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Entries For: August 2008


almost there

The last bit of work is done for my strength & conditioning coaching qualification

All I have to do is fax in my completed practical coaching record sheet (completed last Thursday in at the Mermet center with Anthony Dove and Peter Cayley) and I've got my Level 1 AS&C ticket.  Good-o

And I set a PB in a flying 100 last night at DISC not long after a hard gym session - clean & jerks take a lot out of your legs, that's for sure! Round 1 of the BSSS is only a month away....


Blackburn Summer of Track promotions

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I've knocked up a handout card to help promote the summer track racing program at Blackburn

Just as we did for the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series, I've made up some business-card handouts for the 2008-2009 Blackburn 'Summer of Track' track racing program.

Here it is

blackburn sot frontblackburn sot back

We'll start handing these out at all the local bike shops etc, and hopefully it'll help make the '08-'09 track season at Blackburn better than ever!

I expect they'll be back from the printers mid next week (early September). If you want some to help hand out, let me know and I'll get some to you.



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A new book in the aboc library

It was mum's birthday yesterday, and I usually get her a book, by convenience, the same book each year, she's a fan of James Halliday's wine review, which is an annual release. I'd get her something requiring a little more imagination, but this is what she wants .. According to the book they taste 5700-odd wines.  Think about it ... that's 15.6 wines a day every day of the year.  Even if Halliday farms out 50% of the tasting to an assistant that's still 8 wines a day every day - that's only tasting, not drinking, but it trips my skeptical senses as to the reliability of the process. We know that it's not done every day, he has to have days off, holidays etc .. how it's done and he keeps a clear head and palate?

But this is a cycling blog, not one for winers.

I took the Truck (Trek 7.2 FX) in to the local megaplex (Forrest Hill Chase) - something about these places leaves a distinctly unpleasant taste in my mouth - is it the listless, bored vandals skateboarding around the carpark looking for things to break, paint or steal or the slobs lazing away the day in the eatery stuffing their faces with festering junk food?  Or just the general desperation of the people in the place trying forlornly to placate themselves by buying worthless junk and trinkets? Mallrats isn't a pinch on the reality of suburban shopping complexes. Mallrats is funny. Megaplexes are the pits. At least people addicted to the weekend credit card binge in at Bunnings are likely to be doing something constructive with the stuff they buy.

They do have a bookshop there, thus the journey - I found the book for mum, and had a quick glance at the sporting book section - under the usual bios of yesterday's local football stars there's a couple of cycling books - interestingly not just the usual Lance Armstrong bios, there's also Racing Tactics for Cyclists (if you don't have this, you should have it, it's the best book I've found on the subject of bike racing tactics), and Bad Blood. I already have RTfC, but Bad Blood is new.  I'll have that!


On the way out and no-one had stolen the Truck! Quick .. ride home!

Publishing news

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Some people need to realise that if they want something published, they have to tell people about it!

A good friend of mine just got off the phone to me, we made a little bit of a fuss over Emily here on the aboc website (she's an aboc rider) and I passed on the news of her success and the others that I knew of at the time (two of the Dundas girls and Bridget Thomas) to Blackburn.  The news got put up quickly on the Blackburn website, which is great.  The club should be making a fuss over the achievements of its riders and it did. Good!

But aparently this started some sort of storm.  If you're reading this and you have taken umbrage at the publishing of news about some riders on the Blackburn website but not others and along the way questioned the integrity of the people who put the news up that they receive, promptly and enthusiastically, then maybe, rather than getting stuck into club volunteers, you can send news to them yourself so it gets published.  There's no bias at Blackburn towards aboc riders, I just took the time to send an email to the club to let them know what I knew and they published what they had, as they should.

They publish what they have, but they're not mind readers. The onus is on you if you want your kids made a fuss of.  Tell the club yourself if you have news and support the club people who are giving their time and effort to the club and to help your kids.  Show up at the next committee meeting and apologise to them, while you're at it. Many of us from aboc go and help at junior races, road races we're not competing in etc, some of us have no kids there racing but we help out because we're committed to helping the club and all its members.






The interferance effect

Or, combining peak power training with aerobic training - good for enduros .. BAD for sprinters!

