2011 review

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,598
1,277
133
Niigata
#1
Without being able to train recently, I have a void that has been filled with lager drinking and reading the Fausto Coppi biography (excellent by the way). Tonight I decided to review my year on the bike 2011....

Posted on my blog with pictures.

I'd be interested to read of others cycling experiences this year...

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time

copied text:



I took the time today to reflect on what has been a fun-filled cycling season.

Off season

In the winter I did my usual mix of indoor training and weights. I tried rollers for the first time too. What a revelation they were. I’ll never go back to a stationary trainer!
Before the snow came, I enjoyed hiking up Mt. Yoneyama and Mt. Hachikoku with Luke on my back.

I also tried snow shoeing for the first time. How great it was to get up my favorite climbs covered in 5 metres of snow!

Base training


Heavy snows last winter made it hard to get much outdoor riding in. The season started later than usual and it was a good while before my favorite climbs opened up. Still it felt great to be out on the bike again.

Spring racing

By the time the Tour of Kusatsu came round in April, I had very little climbing in my legs. I failed to make the podium for the first time which although disappointing, wasn’t too much of a surprise. I couldn’t seem to get going quickly enough. Later in the race I managed to catch and pass a few decent riders which was some reward.

I had a month to prepare for this year’s (every year’s!) main objective, Tokyo~Itoigawa. I don’t have much chance to do the big rides that many do in preparation for this. Just one go at the じょんのび 200 km course. I was happy to break last year’s record for this course, which gave me confidence going into the race. The race itself was unusual as I was in a group from the start. I had to keep an eye on a few guys and control the race a bit. Once I broke free on Fujimi Pass, it was a solo TT to the finish and win number 4….

Next up Tsugaike. Disappointed to see the race + TT format had gone. No chance to ride with the big guns. A solid if not spectacular ride found me on the podium in my class.

Uchinada was one of the highlights of the year for me. The TTT didn’t quite go as planned. I’d like to have another go at this next year. I was surprised I felt so good in the road race. In the action from the start. An attack with 2km to go didn’t work but I had no regrets about having a go.


Just 3 weeks later at Norikura, I seemed to have lost this form. Tired on the bike. In need of a rest. I’d had good performances in this race twice before. Just couldn’t get going this time….

Summer break


The plan for this year was two peaks, one in May, a long summer holiday, and another peak in the autumn. This year we spent longer than usual in the UK. A full month off the road bike. I kept basic fitness by running and mountain biking, which I really enjoyed.

New desire.

I came back to Japan fresh, with new motivation and a new bike. Enosan set me up on the new bike using “Bike fit”. A big change in position with a shorter reach and a higher saddle height. The new bike / position combination felt good.

Just two weeks later and I was on the start line for September’s Tokamachi HC. A short course, not too steep, quite suited to me. I was happy with my performance. Murayama san showed his class at the end with a turn in speed. 3rd in the Champion’s class.
The second of these races was the Kitakata HC. Another short one. 3rd again in the Champions’ class.


Next up, the second highlight of the season, 3 back to back road races. At Gunma CSC, I was like a mad man in a solo break and kept it going in a small breakaway group. I ran out of juice in the end but was happy with my riding.

The Japan Cup is a challenge just to finish. Just like last year I ended up in the second group on the road. The lead group slipping away… Still a decent level of racing and I enjoyed the thrill of it all.

The season’s closer, the Kanto Road Race, this year in Niigata. I rode an aggressive race. Should have made the break but anyone can say “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” so I’ll just be happy that I rode on the front from start to finish.

A fun filled racing reason for sure. Winning Tokyo~Itoigawa was the highlight but to come back strong this autumn was satisfying too.

Really looking forward to 2012.

I WILL BREAK 8h 30 FOR Tokyo~Itoigawa!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#2
Andy,

It's interesting to see what you consider a break from the bike. Although in the UK you were mountain biking. Looking at all the injuries of late here on the TCC i've noticed one common link between yourself, Ludwig and Tom and that is you don't really take "Any" time away from cycling to allow the body to recover and even when you do you are still training by agressively " snow shoeing" etc, etc.

One thing you should try is taking a true break from training. I take at least 4-6 weeks complete rest. This means absolutely no training of any form, no running, swimming, weights, nothing.

It totally allows my body to recover completely. Then once this rest period is over I slowly work my way back in to training with LSD and weights.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,598
1,277
133
Niigata
#3
James,

Good point. Bad use of wording by me. I didn’t mean a rest in the summer. Just backing off really. I wanted to peak twice this year. Peaking once is relatively easy. Twice more difficult. I backed off, rebuilt and tried to come back strong in the autumn. I tried this last year (when I met you at Gunma CSC) but didn’t quite pull it off. This time I came back much stronger.

