Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ride till ya puke

I have a training philosophy that is based on nothing in particular but it seems to work for me. The less time I have available to train, the harder I go. It's simple and the area in which I live makes it very easy to do. Gray Tennessee is full of rolling hills that go from mild to "aw shit". Today I did a workout that hurts like the dickens but is very effective and I definitely toed the Duckman party line of training.

I picked a route that is only about 12 miles long and has in addition to the main climbs, a lot of little rolling hills and one loop that is perfect for hill repeats. I suck at climbing and it is something I work on continually. In fact, I don't really train for anything else, just climbing and let everything else take care of itself. I suck that bad at it. Some people that I ride with will vehemently disagree that I suck as a climber and maybe in certain circles, I climb very good but the circle that really matters is the guys I race against and compared to the upper echelon of them, I SUCK! I know part of the problem is my size. At 5'11" and 190# ( I am working on it) , I outweigh a lot of my competition by a good 30 or 40 pounds. So I train in the hills a lot.

We have lots of rolling hills like this that make riding here really good (except for the traffic). The loop I used tonight basically consisted of a lot of this kind of stuff with a few evil surprises along the way.

The first one is in the "loop" I talked about and it goes up to Miller Perry school. It is about 3/4 of a mile long and starts off easy but kicks up at the top.

The sorta easy part.

A little tougher.

The puke zone.

After that, you have about 1/4 mile of slightly downhill easy spinning and you turn onto Eastern Star Rd and have another 1/2 mile gradual climb that's great for power intervals.

I like to go from telephone pole to telephone pole and go as hard as I can between them and rest between the next ones alternating between the two. That's great for simulating attacks and recovery that is one of my weaknesses in racing.

Next comes more spinning for about 3/4 mile and back to the base of Miller Perry hill. I usually do anywhere from1 to 5 of these depending on how smarmy I feel. Tonight I did two. After the loops, I go on generally back towards home but first I have to scale a real SOB on Ford Creek Rd.
The pictures don't do these justice. What you are looking at is about 200 yds of 7% or so grade and then it kicks up for 75 yds to over 15%. It really hurts.

After that, it's on to Buffalo Ridge rd in roughly 3 miles. Buffalo Ridge takes you to the highest point in the 37615 zip code and the climb starts off with about 200 yds @ 10-12% then backs off to about 7% for another 300yds and then kicks up just a bit right at the top.

The start of Buffalo Ridge.

The top..

In a couple of years, this former farm will be filled with 200K and up houses. Such is the trend where I live. Farms are disappearing in favor of yuppie neighborhoods with SUV driving soccer moms that hate guys on bikes. It used to be a great place to ride now it's not so much.
Oh well.

Anyway, the whole workout takes about an 1 to 1.5 hours to complete depending on how many loops I do and I am never more than 5 miles from home making it super convenient.

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