Sunday, December 28, 2008

Where does the time go?

So it's been like three weeks since my last blog. I've been focused on getting through the holiday season with as much fitness and sanity as I entered. One outta two ain't bad. My CTL on December 13 was 111 TSS and assuming I can stay on my bike all day Tuesday I should start the New Year at 113. That is about where I was at the end of April last year. My last build period ended on November 29 so I have been on this current plateau for almost a month. If all goes well I should reach 120 TSS on February 1.

I've mostly been on a diet of sub-threshold work with the weekly group ride thrown in. I'm riding comfortably on the River Ride and moving around the pack with ease, though I'm not strong enough to go with the breaks. But, all I need for that is a few weeks of focused V02 intervals and I should be right there. That is my favorite kind of speed work...6 x 3:00 by 3:00 at 400 watts on the tt-bike. Ahhhck, March seems so far away!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

just a taste

Funny, by the look of this pic you wouldn't believe it was 42 degrees out there. I am, however, getting acclimated to the cold. It looks like the storm door is open and we'll be getting some Alaskan chilly chill over the weekend into next week with snow as low as 500 feet. Guess I'll be flying low again this week.

Today I got a little taste of FTP with 3x6:00 cruise intervals at threshold. These intervals are long enough and hard enough to hint at the pain cave but not long enough for the heart rate to fully respond. But, had I extended to 10-12 minutes I surely would have got it up the extra ten beats per minute. The sensations were telling me that this is the pace I would have to hold if I wanted to survive a 40K time trial or a long sustained climb. Cold, calculated, deliberate.

Yesterday was standing starts in a big gear. I've got it down to being able to start at less than 3mph and am consistently cracking over 1000 watts. These hurt real deep and there is definitely lasting fatigue in the upper body as well as the legs the following day. The fun thing about doing these on a 40 pound commute bike is that you cannot swing the bike for fear of ripping the rack and panniers from the frame. Everything must be heading in a straight line, the shortest line to the finish. I've watched and studied several 100 meter track and field sprinters. Marion Jones was a genius at wasting as little motion as possible. When she was on you could see no side to side motion. A thing of beauty for sure. Too bad she succumbed to pressure and temptation and did the unthinkable.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holy Guacamole

It was 40 degrees and cloudy in Auburn this morning so I opted for a local workout rather than freeze on the descents and take a chance on finding some black ice. So I headed over to the old canal for some serious torture.

I did 5x10:00 at progressively higher watts. 235, 245, 257, 263, 272 The plan was to keep increasing until it got difficult and then look at the second to last interval for the next set of 2x20:00 Both intervals were identical, 266 watts each. Next was 35:00 at 246 And finally 40:00 at 224

I burned up 3000 kJ in four hours.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rex 54cm cross bike for sale

We built up this beauty for a recent show.
It's an Ultegra and Ritchey blend.
It's got a full carbon fork and seat stays.
Hit me up or stop by the shop for more info...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

recovery week

Not sure why, but I do not enjoy recovery weeks. One would think that after six weeks of near perfect training I should be able and willing to cruise easy and enjoy the time off while waiting for all the wonderful benefits of super-compensation to settle in. Well flibbity-floo, I'm doing it, but I don't like it. There is always this underlying anxiety about whether I've done too little, or I've done too much, or I lived too fast and too hard for too long and will never be able to compete at the national level. Then of course there is the lack of endogenous opioid polypeptide compounds floating round my system keeping me in that trashed state of contentment and well being. But it's still about five months until my first race of the year so I'm just trying to focus on staying healthy and not taking on more than I can handle. I got some cool projects going at work and hopefully we'll continue to stay busy while we wait for Steve to return.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

first six weeks base build in the books

96:51 hours
1550 miles
201 watts
5133 TSS
16.2 mph
7 bikes
53636 calories

My training stress ramp rate was about 4 points per week and judging by the way I felt this week that is about as much as I can safely handle at this point. It was 88.8 and ended at 113.5. I steadily built the long ride up to 7 hours and will continue on up to ten, but only adding on every other week. On the off weeks I'll do the five hour lake loop at my ultra-enduro race pace. Time for more on the bike strength work, speed skills, and sub-threshold intervals.

