I’ve decided to keep a log of my training rides in the lead-up to this year’s Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

This is my first cycle race. I’m taking the opportunity to use it as a means to raise money for Medicine Mondiale.

Please see here, my Facebook event, and the rest of this blog for further details and updates.

Thursday, November 18 & Sunday, November 21, 2010

I had a riding buddy for the past two rides. It’s good to get out with someone else, kinda eggs you on to push harder; bit of cat and mouse so to speak. Thursday’s evening ride was damn fast, coming in at an average speed of 28.3kph over 50km. Not bad for an after-work ride. We cycled along Tamaki Drive and through the eastern suburbs. Dave (yes we have the same name) and I went for a second ride today through the Howick and Whitford. The weather was foul to start off with but cleared during the ride. The headwinds at some points were extreme. We clocked up just over 100km in a little more than four hours. It was the first time Dave hit 100km. There’s a psychological barrier that breaks once you hit that hundred kilometre mark. It certainly feels good. We’re both running the same 48/17 gearing.  He’s bloody fast; a much stronger sprinter than me, but when it came to the endurance-level distance (after the 70km mark) my training saw me pull away from him. I’ve ridden with him in the past (At this year’s Alltrack events) and it was clear we were closely matched with Dave a bit stronger than me. So this week’s rides were a good show of how much I’ve improved since I started training for Taupo. And the best for last, I hit a whopping 62.5kph down a hill today. That’s bloody fast spinning there folks! Here are the rides’ stats, starting with Thursdays.

Thursday

Departure: 6.45pm

Distance: 54.54km

Time (in the saddle): 1:56.23

Average Speed: 28.3kph

Fluid: 700ml Horley’s Hydration Replace

Food: Lollies (snakes and jelly beans)

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17 with lightweight Dura-Ace/Aerohead race wheelset

Sunday

Departure: 9.40am

Distance: 104.22km

Time (in the saddle): 4:14.42

Average Speed: 24.5kph

Fluid: 1400ml Horley’s Hydration Replace

Food: Lollies (snakes and jelly beans) and 1x large Moro bar

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17 with lightweight Dura-Ace/Aerohead race wheelset

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The weather played ball the whole weekend and I was able to get out for a decent training ride. I stayed at my parents’ house on the Shore on Friday night. My route took me along East Coast Rd before cutting across to SH16 via Kaukapakapa. From here I went out past Helensville before heading back home through West Auckland via Kumeu. A good ride and a good chance to see how much better I felt with a lot more mid-ride snacking. I spoke to a dietitian (who’s also a cyclist) who told me One Square Meals are not the best and that snacks with energy derived from carbohydrates would serve me much better. She says a fair bit of energy in OSM bars come from fats and protein which take too long for the body to convert into usable energy because they slow down your metabolism. She says lollies and jelly beans are a much better option. Sounds good to me. I’ll be giving them a go, along with Horleys Replay Hydration (instead of Mizone) on my next ride. The Horleys stuff works out much cheaper and also contains almost double the amount of carbs for the equivalent volume compared to the Mizone. A win-win really.

Departure: 8.45am

Distance: 115.92km

Time (in the saddle): 4:34.25

Average Speed: 25.3kph

Fluid: 1800ml Mizone Isopower

Food: 2x 80g OSM bars, 1x white bread honey sandwich

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17 with lightweight Dura-Ace/Aerohead race wheelset

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I’ve just arrived home from an early morning training ride before work. Went along Tamaki Drive to clock up 44kms while dodging commuters. A good ride but I must get ready for work now. Feels good to ramp up training a bit.