I wrote an article in the tips & hints section of the site today. summarising some stuff I've been reading and asking people about here and there about the effects that aerobic training has on strength and power training. In short, strength training doesn't hurt enduros, but enduro training has a negative impact on sprinting.

The article is here.



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I had a swim!

As part of some cross-training I hit the local pool for a splash today.  I used to swim quite a bit, played waterpolo etc .. but hadn't been in the pool for some time - at least 6 months, and that was a one-off!

I took it pretty easy, 500m cruising, then I did some 25m sprint|25m cruise efforts (6 of) and then warmed down with 200m cruising.  About 30 mins all up in the pool. It felt pretty good!

I've been working on some promo cards for the 2008-2009 Blackburn track racing, to compliment the bontrager summer sprint series promo cardBontrager Summer Sprint Series cards we did a month or two ago.  Hopefully I'll get them finalised on Friday this week and then we'll get them for next week. The BSSS cards look like this


Go the Llama!

I was away at Mt Sterling for the weekend, but Shane 'the Llama' Miller had a win

I spent most of the weekend up at Mt Sterling lapping up some really good snowfall, we skied up to Bluff Spur Hut and camped overnight (we cheated, and used the hut for cooking, but we did sleep in our tent on the snow this time!), and spent a bit of time playing on the summit in dry powder snow .. beautiful ... but I was back in time to run the DISC session on Sunday (just!).

On Saturday Shane took out in convincing style his time trial.  I don't yet have details, but by his report he 'smashed it', which is great!

I was stuffed from the weekend's ski-ing and felt dead during the warmup on Sunday at DISC, so decided to just run the session, I wouldn't get any quality out of it.  As we had a small turnout we varied the program a bit and the troops did some pursuits and a few mini scratch races with the emphasis on tactical experiments and skills.  Not that it was easy, they will all have slept well last night, but it was more focussed on racecraft than pure fitness.  As we're getting closer to summer(!) it's time to start integrating more tactical and race-specific work into training.



Anna Meares!

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What a champion!

It's a bit of a fairytale, 7 months ago Anna Meares was laid up with broken bones in her back after a crash at the LA round of the World Cup.

Today she's the 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the one remaining track sprint event for female riders after her favorite event was removed from the Olympics (500m ITT) which she was the Olympic gold medalist in 2004 and world record holder.

What an incredible, inspiring and amazing comeback from that injury.

We remember her qualifying for the Australian team back at Revolution 3 at Vodafone.anna meares crosses the 200m line

And with the Blackburn girlsanna meares and the blackburn sprinters

Anna, you rock!


There is no such thing as lactic acid in the human body

It crops up all over the place, but it's just plain wrong. There is no lactic acid in the human body

Clothing companies, coaching manuals, riders, coaches ... all talking about lactic acid.

Get this:

There is no lactic acid in the human body. It's a MYTH! It's WRONG!

From the article on it in wikipedia :

During power exercises such as sprinting, when the rate of demand for energy is high, lactate is produced faster than the ability of the tissues to remove it and lactate concentration begins to rise. This is a beneficial process since the regeneration of NAD+ ensures that energy production is maintained and exercise can continue. The increased lactate produced can be removed in a number of ways including
Contrary to popular belief, this increased concentration of lactate does not directly cause acidosis, nor is it responsible for delayed onset muscle soreness.[1] This is because lactate itself is not capable of releasing a proton, and secondly, the acidic form of lactate, lactic acid, cannot be formed under normal circumstances in human tissues. Analysis of the glycolytic pathway in humans indicates that there are not enough hydrogen ions present in the glycolytic intermediates to produce lactic or any other acid.


So if someone starts talking about how their wondergarment reduces lactic acid buildup, or how their magic drink helps the body flush it out post exercise etc... You know they're full of something, because there's no lactic acid there in the first place.



A weekend away cross country ski-ing, a late dash to DISC and finally a semi decent time

Richard Grace and I went away for the weekend, leaving on Friday to spend two nights up at Mt Sterling, for some much-needed holiday and some time on the snow and the last trip in his old Landrover S3 'Adventure Truck' before he gets a new car.  Those of you that haven't done it, XC ski-ing is great cross-training for enduro cyclists, but for sprinters, it's probably not so useful, but it is a lot of fun and you have to 'earn your turns'.  Which is to say that to ski downhill, first you have to ski uphill.