That pick of my dad and me is from 1968. Yeah, I've been riding bikes almost continuosly, in one form or another, for 40 years!

Monday, November 24, 2008

pump track mania

We went out to Clarksburg and rode on a pump track for three hours yesterday. I rode my twenty inch street bike and Terry's Santa Cruz Dirtjumper. I'm kinda partial to the street bike cuz if a manual goes bad it's easier to step off the back and let the bike go. It looks like it is totally a skills course but it is also a huge total body workout, especially if you do multiple laps. I rode so long that I bonked and had to find some sugar. Today I am feeling it big time. I was stiff and sore in new places and my legs pretty much burned all day. But, I've been having such a good time riding in the dirt that I climbed up Stage Coach on my Monday ride around the lake.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

River Ride

I must admit I was feeling kinda grumpy this morning cuz I'm getting tired of repeating Steve's story over and over all day every day and I'm really kinda pissed that a certain Jackass put him in the gutter with no where to go but down. So I went out and silently shut down every attempt at a breakaway by said Jackass. I never accelerated hard, just grooved it up slowly, pulling the sprinters back into the mix. When the breakaways disolved and the pace slowed I went straight to the front and kept it rolling. It's a good way to get a hard workout. I averaged over 300 watts for 25 minutes in each direction. I got shuffled to the back a couple of times while recovering but was never in danger of getting shelled. I pushed the pace going into the sprints and averaged over 30mph for one minute on the front of both sprints, driving it up to 35 before pulling off. My legs felt heavy but with the junior gears I'm never in danger of getting bogged. Yep, 35 mph at 118 rpm at 600 watts for over 300 meters...Friday night cat 3/4 races are gonna be fun heeheehee.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

another week in the books

So far, so good. Training is right on schedule. I did standing starts Wednesday morning and had a major breakthrough. All of a sudden I can crack 1000 watts in the 53x14 from 3mph, accelerating my 40 pound commuter to 28mph in ten seconds. Maybe there's a kilo in my future after all. Wednesday night I did a micro burst workout. 2x10:00 accelerating hard every thirty seconds. That's 40 seated sprints in 25 minutes. Ouch! Today I did 4x10:00 just below threshold and felt strong from start to finish. Time to turn the screw. I'm gonna go hard for one more week then shed some fatigue. I'm really looking forward to the Thanksgiving ride this year.

Monday, November 17, 2008


So the big race, the Davis 12/24, is May 2-3. The course is 168 miles and 8000 feet of the Davis Double route followed by an 18 mile flat loop around Winters. He or she who covers the most miles in 24 hours wins. He or she who rides 464 miles gets the course record. With this in mind I headed out for my long ride this morning and went around the lake from River Bend Park. This part of the ride is 90 miles with 3500 feet of climbing and includes two 20 minute climbs that I did at sub-threshold. After that I jumped right to the tt-bike and did 4x10:00 at 90% of threshold. Average speed was 23-24mph. This is a good start. If I get on the tt-bike after 10:00 hours (average speed 16.8) then average 21.2mph for 14 hours I will break the course record. Not much room for error but within my ability...if everything goes right. Luck be a lady.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Saturday we had a big field of about twenty including Jesse Mendonca, Rob Evans, Daniel Holloway, Scott Zwizansky, Michael Hernandez, Steve Pelaez, Michael Hutchinson, Billy Innes, Shelley Olds, Meg Guarnier, and others I don't yet know in a very fast couple of A races at Hellyer for the Ride the World Cup fundraiser for the Proman ladies Shelley Olds and Meg Guarnier. For the first 8 minutes of the points race we averaged 29.4mph. I barely hung by the skin on my teeth but I'll be ready for them fools next summer. I can feel it in my bones.

Today I met my buddy Andy down at the confluence and he taught me a thing or two about ripping downhill and floating over rocks. I get to practice bunnyhopping, endos and manualing before our next session. I'm excited about riding on the dirt again.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ardea herodias

Okay, so, slowly over the last two years I've become interested in the birds of the American River Parkway. This is a pic of one of my favorites, over by the Bog of Eternal Stench. I think it is a Great White Heron.

