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Entries For: October 2008


What I'm doing at the Mermet

As well as working with a couple of juniors ... I train at the Mermet doing power work

At the Mermet Center (HQ of the Victorian Weightlifting Assoc) I do a couple of power exercises, specifically, clean pulls and clean & jerks.

The clean pull is an assistance exercise for the clean and jerk, why it's good for sprint cyclists is because it focusses on explosive power in leg and hip extension, just like cycling fast.

A good video and description is here. I'm doing 6 sets of 5 reps at 60kg, not very much weight, but most of the literature suggests that for power development 40-60% of 1rm for around 5-7 reps is ideal.  So 60kg it is ... I am getting a decent jump at the end, certainly leaving the floor.

The clean and jerk is one of the olympic lifts, I do a push jerk rather than a split jerk after the advise of Peter Cayley suggested that spint jerks weren't good for cyclists as it develops asymetery.

It's a very taxing lift, I do 3 sets of 5 at 50kg at the moment.



Today's training

A morning at the track, gym, gym ...

This morning Dino and I hooked up with Uncle Pat D and did some solid work at the track between the showers that fell.  We did a 15l warmup with a sprint finish (Dino won, again!), Pat did a 20 lap motorpaced rampup effort, Dino & I did flying 200's behind the bike, Pat did a 15l mini pointsrace effort (every 5 laps he comes off the back of the bike and sprints a lap), then Dino & I did another F200 effort behind the bike, and we finished off with a rolling start 350m sprint (Dino won, AGAIN!).  A 10 lap rolldown and home ... Then I hit the gym.  Squats - I dropped the cage rails down a notch as my flexibility has improved, and I only worked up to 4 x 5 @ 140kg, and with the extra depth that was plenty hard enough!  A few assistance exercises and that's it for the morning's training.  Tonight's the Mermet and clean pulls and clean & jerks.

I'm hungry!

Sunday's forecast keeps changing :

Cloud increasing. Isolated showers, increasing to areas of rain during the afternoon. Winds northeasterly averaging up to 20 km/h tending south to southeasterly around midday.

Shower or two then rain.
Min 12
Max 23


Totally off-topic, here's the receipe for the aboc Spag Bol.


A pleasant Wednesday tootle

Hooked up with some aboc'ers and had a nice ride!

Wednesday's been a beautiful day, and after a week of next to no training I needed to get out on a bike in some way or other.  Knocked off work at 5:30 from the LBS, on the bike and met up with Bev, Dino, Em and Donna, and off we went for a nice 30km cruise.  All E1 stuff, just a really pleasant ride. I was tempted to roll in to watch the first of HCC's Kew crits for the summer, but I didn't want to do much more than about 30km today so I can get some quality work done tomorrow morning.

On the BSSS front, Trek sent me a box of goodies to use as extra prizes on Sunday. The forecast looks a bit iffy, but the BoM forecasts rain out of hope and desperation these days, more than any actual expectation of rain, I think ... We've got 19 riders so far pre-entered, which is great as long as the weather holds.

Yesterday morning was good fun, I had been contacted by a bloke who wanted to get a bit of his strength & conditioning qualifiations done, and he wanted a supervisor for a session.  We made a time (he's a PE teacher at Xavier, hold the jokes, every kid gets up to mostly harmless mischief on muckup day ... those kids just got unlucky by being caught out and a few took it a bit too far) and I trundled in to the Xavier gym - they have a very flash setup, indoor pool, indoor stadium for basketball, well set up all purpose gym ... That's a school with a few bucks to splash around.  Anyway, we went through a few exercises, had a good talk and ticked a few boxes on a form, it was pretty good fun and quite rewarding for both of us I think.  I hadn't been to Xavier since I was playing under 16's (or was it 14's?) rugby when we (Moorabbin) played Xavier's team once.  I remember their ground being quite narrow which made cover defence easy (I played No.8 as a junior, and in those days No.8 was a cover defensive role mainly), and that didn't look like it had changed, but the rest of the place was very swish indeed. The grounds were very green, Poowong footy club sort of green.  I'm sure they have a big tank.

