nutrition

Ups and downs the past few weeks

It is an awesome feeling being back riding the road bike outdoors. Rain or shine, it beats the indoor training easily. Getting back that feeling of acceleration and the sound of rims humming on the asphalt, wow. It has been really windy lately, but neither has that affected the positive vibes on the bike. Really looking forward for the first races this year, that's the first point of really knowing about the progress made this off season. After a business trip to Stockholm earlier this week I got ill with some really heavy flu and a temperature. Still struggling with that, so no time in the saddle this week. I'll again share what's been going on lately with pictures instead of writing a novel. 

Fixing the bike before first outdoor ride is really important!

Changing all wires on the bike (yea, no electronic shifting here.. yet)

Clean Canyon

Also stacked up with some nutrition, I've changed from Maxim to SIS this year

First longer ride ahead, including Garmin Virb Elite

Klaus arriving

Crossing Aura river

A coffee break on a windy and chilly ride

Nutrition and hydration is important as well

Nutrition and hydration is important as well

One of the best road cycling books ever, Domestique by Charly Wegelius

Turku evening

We also have some cobbles

Stairway to water

Garmin Virb Elite mounted to the handlebar

It seems even uphills can be fun

Selfie...

Canyon having a break

Spring!

Not all sunshine

Soaking

"Seated" uphill training

Another passion I've had since a kid is aviation. So I do geeky things during my trips on the airports, for instance following planes on an app (flightradar), tune in to the air traffic control radio frequency and watch them land live.

Planes landing on 19L

Back in Turku

There are loads of great things happening in the world of road cycling. Paris-Roubaix this Sunday and many great races have been ridden during the past few weeks. Also the Finnish road cycling project, Fincycling, is progressing with great speed. I'll write more about Fincycling in my next post. So stay tuned!

 

Have a great weekend!

Spring is in the air

This week has been warm (well not warm like Italy, but warm comparing to the average temperatures in Finland this time a year). This week has also been great for cycling. On Friday it was time for yet another FTP test, this time a proper one. Having done only a few hard strength training workouts I was a bit nervous. But gladly I managed to perform pretty close to what I expected I could. Felt really strong at the latter part of the 20 minute interval and that gave me a nice boost in self-confidence on the bike.

Post FTP workout

After the FTP test, since it was Friday I rewarded myself with sort of "junkfood" and Sauna.

This morning I woke up well rested having had troubles sleeping during the week. And what a great feeling it was to wake up when the sun was shining! This winter has probably affected me more than the previous winters for some reason, and I realized it today feeling great, energized and really happy. Can't remember the time when I would have had all those 3 feelings at the same time. So the sun was shining and Kjell had planned a 2-3 hour easy outdoor ride for me today. Great!

I prepared myself some morning coffee with my Bialetti Brikka (that is by the way working flawlessly and makes a tremendous crema!). While having my espresso and porridge, I had all the time in the world to read the news, twitter feed and update myself with the latest in the cycling world.

After an easy and relaxing morning it was time to change the studded tires for normal cyclocross tires and head out. And folks, that makes a difference!

Look ma, no spikes

"Oh please, how long can it take to take that pic?"

Today's ride-snack, nuts

Nice fog on the lens

Goodbye winter!

One more, still, like the looks!

All the asphalt roads were dry, and almost 100% ready to ride with a roadie! I returned home just in time to watch the Omloop het Nieuwsblad, and what a race that was! As a hockey fan, I also watched the "Winter-classics" Talviklassikko between HIFK and Jokerit, a pretty close game, and a nice ending to the rivalry of being the best one in Helsinki.

Yum!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite sporting events of the year, Vasaloppet where almost 16 000 skiers, both elite and amateurs participate. 90 kilometers on skis and what's interesting is that you usually see tactics in this race, similar to the ones in road cycling races. I've been following this race ever since a kid, and I'm excited every year to watch it, brings back good memories. Also a couple of friends of mine will participate, so it will be interesting to follow them! Tomorrow also Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne will be ridden. So a great day of sports!

 

Have a good one, enjoy your weekend folks!

February coming to an end

I'm actually thrilled about the fact that time passes by really fast right now. I have many great things to look forward this year, some of those things I can't tell you now, but many of them will be "game-changers" in some way.

So cycling in February, how has that been? I haven't been able to ride as much as I wanted (sounds like I've said that before as well), but still I've been able to make progress. I've lost some 4 kilograms of body weight and at the same time been able to increase my FTP value. My goal is to lose 4 more kilograms before the season kicks off for real.

