Monday, August 30, 2010

Sabie Ex Training Week 1 of 16

Day 1 - Monday - 30 Aug 2010
Kobie called on Sunday evening and informed me that his Monday will be unpredictable, and he will ride sometime during the day. It is also my son's birthday so Ilette planned an evening out with the family, so I planned to get away at 15h00 and ride for about 2.5 to 3 hours in Zone 1 & 2. This is called Base Training.
In the end I rode 40km at a good pace. Did a route that I used to test myself on. I am seriously unfit...

Date            Dist             Time            Avg HR
18 Sep 08    18.6km       0h52min      127          (Day before I was diagnosed with cancer)
30 Aug 10    18.7km       1h18min      123

I will revisit this route from time to time and test myself and the progress.

The plan for tomorrow is to do some zone 3 intervals along the railway line.

Day 2 - Tuesday 31 Aug 2010
Met Kobie at the railwayline service road and we did 2 intervals of 19 minutes each in zone 3. Rode a total of 30km at an average speed of 19.5km/h. This week is very mild and is really just the beginning. The real hard stuff is awaiting us.

Tomorrow morning we will ride a leisurely ride with the Housewife Tittevators. I hope they don't bully me to much. We are going to rido over "klipkoppie" (rock hill) and that normally opens up a few blocked ports in the resparotary system...

Day 3 - Wednesday 1 Sep 2010
Spring! I thought it was a touch chili at 07h00 when we started, but the chill lasted about 3 minutes. Had a lovely ride of 40km with the housewifes and Kobie and tried to keep the heart rate really low. Although, klipkoppie managed to push me into the red and I maxed at about 155bpm. Well into zone 5! Tomorrow we will take a rest day and Friday we will do an easy ride into Buffelsdrift. Up Okkie's road we will try and do a MAX HR test. Just to establish some benchmarks...

Day 4 - Thursday 2 Sep 2010
Rest... As important as the training.

Day 5 - Friday 3 Sep 2010
Kobie and I did a MAX Heart Rate Test up Okkie's. We really pushed hard and his Max came tot 182bpm and mine at an amazing 168bpm. Why amazing? I have not seen a max under any conditions higher that 164 on a bike. Interesting. So now we have our newly calculated target training zones and from week 2 we can get down to serious business.

Day 6 - Saturday 4 Sep 2010
The two of us did a LSD (Long Slow Distance) ride of 82km in just under 5 hrs. I was tired afterwards, but felt better than I did after me and Ilette rode a 40km ride a few weeks back. So it seem that the training is starting to work.

Day 7 - Sunday 5 Sep 2010
Rest... The luxury of resting on a weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by me. Spent the day with Ilette just driving around and following our noses. Sundays will normally be used to do a Back to Back tough ride and prepare the body for multi day adventures.

Week 2

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Short term goal

I am glad to be back on the bike and although the ankle is still stiff it is getting better by the day. So I thought of just focusing on the BIG RIDE of May 20111 - Beit Bridge to Wellington - but got asked/bullied into riding the Sabie Experience with a friend of mine.

I have ridden 3 Sabie Experiences, but Kobie is a rookie and want me to "guide" him through the do's and dont's. Kobie is living nearby and went on tour with us in February 2010. He is much fitter than me at this stage so the next 16 weeks will be hard work to try and get into shape for this.

Doing a fourth SE means that I might have to come back next year and join the club of 5 completed Sabie Experiences...

Family Time

The Pajero and Mountain Bike near Kosi Bay
The beautiful seed of the local Cycad
Friday night's Kampvuur
Elephant in the road...
Plenty Njala
Quenching a big thirst
So my mother just turned 70 and we took her to Kosi Bay. We were a big crowd of 15 people and went camping at Banga Nek or something to that effect. Quite a long drive there but everybody arrived and we had a lekker kampvuur on Friday night.

Saturday we left early for Tembe Elephant Park and eventually we found the Elephants. Saw quite a lot of game, even a crocodile.

Birthday girl left and her sister (Ina and Ria)
Mum deflating Swarrie's Pajero's wheels for the sand

Sunday I got up early and with deflated tires I did some serious sand training. Went well actually and I even got to ride on the beach into a 25k/h headwind. I had to put serious effort in to keep a speed of 10k/h going. And then I turned around... Hammered it back to the entry point and rode some more sandy roads. (I must say the Pajero is much more suited to the thick sand than the Merida, but I coped. Wide tires, low preassure...)

We packed and took the very scenic road back to Empangeni for another gastronomical feast.

Monday morning we left early and dropped my sister's daughter in Vryheid at her school and headed back to Pretoria. Certainly did not do as much mountain bike training as I wanted to, but what a very enjoyable weekend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On heart rate and zones and formulas

The basic formula for guessing your max heart rate or MHR is the 220 - age. From personal experience I can vouch that this is normally wrong. My absolute max has been, since I started measuring it, around 163. This will make me 56 according to the "formula" and I was 46 when I first measured. My friend and Epic partner Kevin can reach around 180. He is a year older than me.

