Well, been very busy on many different fronts…

First things first: the bike. I’ve been time trialing on an old road frame, setback post all turned around, etc. I have a fast position (I THINK!) but after all, it IS a road bike. Even with full TT set-up, it’s a road frame… In the shorter TTs you can be on a great day and still score a top result, but in the 40ks (events I want to do more of) it’s hard to argue with the time gains with today’s modern frames… So I’ve opted to get the Specialized Transition S-Works, a sick little bike. You get hit by a motorcycle. What do you do? You get a ridiculous Felt F1 SL, by far the best road bike I’ve ever owned. And then you upgrade your TT bike to a top-end aero missile. 🙂 I’ve already ordered 175 cranks, a 56t chainring, my lucky San Marco Azoto saddle… Now all I need is to order a pair of TT-ready legs! 🙂

I am a realist. I doubt I physically will be able to get as strong as I was in 2008, where I won a few TTs, placed high at both the State TT and RR, rode top-3 in the Garden State Cup ’til I packed it in 100% mid-season… I was strong and very light, but I know if I prepare well this winter, and if I can get the new bike dialed in, I hope to be respectably competitive. I dunno if I can slay any big dogs, but as the season progresses I want to be a factor. The anticipation of putting my hat in the competitive circle next year has got my blood going, really has me motivated and dedicated to doing all the right things…

Regarding that Felt, I went with a 56… I was on a 57 Trek, it was a touch too big I thought… Now with the Felt, I’m running a 130 stem, and my saddle is a TOUCH more forward than the Trek, just feels better this way, more agile… And the bike is just amazing — light, stiff, a dream, all those numb accolades that come with a high-end carbon race bike… I run the hoods a little lower, the drops a bit more compact… I know a lot of guys run their hoods high like Lance and Basso but you have to realize they’re on their bikes for 100+ miles very frequently, doing 30+ minute climbs… The higher hoods can prove beneficial for those Euro riders… For us mortals, at least for me, I feel better with a lower-hood position, feel much more aggressive — especially when climbing out of the saddle… In my previous cycling life, before I became what I’d mildly call a TT Specialist, I excelled in road races with climbs, punchy climbs, and I’d be attacking violently out of the saddle on these climbs… I tell you, if the bike is not set up just right, you really can’t torque the bike properly… So many guys get their bikes and never think about moving the bars, the stem, the hoods around, but by making millimeter adjustments, your bike can feel completely different — it’s amazing what these adjustments can do… I’ve tried all different positions for all different terrain, and for me having the hoods down more is far better… NOW, if I think about it, I don’t stand for anything in races, lol… The time trialist and PowerCranker in me has completely taken over!

The training is going well… I went to my orthopedist last week, and the x-ray showed multiple fractures still going through the knee… So I can’t lift or run at all, but the doctor said cycling is perfectly okay… And so I ride 🙂 I wanted to start lifting by mid-October, have designed a progressive weight program at first utilizing body weight exercises, but I won’t be able to start on that probably ’til mid-November, when I get the next x-ray… What can you do? On the bike, the knee feels 100%. The left quad is still atrophied about 1/2 inch compared to the right quad, but I feel good on the bike… Not fast but good 🙂

I’ve stopped with the force work and have started threshold work on longer climbs — Shadow Ridge, Rea Avenue mainly… Wattage isn’t where it once was, but I’m plugging along… On the Nyack Ride a few weeks ago, I hammered down 9W, leading the group, then lead the group up Hook Mountain, just plowed up at 380w from beginning to end, a healthy number considering I was toast from the previous hyper-active 20 minutes… I climbed with the leaders and felt in control, first time that’s happened in awhile! (I AM light — more on that in a minute)

I’ve been PowerCranking about three times a week… Twice a week, I’ve built up to doing rolling timed loops on them, about 40 minutes each loop, non-stop… I have this excellent, challenging loop from Pompton Plains to Wyckoff, devoid of many lights or stops… I’ve been marching the loop at a high Tempo (HR-wise) and the times have continued to whittle down… I’ve gone from June’s 40:40 (which was a personal best!), 86 rpms, 149 HR to October’s 36:20, 95 rpms, 154 HR… MASSIVE time, not much of a change in HR, even with the higher cadence… I’ve never climbed better on these things, NEVER…

So my weight is DOWN. I’ve become a monk with the diet… I really try to eat cleanly, like a professional athlete… No bull(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored *) calories, no crap, no huge desserts. Eat the right breakfasts, the right post-ride meals, the right dinners. Be snacking on all the right foods throughout the day, cut out all non-whole foods, eat natural and simple. Organic foods should be your best friend 🙂 Make water your sole drink of choice… And the weight has just sloshed off… I’ve never eaten more cleanly in my life, and my weight is — I’m freely disclosing my weight! — down to 155… Weird. I went from being Mr. Chunky to that skinny guy again 🙂 I’m only 3 pounds off my true race weight — with 1/4 of the training!

