Archive for the 'Training Log' category

Long Training Ride to Junction

| March 8, 2008 10:00 pm

By Franz Kelsch

Today was a long distance training ride. The route started at the normal location and headed down to Bailey and then up Metcalf. I biked from my home and met up with Gary F. in Morgan Hill, timing it so we would meet the other riders on Metcalf. Four of us were route rebels and went off the published route after going up Metcalf. The great weather beckoned us to go up Quimby West. Then it beckoned us to to up Mt. Hamilton to the summit. We decided, why not go out to the junction for lunch. Three of us then descended down the backside of Mt. Hamilton and biked the 19 miles out to the junction cafe.

This would make a great long distance training ride route for the future. I biked from my home in Gilroy but a start in San Jose at Redmond and Meridian would end up with a good distance with a lot of climbing.

This chart show the climbs for the entire route. They are plotted against time so the slope should be a constant if I am climbing at an even rate in terms of feet per minute. You can see my heart rate never went that high because I was holding back on the climbs due the long distance I had to go. Click the graph to enlarge.

HR and Elevation Graph for Long Distance Training ride on 3-8-08

When I finally made it home just before dark I had logged 141 miles and 12,700 feet of climbing. I believe of all the training rides I have done this was both the longest and had the most climbing. It made for very good training ride for Devil Mountain Double since we had to do the backside of Mt. Hamilton after about 90 miles and and considerable climbing already. For DMD it is usually not the early climbs up Mt. Diablo and Morgan Territory, but the backside of Mt. Hamilton that takes it’s toll.

Long Distanace Ride

| February 3, 2008 3:42 pm

by Franz Kelsch

With the varying weather I was wondering if anyone would show up for the Long Distance Training Ride scheduled for Saturday, February 2nd. I really didn’t want to miss doing a long ride on Saturday so decided to drive up to the ride start at Landess and Morril. I was a bit surprised that there were 16 riders who also showed up.

We all headed out at 8 am under cloudy, but dry, conditions. It was a good opportunity to do the new Old Calaveras Billy Goat. David took off in his normal fast fashion while I was struggling to keep up. The a new rider, by the name of Mike, came up by me. Later I found out he was the fellow who was taking pictures at the Pet the Goat spot on the Devil Mountain Double last year.

We then headed up Calaveras and it was David and myself. We were moving fast, up to 27 mph on the flatter sections. Mike caught us after we passed Welch Creek road and then we saw Craig. The four of us plowed on but I was feeling the pain of the fast pace. David them mentioned that he was cutting the ride short and was going to turn around at about 25 miles. I thought, gee I should have let him do ALL the pulling. After David turned back I tried to keep up with Mike and Craig for awhile but after another 5 miles I decided I needed to back off. I was then caught in no man’s land, riding by myself for the rest of the ride.

There was some rain, but nothing real heavy, as I was going over the Altamont Pass. Then it cleared while I went up Patterson Pass. On the way back I was biking into a strong headwind, which explained the fast pace on the way out. I kept thinking it would be nice to draft behind big Mike M. but I was not sure how far back the rest of the riders were and I was worried about getting caught in the rain, so I plugged on. It was all bringing back memories of the Devil Mountain Double, but the weather was much cooler this time.

On the way back over Calavares it seemed twice as long as on the way out. I finally made it back to the ride start at 3:30, not long before many other riders were returning. I should have waited longer for the train to catch me so I could have drafted with the headwind. Oh well, it was good training, I guess. I ended up with 98 miles and 6,000 feet of climbing.

New Garmin GPS for Running and Cycling

| January 17, 2008 6:41 pm

While visiting Mac World I stopped by the Garmin booth to see what new items they had. I found three very interesting new products.

Forerunner® 405

1st Quarter, 2008
Part Number: 010-00658-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 318.74 USD

This unit is much smaller than previous Forerunner units and was finally down to the size you would expect for a runner’s watch. It had a most unique user interface. Instead of pushing buttons to move through the menu options, you just run your finger around the watch front, and tap it when you find what you want.