The best is (maybe not the most scientific) to test your max by finding a nice uphill and after warming up just open the taps and get someone to chase you. When your lungs explode and your legs fall off and you push just a little harder still, you have maybe reached your max.

Now determine your resting Heart rate or RHR. This can vary with fitness level. Mine is currently 48 but has been as low as 38.

A nice formula to calculate training zones is then (MHR - RHR) x % + RHR. Replace the % sign with 50, 60, 70, 80, 90.

My zones then is
1 = 50-60%    106-117
2 = 60-70%    117-129
3 = 70-80%    129-140
4 = 80-90%    140-152
5 = 90-100%  152-163

Now this can become very complicated if you want to start adding names to each zone and times per week training in each zone, and for that POLAR has done some work in developing a spreadsheet that one can use to plan your weeks. It used to be on their website, but has since been replaced by sophisticated (read expensive) software. I like to use it purely as a guide and to force some discipline into my training. I am sure there are better programs, but they come at a price.

The bulk of your training should be Base and that is riding in zone 1 and 2. Zone 5 is to difficult for me to train in, so I normally don't...

So maybe now it will make a bit of sense if I report my weekly progress through my getting fit again campain (pun intended). Feel free to add your comments, that way I can learn more and train better, get fitter quicker and ride faster...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Training Programme - Week 1 of 12

So week 1 of a 12 week training programme is behind me and it felt good to be back on the bike. I am roughly following a 12 week training programme devised by the Polar (heart rate minitor) guys and it is a good motivator to have a programme of sorts to adhere to.

Monday was spent driving back from Swaziland and after a rather physical weekend Tuesday was spent getting hammered by the physio, resting and trying to get the leg back to an acceptable thickness. Little sleep and lots of "core training" during the Swazi Xtreme did not do the leg to much good.

So on Wednesday morning I rode with the local "housewife group" and was severely bullied. Made me feel like an old man, these housewifes. But I survived and enjoyed.

Thursday it was me and the controled environment of the spinning bike and some tough intervals.

Friday did not work out well training wise and I spent the late afternoon and evening running a few errants and deliveries with my wife and then the evening became very enjoyable. Saw a few old friends at the squash corts. Glad I did.

Saturday morning I eventually got Ilette out of bed and on her bike and we did a "long slow ride" but was very tired after that and realised how much endurance I need to get back.

Sunday morning I did some more intervals along the railway line service road and came up about an hout short of the target for the week.

The garmin training centre files are as follow:

Just riding (Zone 1 & 2) and working in some zone 3 intervals

8 x 2min zone 4 intervals

Riding (Base training zone 1 & 2)

6 x 2min zone 4 intervals

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Swazi Xtreme

What did you do this long weekend?

I got a last minute chance to second at the 10th Swazi Xtreme Adventure race. Very interesting. Quite different from the stuff I do. Very Xtreme. They run, canoe, mountain bike, absail, jump into rock pools, run some more, ride some more... And all of this while they have to find hidden checkpoints in the middle of nowhere. There are no predetermined track or road, they can go where they want, as long as they find the checkpoints.

Seconding for the team was just about as hard as doing the race. They arrive by canoe and 5 minutes later they are fed, rehydrated, refilled, changed into cyclists, and on their way. Then we pack the boats and the camp and charge to be at the next transition point before them, get their running gear ready, food and water ready... and so on through the day (and sometimes into the night).
Camp ready for a bike to canoe swap
Wet running shoes drying in the sun
The team finishing a canoe leg and
setting off on foot to find the next checkpoint
Shane Raw preparing his famous
ham and cheese rolls for a hungry team
Camp ready for a snappy bike transition
And the winning team with their trophies.
Shane, James, Brady (Shane's son), Gordon, Jaco, Deon
and the pocket rocket Hillary

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Training programme

The first solid hour of spinning is behind me and it felt GOOD... Can't wait to get on the bike. The idea was to keep in zone 1&2 and play around with high and low cadence.

I plan to train for about 9 hours this week and see how it goes. Most will be on the spinning bike, but I might do a short ride with the "house wife" group tomorrow morning. Mmm... that makes me think. I must go and see if there is a bike with air in the wheels to ride.

Tonight I am talking at the Exploration Society about the trips that I have done. Will focus on the trip around Lesotho in March and will touch on the Freedom challenge and the Beit2Cape trip.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time to train

So it is August and it is time to start a light training programme. The polar 12 week program will be my weapon of choice for the next 3 months. Last week I put in 2 light sessions on the spinning bike, and for the next couple of days it will still be spinning bike. Maybe over the weekend I will ride a LSD (Long Slow Distance) on easy gravel and see how the ankle feel.

Watch this space...