Today - July 2013

May 22, 2007
3,595
1,422
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#1
June was a bumper month for me. According to My Garmin I rode 1,700 km, climbed 15,622 m, and burned 39,000 calories. Previous best months have been in the 1200-1300 km region.

On the morning of 1 June I was 89.9 kg. This morning, 1st July, I'm 84.4 kg. My knees are very pleased with this difference.

July is Norikura month, so I'll become progressively busier answering people's very important questions. Really looking forward to the biggest and best ever Shine On! cycling event.

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stanc

Maximum Pace
Sep 4, 2011
255
41
58
Brighton
#4
June was horrible & I am not sorry to see it go. I started the month hoping to do 1000km but due to the 2.5 week headache and um, "motivation issues" only managed 592km and 110 of those were yesterday. Still I'm back and am again aiming for 1000km this month. Now if i can only get rid of the creaking noises that my bike has just started making, I think it's the saddle.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,863
1,450
129
...
#5
1122km for me in June. Not a lot of climbing in there (6600m). Got some TT bar extensions and really started enjoying the flat long power runs, just getting in the zone and hammering it. Not really fussed about the climbing aspect of riding. Truth is I like going fast and seem a little more adept at hammering out the flattish runs than the steep climbs. maybe if I lived in the mountains (or was 10kg lighter) it would be different.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#6
I felt pretty tired after the Boob ride with Half-Fast Mike yesterday, slept like a log and still felt pretty sore all day. For example, I felt my legs while walking up or down the stairs. Normally I only suffer like that after hiking, not cycling.

Subjectively it was a bigger effort than the most recent brevet or the Otsuki 4.5 + Matsuhime a week ago. That did not compute for me, since the last three brevets and the Otsuki ride had more distance and more climbing:

BRM309: 207 km / 3068 m
BRM413: 213 km / 3347 m
BRM518: 360 km / 3463 m
Otsuki: 210 km / 4675 m
BOOB: 182 km / 2058 m

However, it became clearer to me when I looked at the HR data on RideWithGPS. I had spent twice as long in the tempo zone (zone 3) yesterday than at Otsuki. Expecting up to 7,000 m of total elevation that day, I had paced myself lower, plus sleep deprivation took its toll, as it also did at the last brevet. That slower pace made it much more bearable. This experience again confirms to me that it's easier to go further (or higher) than to go faster.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#8
To me, higher intensity on a route I don't ride often is hard to distinguish from having a bad day or struggling with heat or insufficient nutrition, so it doesn't actually feel that rewarding. It's different on a regular training route where I can tell I'm going faster than normal. So yes, I feel better about myself with a longer ride with something left in the tank at the end than a shorter one that destroys me.

However, I also know that pushing the envelope will open new possibilities for the next ride. I felt absolutely terrible on my first Fuji hike, but the next hikes became so much easier. I enjoy rides with other people that are faster than me, but don't go so fast that they leave me in the dust within 10 minutes and it becomes like a solo ride again ;)
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,147
45
68
Kochi
#9
We duly had our local hill climb round on Sunday. In preparation, switched the clipless pedals back on so I could practice on Thursday. But within 5 mins my legs started hurting around the ankles, and wasn`t comfortable on the VO2 climbing practice, so after the ride, switched back to the flats. Strange, as last time I used them was only a few weeks ago, and didn`t have a problem, so don`t see how I have lost conditioning in such a short space of time. Anyway, got part way to the hill climb and was planning on turning round, as there was more rain than last time when they cancelled it (the skyline above the mountain ridge didn`t look very inviting), so didn`t want to go all that way for nothing (the turnout was only just over half of last time). My friend persuaded me they would still be going. So off we went. Got there late, but no worries, as not an official event, so got to start line and the organiser gave me 10-15 mins for a warm-up. So 5/6 mins up the hill, back to the start, tighten laces and off it was. After three mins figured `bollocks, I`m not gonna hold this for 20 mins` but ploughed on, recovering when I could.

Got to halfway in under 10 mins, so thought should easily make the 20 goal. Kept waiting for someone to come past, but no-one did, kept waiting to catch sight of someone ahead, but didn`t. Finally did on the straight section with 1km to go. Looked like a few people had blown-up, as went past 3 in the last section. Managed a half-sprint for the line, so effort was almost about perfect, and duly collapsed over the bike for 30-40 secs after I stopped. My clock said 20:02 when i looked down so wasn`t sure on the precise time - i started it a fraction early. Anyway, got 19:58 or 59 so just made it - due to the rain, they cancelled the flat section, so just purely did the climb. Good enough for 8th out of 21, but first in my age category...benefits of getting old! So won 1,000 Yen in gift vouchers...amazing, never done that before. Think I`ve worked out where I shall get my Ultegra brakes from...or do I hold out for hydraulic rim brakes...hmmm. Thinking about it, could hold that effort level for about an hour last year, so still about 5-7% down on last year. How much is stomach problems, how much fitness lacking from illness, how much pedals...??? As for the pedals, I shall have to ask one of the local bike shops if they can drill my shoes so I can switch to SPDs positioned mid-foot.

Went round the Tourist Park after the event, some strange couple of Art Deco buildings with a lovely European-style garden. Worked out how they generate their revenue - the cafe/restaurant is quite good. Had two lovely wild boar wraps, using rice flour.
 
May 22, 2007
3,595
1,422
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#10
but don't go so fast that they leave me in the dust within 10 minutes and it becomes like a solo ride again ;)
Ooops.
...VO2 climbing practice...
That reminds me - I've been meaning to ask my cycling brethren: I'm not a racer, and really have no interest in racing. I like to ride a lot, but not so hard that I damage myself. At the moment I'm limited to around 250W with my knees - any sustained effort greater than that and they soon complain and I have to back off. But I've also been wondering about this VO2 max thing. Would it be meaningful for me to get this measured properly? If so, where might I get it done?

