gym

Road Cycling Year 2013

As always, I like to look back at the year that passed, it often brigs up things you've forgotten and great memories you really can remember as they were yesterday. In year 2013 I had both good and bad memories, gladly more good ones, therefore a lot different from year 2012. 

The year began with great inspiration and motivation for training. For the first time I really spent qualitative time at the gym and had a good plan on the trainer. And sure, I made some great progress throughout the winter and early spring. For the first time, I also was able to compare watt data to the previous year, thanks to Trainerroad.

Silent gym early in the morning

Silent gym early in the morning

The outdoor season begun March 23rd with taking the car to a place without snow and then cycling that short distance back and forth. In year 2013 the season begun 2 weeks later than in 2012, and it took more time for the snow to melt, hence the season really begun almost a month later. This didn't matter since I had tracked some good hours on the trainer throughout the winter. In March for the first time ever, I had symptoms of overtraining.

First ride of the year, plenty of snow around

First ride of the year, plenty of snow around

The cycling year 2013 was also the year for me to ride hard, in groups with faster riders and great company where the whole group was working in an echelon against various wind directions. I also participated in races, many new for me. 

The first race in 2013 though was the Giro d'Espoo. It was super windy but amazingly fun, once again. The second race was Pirkan Pyöräily. It was the first time I participated in this event, and I'm really glad I did. A really well organized event in Tampere brought my personal record average of 36,1 km/h. 

The weather throughout the summer was really superb, so it was great rides almost all summer around. The biggest factor for me progressing was to start with Resistentia and to finally get a proper bike fit done. I will review the service more precisely at some point, but they really helped me track some kilometers and add quality to my training on the bike.

No doubt summer is the best of the seasons

No doubt summer is the best of the seasons

The third race of the year was Royal Cycling, another new event in my calendar. And yet another superb race. Together with Sebu we worked really good for the whole group and had some sprinting capabilities left at the end as well. And this race showed me how important a teammate really is in motivating you through the downs in your race.

Royal Cycling

Royal Cycling

I also participated in Vuelta Vantaa, Eteläkärjen ajot and Myllyn pyöräily. All for the first time. Probably they will be in my calendar for 2014 as well. The greatest thing about the races this year was that I was able to participate them with my teammates, Sebu and Klaus. It really is one of the best things you can experience, race together!

Some more summer

Some more summer

I was not able to participate in the event that once again was planned to be the main event of the year, Tour de Helsinki. In many of the races I had some minor issues with my knees and my stomach, I hope this is something I can get rid of for the year 2014. Instead of the TdH, I spent a week in Italy, cycling in really beautiful landscapes and also managed to climb up Monte Amiata. Superb ride. I will recap that week for you at some point.

Evening ride in Italy

Evening ride in Italy

At the end of the year I was ill for a long period and really had to stay off the bike for 1,5 months, much more than I would have wanted to. But I was able to complete the Rapha Festive 500 challenge, a new thing for me. And gosh, that was hard for these really untrained legs! I was supported by Huntteri for this challenge, and was able to buy a new Felt F65X for this purpose. A cyclocross bike also means I will be able to track more hours on the bike on the off season, and hopefully I will feel this in summer 2014!

I really have some high hopes for the road cycling season 2014, and I'm sure I will make some great progress together with the support I have!

Some fun facts to compare year 2013 with the previous 2012.

Year 2012 2013 comparison

  • + 72 more rides
  • + 2700 more kilometers ridden
  • + 130 hours more training
  • - 15 bpm average heartrate
  • + 60 000 more calories burned

 

Thanks for reading and following, I hope you'll stick with me for another great year!

 

 

Sunday, so where's the sun?

Looking out the window, it still doesn't look like we would be a month from getting out with our bikes. Actually that doesn't worry me too much. Training indoors on my trainer is not half as bad as the previous years, so make it a month and a half and I'm not worried at all ;) A week has gone again and this week included some progress at the gym, added on some weights as the power training phase approaches. Otherwise I've been eating and making some nice workouts on the trainer. Next week will end the last base training plan, and Sunday will include a FTP progress test before stepping into the first power build phase. Really looking forward to do that test. Meanwhile I'll enjoy the rest of the day watching Biathlon and rocking on that trainer.