Eat less, eat frequently, eat properly

Last week I received my Rapha Festive 500 badge. A neat little thing that reminds me of 500 really wet kilometers. Read about my Rapha Festive 500 journey, first half, almost there, completed. Of course Rapha style it arrived in a fashionable envelope.

First part of pre-season accessories also arrived from Germany. Some small things such as inner tubes and tires.

I've been quiet about coffee for a long time (I guess?). But I also bought a new Bialetti Brikka moka pan. A huge difference to a normal moka pan, and comparable with an espresso at a bar with proper crema. 

The Brikka valve makes the difference

Proper crema

Of course I've been following the Winter Olympic Games in Sotchi as well.

USA-FIN Bronze medal game (Ice Hockey, men)

Sunday, besides a massive game by team Canada in men's ice hockey, I saw the sun for the first time this year (cycling outdoors). It almost feels like spring now, just hope there will be no more snow...

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol and post-ride coffee

So it's soon March, hopefully the month when we can take out our road bikes!

 

Exciting!

Wrapping up first month of Road Cycling-14

January is the month when we get that small distant taste of a new road cycling season with The Tour Down Under and pro cycling teams showing up new gear and team colors. For me January often is an indicator of what the upcoming year might bring. The first FTP tests, weight reduction in order to even further work on the W/kg ratio and really starting to build for the upcoming road cycling season. 

Ice hockey and trainer seemed to be the agenda for January training

Last year I had a pretty good start, and looking at statistics this year I haven't been doing as much. No gym so far, managed to do some core training and qualitative training on the trainer and also outdoors, so cycling wise I think I'm still ahead, and I feel that as well in the legs. Looking at the previous FTP test, that also indicates I'm on a good way and in head of last year's numbers.

Food was another theme, especially eating smarter

There are several other great news in road cycling during January. IAM Cycling Team has been invited as a wildcard to the Tour de France 2014, Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné. Even if they didn't got the invitation to the Giro d'Italia 2014, the dream of making two grand tours still live since IAM Cycling team looks forward to hit the Vuelta as well this year. You can read the whole article here. These invitations are also in line with the expectations that Kjell Carlström mentioned in an interview with him earlier in January

January has also brought some great news for Finnish road cycling. The project "Suomen Pyöräily Nousuun" has advanced and now the "Suomen Kilpapyöräily Ry" will continue to work on the first ever attempt to really bring together our promising youth and bring them to the top of professional road cycling. Behind this movement are great names such as Kjell Carlström and Charly Wegelius. One could say, a new era in Finnish road cycling has begun. Read more about it by following Suomen Pyöräily Nousuun Facebook page.

Kjell and Charlie teaching our youth! (picture from  Suomen Pyöräily Nousuun facebook page )

Kjell and Charlie teaching our youth! (picture from Suomen Pyöräily Nousuun facebook page)

I will let you know more about this project as it progresses.

 

Enjoy your weekends!

Rapha Festive 500, almost there

Having days 1-3 done, with almost 300 km ridden, I headed towards day 4 and 5. I started feeling myself a bit tired already, but wasn't prepared for what awaited me early on from day 4...

 

Rapha Festive 500 - Day 4

The day began with mixed feelings. The weather was good, the sun was shining for the first (and apparently last time) during this challenge, but I was tired and could have slept for a couple of more hours. But because the day is so short in Finland, I needed to get going. Immediately as I started I felt pain in my knees, both of them. I hoped it would just go over after a few kilometers, but it didn't. It was quite nasty, both knees felt as there would be a needle inside, and that needle picked the knee from inside with each pedal-stroke. Some 10 km in the ride I started thinking about abandoning, and made a stop at 20 km to give the knees a rest. After the short pause, I started pedaling, and it felt bad, maybe not as bad as moments before, but still bad. I decided to go on, the sun was shining and if my knees would collapse, I would call a taxi. Well I made those 107 kilometers, after many ups and downs.

At my restplace in the forest, I found a boat. Strange place for a boat one could say.

At my restplace in the forest, I found a boat. Strange place for a boat one could say.

Felt F65X

Felt F65X

Amazing light, no more darkness!

Amazing light, no more darkness!

For the first time, may I present, my shadow!

For the first time, may I present, my shadow!

Second stop at 40 km

Second stop at 40 km

Neat little river

Neat little river

Never tired of having sunshine

Never tired of having sunshine

More nice light and river

More nice light and river

Still like the looks of the bike

Still like the looks of the bike

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My new favorite ride-snack, salted and roasted Cashew nuts!

