Training For Volunteer Park
I’m a MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra) training for a big local bike race, the Volunteer Park Criterium. I’ve been documenting my ups and downs on the road to this hard-and-fast summer race.
Here are a few notes on what is working for me this year.
Strength. Build quads and hamstrings Hill grinders are the way to do this on the bike – you slowly push & pull a big gear up a hill to build strength. Normally a cyclist is most efficient at 90 RPM, but for this you might do 50 RPM in a gear that feels big. The goal is to turn a cardiovascular exercise into strength training.
Intervals. Based on power zones, timed interval training builds your aerobic and anaerobic capacity with discrete blocks of time at a specific resistance. The only way for me to do these efficiently is on my smart trainer. Living in the city, you can’t control traffic and stop lights enough to plan out stretches of road on which to get the intervals done. Also, a smart trainer can measure your watts and adjust resistance to keep you in the zone. So, you don’t necessarily need an expensive power meter on your bike.
Active Recovery. I’ve been ramping up in racing for the last 5 years. I’ve had very limited success. This time, trying to specifically address my weaknesses – I’ve finally come to understand the difference between “riding fast for fun” and actually training. In order to get in enough volume, you have to do easy rides on the in between days. Typically in years past, I would’ve taken a day off after every hard work out – but now I’m trying to squeeze more in with easier but not complete rest days.
When I got into the flow of training, the first part of the month of May was absolutely fantastic. This last video includes travel and track racing.
After that, it got a bit dark – with my accomplishment at Enumclaw leading to bad stomach issues. Stay tuned for the epic conclusion :-).