Celebrating Runeberg

Celebrating Runeberg

Laskiaispulla, Italian coffee and Ice Hockey

Laskiaispulla, Italian coffee and Ice Hockey

I realized I didn't eat junk-food in a looong time, so I needed to try it out. Good? Yes.

I realized I didn't eat junk-food in a looong time, so I needed to try it out. Good? Yes.

Saturday night snack and TV

Saturday night snack and TV

I realized this site is starting to look like a food blog.. Really looking forward to hammer those pedals again!

I realized this site is starting to look like a food blog.. Really looking forward to hammer those pedals again!

Oh, it's snowing again.. Enjoy your Sunday!

Web 20110708_007.jpg

Weekend ahead, wrapping up January

The first month of the year is behind. It was a good training period and I had some good results as well. Without yesterday's minor back injury at the gym, the month has improved my aerobic fitness as well as strength and power. It's the result of both slight reduction in weight as well as increased power output.

A snapshot from my W/Kg progress (without revealing any numbers ;) )

A snapshot from my W/Kg progress (without revealing any numbers ;) )

The next real progress test will be in just a couple of weeks and I'm really looking forward to that. A bit concerned about yesterday's minor injury, but hopefully it's just a minor strain. Will try a ride today to check how it responds to training.

Mornings with the morning paper, coffee, NHL and news

Mornings with the morning paper, coffee, NHL and news

The awesome thing about stepping into February is that it is probably the single last month of pure indoor training! However, contrary to last year I'll probable be training indoors until April/May to sustain and increase the power abilities.

In the cycling world we've seen the Pro Tour kick off. Tour Down Under was won by the 23 year old Dutch Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco Pro Cycling Team). We also saw Andre Greipel take 3 stages with huge sprint efforts, Team Sky working hard for Geraint Thomas and a huge effort by Finnish FDJ rider Jussi Veikkanen hitting the top 10 with 10th place! The next big race will be the Tour of Qatar that'll kick off on Sunday. It's the first big race for the new Swiss Team IAM Cycling, and the first test for Kjell Carlström as a directeur sportif! 

Keeps you going

Keeps you going

I also found a great site for all you interested in the Pro Tour Cycling scene! The site is www.procyclingstats.com and in there you'll find everything from stats, riders, routes and races. This is the database we've been waiting for, check it out!

Click to open PCS website

Click to open PCS website

I hope you all have a good weekend!

Keep on riding ;) (source:  Ville-noire )

Keep on riding ;) (source: Ville-noire)

Rest day

I've been training frequently for a while now and my legs are telling me they need a day off. "Shut up legs" is the famous saying by Jens Voigt, probably the hardest guy in the peloton. On the bike, the one who can keep the legs and  body "quiet" for the longest time will probably do a good in race. But off the bike, you need to listen to your body in order to avoid overtraining and injuries. So today I've been cleaning my bike, reading bike blogs and books and of course, Sundays are also for watching sports on TV.

The training program software being "inspirational" ;)

The training program software being "inspirational" ;)

Yesterday morning going to gym I had to take this picture. It almost feels like spring.. 

Yesterday morning going to gym I had to take this picture. It almost feels like spring.. 

After breakfast and gym it's time to enjoy ( Runeberg's torte  is probably the best thing you can eat)

After breakfast and gym it's time to enjoy (Runeberg's torte is probably the best thing you can eat)

Cleaning the bike while watching SWE-FIN WC in Bandy

Cleaning the bike while watching SWE-FIN WC in Bandy

And the truly inspirational, one and only Jens Voigt about fighting your body:

Hope you had a good weekend!

