Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recovery based training - a theory in development. Part one.

Reading books, articles, reports and studies on exercise physiology has been a regular pastime for a long time. Over the last twenty plus years, I have read more articles and reports on endurance training than I can count. I've read about training levels based on percentage of heart rate (max and reserve), percentage of threshold pace, percentage of race pace, colors, and perception of effort. The theories have tended to have a lot in common. Here are some of the shared assumptions. These are also ones I will rely on:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Small racks are nice too.

Bicycle rear mini-rack -  a Rando hack

This relentless cold weather and a touch of cabin fever motivate me to "fine-tune" my ride. Esmeralda, my Surly LHT, used to have a full size rear rack. It had way more carrying capacity than I needed for randonneuring, especially since I started using a Velo Orange Campagne handlebar bag, so I took it off.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

PA Dutch 200K - January 1, 2011

Five hours after toasting the arrival of 2011, I began the final preparations for my first ride of the year. Pull on layers of riding clothes, eat two servings of  microwaved oatmeal, load the Surly onto the car rack, and double-check my mental list of things to bring.

The weather forecast predicted midday temps in the 50's, but at 5:00 am, the temperature hovered just above freezing. Relying on the forecast, and the warmth that riding hills would bring, I left my wool tights and sweater at home and trusted that the remaining layers would be enough to suit the day. 

The course was the PA Dutch 200k. This would be my first time on it. Pre-ride mapping  on an internet site identified seven “category 5” climbs (course map and elevation profile.) According to, a cat 5 climb is the easiest of the category worthy climbs, but there would be seven of them on the 128.9 mile course. 

It would also be my first time riding with the PA Randonneurs, a group whose  reputation for staging hilly rides preceded them. I don't love riding hills, but in the last 10 months of randonneuring, I've gotten better at it. And to get where I want to go in this sport, I may have to get even better. Today could be a good measure of my mid-winter condition.