My new favorite ride-snack, salted and roasted Cashew nuts!

Almost smiling

Almost smiling

Moments later I spotted cyclists in the distance

Moments later I spotted cyclists in the distance

Rode with them for some 5 km, unfortunately there was one puncture during this time. Great co-operation here! Not to mention the motivation boost you get when you meet fellow cyclists.

Rode with them for some 5 km, unfortunately there was one puncture during this time. Great co-operation here! Not to mention the motivation boost you get when you meet fellow cyclists.

Then it was time for sunset

Then it was time for sunset

Last signs of light

Last signs of light

Arriving home, food awaited!

Arriving home, food awaited!

I never get tired eating good food

I never get tired eating good food

Rapha Festive 500 - Day 5

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to continue today due to my knees. They still hurt but I decided to go for it. Putting on my legwarmers i realized what could have caused the knee-pain. I've been riding with both knee- and leg-warmers and this causes high pressure on the knee and forces the kneecap tighter to the knee. That would also explain why the whole knee is kind of tender to the touch as well. So today I rode without the knee-warmers. The ones I use are the Castelli Nanoflex warmers. The knees did hurt, pretty bad at times, but I managed to finish today's 65 km ride as planned. It was really chilly and windy, the coldest day so far, almost froze my feet. Luckily I had a pair of SealSkinz Winter Handle Bar Mittens with me. Perfect gloves!

Freezing weather today

Freezing weather today

No more sunshine, icy rain and wind

No more sunshine, icy rain and wind

These saved my hands today

These saved my hands today

They really are warm

They really are warm

Day 4

Day 5

So one day to go, only 40 kilometers planned, but with my knees being sore, hard to even walk with, I won't party until I've really ridden all 500 kilometers. But if I make it, I just might celebrate the new year's eve with one for this one!

raphaalmost.png

 

Let's keep our fingers crossed

Surviving the darkness

It's the time of the year when it's dark when you go to work in the morning and dark when you come back home in the afternoon. Especially up here in northern Europe you really need to compensate those lost sunny hours with vitamins. Today I filled my vitamin reserves with some more vitamin C, D, B and fish oil. I've decided I'll jump on the trainer tomorrow. That means cleaning up the bike properly today.

Getting home today (Turku cathedral)

Getting home today (Turku cathedral)

 

Remember the vitamins!

Myllyn Pyöräily 2013

Race day morning

August 18th was the last race for me this year, even if I didn't know that back then. 136 km in windy conditions, with some stomach issues the day before I still felt I was not 100 % in shape. It had been raining some during the night and the roads were a bit wet in the morning, but the forecast promised some sun during the day. First time ever I was able to roll to the starting line from home, just 700 m away from my door, that was awesome.

Before start

About an hour before start I met Sebu and Klaus at the starting area. Good moods and nice talking to some other cyclist who had cycled the Route 300 the day before in pouring rain. That means 300km in heavy rain. Respect. At 9:45 we lined up for start, among the 50 first cyclists. 

Sebu, me and Klaus, moments before start

Sebu, me and Klaus, moments before start

People gathered around stands at the starting area

People gathered around stands at the starting area

Cyclists lining up

Cyclists lining up

myllyn pyöräily lähtöalue 2013
Velo Salo cyclists from Salo

Velo Salo cyclists from Salo

Race

At 10:00 the clipping sound from the pedals begun. For 6 km we were following the organizer motorcycle at about 20km/h. Then the bike accelerated and we were off at full speed. Together with Sebu we climbed closer to the race lead and after some kilometers we established ourselves at the front of the pack.  

Start

Start

After passing the city of Naantali the pace was really not stable, the steep hill at Naantali had cut our group to just some 30 cyclists and some tried to break loose from the group. I instead concentrated on grabbing an energy bar and tried to hang in at the end of the group. I managed to eat and drink and a few kilometers later the pace settled to at around 40 km/h. We started out with a single pace line and everyone worked well. For the first time in a race I was actually cycling behind the organizer motorcycle, being the virtual leader of the race.