Departure: 7.o0am

Distance: 44.14km

Time (in the saddle): 1:24.52

Average Speed: 31.2kph

Fluid: 600ml Mizone Isopower

Food: none, just three pieces of toast with honey for breakfast

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17 with lightweight Dura-Ace/Aerohead race wheelset

Saturday, November 6, 2010

There’s three weeks to go until my race and I’ve been lazy on the training front. But I made up for it today with a mammoth 5 1/2 hour ride to Kawakawa Bay, passing through Clevedon and Maraetai on the way.  The hills were tough and my legs are feeling it. They’re gonna be sore tomorrow morning that’s for sure. The weather was great and the views amazing. I didn’t take enough food with me. There is no way one 80g One Square Meal bar and low-carb Mizone was going to be sufficient to fuel me for so long. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it’s good to realise this now, not midway through the race. I need to take the time to sit down and work out how much food I need to haul to provide sufficient fuel for me during the 160km race.

Departure: 8.45am

Distance: 138.54km

Time (in the saddle): 5:32.38

Average Speed: 24.9kph

Fluid: 1500ml Mizone Isopower (Low Carb), 500ml Mizone (standard), +/- 500ml water

Food: 1 x 80g OSM bar, jelly lollies, 4-finger KitKat, 75g cashew cuts (roasted & salted)

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17 with lightweight Dura-Ace/Aerohead race wheelset

Sunday, October 25, 2010

I made up for yesterday’s awful ride with a good ride today. My aim was to maintain a fast pace of at least 30kph. I did six loops along Tamaki Drive and I’m happy to say I averaged 29.8kph. Not bad considering my usual pace is around 25kph. Speed runs like this are good for my spinning rate. There were plenty of riders out for me to catch up to and pass. I must keep track of my competitive leaning though when it comes to race day. I must make sure I don’t push too hard too early and burn myself out.

Departure: 9.30am

Distance: 64.77km

Time: 2:10.05

Average Speed: 29.8kph

Fluid: 1000ml Mizone Isopower (Low Carb)

Food: 1/2 x 80g OSM bar

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17 and lighter wheelset

Saturday, October 24, 2010

Well today’s ride was a total flop. My plans were to get a good 120kms under my belt but this was not to be. Fifteen kms into my ride I realised my new seat post had slipped. I hopped off to see it had slipped a good 20mm. No good. It was my first ride on the new ultra-light Trigon carbon fibre post. To be honest I’m over them. Stick to alloy posts I say. I tightened it up even further and backtracked from Pt England to Hot Cycles in St Heliers. The blokes there were excellent. They checked the post to confirm it was the correct size and told me that there’s no need to use grease when it’s carbon on aluminium. Carbon-specific grease is for carbon on carbon. They removed the grease I’d put on when I originally fitted the post and tightened it up to the maximum torque setting advised for carbon posts. I thought this was the end of the problems and continued my ride only to find the damn thing had slipped again. I called it a day and headed home.  Lesson learned: always check new components thoroughly and never ride on a new component for the first time come race day. Here are some stats from the ride that was a flop.

Distance: 48.12km

Time: 1:53.54

Average Speed: 25.3kph

Sunday, October 3, 2010

This training run saw me cycle from Grafton to Okura on the North Shore via West Auckland, Riverhead/Coatesville and Greenhithe. Great sunny weather and a good ride. I rode my Coltello in a setup that’s closer to my race-day ride. I scored a nice set of 36h low-flange Campagnolo hubs off Trade Me recently. T White’s Bikes laced them up with double butted spokes to the shallow Alex rims that came with my Team Miyata. These hubs aren’t track hubs (I believe they’re either Triomphe or Victory) so there’s no provision for a lockring. This is okay as I’ll only be running this wheelset with a front brake, as I did yesterday. This wheelset weighs in at 2750g, a whopping 450g less than my Velocity B43/Deep V combo that I’ve been training on before, making for easier hill climbs. It’s close to my race wheelset which weighs in at 2600g. Unfortunately, my computer reset itself which means I’ve lost some of the data from this ride. It feels good to hit the 100km mark, though, really good.