TBJ is at the intersection of Sterling Rd and Circuit Rd

It's here :

View Larger Map


We skied up from there on Friday in a reasonable amount of rain to the King Saddle shelter, where we decided to rather lazily pitch my tent inside the shelter (dry, out of the wind ... slack!).  Watching the rain fall and melt the snow was a bit sad, but there was a lot of snow .. so we had good hopes for the weekend.

And it was good!  Saturday was cloudy, and had intermittant snow and rainfall, we skied up to the Cricket Pitch via fork creek trail (it was quite icey and we didn't fancy the black run up Sterling Trail!), then did a long loop back to King Saddle via Baldy loop.  Very nice ... about 4-5 hours of ski-ing, and there was lots of snow.  That night a group from Ivanhoe Grammar showed up and shared the shelter with us, but they left us alone after their dinner and talks by their group leaders (15 y/o kids are gormless!).  They didn't trip over too much stuff and generally were well behaved kids.

Sunday we got up and did a loop around the circuit road as it was very very icey early on, back to King Saddle via Hut Loop, finished packing our packs and then did another run to the Machinery Shed and then down to TBJ via Baldy Loop again, for about another 4 hours on skis (the last 3 with packs).  One of the drops down Baldy loop was just perfect, nice snow, a gradient not too steep to scare me too much(!).  Down to TBJ, get changed, and get going ... except the AW won't start!  We hand crank it (try that in your Toorak Tractor!).. still won't start.  After a few more cranks it eventually starts ... and we're away! 5km before we get to Mansfield and bang ... left hand rear tyre blows out.  Oh great!  I got Rich a new jack after the last flat tyre we had over summer when we drove up to Bonnie Doon and the old jack broke, but it's not quite enough to lift the AW up high enough!  Doh.  We flag down a passing 4wd and they have a trolley jack.  5 more minutes and we're on our way again.  the AW is determined to make this a memorable last trip!

2 hours later and a very very quick stopoff at aboc HQ to grab my kit for DISC, and we're away again, I've let Nath know to run the warmup, and when I get there he's just finished it.  The enduros do a few efforts, and then it's sprinters time, and we're doing standing 1 lap efforts ... oh ... they do hurt!

Then I take the enduros for some motorpaced accelerations, and then we do flying 100's.  My first one is a dog, 7.17s or something awful, but finally I manage to break 7s after a few weeks of being stuck on 7.1's, with a 6.7s, it's way off my target of a 6.5s F100, but it's not that far off and I still don't feel like I'm hitting the startline at full speed yet, so there's plenty of room for improvement. We finish off with a take a lap grand prix and I ride the motorbike for them, as I'm pretty knackered from all the ski-ing etc.

Home via Nandos for protein and carbs and lots of extra hot sauce! Sleep in my own bed ... ahhh

A bloody good weekend!

Today I rode out to a client site and saw one other pushbike on the road the whole time.  It's a cold and windy day out in the Eastern 'Burbs and it seems everyone's inside in front of a heater.  I might chop some wood for tonight, or just put on a jumper.

We missed a lot of the track cycling at the Olympics, it looks like Ryan Bailey's burnt out, but Anna Meares is a chance to do very well, Go Anna!






Wednesdays are dead days

Henceforth, Wedensday is known as "dead day"

I do my hard sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.  The hardest sessions on Tues and Sun, the moderatly hard session on Thursday at the moment.

A Tuesday is roughly at the moment :

Powerhaus : Squats then deadlifts or lunges, some upper body strength stuff (bench, some pullups or chins or something). At the moment, for squats I'm doing 3 warmup sets (20kg, 60kg, 100kg) then 5 sets of 5 reps at a work-loading of 140kg, which takes about 20 minutes, then the other stuff, all up maybe 50 mins in the haus. I'm still getting slow linear progression in loading for squats, so I'm not past the 'novice' phase of weight training, but that's probably going to happen in the next month or so, but by then the focus will be on power, with more kettlebell stuff and olympic lifts to get more wattage happening.

