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  1. #1
    Senior Member forrest_m's Avatar
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    Training During Extended Travel

    [edited to add] Instead of starting a new race report thread, I am just going to keep posting to this same thread so that my reports stay linked to the pre-season training posts. That way, there will actually be an "answer" to the questions posed in the initial "training during extended travel" post.

    So this winter, my wife and I have finally gotten the stars to align to take 4 months off to travel with our 3 y.o. daughter. I’ll be off the bike from mid-Nov. to mid-March - realistically, my only reliable exercise equipment is going to be a pair of running shoes and a HRM. One additional wrinkle is that we will be spending one month living in a ski town. I know, I know, poor me…

    So, given that I’d like to still race well next summer (FWIW, I’m really new to bike racing, but no stranger to highly regimented training programs ), is it reasonable to just plan my seasonal training like normal, and then attempt to train at the same intensity & volume by running instead of riding? It is inevitable that I will miss a lot of workouts due to travel, having to figure out new routes every day, social obligations when staying with family & friends, etc.

    I’m not sure exactly how (telemark) skiing every day for a month is going to fit in, my quads will certainly get lots of power, but obviously not very specific – probably backward in terms of fast-twitch vs. slow. (It’s going to be fun, though.)

    In the end, what I’ll probably end up doing is to focus on getting the most out of my family trip while maintaining a reasonable level of aerobic fitness. Then in April do an abbreviated foundation period, understanding that my “A” races will be late in the season. But I’d be curious to hear other suggestions or thoughts, especially on how to structure the training plan for April – July, i.e. after I get back.
    Last edited by forrest_m; 05-12-08 at 12:19 PM.

  2. #2
    . botto's Avatar
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    don't sweat it. you'll most likely be able to do fine in summer (cat 4/5 seeing as you claim to be new) races.

    maybe you'd be a tad better w/o the long break, but c'est la vie.

    run, do some spinning classes, ski, enjoy.
    Last edited by botto; 10-06-07 at 08:39 AM.

  3. #3
    Royal Grand Exalted Pooba smoke's Avatar
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    except for the ski town, you don't really mention where you'll be staying during your travels. if most of the time will be spent in hotels, make use of the stationary bike trainers. if they don't have a workout room, most hotels have a cut-rate deal with a local gym. i can't sit on those stationary bikes more than an hour, so i always plan on doing a short, high-intensity workout. i go on business trips that sometimes are 2-3 weeks long, and stay in the same hotels over and over. so i can sit down the day before i leave and spend 10 minutes mapping out where i can get a good intervals session accomplished and where the workout room is so bad it's better for me to just rest. i'll tend to do 3 of these workouts a week, with one of them being an hour of tempo riding. as for the month of skiing - i wouldn't worry about it. take a month off and have fun. the skiing will be a heck of a workout
    'In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us." '

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  4. #4
    Senior Member toegnix's Avatar
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    There is no replacement for riding, but you can do other things to keep strength and cardio. Just remember you will still need 6-8 weeks on the bike to get into cycling shape, no matter how in shape you are otherwise.

    1. Run for steady workout, cardio
    2. Sprints for burst workouts, similar to intervals
    3. Stretching or yoga.
    4. Use old inner tubes to work your legs and arms in confined areas like a hotel room.
    5. In-line skating
    6. Jump rope.
    7. Hotel weight machines, treadmills, stairmasters...

    Get 20 minutes a day, minimum, and try to maintain a schedule even when it seems like you can't.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member jkizzle's Avatar
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    pack a bike! anywhere with skiing means mountains, which means BIG HILLS!

    you can buy travel cases that you can check on airlines and they fit nicely in cars as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member forrest_m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkizzle View Post
    pack a bike! anywhere with skiing means mountains, which means BIG HILLS!

    you can buy travel cases that you can check on airlines and they fit nicely in cars as well.
    Dude, I'm already travelling with skis and a 3-year old via a combination of airplane, train and my brother in law's euro mini-car. A bike would be the the straw that breaks the camel's back. (We'll be in Europe, combination of staying with friends and smaller "family" hotels, so not going to be many gyms, either.) I think Iíve resigned myself to just running a lot.

    What Iím trying to figure out now is what to do when I get back in late march. Normally, I think Iíd be starting to move into a higher intensity intervals and such, but Iím thinking that Iíll probably need to do at least a couple of weeks of just putting in miles to get my body accustomed to exercising on a bike. Heck, Iíll probably need a few weeks just to get my sit-parts accustomed to exercising on a bikeÖ

  7. #7
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forrest_m View Post
    Dude, I'm already travelling with skis and a 3-year old via a combination of airplane, train and my brother in law's euro mini-car. A bike would be the the straw that breaks the camel's back. (We'll be in Europe, combination of staying with friends and smaller "family" hotels, so not going to be many gyms, either.) I think Iíve resigned myself to just running a lot.
    do some old school cross training: cross country skiing.

