That Time of the Year Again…

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Hey Gang,

Julie Jones, an Elite Endurance athlete who was a first-year racer/rider in 2010 and took 2nd in the Eddy TT Cup, recently had a neat write-up in the paper:

http://www.northjersey.com/sports/115931899_Banner_year_for_Montclair_Cyclists.html

Reading these stories gives me more motivation to continue to improve as a coach… The workload has increased, I’d like to think because these athletes are all scoring results, and I treat each and every athlete as if I’m coaching myself… Takes a lot of time… but when you read stories like this, I realize I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else for a living…

Also, first race of the year for any Elite Endurance athlete, and Jerry Gala of Apex Autoworks, down in North Carolina, came out firing at the Wolfpack Classic, taking 3rd!!! Jerry is a GREAT sprinter but power at LT is a weakness, and this winter, during our longer Foundation block, we worked to improve this — or at least were laying down the bricks to improve this LATER in the season…

I ran him through a ton of longer intervals, more aerobic stuff, gently ramping it up, in addition to a periodized gym program and force workouts, and he finished this block of Foundation work the week before Wolfpack… He wasn’t in peak shape, by any means, but with this new aerobic conditioning, I was very interested in seeing how he’d respond… Previously, he was more of a pure bunch sprinter…

Rolling to hilly road race with 7 8-mile laps. Early in the race, Rick Creed, a top rider in that area, jumped, and Jerry went with him. Hmmmm. They “hit it” for a bit, and then they saw 5 trying to bridge across… The 5 made it, making it 7 strong… This was an excellent test, having Jerry in this early break…

The legs started to cramp after a few loops, and Jerry started spinning more, something we’ve been working on, carefully upping that cadence, and it helped. Jerry may have done more work than necessary, but the data — not result — was the important part here… He gave me a priceless file, we got to see some limits, AND he got a great result, taking 3rd after powering that break!!!! Chapeau, Mr. Gala — gonna be interesting as we start to really turn things up for you, looking to actually peak at May’s Tour de Moore road race…

I’ve always said, nothing really more deadly out there than a sprinter who can TT and climb. You get that guy in a break, what can you do? Well, there are plenty of options, but I’d rather be THAT guy, not the one who has to find a way to shake him off…

For me, been living in almost a cave. Diet is 100%; back on track — Paleo Diet, get there, people! Getting a later start to the year, so I’m 100% devoted to getting back in the swing of things. Bizarrely, in the gym I have NEVER been stronger, am having by far my strongest year in the gym to date, by FAR… As we know, this sport rewards consistency, year after year, and I’ve always been diligent about gym work and it’s freaking awesome feeling this way when I’m lifting…

Been riding the PowerCranks a lot, 3-4 times per week… I’ve been doing all my Tempo and force work on them. I feel like a different rider on these things this year, too, just feel more solid… My days are pretty much split between the PowerCranks, TT bike, and then usually an easier day of light endurance work on the road bike…

Last week, this is exactly what I did.

MON
75m Recovery Ride, flat terrain. PowerCranks.

TUE
100+m Ride, rolling terrain. TT bike.

3 12m SubThresholds, full recovery, followed by 1 15+m Tempo, 105+ rpms…

WED
90+m Ride, rolling terrain. PowerCranks.

3 15+m Tempos. First in bigger gear. Second trying to spin more. Third at natural cadence.

THURS
3+h Endurance Ride, hilly terrain. Road bike. I did entire ride at aerobic pace, even stood on climbs more to ensure I didn’t overdo it…

FRI
75+m PowerCranks, rolling terrain. Recovery pace…

SAT
Park Ridge Ride, sat in, was a good boy, working on pack-riding skills, then rode up to the Spoon and back with good friends. 3.5h day, felt fresh as a daisy.