(When I really mash up a hill, absolutely at my limit, and my ears start to tingle, is that the beginning of oxygen deprivation?)

And, I suppose most importantly, how does one train to increase one's VO2 max?
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#11
Mike, I'm pretty sure you need flat pedals and wild boars wraps. Other than that, the only way to increase your VO2m is EPO and a 2 week 'training program' in Thailand. Oh, yes, you can get your dynamic blood work done at the sports center at Yoyogi Stadium Health center (or whatever its called). I posted on this a long time ago. BTW - your real performance gains are super! Just losing weight is enough. At the end of the day - everything is measured in W/kg/min.
 
Dec 17, 2011
267
8
38
kanazawa
#13
I'll probably be the first to say it publicly but I think at least a few of you will be sharing this feeling: I miss Owen :(.

Just the vibe of something mischievous brewing when Owen was around was such an integral part to the character of this forum. Well, I guess it is Owen No More onm
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,514
2,191
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#14
I'll probably be the first to say it publicly but I think at least a few of you will be sharing this feeling: I miss Owen :(.

Just the vibe of something mischievous brewing when Owen was around was such an integral part to the character of this forum. Well, I guess it is Owen No More onm
Let's hope he is back real soon. Who knows, he may have just been work on a new 3D render for his new avatar!!!
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,514
2,191
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#15
I've been toying with the idea of getting a new saddle for a while now but didn't want to drop a whole load of money on something, only to find out that after a few rides it doesn't agree with my backside. I didn't realise until today that some bike shops have saddles available to borrow. I have now borrowed a Selle Italia TT SLR for 10 days from Nalsima Friend. I had been concerned that 134mm might be too narrow for me. We'll soon see. You have to leave a ¥10,000 deposit but this is returned when you return the saddle. I might even try a few out to see which one fits me best.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,147
45
68
Kochi
#16
But I've also been wondering about this VO2 max thing. Would it be meaningful for me to get this measured properly? If so, where might I get it done?

And, I suppose most importantly, how does one train to increase one's VO2 max?
VO2 is better termed maximal aerobic capacity. Your VO2 max limit is genetically determined, but the % of VO2 you are operating at, can be trained. The common soundbite (I forget it slightly) is that L4/threshold work increases the size of the engine and L5/VO2 work raises the ceiling (how big that engine can grow). L4 is often termed push-up and L5 pull-up in relation to improving performance. There`s no need to have it measured as the results can depend on the methodology of the test, unless you have a gas exchange test done (I think they are accurate). Working off the Coggan zones - 106-120% of FTP is enough, though some people have higher boundary limits.

For training, there are many ways of doing it, as you can start in the VO2 zone, stay there for long enough (>2:45) and that will do it, or start lower, and build up to it, or start higher and build down. 30 sec on/off or 1 min on/off count as VO2 work, if the NP is in the L5 zone and duration long enough. And then you have arguments over whether it is time at VO2 max that counts, or the number of times you hit it. Basically for me, I find the shorter the effort/the higher the intensity the more the recovery that is required, and the lower the actual volume of work that is completed in a session. So 3 min x4 wipe me out for a few days, but 7 min x2 I can do 3 days in a row (or 7 min x3, 2 days in a row). If I am time pressed, @7/8 min hitting VO2 (through the slow component) is my `go-to` session, as I can also target lactate clearance and combine it with big-gear work. I have the perfect hill just 5 min away, or come back that way on my commute... As always, many coaches recommend 90% of your maximal power for the duration of the interval you are planning. I had a quick look, this is quite a useful introduction.

(When I really mash up a hill, absolutely at my limit, and my ears start to tingle, is that the beginning of oxygen deprivation?)
pass...sorry! Usually, I go off when I can barely say even one single syllable as the sign I am in the right place - I often do these sessions on the good `ole mama-chari, so no powermeter to reference!
 
May 22, 2007
3,595
1,422
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#17
I think I saw 2 guys in TCC kit at the top of Odarumi on Saturday.
That would be thomas and kpykc, having left me, got lost, overtaken me, and then stopped for a rest poor lambs.

(Although you posted in the June thread, about a thing that happened in June, it is now July so I am replying in the July thread. Sorry for any confusion. Your understanding and cooperation are unnecessary. Trespassers will be prosecuted. Winner takes all.)
 

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
986
600
113
Tokyo
#18
One month back on the bike! June was great. Got 2 Half fast rides in and a bunch of solos. I think I logged about 450km or so in June. Must check. Was on the bike this morning at 6am again around the Palace. Some bloke dressed in black was punching out a large gear a head of me at one point. I got his wheel for a bit but let him go in the traffic not to be seen again. Some day I'll be stronger! Anyway - decided to push slightly higher gears today rather than spin around to build up a bit of strength. Still mostly in the 39-18 range but I can't remember what cassette I bought exactly. Must count the teeth. Anyway - thinking of upping the weekly to include another weekday now that I'm feeling much fitter than when I first started. Hopefully the weather will play ball.

Moved my saddle forward a bit on Sunday before this ride. It feels much better stretch wise and saddle position wise but I think it puts more pressure on my hands. Not sure yet. Am thinking to try a shorter stem and move the saddle back again. Going to keep the position for a while though and see how it progresses.
 
Likes: kiwisimon

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,612
1,192
143
Setagaya
#19
Did the boob ride this morning (and a bit of the afternoon). Great roads, great views and fun descending helped me forget about a deadline I'll never make. Met a guy at the turnaround point who told me he rides 100 km every day rain or shine, with 2,500 km on the clock for last month and 25,000 km last year. Btw he's 70 years old.