    Quote Originally Posted by forrest_m View Post
    What Iím trying to figure out now is what to do when I get back in late march. Normally, I think Iíd be starting to move into a higher intensity intervals and such, but Iím thinking that Iíll probably need to do at least a couple of weeks of just putting in miles to get my body accustomed to exercising on a bike. Heck, Iíll probably need a few weeks just to get my sit-parts accustomed to exercising on a bikeÖ
    base for 3-4 weeks, if not longer.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jkizzle's Avatar
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    ok well maybe try running intervals, to keep your base up. not base miles, but aerobic base or the ability to keep a high, steady intensity for longer periods? maybe through some sprints and hills in, that work different muscle sets than normal jogging

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by forrest_m View Post
    So this winter, my wife and I have finally gotten the stars to align to take 4 months off to travel with our 3 y.o. daughter. Iíll be off the bike from mid-Nov. to mid-March - realistically, my only reliable exercise equipment is going to be a pair of running shoes and a HRM. One additional wrinkle is that we will be spending one month living in a ski town. I know, I know, poor meÖ

    So, given that Iíd like to still race well next summer (FWIW, Iím really new to bike racing, but no stranger to highly regimented training programs ), is it reasonable to just plan my seasonal training like normal, and then attempt to train at the same intensity & volume by running instead of riding? It is inevitable that I will miss a lot of workouts due to travel, having to figure out new routes every day, social obligations when staying with family & friends, etc.

    Iím not sure exactly how (telemark) skiing every day for a month is going to fit in, my quads will certainly get lots of power, but obviously not very specific Ė probably backward in terms of fast-twitch vs. slow. (Itís going to be fun, though.)

    In the end, what Iíll probably end up doing is to focus on getting the most out of my family trip while maintaining a reasonable level of aerobic fitness. Then in April do an abbreviated foundation period, understanding that my ďAĒ races will be late in the season. But Iíd be curious to hear other suggestions or thoughts, especially on how to structure the training plan for April Ė July, i.e. after I get back.
    Color me green with envy! Not knowing anything else about you and your racing/training history, if you're reasonably fit, I would think that your aerobic fitness will be fine if you do some cc skiing as suggested by botto, and the tele skiing will be a reasonable substitute for some intervals - similar to "power" intervals like stomps/jumps/powerstarts in carmichael vernacular.

    Upon return, I'd do a 3 week of tempo-intensity rides, with higher/lower intensity dictated by terrain to get your legs used to spinning again, then begin with harder training. What will probably suffer most is that you'll lose the "top end" that racing demands, but starting your high intensity on the bike training in March should have you peaking and fresh for your "A" races later in the year when many others who've been racing since Feb or March are starting to get crispy.

  10. #10
    Senior Member forrest_m's Avatar
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    Now that my first race is behind me, I thought Iíd report back on this thread I started back in the fall. In a nutshell, MdcatV had it just right Ė I was generally able to keep up with the other cat V racers, but lacked the top-end to be competitive (see mini race report below). I had some knee problems over the winter that kept me from running as much as Iíd hoped, so my winter base training consisted almost solely of snow sports and traipsing around European cities pushing a baby stroller. Iím not that surprised that 40 days of telemark skiing left my quads in pretty good shape, but Iím pleasantly surprised that it seems to have kept my aerobic systems in pretty good nick as well.

    Iíve been back on the bike for just under a month now, doing mostly longer tempo/base work, some fast club-type group rides, some solo long hill repeats and such. Last nightís crit was basically the first high-intensity intervals Iíve done this year. The fact that I can almost hang with the people who have been training all winter makes me optimistic that I will be able to be competitive as my training kicks into higher gear. I think thereís plenty of time still to get some better results this season: I have a couple of ďBĒ races starting in 3-4 weeks and my summer ďAĒ race is still 11 weeks out, with the weekly training crit for, well, training right through August.

    Race Report Ė stop here if you are tired of reading ďmy first raceĒ posts.
    The Seward Park Thursday night crits (Seattle) have a beautiful course, a teardrop-shaped asphalt loop through old-growth forest on the shores of Lake Washington. Itís about .7 miles long, with one short 9% climb, some flats, and a very fast, sweeping downhill corner. About 40 people lined up for the Cat. V race (25 min. + 3 laps).

    Since this was my First Race Ever, my goals were pretty simple: try to get used to the environment and not to get dropped. I think I did OK on the first, as my laps actually got faster through the crit and nobody seemed to have any reservations getting on my wheel, but it was actually a bit hard to tell on the second goal. The first lap started off very fast (faster than usual according to several people) and the pack got very stretched out, almost a paceline rather than a pack. I was about 2/3 of the way back, but this was really a long distance from the front, maybe 200 yards or more. I lost a fair amount of ground by being conservative my first run down the sweeping corner.

    The second time up the hill, there was an attack at the front and the pack just dissolved. Instead of a break and a pack, there was suddenly a lead ďpackĒ of about ten riders and then groups of 3 and 4 riders with lots of space between. I was too far back to get in with the faster groups bridging up early, so I spent the next 10 laps trying to work my way up from group to group, like a soldier advancing under fire from cover to cover. I could usually make up a lot of ground on the hill, but unless there was a wheel to get on just at the right place at the top, I would end up alone the rest of the lap, get tired and lose most of the ground Iíd gained. Finished somewhere in the middle about half a lap behind the lead group.