There is no mapping function but it does support heart rate, and has optional bike speed and cadence, and supports a footpod. It automatically transfers your data to a computer.

Edge® 605

1st Quarter, 2008
Part Number: 010-00555-00
Suggested Retail Price: $ 430.75 USD

This unit appears to be a much improved unit over the previous Edge 205, which it appears to be replacing. It now includes a true GPS mapping function in a package no larger that what I recall the 305 to be. Included is only the base map so that means buying mapping software to get other than major highways. It has support for a MicroSD card so you can add your own maps. This unit does not support a bike speed/cadence sensor heart rate and does not include a barometric altimeter, so you may want to opt for the Edge 705.

Edge® 705

1st Quarter, 2008
Part Number: 010-00555-20
Suggested Retail Price: $ 541.65 USD

This unit appears to be a much improved unit over the previous Edge 305, which it appears to be replacing. It now includes a true GPS mapping function. It adds support for heart rate and cadence and will also support Power with third party ANT+Sport-enabled power meters. You can also send your course wirelessly to another Edge 705. The battery life is suppose to be 15 hours, an improvement over the Edge 305, but still a bit on the short side. Even though the price of the 705 is more than $100 more than the Edge 605, I would recommend it because of the added features the serious cyclists would want and if you are not a serious cyclists why would you bother in the first place with one of these expensive units.

I asked about Mac computer support. All of the above units currently will only work with Windows, but Mac support will be coming later in 2008 (as Garmin has been saying).

No Water, Fast Time

| September 16, 2007 6:28 pm

Today was a club ride that included a climb up Mt. Hamilton. We started at 8:08 am from the school on Kirk.

Start of ride

Shortly myself, David H and Joe F were out in the front. David was particularly pushing the pace hard, so hard at the beginning I almost dropped off. But I thought I was training for the Everest Challenge and needed to hang on. We were moving so quickly up the hill I realized this might be a good chance to set a new PR going up Mt. Hamilton.

I looked over at David’s bike and noticed he was climbing in the Big Chainring!! I suppose I could make it up Mt. Hamilton in the Big Chainring but certainly not at this pace. After awhile Joe dropped off the back (later he told me had had skipped breakfast)! I kept with David for several miles and and as we were nearing the top of the lower Mt. Hamilton climb I did drop back for awhile. I kept pushing myself and eventually I caught back up (probably David slowed down to let me catch up). David was still in his big chainring. I guess he wanted to finsih the entire climb that way.

I went to get a drink and guess what, I had fogotten to put my water bottles on the bike. Fortunately it was cool, in the 60’s. I figured I could make it to the summit without any water. My old PR was 1 hour 40 minutes from the school. As we got within 5 miles from the top my quick calculations showed I could easily do better. The final time was 1 :34:09 from the school. From the base of the Mt. Hamilton road we did it in 1:28:54. I had finally made the climb under one and a half hours. It was kind of the perfect storm, cool weather, less weight due to no filled water bottles, and David pushing the pace so hard. You can see from the chart below my average heart rate during the climb was 158, peaking at 166. We averaged 12.4 mph.

PR Up Mt. Hamilton Road

Joe reached the Lick Observatory just as David and I were headed on to go down the back side of Mt. Hamilton. David was kind of enough to let me use one of his water bottles, which I drank down at Isabel Creek and handed back to him since he was turning around at that point. I then biked another 13 miles, with climbing, to reach the junction. There I bought a Gatorade and put that in my water bottle cage.

MIssing Water Bottles!

I waited for awhile for Joe and thought maybe he had headed down Del Puerto Canyon while I was buying some liquid at the Junction cafe. I did not see him on the way down and only saw him on the way back up. I told him I would meet him at the junction where we were going to eat lunch. I measure the grade over the steepest section of Del Puerto Canyon and got 9.5% over 0.4 miles. It was a steeper climb that I remembered it to be. Maybe it was because I had pushed so hard earlier in the ride.

Junction Cafe

After lunch, Joe and I headed back towards the back side of Mt. Hamilton.

