“C’mon, let’s get serious now” =)

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Love that Schwarzenegger quote from Pumping Iron. Well here we go, time to start turning the intensity dial up slightly… To me, when the intensity is increased, we then see just how well you trained for the 3-4 months prior… In my opinion, Foundation work is THE most important part of the year — without it, you will crumble… I cannot stress this enough…

So I’ve been doing a healthy diet of longer threshold work, plenty of longer efforts on the PowerCranks — life is pretty simple over here… I’ve been doing virtually ZERO Vo2 Max work, zero sprint intervals, zero anaerobic anything, lol… Nothing white-hot, just steady threshold and subthreshold intervals…

I should note that I’m finally stronger on the TT bike than on the PowerCrank bike — that was borderline embarrassing, lol…

About that PowerCrank bike… Decided to do two “tests” last weekend. First on the PowerCranks, did the Park Ridge Ride… Was very active all ride, really kept the hammer down (once acclimated, you can go faster on PCs than you’d realize!)… Did a hard pull near the end and was able to ride off the front… Did el sicko effort around the reservoir into a vile headwind, crawled up the roller near the finish (climbing is NEVER fun on these things). John Raheb bridged and I pulled him to the uphill sprint… He tried to jump me in the sprint 🙂 but never mess with a time trialist after a long break! 🙂 I was able to power to the blinking light first but was thorougly shattered afterwards…

Sunday was an equally enjoyable day… I was on Nyack, on the Felt F1 road bike (road bike, what’s that?) and again used the ride as a Fitness Test of sorts… The main part of the ride is about 75m long, and I pretty much stayed top-4 all ride, doing long pulls… If the pace slowed, I was the guy to pick it up. Goal was to be active from beginning to end… I was on a foom foom day, recovering better than anticipated, the legs just spinning and dripping with power. The meter was showing some very healthy numbers (last time I was on Nyack — about a month ago — I was a mess compared to this ride!).

Near the end, after doing a long pull, Haluk, Matt Doron, a Mengoni rider, Wilson Vasquez, and Will Schneider jumped off in a move. Blick. I was toast, gritting my teeth to accelerate but was absolutely flat (lol, I can’t accelerate anyway!!!). Then, Gavi Epstein bridged very impressively, and him bridging kinda left a bad taste in my craw. Here I am, busting my ass all ride, and these homers are off the front?!

Not anymore!

So I tried to organize a chase, and we all rotated very well, doing steady pulls. I was really turning myself inside out — the fastest guys on the ride were pacelining away from us, and I knew we couldn’t mess around. If someone missed a pull, I’d just try to keep the speeds up — I didn’t care if I made it or not, just as long as a few riders from our diminishing group made it to the leaders — we rode 100% as a team…

On Piermont Road, we were able to increase the pace a bit and our group disintegrated, but with the break RIGHT THERE, I kept the pedal to the metal and and me, Luis from Champion, and Jerry Martinez from Global Locate bridged. Damn, THAT hurt. But mission accomplished 🙂 I quickly went to the front, giving them the death stare as I passed 🙂 and pulled the group to the sprint, giving my best leadout. Gavi won the uphill sprint, so it was a great day for us… I was very pleased…

The kicker is I’m 6-7 pounds lighter than I usually am in FEB/MAR, and the efforts I was paying attention to saw a 7-15w increase from an identical ride I did in FEB 2008… Neat to compare the files… Same ride, same training goal, and here I’m lighter, stronger, and faster… And I haven’t been training recklessly, overexerting or hyper-progressing, etc, so this is VERY encouraging.

What was interesting was Gavi and I did more endurance miles after, riding up to the Orchards (one of my favorite loops on earth — if you ever do the Nyack Ride, you MUST do the Orchard loop once in your life)… Well, Gavi realized he was further from home than planned, and you never want to piss off the wife, so we had to haul a** back to Englewood… Now, I’ve been all about quality over quantity, actually training for my goals and nothing more, and although I have decent natural endurance, I was NOT prepared for 4+h at a fast pace…

Nevertheless, I felt GREAT as Gavi and I swapped pulls from Monsey all the way back to Englewood, which is NOT a short, flat ride! Just a fast day in the saddle, great temps, awesome terrain, the legs there, terrific company with Gavi. Two guys, cut out the bullsh*t, just riding and eating in between pulls and training, zero stops, making the most of the time on the road. We averaged over 22 mph on the way back, frickin’ fast, and for me after a hellish Nyack Ride, I was elated to have ridden so well for 2.5+h post-group ride… (BTW, Gavi is STRONG)

Tonight, just finished my final Fitness Test of this block, and I posted my best indoor Fitness Test data EVER (not saying much, lol). Data-wise (the beauty of the power meter is it. Does. Not. Lie.), I’m ahead of where I was in 2007 and 2008, but I’m also being a touch more diligent with the LT work, having started my Build a touch earlier than usual. With two years of virtually zero riding in my legs, I’m very concerned with how the legs are going to respond as the season progresses.

We shall see. Just control what you can control, give 100%, and let the chips fall where they may.

I can’t control how fast you’ll go.

But I can control how fast I can go. 🙂

Look forward to seein’ y’all out there. I’m AMPED. First race this Saturday, will be great to open the engine again, and then we have just over a month before I’m taking the bottle cage off the TT bike. Look forward to struggling to a maybe top-10 at Sandy Hook.

I’ll make sure to keep my thumbs in to reduce the drag, lol… Thanks for reading.

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Monday, March 1st, 2010 | | |