Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lots happening, not much time to post but we are ready...

Last week just went so quick. I can hardly remember what I did, apart from working, doing a couple of rides on both sides of Clear Mountain, discovering new road where I found this house, a crit race and a terrific day with riders of the QSM Racing Team, checking the courses for this weekend's stage race (BotB).


I wrote we are ready because for the first time I am kind of reporting as part of the QSM Masters A Team. We have gone on a few rides together and have raced together a couple of times but now I am starting to see how well this team is going to fuse and perform as the season progresses.

The trip to the Tweed Valley was to try out the
Battle on the Border courses. There were ten QSM riders from different grades. It was evident that there is a competitive and fun atmosphere in the group and an aspiration to attain results as a team and to assist individuals achieve their personal goals. A good way to do things.

For this weekend, we might not pull off the big win but I am confident some of the guys are going to make an impact on the race.

Adam "the driver" Baker

Pre-ride chat at Stokers Siding

Clothiers Creek Hill

Darren Toyne, Mark Eltherington
and Craig Briant, Tweed Valley 

Week Sixteen: Peak (1)
Time: 14 h 20 min
Dist.: 392 km

Asc.: 3300 m

The good food and training

I often hear from people how hard it is to loose weight or keep the weight down and I ask myself how well they are monitoring what they eat, and drink. To me, that's one of the keys, not just to control weight but to stay healthy and recover well after training and racing. I also find important to include all types of nutrients and select the least processed foods available.

Eating well is a big part of my training regime and having chosen to follow a semi-vegetarian diet for the last 12 or 13 years, I have to be a little more creative and careful not to miss out in some of the nutrients we need to keep our muscles healthy. There are a lot of books on nutrition for athletes, I recommend reading a couple of those ( I search on cyberspace for information ) and experimenting with a few simple recipes.

From time to time, I will post here an easy to make, easy on the palate recipe for before, during or after training rides. This one is my Vegetable Frittata with
Pecorino for a light lunch or dinner:

Small Onion
Garlic, to taste
Olive oil, salt and pepper
4 Eggs (add a bit of water)
Carrots, Zucchine and Mushrooms
Pecorino Cheese

How: Chop onion and garlic finely and fry in olive oil; toss in chopped vegetables and chillies; add salt and pepper; cover with egg mix and let cook. Add grated Pecorino and place under the grill for a few minutes. Serve with salad and fresh bread.

Bon Appetit!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Holiday is over... time to get serious!

Yes, the holiday is over and Toby has returned home. He is back at school and I am back at work. I guess it is time for both of us to get serious...

For his last day in Brisbane, Sandra suggested a ride and brunch somewhere. We have done that before, along the Boondal Wetlands and Sandgate, but this time she wanted to take him on the bike paths in the city.

A nice way to end his stay with us.

He will get serious about his studies and I will get into some serious training as the Battle nears.

Week Fifteen (Recovery):
Time: 8 h 07 min
Dist.: 179 km

Friday, April 16, 2010

Racing, recovery week, holidays and Bunya Road

Race Day, Roadvale

- It is one of the hardest courses around... it's the U19 Championship course. You will be doing OK finishing it!

The first sentence didn't bother me that much, I have heard it a few times before. The second was something I normally don't like hearing but after the first lap on the course I learned why someone would say that. It was a hard course (the image above shows one lap of the course).

I managed to stay with the bunch for most of the race but spent the last 10 km nursing my legs which had cramped in various parts. With 5 km to go, we hit the so called "wall" for the third time and that was the last time I saw the bunch.

The wall is 550 m long at about 8%, part of a 1.6 km stretch averaging 4%. The bunch covered that mile in 4 min 20 sec (23+ km/h). It was hard work but I managed to finish!

Dist.: 95.5 km
Time: 2 h 46 min 21 sec
Asc.:  1345 m

I finished the week on Sunday with a team ride that took me up the Goat Track to Mt Nebo and back to the city for coffee and breakfast.

Lots of fun and a fast descent to The Gap, perfect for getting more accustomed to the bike. Coffee and breakfast was at the Garage, Southbank, where Sandra joined us.