After some 40 km we even managed to set up a proper echelon. When we've passed 60 km sign I got slightly worried. I was looking at my Garmin Edge 500 and realized I had a hard time getting below my anaerobic zone. I also started to feel the energy drain that probably was because the pace but also because of earlier stomach issues. Nutrition is everything. I had to start leaving the pace keeping every now and then in the echelon and at 70 km I realized I couldn't hang in a lot more. More than 60 km to go, way too much to do by yourself I thought. I actually got left behind the group a couple of times, but managed to struggle my way back to the back of the group every time. It's really hard to get left behind some 20 meters and then try to take back that when you're at your limits. I told Sebu several times I'm not able to hang in a lot longer. He seemed to be in pretty good shape.  

At 90 km it happened. I was not able to follow the leading group any longer. My body was empty. At the same time Sebu said he'd be okay to ride together with me to the end. At the same time we ran into heavy headwinds. We worked together and soon saw other cyclists that had fallen from the group. Together we worked to close down the gap to the two cyclists and soon we were four. At this point, each time at the front hurt like hell and I started to feel ill. I had to tell the guys I was not able to work for the group any longer. I was lucky to have three stronger cyclists with me and together they did a superb job helping me and us closer to the finish line. Some 10 km before the finish I felt I had regained some energy and was able to work some for the group for the last parts. We were also joined by the Kaupin Kanuunat guy we've met in Vuelta Vantaa some weeks before. And in good mood we cycled together to the finish line. At the end we were among the 15 fastest that day, not bad after all.

Within the last 10 km, our group of five

Within the last 10 km, our group of five

Pushing up the last climb

Pushing up the last climb

Post race

Again, it was superb to meet people from previous races and the time below 4 hours was not that bad either. The 90 km average speed of 40 km/h was the fastest 90 km I've ever done, so I can't be too disappointed.

Thanks also to photographers Johanna and Jenni! 

 Next Sunday I will write you about the most challenging route I've seen in Finland, Eteläkärjen Ajot and how that race went for me. 

 

Have a good Sunday, take it easy! 

 

Vuelta Vantaa 2013

It was the first time ever for me to ride the Vuelta Vantaa, a 100 km race last Sunday. Due to the short distance I was expecting a bit higher average speeds than usual. 

Once again, it was an early wakeup and we managed to start in time. The morning was somewhat chilly and rainy. On the road just hours before start we found the temperature to be + 13. 

Proper breakfast

Proper breakfast

We were among the first to arrive and get our numbers. The weather was getting better as well, perfect. Sebu arrived almost at the same time, and our team of three for today was there. We got our bikes together and soon were ready to start.  

Cyclists preparing

Cyclists preparing

And my bike, once again, ready to go

And my bike, once again, ready to go

During the 100 km race I would have two 7 dl bottles of high5 electrolyte drink and one Maxim energy bar together with 3 small energy gels. It was a bit windy, and the first section would be headwinds. 

And so we were rolling. 4 kilometers into the race there was a gap between the main group and us, and we ended up missing the main group after all. The group we rode in was pretty unstable. Apparently many riders with almost no experience made the ride pretty nervous and dangerous as well. Fortunately both Sebu and I managed to stay out of trouble. 

The 100 km route consisted of two 50 km laps. The roads were in pretty good shape, which is not usual here in Finland. A 50 km lap is really not that long, so quickly we found ourselves having already 80 km behind us. I felt confident and went to the front to keep up the pace for some kilometers. Then just 10 km before finish, Sebu took the lead. Together with him we kept the pace high and hence kept ourselves out of trouble. We finished nr 2 and 3 from our group.  

Sebu at the finish, all smiles

Sebu at the finish, all smiles

A big thank goes to the Kaupin Kanuunat duo from Tampere. Especially the guy who was responsible for the pace keeping during the race. Our time was 2 hours 46 minutes, an average of 36,2 km/h.

Kaupin Kanuunat duo

Kaupin Kanuunat duo

The last race for Sebu's Focus, next race will be done with a brand new Girs G Star S

The last race for Sebu's Focus, next race will be done with a brand new Girs G Star S

Klaus had fallen to a slower group and also had a puncture at the end. But still did a good job!

Klaus after finishing

Klaus after finishing

Getting home was once again great, this time due to the fact that the Tour de France would have its final in the evening. And what a stage that was!!

Cycling is a lifestyle

Cycling is a lifestyle

I also received something new this week, I'll write more about that next week! 'Til then, have a good one!!

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Royal Cycling

Tomorrow is the third race of the year for me, Royal Cycling (Royal Pyöräily) in Lahti, Finland. It will be a 132 km long route with around 300 riders starting. Youll find the route here. The route is somewhat hilly, and really looking forward for the hills at the end. A fast 2,8 km long uphill section just 10 km before finish. Whatever group I'll ride in, that's a place to make a breakaway in. So hopefully I'll have fresh legs tomorrow.