No biggie on the bike today...2:15/1200 kJ just riding along and practicing my ornithology. I'll go a little farther to the east tomorrow and see if we can't capture the Cathartes aura. They don't seem to come out in the full light though, unless they are scavenging some tasty carrion.


I am on a four day maintenance block of pure endurance. No intensity. I am slowly increasing the training load to accommodate more intensity than the last block without driving the stress balance to far negative. In simple terms I am riding more miles with less intensity this week and will ride the same miles next week with the intensity added back in. Sounds simple but at such a high training load it is tricky. The hard part for me personally is sticking to the plan. For example this morning when I got to the trail at Hazel I had almost convinced myself to repeat Monday's sweet spot intervals. Good thing the coach in me can finally override my idiot bike junky side. Can you say obsessive-compulsive? I think I've turned the corner. My obsession to win is driving my compulsion to do the right thing. Good thing I'm obsessed with winning a 24 hour race. Heeheehee. Watch out for the turkeys, they're a little nervous this time of year.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sweet Spot Training

It has begun. Twelve weeks of structured sub-threshold work. Today I included 4x10:00 at 245-260 watts. These are difficult intervals to complete because you really must concentrate to keep the pressure on. If you ease up the watts drop fast. If you go too hard you will have a hard time recovering and completing subsequent intervals and workouts. Anyway the first three were perfect, but I struggled on the fourth. There is immediate room for improvement. I like that. It's easy to pick the low hanging berries.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

badass referee

I am embarrassed to say I don't know this woman's name, but she works her ass off and is the most on-the-ball ref in our district. If we are gonna have track racing in Sactown then I wanna be like her. I guess I better get some new glasses and dammit I am terrible with a stopwatch. Oh well. I'll do my best.

Yesterday was a rippin River Ride. We had a bunch of ex-pros out driving it like the old days. There was Chris Bauman, Troy White, Mike Sayers, Chad Gerlach, and the usual cache of cantankerous Masters 1/2/3's and whippersnappers.

Today we did the usual hunt and gather then headed out to Disco Park for the Cap City Cross race. Our house guest Beth Welliver won the B race and our good buddy Sarah Maile layed the Sactown Smackdown on the A group.

Good times. Tomorrow is my weekly hammerfest around the lake and then downtown for the West Sac velodrome meeting.

Friday, November 7, 2008

snap, crackle, pop...And So It Begins

I cracked off a half dozen 1200 watt sprints on the way to work this morning. The legs feel great! The boss gave me keys and codes today...I guess I'll be making bikes for a while :-) How long has it been since Miss Mary split town to live near the velodrome in San Jose? I have to admit it was she who put the bug in my ear about how rad racing on the track is and that maybe I should give it a try. She turned me on to the subculture and encouraged me to lay the smackdown. And it was her that started me dreaming about getting a track built here in Sac. We have our first real meeting on Monday. The Mayor of West Sac is on board. Here we go!!!

shop class

I sure am enjoying work at the hippest shop in Norcal and can hardly wait to race on handmade bikes. I have a boss who truly appreciates what I bring to his business and he thanks me daily for the work I do. Today I got to play with steel and a chop saw and a big hammer.
Yesterday I did seated big gear stomps. 12x20 seconds in the 53x14 with complete recovery between efforts. Today I am still tired so I took it easy. The legs were burning and I was moving like a slug all day. I'll prolly do a few sprints on the way to work tomorrow.
Thursday quad measurement...58.8

Monday, November 3, 2008

bike drunk, Track License Upgrade!!!