With regards to winter. Yes, rest is necessary. Everyone is different. Not sure the amount you suggest is good for me. Two weeks on the beach each Christmas has been good to me. Maybe I should try another week!?

In winter, I just try to keep basic fitness. Intensity with something like snowshoeing is very low. All aerobic, relatively low impact when compared to running. My biking is limited to the trainer. Higher intensity but lower volume (45 mins, 3 times a week). So I don't think I fall into the bracket of a rider that just rides all year. My training plan is well thought out, tweaked each year, certainly not set in stone.

As for my current injury, it’s not a foregone conclusion that it’s related to cycling. To be honest a sports related injury would be the best outcome. Certainly if that is the case, I’ll be looking to redefine my training plan so that nothing like this happens again.

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#4
Andy.... the Pro's take about that amount of time off the bike and its what pretty much every professional coach also recommends.

The amount of stress that cyclists put on their bodies is unlike any other sport and if you have been doing this year in and year out for X amount of years it will take a huge toll on your body what you might perceive as working for "you" might not actually be working at all.

I'm lucky to have come from a cycling family, had professional coaches running a local club in the UK and then being taken in by LeMond Master Coaches and then finally with Patrick from ePerformance where full rest and recovery periods were drilled in to me and monitored, but I also learnt the hard way to listen to the advice and training given.

Really hope that you make a full recovery mate as the Japanese racing scene just wouldn't be the same without you!
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,598
1,277
133
Niigata
#5
James,

Ever read "The cyclist training bible"? In your yearly plan, you have to put in your 3 goals for the year. Goal no.3? Help James win the S-class!

Maybe we could both swear to take 6 weeks off at the exact same time. Kind of like a "gaman taikai". The first to be seen on his bike is the loser and has to pay a predetermined penalty (eg. to ride naked around the streets of Yokohama)...

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#6
Actually Andy, me and Mike Sly did the exact thing.... we both gave each other moral support durring the off season to stay away from the bikes. Mike will verify first hand the difference it had on me when we came back to riding. Especailly my climbing and my average watts.

Yes I own and use the "Bible" however due to the STUPID Japanese racing season that seems to spread itself from here to hell and back I actually went for a training plan that peaked for "Tour Du Japan" Races and then the Tour of Cameroon. So in 1 year I peaked 5 times.

It worked perfectly as I podium finished in every TDJ event bar Saiko....well techinically I did podium as I came third in the series. I also did very well in races that fell either side of these peak times such as the ETI Ministers Cup Race and so on.

My 6 weeks will start officially December 12th with the last stage in China and I will start training in the 3rd week of Jan and following the "Bible" religuosly for off season and start of season training. Then I will be using my tried and tested formula for peaking for JCRC/TDJ and other Cat. 1 races.
 

Wolfman

Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
631
18
38
Suginamiku
#7
The year started ambitiously for me. I was cycling out to Kazahari rindo from Tokyo for a few weekends in January and February. Loved the early starts and the challenge of riding in the cold, dark weekend mornings.

I had a lot of ambitions for the Mount Fuji hill climb and did a lot of miles on the trainer. I really enjoyed this and could really see the benefits of it.

Then the earthquake happened, then my wife became pregnant, then the volume of work just exploded.

All in all, since July I haven't been out on the road at all, but have continued to do work outs on the trainer. Not sure when I'll ride on the road next - and it will probably be only on closed rindos.

Probably done just over 2500km this year. Not much really, but there was some quality in there.
 

dgl2

Maximum Pace
Nov 3, 2007
284
48
48
Tokyo - Minato-ku
#8
2011 in review

Well, cannot compare with the serious racers on this thread, but I'm very happy with at least accomplishing most of my cycling goals for the year, despite the 3/11 events

As set on a thread last Nov/Dec, ( https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=2271 ) the goals and degree of accomplishment were:

1. Schwalbe TOUR Transalp, at a weight of 90-92 kg, instead of 97 kg as in 2009 -- Rode it, found it much easier in 2011 than 2009; and was at a weight of 93-94 kgs, not quite as low as I had wanted.

2. Etape du Tour (both stages) and/or Paris-Brest-Paris -- did all this, with a pretty good result in the Central Massif Issoire-St. Flour stage; ... but crashed out of PBP after 1040 km, so I will need to go back and try again in 2015!