I’ve been running Speed & Agility classes at Quest Tennis, and along with that I’ve had a few athletes who were interested in extra core workouts… So I started doing more research and ended up creating 30 more exercises for the EE athletes… I have an obsessive personality, so when I do something, it’s 1000%. So for a few weeks I was in complete Core Mode, researching and trying and creating new workouts… This on top of new body weight movements and I’m excited to get the EE guys back in the gym (or at home), doing tons of body weight exercises, plyometrics, and core exercises, carefully progressing along… You can accomplish so much with so little… When athletes have questions or concerns, I always try to rise to the occasion and exhaust the subject… Athletes like this — asking questions about core, Vo2 Max training, TT intervals — make me a better coach, and I absolutely love the process… Knowledge is power, and as a coach you HAVE to be a sponge, always learning…

Regarding the coaching front, aside from the revamped weight and core programs, I’m busy drafting new articles… The first one is about Cyclo-Cross racing, had finished it last year but never added it to my Cross collection. I’ve added some more info and I’ll send it out when cross really kicks in in a few weeks… I also have another article about how to incorporate PowerCranks into your Transition, Preparation, and Foundation periods. In case you didn’t know, I’m a HUGE fan of PowerCranking for many, many reasons… I also have researched an article on caffeine and why I feel you should AVOID it (lol, I’m DUCKING right now, embracing the backlash!). The final article I’m working on is about Tabata intervals, an immensely interesting subject… To boot, Ben Lesnak and I have also been discussing diet, much like Evan Cooper and I constantly did, and another article about the Paleo diet has formulated on its own… So, I hope to publish these pieces one-by-one as I complete them!

This fall, I was considering racing cross, all set to pick up a friend’s bike, but with the knee I’m going to hold off… I’m actually a little nervous, going into 2010 without a true 2009, no true power numbers to go off, so I’m going to have to be extra careful with my build… I’ll be 2 years older, coming off an injury, so I’ll have to watch the data carefully, keep the Thinking Cap on, and ensure I can be the very best rider I can be…

On a non-cycling front, I’m happy to report that I may write that Kelly Pavlik book this winter… For those of you who don’t know, Kelly is the WBC/WBO world middleweight champion, and we became friends just after he won the title… He’s fighting Paul Williams on DEC 5th, and this is the fight I’ve been looking for, the centerpiece for a most original book I’m planning… I went to the press conference at the Timex Performance Center (the NY Giants training facility) on TUE, met with the Giants, with Kelly and his team… I have the green light from Team Pavlik, just have to decide the logistics… I’d have to spend ample time in Youngstown, OH and Washington D.C… Right now, I just don’t know… However, TUE was a fun day — after the Timex presser, I ended up at HBO Studios in NYC, watching a photo shoot with Kelly for an upcoming promo where I had the chance to wrap up interviews with his trainer, Jack Loew… It was neat stuff, watching how studios put together their pieces…

One thing I’m certainly doing is writing a “day in the life of Team Pavlik” around Thanksgiving, just as his camp is in full peak mode… I’m going to do everything he does (running, boxing, weights, Ironman gym where he does “Rocky” like workouts with cars and flipping tires, etc…), follow the team around, report on all the minutaie, etc… So I’m hoping the knee will allow me to start running by early NOV… I can’t get dropped by the champ during his epic morning run! That would be unacceptable! I’m hoping to drop hammers on him! 🙂 No, really — I’m hoping to drop him up the Mill Creek hills!

When I was 13-15, I boxed in Paterson, and although I LOVED the sport, it wasn’t for me… It’s not for most, lol! I consider myself “tough,” but true boxers are of a different breed… To see Kelly do something I couldn’t, and to see him win the title in such dramatic fashion, I was instantly inspired to write this book, an original idea that’s never been done, so I have some decisions to make in the coming weeks… This book is something I’ve always wanted to write, and I’ve gone from dreaming about it to actually make it become a reality… We shall see…

In closing, in Elite Endurance news here are some results coming in the late-summer newsletter:

Mark Alden of the Blue Ribbon Cycling Team WINS both Tokeneke AND Bear Mountain! HUGE!

Ben Lesnak, time trialist ultimo, takes 8th at the Tour de Catskills…

Laura Winberry of Team Campmor WINS the pro MTB race at Jungle Habitat, then took 6th and 7th at the Penn State and Charm City cross races!

Roy Vaccaro, 2nd at the Buckman Triathlon…

Nick David, 2nd at the Tour of Basking Ridge…

Mike Whitaker WINS the Lehigh Valley Winery race…

Much, much more to come! 🙂 Thanks for reading…

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Sunday, October 4th, 2009 | | |