Dist.: 72 km
Time: 2 h 35 min
Asc.: 1245 m

Week Fourteen (race):
Time: 9 h 40 min
Dist.: 260 km

Recovery week and holidays

I haven't done that much since and with school holidays happening at the moment, I decided to take it easy and spend some time with my visiting son, Toby. We don't see each other very often so when he is around, everything else needs to take second place.

This week, the only ride I did was on one of my favourite training loops, Clear Mountain-Bunya Road, again a fantastic ride. Here are a few photos of Clear Mountain...

... and Bunya Road.

Dist.: 63.5 km
Time: 2 h 30 min
Asc.: 1165 m

Next? More time with Toby and a hard build up for the Battle...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sometimes, things need to change... for the Battle on the Border

This week I almost hit that button. First, when I realised that the Battle on the Border is only three weeks away, and again, when I became fully aware that I am nowhere near the condition I would like to be to face an event like this one.

From what I have heard, this will be a tough event. With races like the Terrible Time Trial and the Epic Road Race, one can only imagine how much fun the organisers might have had when choosing the courses. In saying that, there have been a lot of requests from the local racing community for tougher, hillier races.

Looking at a couple of the profiles, I think we got them...

The Mooball Loop

The Epic Road Race Loop

But, as it is also about getting out there with friends and family and having lots of fun, the organisers, QSM Sports, have put together extra events that will give non-competitive cyclists a chance to get out on the road and be part of what might even become one of the major events in the Australian cycling calendar.

Let's spread the word!

This year, I was aiming for 5000 km of base training but only managed to do a little over 4000 km in 13 weeks, which doesn't sound too bad considering the days off the bike due to
injury, sickness or bad weather.

So, three weeks before the race and I am still doing base training! Not any more! The race at Mt Cotton and two good rides over the Easter holiday have shown that it is time to get some intensity training happening with the aim of getting the body ready for racing.

Riding on old training grounds, Clear Mountain and Bunya Road, is an effective way to determine my strengths and weaknesses before completing the crash training program, as I will call this next phase on the bike. It is also a good time to start preparing my mind by trying to visualise some of the situations I might come across during the races, the painful moments.

Clear Mt, Bunya Rd and Mailmans Track (1170 m)
...and rollers 

As a result, I am adding more intensity to my program, obviously, increasing the time on the bike only slightly and riding in areas which have similar profiles to the area I will be racing on in three weeks. So, hills, hills and hills. That sounds very simplistic and it is. That's an approach to training that has worked for me, I hope it does work this time again.

Time to get lots of rest, eat well and ride the bike.

Week Thirteen (Base):
Time: 12 h 12 min
Dist.: 333 km

Friday, April 2, 2010

It is Easter afterall...

Sometimes I get home from work and find myself really unmotivated to get on the bike. It is just easier to sit in front of the computer and check e-mails, surf the net or re-adjust the training program so I don't actually have to get on the bike.

Yesterday afternoon was a bit like that but I knew I had to get out so the first thing I did was to make some coffee - a strong coffee. I then borrowed Sandra's wheel, got the bike ready and got dressed. I turned the computer on and checked my e-mails. Next, I started surfing the net...

I went to the usual sites before starting a search for something that would motivate me to get on the bike. Normally, watching a couple of cycling videos does the job. I typed on the browser and then searched for gorilla commercial. Don't ask me why.

An old Cadbury chocolate commercial popped up at the top of the list. I clicked play and watched the video of the gorilla-dressed actor playing the drums. It was so well put together. I turned the volume up and watched again. It was brilliant, a not often found well produced and creative advertising piece. I watched it again.

That was, somehow, inspirational enough to get me going and on the bike. But how could I place the video of a gorilla playing drums on a cycling blog?

The best reason I could come up with was that it is Easter and the commercial was for a chocolate maker which is what we are supposed to give, receive and indulge on this weekend. So here it is:

And my 2.5 hour ride on Wynn Road, Clear Mountain, Bunya Road, Mailman's and Jinker Track was... well, heavenly.

Hope to see you out there, have a great weekend!!

Blogged Blog Directory