3. Tokyo-Itoigawa faster than in 2008 -- done, by 20 minutes, but still was just over 12 hours, not taking the overpasses through Kofu.

4. Stay in JCRC "C" class, race Saiko plus one more JCRC event. Did Saiko and stayed in "C" class, but too busy and too late to sign up for Gunma, the other one I had wanted to try.

Plus lots of fun riding with good friends and to interesting places. And no injuries or ailments (so far, knock on wood, etc., etc., unless you count the general punishment and prolonged recovery from PBP). Hard to ask for more than that.

2012? Hmmm.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,149
50
68
Kochi
#9
Andy.... the Pro's take about that amount of time off the bike and its what pretty much every professional coach also recommends.

The amount of stress that cyclists put on their bodies is unlike any other sport and if you have been doing this year in and year out for X amount of years it will take a huge toll on your body what you might perceive as working for "you" might not actually be working at all.
FarEast, remember that for the Pro`s a lot of the rest is for mental fatigue as well as physical fatigue. Plus, what they are riding is a lot different to the rest of us - 4-6 hours a day for 3 weeks etc. Basic rule is, train as appropriate and rest as appropriate. Agreed that in general (pure speculation of course), too many don`t rest enough. For me, I discovered early on, that I had to balance carefully what I did, because with all the commuting added on, I could easily hit the over-trained mark. But apart from the odd half-week easy (after a very long ride [for me]) and 2 next to nothing weeks when I felt fatigue was creeping up on me, I have just been putting in the hours, week in, week out. The thing with resting for a long time, is that you will start to de-train, and then the first month/two months back is spent getting back to where you were before the break which seems kinda pointless. Not aware that long rest periods are so common these days. I think one thing Lance changed when he got older was to stop taking a long break during the winter, as it was counter-productive (but my memory might be wrong on that).
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#10
David, congrats again on a very strong year. Just reading the listing of your endurance rides makes my back hurt!

Speaking of which, the operation in Germany had quite some success and the pain is now much less (even though the initial prediction was for more pain post op). Now I hope the pain will eventually disappear. It will still be a long road to getting back onto the bike though. I still need to write up some time what was actually done to me.

James, in my case I don't think it was a matter of lack of rest during the season. It is true, I had never rested for more than seven days or so between rides. That's because I was afraid of losing my form, and unlike you not being able to get back so quickly, but also because I really enjoy at least one long ride a week.

The doctors deny that there is a clear causal relationship between my cycling and my back issues. I for one do believe there is a relationship and what is at fault is not the lack of rest between rides, but rather the toughness of each individual ride. When I get back onto the bike, I will need to restrain myself to cycle shorter distances in a day, and try to do more than one ride per week instead (which is not so easy with work and not living at the edge of the mountains).
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#11
Some interesting stories here and a nice topic to start Andy! I wish you and Ludwig a speedy recovery.

As James wrote he and I follow (followed for me) the Cycling Bible to the letter and it worked very well. Especially with the off season weight training program. I included running also in hope of strengthening my bones after all the weight supported cycling I did in 2010.

As for me this year I started off well with a really good base but due to the earthquake and some personal reasons wasn't able to ride for about a month, lost my motivation and didn't race at all.

But through it all I found a new passion, weight lifting at the gym! Now I'm hitting the gym 5-6 days /week and loving it, getting bigger and it's been cool to watch my once puny cycling bod mold itself into a fortress of steel:D I have a training buddy who's massive and has taught me a lot and pushes me through most sessions..

So next time we ride together I'll be the one huffing and puffing my way over the climbs, but please don't forget to comment on my massive biceps or I'll push you off your bike:p
 

dgl2

Maximum Pace
Nov 3, 2007
284
48
48
Tokyo - Minato-ku
#14
... the operation in Germany had quite some success and the pain is now much less (even though the initial prediction was for more pain post op). Now I hope the pain will eventually disappear. It will still be a long road to getting back onto the bike though. ...
Ludwig -- that is great news. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
 
Jul 13, 2010
279
6
38
Shinjuku
#18
Looks like my total mileage will end up around 6500km's for 2011.

The year started well and I was making good progress during last winter. I started to ride my road bike in September 2010.

Went to Sweden for a week in early March but ended up staying nearly a month due to the earthquake and related extra work it brought along in my business. Tried to stay fit by doing weights and cardio in the gym but pulled a muscle in my back doing deadlifts.