SUN
Nyack Ride + Tempo miles. I rode very hard at Nyack, almost a planned test, then rode strict Tempo wattage with Gavi and two EE athletes post-ride, forming a close paceline on 9W… Legs were electric all day…

The power has come back, but I’m also heavier, almost 8-10 pounds heavier than last year… I was happy seeing the power numbers, but I also know I’m dragging around more weight, and this can really fool you… I’ve done the Rocket Ride twice in the last two weeks to collect some data, see how I feel… and I feel good!

Two weeks ago, God, it was maybe the most fun I’ve had on a bike for a long time. Midway, around the reservoir, the cracks started to appear in the peloton, and I drilled it up the Blue Hill climb, drilled it on the descent, and we had an active group of about 10. And these 10 guys proceeded to attack the (*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*) out of each other, awesome action — the legs felt good, and I was able to respond quickly, ended up drilling it up Piermont Road to give a vicious leadout…

http://www.youtube.com/user/Remiconcept#p/u/0/af-c4GEIFR0

That’s the video of the ride, courtesy of Matt Doran of Global! =) At 4:20, I’m gassing it up Blue Hill, sensing cracks, want to split the ride for good… and then at 5:40 gassing it again on the descent. Eh, always keeps things interesting!

Last week, was back there again, goal was to be on or at the front for most of the ride — wanted to find my 30m and 60m maxes… I. Felt. Great. Very, very bizarre… I was pulling pulling pulling, and then they let me go, and I proceeded to stay away for a good 25 minutes, Gavi of Sugar Labs, Dan Chabonov of Mengoni, and a strong rider from Alder finally bridging.

So what do you do? I attacked them, lol, but I really didn’t have it, ended up powering to the line, leading it out for Gavi, who took it… Excellent day, had my highest 30 and 60 power numbers EVER. EVER. I’m heavier, but out there with other riders, it was apparent I was riding well… And the best part of this is I haven’t turned up the training in a rush to get back, am just logically plodding along…

Doing group rides at certain times of the year is important, as long as you have specific reasons for doing them, looking to reach goals and complete ride objectives… Some riders are anti-group ride, and they’re missing and excluding an important part of training out of their program… If used appropriately, group riding can REALLY benefit a rider…

Foundation will have me doing some of the March Park races, will be good times… I see they have a CRCA Harriman TT in early June, and that’ll be great to race, same weekend as NJ State TT… Looking forward to kinda doing a bit of everything this year: road races, TTs, LOTSA MTB races, have 4 triathlons planned, probably going to do Killington Stage Race, certainly the Tour of Washington County stage race (which now has an opening day Twilight Criterium, plus two TTs)… Goal is to be in peak form for that longer TT…

And then back for cyclo-cross… 2011 is going to be grand times, all around…

Training Camp for 2011 is being postponed… My father was really sick, like had to go to the hospital 4 times sick, and I was there for him, and I didn’t have time to get down to Georgia for the specific final reconnaissance I wanted… But the response was great, 13 riders, and when I get things back on track, we’re certainly looking to get that off the ground…

Should also note I’ve taken up snowboarding this year… Snowboarding, where you been all my life? I actually learned out in Oregon with Laura, and she was a great coach, did 4-5 days out there on epic Mt. Bachelor… Now here, I’ve been going to Mountain Creek twice a week, and that mountain is surprisingly a lot of fun!!! Snowboarding is a blessing, just gets my head in the right place, a great escape, and then when I’m back on the bike, in a way I feel more fresh…

I didn’t think snowboarding would hit me so hard, but it has. Damn. On Monday, the day it snowed, I headed up there later, got like 4h on those wonderful Vernon slopes… In the end, I was THE last rider to summit the gondola, got to lay down at the peak alone and stare off into black heavens… Something about being on the white mountain at night — the heavy quietude of an opaque sky all around you, everywhere, the soft sounds of a carving board, the wind shaping your face and guiding you home, your sixth sense never so keen — everything… is quietly amplified in a wonderful way.

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Friday, February 25th, 2011 | | |