Then the spin session on Tuesday night, where we do short very high intensity sprints, about 3 hours after the powerhaus session, and then some anaerobic endurance stuff to finish off the session.

I wake up on Wednesday flattened.  Rooted ... No amount of protein etc on Tues staves off Wednesday deadness!  It's a day I spend on my feet working at Cycle Science, when all I want to do is sit down and push buttons and stare blankly at a piece of plastic.

Mondays aren't so bad, although Sunday is a similar pattern, just we do sprints at DISC instead of on ergo trainers, which is odd, maybe I'm not working as hard at DISC, or maybe Wednesday is accumulated fatigue from Sunday and Tuesday? Whatever it is, Wednesdays are dead days!


Spin classes count!

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The aboc spin sessions count for AS&C hours

I kinda thought they would, but finally spent the 2 minutes required to send an email to the Australian Strength & Conditioning people to check ... the aboc Spin Sessions I run count towards hours for my level 1 AS&C qualification.  That's very good!  It means I have the 20 hours coaching sorted, and all I need is a few more hours with Peter Cayley in at the Mermet and it's done, and I have the L1 AS&C ticket.



Bench press .. relevance to cycling? Nope ...

A slightly off-topic milestone today, I benchpressed 100kg (5,4 and 3 reps) in the PowerHaus.  Not much use for cycling, but I'd been working towards it as part of strength training, and there you go ... Also managed 5,5,5,5 & 4 deep squats at 140kg, so a good strength session, finished off with 3 sets of 15 kettlebell swings (20kg) and 3 sets of pullups.   I hit DISC in an hour and a half to work on power.  First, I have to replace a couple of worn cleats as a matter of importance.  Last time I left cleats for too long I pulled a cleat at full power and broke a rib or two and spent 6 weeks unable to train.  Not this time!


Rainy days

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I'm glad I did my longer rides yesterday and on Friday!

Today's weather is good for indoor training, I have a session in the PowerHaus to do, and then tonight's DISC session, both will be dry, but not warm. I was due to do a motorpace session with one of my riders at 6am today, but at 5, when the alarm went off, it was raining quite heavily, so a quick SMS, and back to sleep!

Yesterday was meant to be an easy 1 hour or so tootle in E1 around the local 'burbs, but I found myself out at The Basin at the foot of the 1:20.  I had to .. against my better judgement.  Time?  27:03!  Now that is a slow climb.  I did it in E2 mostly, HR around 158, and it was E3 for about 5 or so minutes of the effort, but only just, average power was around 220-240 watts but I slacked right off at the false flat and noodled that at 180 watts.  For me, E3 is over 160bpm. Ended up about 2 hours on the road, and not quite the easy ride I had planned, the final slog up the Boronia Rd hill was the icing on the cake for this lazy fat hill-phobic cyclist!

Friday I also snuck in an hour on the bike, just a tootle to Dullcaster and back to a client site, so I was lucky with the weather for my tootling days this week. I'm looking forward to tonight at DISC, indoors, dry ... no hills ...



A PB tonight, w00t!

A hard day today, I did an easy 10km tootle from a client site in Doncaster to home at midday just as a leg turning cruise, then a very hard squat and clean & jerk session in the Powerhaus.  Expecting to be down on watts tonight at spin, and my first two 10 second sprints were a bit flat, I got 1309 watts on the first effort, 1294 on the second, but I wanted more and got a little angry. Last effort, 1389 watts, a new PB by about 40 watts.  That'll do .. The rest of the night was a 5 min E3 effort and 3 x 30s high cadence efforts on the 2 minute (chundertime!).  Job done.  Sleep time ...

Wind turbines

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I've woken up after a dream, and someone's making them ...

I want one of these.

Slap it on the roof of the house, tap it into the grid ... and the DVD player in front of the rollers and ergo trainer is running off wind (and not my wind!)




Simple fixes to make a difference

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How to get more people riding?

Today's Age, again ....

The headlines :

Tax breaks for cycling to work

End special deals for 4wd's (get the great big land barges OFF the road!)

Insist on fuel efficient cars

Abolish the fringe benefits tax lunacy that encorages people to drive more

I'm not so keen on the tax break, I don't think we need middle class welfare, but the argument for it is sound.


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