    In retrospect, the smart thing to do would probably have been to assemble a chase group, even if it meant I had to slow down a bit on the hill so that Iíd have company at the top. It would have been a lot more efficient to get a rhythm & trade pulls, but to be honest, I didnít really have the head space to think that much. Iím pretty happy just to have finished without running into anybody and without getting lapped.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    The Seward Park Thursday night crit was my first and second ever bike race too when I was going to school at UW. Great course. That hill before the start/finish line just kills your legs after a couple laps. Everyone big-rings it the first few laps, and then there's a lot of shifting as the race progresses. I got shelled and lapped both times I raced and crashed out of the second race. Sounds like you did better.
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  12. #12
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    re: the training / trip report - cool, glad it worked out for ya! I've done enough biz travel to know what a beetch it is, but otoh a little cross training is always good.

    re: the race: You had a good reaction given the cards you were handed; and that's just about the best workout you could've designed. Now you know why everybody tells you to stay near the front (esp at the start of a V race).

  13. #13
    Senior Member forrest_m's Avatar
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    forrest_m's 2008 race thread

    Instead of starting a new race report thread, I am just going to keep posting to this same thread so that my reports stay linked to the pre-season training posts. That way, there will actually be an "answer" to the questions posed in the initial "training during extended travel" post.

    Ravensdale Ė Cumberland Road Race (10 May 2008)

    Summary:
    Menís Cat 5, 62-mile road race through farmland about 45 minutes south-east of Seattle. Rolling course (2,300í total climb), but no sustained climbs. Field size was about 45 riders. Finished with lead group, but near back, maybe 12th or 13th. I had absolutely no gas to sprint on the 400m climb to the finish and lost a lot of ground. Finished in 2:44:19, with an average speed of 22.5 mph.

    Some notes:
    Since this was my first road race, my main goal was simply to finish with the main group. Just on that score, this was a success. I did not get dropped or even feel close to getting dropped. This was a big worry Ė since I havenít been riding with a team, I really didnít know for sure whether I was at the same level as other people in a real race. I think Iíll feel more confident being more aggressive next time out.

    Regarding the training level, I was pretty happy except for the finish. I think this is still a result of my late-peak training schedule Ė that same lack of ďtop end speed.Ē Hopefully this will improve over the season. Frustrating to go into the final stretch in good position and then watch 7 or 8 people slide by you. Because it was uphill, it all seems to happen in slow motionÖ In addition, I had a bit of trouble with the gearing (there was 100 meters of 5% about 400 meters before the finish), should have dropped into the lower ring; instead, I ended up mashing my way up to the 200m mark and felt pooped out even before starting to sprint

    I rubbed handlebars - hard - with a guy in a turn. We didnít panic, nothing happened. He apologized, and I was even cool enough to remember to say ďeh, rubbiní is raciní,Ē the way Iíve learned it here on BF.

    On breakaways: Iím not sure if it was a cat 5 thing or just the course, but in the whole day, nobody got more than about 50 yards OTF before being chased down. It didnít help that because of the rollers, every time somebody busted a gap, there would be a downhill that would accelerate the pack back up. But it also seemed like people werenít committing that hard to trying to get away. I realized that probably everybody else is doing the same thing Iím doing Ė trying to see what this is like, not wanting to overextend themselves. Oh yeah, weíre all cat 5s and NONE of us really knows what weíre doing.

    OTOH, maybe a ďbreakĒ wasnít really necessary. About 1:45 into the race, I drifted back to my typical spot, about 15 riders back, checked my six, and realized that there was nothing behind me but the follow car. There must have been a fairly constant hemorrhage of riders dropping OTB when I wasnít watchingÖ

  14. #14
    Senior Member forrest_m's Avatar
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    forrest_m's 2008 race thread

    Wentchee Omnium Road Race
    18 May 2008


    Summary: Men's Cat 5 race on the dry east side of the mountains (I did only the RR). 42-mile course including an 11-mile, 3,200 foot climb. I finished solo, placing somewhere between 20-25 (out of 42), about 10 min behind the leaders. This was an awesome, very scenic course and a well-run race, I just wish I could have acquitted myself a bit better!

    Some Notes:
    The long, long climb really made me pay for the abbreviated training time this year, far more than the first couple of races. By a third of the way up the climb, I was just trying to survive the course. Of course, I'm also in the most intense part of my training schedule, so I wasn't as rested, either.

    The heat also really made me pay - this was the first ride this year without a long-sleeved base layer, and suddenly I'm racing in 90 deg. temps. I did 8 min. hill intervals earlier in the week and was killing it; today, I was panting like a dog in heat the entire climb and just wilted every time I tried to climb out of the saddle.

    Since I broke my frame two days ago, I was riding a borrowed bike which didn't fit very well, so that added to the suffering. My back was killing me and my diaphram was all crunched up, by the second half I could barely ride in the drops. On the final stretch, I caught onto two groups coming through from the Masters race that started 5 min. behind us, but dropped off after a couple of pulls when I had to sit up to breathe. New build should be done by mid-week, so at least one problem I can buy my way out of.

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