teams and clubs.

10% of the revenue generated from the gasoline tax will be routed to a special fund for USCF licensed bicycle racing teams/clubs that are registered as California non-profit corporations.

If you have any questions or do not know my name send me an email at

It's time for a Government that is for the people from the people.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Attack of the Spider People

Myth or growing legend? We do not know.
But what we do know is there has been some recent reports of ride hi-jackings, races infiltrated, and General disarray in the local cycling community with some Spider like clad bike riders as primary suspects.

It has been reported that these suto web-slinging riders have been out on the roads perpetrating dubious semi-evil yet benign acts of relatively unnoticable destruction.

We do not know their origin, or their intent, but one would be wise to employ caution before provoking these unpredictable and potentially vicious creatures.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Product Review: FRS Plus

I am currently testing a bottle of the FRS Plus and upon review of the label noticed that it is very high in sugar.

While quercetin is an anti-inflammatory, sugar is an inflammatory. I am also not thrilled about adding 110 calories into my diet during a time that I am trying to lean out in preparation for next season.

I read the information on the website about the cycling tests, but I have to honestly question if these improvements were on top of an existing nutritional supplementation plan (E-Caps Premium Insurance Caps, or other) or if it is a comparison to no plan at all.

If the baseline is to compare FRS to non supplementation then the performance results are not that impressive. If the baseline was with an athlete that is currently on a supplementation program it should be noted as such. This also leads the question as to what was the supplementation program they are/were on?

If they were on none, than anything they take will improve performance. They could simply take 5,000 mg of vitamin C, CoEnzyme Q10, and some calcium and they will see a big difference over taking nothing at all.

To prove that a product really works, test the athlete while on his current supplementation program, have him/her go off of it for two weeks, then start him/her on FRS and test again. Only then will you have an accurate base line to concur that the product is the one that athletes should choose.

To do otherwise would be the equivalent to testing a product like Gatorade for hydration of an athlete and comparing it to plain water. That test would be a pure joke. While we all know that Gatorade will supply some fluid replacements, it isn't the quality in any way shape or form to what is currently available on the market in other hydration drinks.

How many folks really care what a sponsored pro has to say about a product? They are likely getting it for free, or even getting paid to take it. Hey, pay me to take it and it is the best product in the World. Ask me to spend my limited budget on it, and you will get an honest evaluation.
If it works I'll be the first to try and tell the World (minus Olaf), if it doesn't I'll be sure to tell Olaf how great it is and the rest to save their money.

You Savvy?