Elevation graphics

Elevation graphics

As usual, you're able to track my ride on Endomondo. The live tracking link should appear on my Endomondo page here or alternative you can actually follow it straight from my site here on The Invisible Hill under main menu, Races/Live tracking here.

We will start at 6 am, so once again a really early wakeup. Hopefully I'm able to get some proper sleep. 

Today was once again a great day of road cycling. A proper breakfast, coffee, and out for a short ride with a couple of short sprint-intervals just to get the legs going.

Pre-ride espresso

Pre-ride espresso

And what could be better after that, than watching a great mountain stage of Tour de France and have some proper food and coffee. Superb effort by Team Sky and Chris Froome, not to mention Richie Porte. Huge. I just hope Contador, Valverde or someone else could make it a good fight for Team Sky. If the domination is like today, it might be a boring last 2 weeks of the tour.  

Rice, chicken and green beans, my fuel-up-for-a-race-nutrition, always

Rice, chicken and green beans, my fuel-up-for-a-race-nutrition, always

So I'll keep you updated tomorrow on the facebook page with pictures from along the day. The weather should be great, hopefully my legs are great too.

No summer without wild strawberries, a must-stop when you see these on a easy ride. 

No summer without wild strawberries, a must-stop when you see these on a easy ride. 

Until next time, enjoy the summer, ride your bikes!

A superb day of road cycling

Some days are better than others, and today was one of those days you'll remember even on the coldest and darkest winter days. It was simply superb. 

Today's schedule was to ride some easy 4 - 5 hours and then get back home to watch the end of stage 2 of the Tour de France. Around 11 am I took the bike out, +23 degrees and sunshine, light winds. Perfect. 

Smooth

Smooth

I also decided to take a new route section today, took one wrong turn before I found the actual route. And luckily so, it was really beautiful. Idyllic yards, beautiful landscapes and winding roads.  

Ponies ahead!

Ponies ahead!

Nice scenery

Nice scenery

Idyllic neighborhoods  

Idyllic neighborhoods  

Tour de France colors

Tour de France colors

Dear Lord, please make the summer last forever

Dear Lord, please make the summer last forever

Decided to make a stop for a couple of minutes. Just to listen to the birds, the summer breeze and to smell the great tang of summer

Decided to make a stop for a couple of minutes. Just to listen to the birds, the summer breeze and to smell the great tang of summer

It's sometimes nice to vary the ride snacks. Raisins are great nutrition for your rides with plenty of fructose and energy.

It's sometimes nice to vary the ride snacks. Raisins are great nutrition for your rides with plenty of fructose and energy.

For those who want to have the nutrition facts for raisins, here you have it:

Nutritional value of raisins (100g) 

  • 299 calories
  • 0.5 g fat
  • 79 g carbohydrates
  • 59 g sugar
  • 4 g dietary fiber
  • 3 g protein 

The ride was filled with euphoria. Many great thoughts and ideas as well as just plain enjoyment of the fact that I was riding my bike on a day like this. I will certainly memorize this day, and go back to this day whenever I have a bad one.

 Four and a half hours later I arrived home, just in time for the action on the second stage of the Tour de France 2013. And what a stage that was. I prepared some recovery food and coffee and enjoyed the stage. Superb. Many great strong attacks and no crashes. And once again a demonstration about how strong will and determination can take you far. In the last kilometers there was a small breakaway, and as usual before the finish the group started looking at each other because no one wanted to do the dirty job. Jan Bakelants got rid of that group and barely finished before the main group with Peter Sagan in second. Huge effort by Bakelants, and surely a day he'll never forget. 

Post ride Tdf with Italian coffee #awesomeness

Post ride Tdf with Italian coffee #awesomeness

Have a good one! 

Stacking up

As we get closer to the new outdoor season, it's time to go trough the old clothing and update the cycling wardrobe. Time to open up the wallet once again, but saving on clothing will cost you on the road. Freezing, numb toes together with sweaty yet cold torso will make you regret you sorted the price list view from low to high and didn't bother to scroll down. Today I received the first pre-season shipment..

Clif energy bars to keep me energized on my rides and the ultimate energy drink, High5 Electrolyte drink. Can't get enough of this magnificent drink.

Clif energy bars to keep me energized on my rides and the ultimate energy drink, High5 Electrolyte drink. Can't get enough of this magnificent drink.