Back in Japan in April and I managed to ride more than 700km's that month. started to feel good again.
A lot of travelling again in May and a traffic incident that left me with a crack in my right wrist kept me of the bike again. No riding at all in June due to the injury and a vacation in Europe.

Spent July and August in Sweden for business. I promptly bought a Caad10 to ride there during my stay.
Great weather and a 90km commute helped me to ride about 2000km's duing these 2 months. I made sure to go out every weekend for a 150k + ride.
I felt Like I was hitting another level in my riding and fitness.

Back in Japan in October and the hills felt shorter and less steep. Stepped on the scale and noticed that I gained some weight even though my body was smaller. A nice confirmation of gained muscle mass.

November was again a lost month from business travels....no excercise at all in fact.
In December I have been trying to get back to Where I was in October but I have been fighting a cold that has kept me from doing high intensity workouts.

Not a bad year I guess...really looking forward to 2012.

I have also managed to recruit 2 of my best motorcycle riding buddies into the world of cycling during 2011.

/Andreas
 
#19
In retrospect

2011 was a pretty good cycling year for me with plenty of smaller and bigger “ups and downs” both literally and figuratively.

In a figurative way, there were 3 major downs: seeing my old VLAAMS asaren (V練) team disband immediately following the March 11 disaster, losing my great training buddy and daredevil adventurer Ludwig von Rindomeister (a.k.a. Manfred von Holstein, his real name:cool:) due to a serious but not life-threatening lower back problem* and myself suffering from a cycling-induced medial collateral ligament (MCL) ailment since early autumn.

In terms of literal “ups,” I was very fortunate to scale new heights (Crystal and Venus lines, Hikarigahara-kogen and many more ridges) and crest new toges (Nomugi, Suzuran, Sakai, Mugikusa, etc.) thanks to Ludwig’s superb planning and guiding skills. Particularly memorable were our multi-day mid-summer exploits such as the two-day Karuizawa-Hakuba-Ueda adventure which Ludwig had purposely mapped out with meandering detours to make sure we would climb every single mountain pass and ride on every single rindo en route to our final destination…sometimes that meant cycling on gravel and muddy forest roads in the middle of the wilderness for extended lengths! As a “dream combi,” Ludwig and I easily managed to keep a great “fast & steady” pace on each of these adventures. On a typical “toge-goe” 峠越えride, I was able to get my breathing back under control while waiting at the top (WATT) while Ludwig was able to do some back stretching (quite a bit!:warau:) while patiently waiting for me to reach the bottom.

My only “race” this year - the classic TOITO - went fine, finishing 5th in age group (11th overall) in under 10 hours (9:45) more than one hour slower than Andy W. of Niigata. I enjoyed riding with (mostly behind;)) Andy and his teammate during the first one-and-half laps of the ride. Andy will be aiming to finish under 8:30 next year! Not sure yet if I will be participating again next year now that my VLAAMS team has disbanded. If I can find a team willing to take me on board, I would like to finish under 9:30 and 1st in age group (yeah…moving up to “50+” !!)

In terms of total distance covered (not necessarily an indication of athletic prowess - plenty of junk miles !!:(), I have been doing better than last year’s 15,270km and am projected to reach around 16,200km by year-end. The 18,000km target set at the beginning of this year turned out to be an elusive one after I began underperforming due to a knee problem (torn/overstretched MCL in left knee about to become chronic) from mid-September on. I think I have by now completely recuperated from this ailment and intend to focus on LSD training this winter using my kotei as well to regain stamina and build up muscle strength.

Looking forward to another year of happy and accident-free cycling also with my TCC buddies!
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#20
Started the year off hoping to work back into form I last had in late 2009, just before my crash and then family addition... Signed up again with my local club and was aiming to join their Niigata ride in the fall, and also (finally!) complete a 300km brevet.

Then the tsunami hit, and not long afterwards I was off for four months to LA for a work project. Terrible timing all round, and a stressful stretch of work, but it somewhat surprisingly it turned out to be the cycling highlight of the year. Got to ride in completely new terrain and on different kinds of roads, and explored east, west and south of the San Fernando valley. Did more climbing there than I ever have (including a few trips up to Mt. Wilson, about 40 km+ of climbing out of the valley) and, probably best of all, saw two stages of the Tour of California.

Back in Japan in the fall I managed to get in a few TCC rides, which were fantastic, but now life is busy all over again so it will be a quiet 2012 for the bike. My very modest goals in the upcoming year are to try and attend as many of the morning training rides with my club here and again shoot to join the Niigata run. Would like to do some west-side TCC rides as well--it's been well over 2 years since the last one, I think...