There was no RiverRide Saturday, thanks to the rain (though I'm sure Wong and Blaise and two or three other crackheads were out there slurping road grime cuz they're too retarded to use fenders), so I took the opportunity to lift some weight, get on the stability ball, and ride the rollers...3 sets of 6x1 minute at high rpm. Fun, fun, fun! Yesterday was hunting and gathering at the Farmer's Market and only some minimal sprinting against Dilly on the BMX bike. Today was 90 miles in five hours, the last two in the rain. I burned up 3500 calories and am relegated to the couch for the evening. I've done 19 rides of three hours or more since my season ended July 27th. I haven't been this focused since the Winter of 2004-05. Oh yeah, I got my Cat 3 track upgrade in the mail today!!! That means no more sandbagging for points and now I can ride all the big events like AVC, Alpenrose Challenge, Masters States, etc. Good times.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Another Bill Walton sighting, this one by my brother in sin Logan Stonebraker. It is a shot from last week's Death Valley Double Century. Anyway, I got enough rest to crack off 2x30:00 sub-threshold with a hard acceleration every three minutes. Two keys here, enough rest to complete a hard workout and the secret to bike racing...the ability to accelerate over and over until no one is left. Nothing better than that final jump when you hear "there he goes" and no one comes around.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Quad Measurement

58.2 nuff said.
Today I was not recovered from yesterday's sprint workout so I just did my commute. We are looking at four days of rain (thank God, I'm tired of bald mountains and brown grass) so I'll be riding lots of sub-threshold sweet spot, with some hard seated accelerations to really work on strength. If the RiverRide is a wash then there will be hill sprints on Saturday till I puke. Something different, sounds like fun.

Neuromuscular Power

Last week I did seated starts in the 53x14 so this week I switched to the same workout in the 39x17. All efforts are about 20 seconds. Last week I topped out at 80-90rpm, this week 150-170. In both workouts the final 5 seconds are interminable. Both workouts are designed to get up to speed ASAP. The goal is to be able to comfortably match accelerations until the field fatigues and then attack off the front, or in the case of track enduro events, try to take a lap. I'm not a pure sprinter so I would prefer not to take my chances with bunch sprints.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


My faith in humanity has been restored and it is quite possible that hell is freezing over. Grumpy dressed like a hipster wannabe. Or is he trying to look like Michael Hernandez? Could go either way. Anyway, I'm recovering well from yesterday's jaunt around the lake. 90 miles in five hours. Somehow it doesn't seem so epic as it did in 2001. Next week I am gonna add an hour or two on the tt bike at the end to simulate the Davis 12/24 which I have talked myself into doing on May 2nd. So far I am four for four on Monday long rides, each a little farther than the last.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

ride around the lake, water-water please

Back in the winter of 2004-05 I did a ride around Folsom Lake every week through the entire winter. Rain or shine or sub-freezing temps I got out every Wednesday and ground it out. I had no idea what I was doing at the time but it did lay the foundation to a great spring. Now that I understand the laws of specificity and have an idea about what I want to do with my bike I am heading into the winter with the resolve to get back to that routine. The last three Mondays I did rides big enough to see how i would feel for the rest of the week and am totally ready to stick it tomorrow. Now if we can just get some snow so it will be a lake again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

standing starts and quad measurements

I commute on a forty pound bike with fenders, heavy tires, moustache bars, rack and panniers. One of my favorite workouts is doing standing starts in the 53x14. It's actually a barely rolling start from about 3-5mph. The trick I am learning out of necessity as to not rip the bike apart is to do these without swinging the bike. All of the torque has to go straight into the pedals. It takes 20-30 seconds to get up to 24-26 mph and a cadence of around 90rpm and is a total body workout. I prefer these to the standard SFR (slow frequency revolutions) because you have to use quite a bit more force. This exercise is much more like weight lifting because the loads are so much heavier and the reps far fewer and I don't need to find a 3-5% hill that lasts five minutes. There are no weight lifting programs that I know of that advocate doing 250 reps per set. You get the super compensation by doing 1-20 reps to failure. Oh ya, it's Thursday and that means quad measurements...57.3. I'm gonna grow bigger quads than Beth, I think that's a reasonable winter goal. Tomorrow I'm starting the process of getting fitted for my race bikes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

finding my groove

It's been over five months since I got the rug pulled out from beneath me and I am finally getting my confidence back. Life stress is not good for peak performance, especially if it comes during a high training and racing stress period. For great gains to be made you gotta get in a groove and knock back the training blocks without really thinking about it. You get your routines set and kinda go on autopilot. Then when you are on the bike or in the gym you can give your undivided attention to 100% effort. Yesterday I did a five hour ride with some sprint work at the end. I was able to crack off >1000 watts 17 times all the while taking Katie to the next level. That said I'm super motivated to have my best winter yet, enjoying coaching more than ever, and looking forward to an awesome 2009.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

my head is swimming

20-30 hours of presentations including: Altitude Training, Science of Peaking and Tapering, Training for Track, Cycling Injuries, Cycling Science, Preventing Doping, Coaching Juniors, Goal Setting, Training Myths, Eating Disorders, Core and Strength Training, and enough suggested reading to last a year.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