Departure: 8.45am

Distance: 103.88km

Time: Note sure, somewhere around 4.5 hours including mid-way rest

Average Speed: note sure

Fluid: 600ml Mizone Isopower (Low Carb) & 1000ml water

Food: 1x 80g OSM bar

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17 and lighter wheelset

Monday, September 13, 2010

I forgot to post this training ride up earlier but have since found the sticky note with the ride’s details, so up it goes. I rode out to Beachlands, through Whitford and Howick. The ride itself went really well, apart from the bloody magpie that decided to attack me. This bad boy was vicious. I’ve heard of them swooping on cyclists, but I never expected the bird to latch itself on to my back as I’m spinning along at 35kph. It did this twice (along with several swoops) before it was scared off by a nearby driver who started honking. Big ups to this guy. It must’ve been a laugh for him, though. What really cracks me up was that this same bird tried its shit on my way back, too. It swooped on me several times but I managed to ward it off each time with a well-timed flailing left arm. This thing was relentless though; it just kept following me for ages. Crazy wildlife. Here are the ride’s stats:

Departure: 11am

Distance: 91.20km

Average Speed: 23.3kph

Fluid: 1800ml Mizone Isopower (Low Carb)

Food: 3/4 x 80g OSM bar

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Went out for a training run today the with aim of clocking up more than 50kms. Had drinks yesterday evening so I’d imagine that drinking the night before would hamper my performance. This didn’t seem to be the case but it was hard to tell as my route was a bit different to usual. Auckland’s weather has been really crazy as of late. Had a few heavy showers hit me during my ride with the rain basically setting in and not stopping for the last quarter of the way. I wasn’t too fussed with breakfast and digestion time this morning but ended up having something very similar to previous training rides.

Departure: 11.10am

Distance: 60.43km

Time: 2:15.02

Average Speed: 26.8kph

Fluid: 900ml Mizone Isopower (Low Carb)

Food: 3/4 80g OSM bar

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17

Friday, August 27, 2010

Headed off for a shorted training ride along Tamaki Drive this morning but it ended up being a flop. My computer died on me – I have since fixed it; new batteries were needed – and the clouds gave way to full-on rain which didn’t stop. I think heading off at 7am is leaving it a bit late for a weekday ride as I hit some heavy traffic heading back towards town on Tamaki Dr. Mind you, traffic is worse when it’s wet so perhaps 7 isn’t too late. Early-morning weekday rides are best left for summer I think. Hopefully I can make it out this weekend for another 50km run.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Went out this morning and did the same route as last week. Weather was great, nice and sunny, apart from one shower that soaked me in St Heliers. I didn’t get as much sleep last night as I’d prefer; went out on Saturday night and did a bit of work on setting up the bike when I got home. Ended up going to bed around 2am. Not sure how much of an influence this had on my performance because I still felt refreshed when I woke up. A bit of alcohol last night probably didn’t do any good, though.

Pre-ride meal: Breakfast One

Digestion time: 1hr

Departure: 9.45am

Distance: 49.80km

Time: 1:51.39

Average Speed: 26.7kph

Fluid: 700ml Mizone Isopower (Low Carb)

Food: 1/2 80g OSM bar

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Today’s ride went well even though I got a flat 10kms into the ride. The rain held off but there was a bit of headwind at times. Was great to see plenty of other cyclists out today, too. This is the first of my serious training rides and hence it will help establish my benchmark fitness. I will repeat this same route two more times ensuring the variables are kept more or less constant (food, fluids, digestion time and so on). I will use the average from these three runs to come to a starting benchmark to which I can compare my progress.

Breakfast consisted of 1 cup rolled oats cooked with1/4 cup skim milk, water, and a pinch of salt. Oats was topped with 1 cup mixed berries and 1tbsp brown sugar. Fluids consisted of a glass of water and one instant coffee with milk and a spoon on brown sugar. I’ll call this Breakfast One.

Pre-ride meal: Breakfast One

Digestion time: 1hr

Departure: 9am

Distance: 50.67km

Time: 1:52.35

Average Speed: 27kph

Fluid: 750ml Mizone Isopower (Low Carb)

Food: 3/4 80g OSM bar

Bike: Masi Coltello with gearing of 48/17

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