Weekend routines

Just awesome to be back in business (training) after a period of snuffles and crappy feeling. Now a week into daily training routines and it all feels superb. And tomorrow I'll have the first FTP test that will illustrate the progress made so far. It's a pity I had a 4 week break in the middle of the training, it will surely have an effect on the FTP test. But still, I'm pretty hopeful about the outcome. I hope I'm able to add at least + 5 watts to my FTP. I'll let you know how it went when I'm done with it, and also enlighten a little bit how the training actually looks like and how it's all done.

Morning gym

Morning gym

Post workout food

Post workout food

Nothing better than a proper meal with fruits, eggs, sausages, vegetables, freshly pressed orange juice and Italian coffee.

Nothing better than a proper meal with fruits, eggs, sausages, vegetables, freshly pressed orange juice and Italian coffee.

I also received new pedals, the Look Keo Blade (Carbon), and used them now for a week. Really snappy and stable pedals, a big upgrade from my old pedals. I'll write more about them when I've been able to test them outdoors as well.

Look Keo Blade (Carbon) pedals

Look Keo Blade (Carbon) pedals

Enjoy the weekend!

A day in an amateur cyclist's life

Some of you might wonder how serious I am about cycling. As stated in the About me section, this is nothing serious. The more you ride, the more serious it gets, even though I wouldn't classify my cycling as particularly serious, in comparison with many other amateur cyclists. I do train yes, I talk about season and off season, yes, If you ask some of my friends they'd probably think I spend too much time with the bike, yes. Cycling is kind of a lifestyle and immediately when you want to progress in an endurance sport, it takes time. So even if I'm not too serious about it (because I have a budget), I like to make the most out of it. So how does a day in an not-too-serious cyclist's life look like?

A proper breakfast, something you often wouldn't have time to have. But critical, especially if you have a day in the saddle

A cyclist is nothing without coffee

This is when you know it's off season

So instead of going out for a ride you head for the local gym

Did I mention coffee already? Italian coffee

After workout (not pint) shake

Never forget about food. A snack every now and then keeps you going. And yes I do eat  a lot of pasta (especially during summer), but I didn't want to make pasta just to show you a picture of pasta.

So this is how today looked like. Of course I switch between gym and indoor cycling from day to day, but today was a gym day. To finance a pretty expensive hobby, one of course needs to go to work as well. Not to mention I still have some stuff undone before I graduate (cycling isn't helping studies either). But no one's (me), interested in work or study related stuff, so no excel sheets or academic papers here.

And to show the difference between an amateur like me and a professional, take a look at the video below, and you'll understand...

Enjoy!

Training and preparing for off-season

Working out, getting the right mixture of indoor cycling and weightlifting with the right nutrition and enough time for recovering. There are so many aspects to think of, and so many possible ways of failure, not to mention our bodies are all different. When I first started road cycling, I never thought I'd begin with weightlifting and gym. But as years passed I realized that was the only way to make proper progress.

My setup using Kurt Kinetic trainer and Trainerroad software

Using the trainer with your roadbike is a good way to keep fit and push that FTP (functional threshold power), but in the long run you'll notice your body needs other training as well. As I noticed this summer, I underrated the importance of the core, and by doing so had back injuries that kept me off the bike for a too long period of the short summer.

So while all coaches recommend you to begin cross training, activating and building your core, you might wanna know what you're about to do before you begin. There are several books and blogs about this subject, and later on I'll review some of the books I found were the best and most useful. 

There is no such thing as a perpetual-motion machine, even though we seek to find it in ourselves

I have recently built up a training-plan and for the next weeks I'll be reworking it, listening to my body, carefully developing it to avoid further injuries. It is important to remember, there are no certain blueprints on how to successfully become better, but you'd be a fool If you wouldn't carefully read what the professionals and the scientists have been writing about the topic. So in the next couple of weeks and during the winter I will let you know more about my training methods and also about the possible mistakes I make so you can avoid them! Hopefully you'll find it both interesting and useful!

Until next time, take care and remember to relax!

After workout Sauna