It's hard to find a really tasty, yet nutritious and healthy energy bar. I've found the Clif and Maxim energy bars to be the ones getting closest to meeting those requirements

It's hard to find a really tasty, yet nutritious and healthy energy bar. I've found the Clif and Maxim energy bars to be the ones getting closest to meeting those requirements

And to once again show you something else than food:

The view from the "office" (watching Biathlon on the laptop to the left)

The view from the "office" (watching Biathlon on the laptop to the left)

Being first one at the office has its glory

Being first one at the office has its glory

Just a couple of days and it's weekend again!

Work in progress

Weeks pass by so fast when you're busy with studies, work and training. A lot has happened in the world of cycling lately, the Tour Down Under has started the pro tour for this season, teams have unveiled their new sponsors and team kits and well, I can't probably leave Lance Armstrong unmentioned. I'm also moving quite nicely along with my training plan, been adding on weights for my gym workouts and it all feels pretty good so far. My legs are more sore now than in a long time, but they'll get used to the training. Besides this I'm going to the sports masseur twice a month, and that helps a lot. I can really warmly recommend the place I go to, Turun KuntoFysio for all you living nearby to Turku. Really nice guys, and they sure know what they're doing. The ice hockey team, HC TPS, are also using Turun KuntoFysio.

Lance Armstrong on Oprah. I really hope the cycling world could finally move on.

Lance Armstrong on Oprah. I really hope the cycling world could finally move on.

Along with the training, once again, foodfoodfood

Along with the training, once again, foodfoodfood

And as a fan of Ice Hockey I'm thrilled to see the NHL running again. And to see the young Finnish talent, Mikael Granlund play.

And as a fan of Ice Hockey I'm thrilled to see the NHL running again. And to see the young Finnish talent, Mikael Granlund play.

Did I mention food already?

Did I mention food already?

"Working out"...

"Working out"...

I hope you all have a pleasant weekend, take care!

Enjoy the weekend! (Picture from   Airows.com)

Enjoy the weekend! (Picture from Airows.com)

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

Fueling up

Nutrition is always important when talking about endurance sports, it probably is of greater importance than we often care to think of. If you forgot to fuel up properly before a ride, you'll surely feel it in your legs at some point. During longer rides, it is as important to fuel during the ride as before you jump on the bike. You easily burn more than 2000 calories, which is more than the amount you burn during a "normal" day without excercise. You're like a car, without fuel you stop. So what do you eat during a ride?

It all begins with hydration, drink enough and minimize the risk of cramps. I myself use and recommend the High5 electrolyte drink. It's really refreshing and the bubbly drink always tastes good and keeps the cramps away. And what's nice about is the easy preparation, just fill the bottle with water and put one or two tablets in and you're done. No shaking and filling needed as with preparing the "normal" energy drink. Minimizing the preparation time before heading out for a ride is important.

High5 electrolyte drink (click to open in wiggle)

For longer rides (+100km) I usually have approximately one energy bar/40km depending on the activity level. I've found out that Maxim energy bars are suited "for my stomach". It is important to notice that not all energy bars and other products suite all. Some enjoy a banana, others get sick of a banana during a ride. I've tried out many different energy bars and different energy drinks, and the ones mentioned here suits me well. What is important is also that everything tastes good. Endurance sports is all about the feeling, and tasty nutrition gives you a good feeling, and even though it would have the same amount of energy in it than any other snack, you can pedal faster just because you enjoy what you're eating.

Maxim offers many different flavored energy bars (click to read more) Sometimes you feel a sudden drop in energy levels and at that time energy gels are the best way to regain energy levels fast. Usually these are really like sugar in liquid form, and taste really bad. So be careful when buying them. Energy gels are also a good energy boost when you are approaching the end of a race and want to maximize your effort.

I've recently bought these, and people seem to like them. Hope they're right! (click to read more)Caffeine is something that you might like to have to give an additional boost to your energy levels, but be careful, caffeine usually drains you a little, so be careful with hydration. All in all, you need fuel when you ride, especially if your ride is a longer one. And personally I think it is of great value if you enjoy the stuff you eat and drink.

Here you can see the data from Tyler Farrar (Team Garmin Barracuda), stage 2 in Giro d'Italia 2012. During 5 hours he burned more than 8000 calories! Beat that! And I'm pretty sure he didn't do it without having a proper meal and having something to eat and drink every now and then during the stage.

 

I'll be back with more photos from recent rides!

 

Have a good one!