It's great to see Chris Horner riding well again after recovering from broken ribs and a pinched disc following his crash in Cataluyna. He placed 7th in today's Giro di Lombardia (his Astana teammate Janez Brajkovic placed 2nd) and was, as is his style, super aggressive in the finale. This photo was taken by Graham Watson of VeloNews.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Taylor Phinney

Today was a good day. All three presenters were totally engaging. We studied overuse injuries, goal setting, and Taylor Phinney's amazing rise to a world class athlete and American Cycling's great hope. That kid is fucking amazing. He will quite possibly be the greatest American cyclist ever. No offense to those other two ego freaks, well maybe a little offense, but that kid appears to have it all. And he seems charming and humble to boot. I guess winning big races is de rigueur when you grow up in a family like that. And his 14 year old sister is apparently a badass cross country skier that may just find her way to the bike as well. The number one rule of sport is pick your parents well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yawn...USADA yada yada

I was planning on sleeping in tomorrow and skipping the USADA presentation but they ambushed us with a schedule change and I had to sit through it today. Oh well, tomorrow morning is a lecture on cycling injuries so I will not be sleeping in after all. Anyway my dorm mates are really cool and the Tylenol PM is working wonders. Off to Phantom Canyon for the big banquet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All You Can Eat Salad Bar

The presenters are great, the weather is awesome, the networking is going well, but the all you can eat salad bar at every meal is priceless. All of the entrees have a carb, fat, and protein profile listed and have I mentioned the 24 hour access to the hot chocolate machine? Hee hee. What a way to start the off season. No stress, no mess, just hanging out and talking bikes. Today we talked about altitude training and strategies for peaking and tapering. Lots of good info, but as usual, the common theme is that every athlete is an experiment of one. What works for rider A could spell disaster for rider B. That gives me confidence that my artistic sense, ability to see the big picture, and empathetic nature will eventually set me apart. Off to dinner and a ball game, life is good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can't Breath...Waiting for the Nose Bleeds

I landed safely in Colorado Springs. The crispy fall weather is refreshing but every time I go up the stairs I am reminded why I like living at sea level. Yesterday's workout is having lingering effects. I've been trying to find a way to describe that on the edge of sickness feeling I get when I over reach. I say I feel torched or crispy and some ultra riders don't get it. They think about a bonky hunger knock, but this is different. It's the feeling I get when a cold is coming on. A bit achy, a bit spacey, hungry all day, and kinda hot. Maybe I should start taking my temperature before and after as well as my heart rate. Hmmm? I'll get right on that, but first, more hot chocolate!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fiyo on the Biyo

2x20 sub LT sweet spot
30 minutes tempo
6x3 VO2 max

Four and a half hours generally riding in the enduro/tempo pace and having fun getting in the time. Yeah right, I'm torched. It seems the top riders are working harder than I imagined.

Thanks Hunter, it's gonna be a productive winter.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm Back

It's been eleven weeks since my last race and I'm finally ready to get back to work. I'm dreaming of a 2009 season with no major life changes. I want to wrench, race, coach, and spend quality time with my loved ones. I want the hardest decisions to be what play lists to pick for my long rides and what aero-bars to put on my pursuit bike. I ain't saying I expect the wind to be always at my back, a lucky break or two will do just fine. So far I'm thinking I should race all of the district championship events on the track and on the road. I really really really want to complete the entire Cal Cup Series. I wanna kick ass for March Madness and Bike Commute Month in May. April is all about a sweet vacation, Copperopolis and the Madera Stage Race. On my wish list is the Davis 12/24, the Davis Double, and the Terrible Two. Hopefully I'll figure out how to do it all on Rex Bikes.