Does Anyone Know the Way to San Jose?

I felt pretty good making the climb. I took several splits and found the steepest was 9.5% over 0.5 miles. Just about the same as Del Puerto Canyon.

After taking on some more water at the top, we headed back down the front side of Mt. Hamilton, getting to the cars around 4 pm. This graph shows the overall day. You can see my heart rate was much higher while climbing the front side to set the new PR. I backed off conisderably after that. (click graph to enlarge)

Cheesburgers at the Junction and Del Puerto Canyon heart rate curve

Final stats were:

Miles: 92.7
Total Climb: 10,279 feet
Average Speed: 14 mph
Total Moving Time: 7:25
Average Heart Rate: 134

Ultra Long Distance Training Ride on Sept. 1

| September 2, 2007 6:11 pm

Yesterday I was one of the three ride leaders for the club’s UDT (Ultra Distance Traning) rides. These are geared for training to ride in Ultra Distance events. I lead the fastest paced group and was joined by Gary F. and Joe F. at the start. I have refered to the three of us as the 3 F’s. Later on the Page Mill climb we were joined by Brian C. I am not sure, but yesterday’s club ride seemed like the fastest I ever did, with that amount of climbing.

Here are the stats for the ride:

114.5 miles
8,880 feet of climbing
16.6 mph average speed
Total Time: 7:44
Rolling Time: 6:53:39
Average HR: 140 (165 maximum)

Looking at the curve, I was not in the so called “red zone” that much, but I was sure pushing hard to keep up with Gary and Joe. The average speed of 16.6 mph shows we were really moving, considering that we climbed so much over the course of the ride. I guess my legs are the limiting factor at this point.

We kind of played a game also to see if we could come in under 7 hours for the first 100 miles. We reached that mileage with a total time (including stopping) of 6:58:55, and had climbed all but 400 feet of the total for the day. We almost missed this target because of the stoplights on Foothill.

After the ride I felt that I was in good enough shape to do the Everest Challenge so I signed up. This is the USCF California/Nevada State Climbing Championship that involves climbing 29,035 feet over a two day race, on 9/22-23. I still have some time for some intense training. See my prior blog entry on an attempt to estimate my performance for the Everest Challenge.


The Mileage Myth

| August 20, 2007 5:29 pm

Just after I put on my blog the accumulated miles this year (both cycling and running), I was reading the September 2007 edition of Runner’s world on an article about the mileage myth. There are a lot of great resources around when it comes to training for a marathon or other long distance event, but when it comes to the equivalent in cycling the information is not as readily available. I fell that the principles are the same so I have attempted to adapt some of the information in this article in terms of cycling and preparing for an ultra distance cycling event.

Cyclists can get caught up in the mileage trap, thinking that more is better. That may be true, but only to the point where you achieve your potential. After that the additional miles onlyl increase your risk of injury or burnout. Adapting the Runner’s World Six Rules to help find the right number, but for cycling:

Rule #1. The longer the event you are training for, the higher the mileage requirement. Obviously it is going to take more weekly miles to prepare for a double century than for a century.

Rule #2. Mileage requirments increase as performance goals increase. If your goal is to just finish you can cycle fewer miles than if your goal is to finish with a fast time.

Rule #3. Some miles count more than others (Part One). When your miles include tough workouts (such as hill climbs, hill repeats, tempo rides, intervals) they’re harder to recover from than if you do he same easy aerobic cycling. So when you add quality workouts, decrease your total mileage slightly to make up for the added stress.

Rule #4. Some miles count more than others (Part Two). The farther away your miles are from the pace you wish to do the event at, the less they will help your performance at the event. If you mostly do long miles cycling at a slow pace, you will become proficient at that but don’t expect to be able to ride the double century at a significantly faster pace.

Rule #5. Allow for adaptation when increasing mileage. To avoid injury when upping your mileage you need to take it slow and allow time for your body to adapt.

Rule #6. A healthy cyclist beats an injured cyclist every time. I am not speaking of injury due to falling, but injury to your muscles.