Tomorrow, track in the morning, weights around midday, olympic lifts in the evening.  Bring it on!



Summer training sessions

Why don't we train together over summer?

It's a good question, we (aboc) run a Tuesday night spin session and a Sunday evening DISC session over 'winter', but nothing over summer. Why is this?  Especially when nowdays many aboc riders are trackies or at least have track bikes.  This is a recent change, but a significant one.

One of the main reason is that during 'summer' (daylight savings) there's really no need to do indoor training, the weather is generally dry and it's light so everyone can do their own training on the road.  The Tuesday session was orginally set up to keep people riding during the dark nights over winter when most of us have jobs etc that make it hard.  It's quite specific and tailored to individuals (and very intense!), but that's what it was - for many it's a core training night over winter, and for riders not on coaching programs with a coach it's a way to get on a bit of a program for 'free' as I pay a lot of attention to everyone that comes along and try to make it as valuable a session as possible for each attendee.  Sunday evenings was similar, we wanted to train track skills etc, and it fits in well with most people's weekends.

So what do we do over summer?  Riders with coaching programs do their programs. aboc wasn't really set up to cater for group training sessions and while we do it over winter, it wasn't a core thing. It looks like there may be some demand for that now though, and if there is, aboc may need to adapt to this demand. We used to run a race skills session on Saturday mornings but last year it ended up as two of us (Dino and I) as the only attendees, which was a waste of both of our times, and now Dino races on Saturdays it's not ideal for him to train on Saturday mornings as well, even if it's a skills-focussed session it's still tiring.  Blackburn runs a number of track sessions over summer at the velodrome in the early evenings that are suitable for a wide range of riders too.

So, what do we do?  Who wants to do what? I'm working with a couple of juniors on Thursday nights in at the Mermet in Hawthorn, we race on Saturdays at Blackburn, many of the trackies who would come to a session are racing on Tuesdays at DISC also and of course many race at Glenvale or St Kilda on Sunday mornings too.  There's not much of a slot to use that will work out for many, about the only really suitable time is Sunday afternoons at Blackburn which will have to give way on the weekends that the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series runs on.  I don't want to run a low intensity (low quality) session, which means I want people who come to be fresh. If you want to do junk miles and then try and do high intensity work when tired, there's plenty of other coaches only too willing to take your money, but that's not a path I want to take. I want to provide the best value and quality I can if I'm to run another regular session.

So, if you want to do a training session over summer, let me know and let me know what you'd like it to be, and I'll do my best to accomodate it.



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Tomorrow is the first round of the Keirin series

At Blackburn tomorrow, we race a scratch race, a handicap, and then keirins.  I'm quite looking forward to the keirin. I haven't ever really done much/any keirin racing, so it'll be a good chance to learn a bit and work on some skills - and if the motorbike does the right thing, it's a race for sprinters.  I should at least be able to enjoy it a bit.

Many of the lads are off doing the Warny tomorrow, good luck to Mason, Camster, Tom and the Brightstar crew. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I rode the Warny, and came back and did it again the year after.  It's a long, long race ... Tailwinds ... 

My guide to riding it is here.



Dead on Wed

Again ...

Wednesdays are still dead days! Some good news from the troops that raced at DISC last night, Emily winning a kilo handicap off 60m, Dino winning a motorpace (again), Krissy winning a scratch and points race and Jodie (30m) and Krissy (scr) combining in the kilo h'cap to get Krissy a solid 4th place.

I'm about to head off for a day working at the shop after a couple of very long 'real world job' days.  I managed to fit in a set of squats yesterday (5 x 5 @ 150kg) and some work on the ergo, peak power was only 1341 watts, but it was 20 minutes after the heavy squat session and my legs were very tired so that's not bad. The next week is power work on the bike and the gym, with a bit of speed-endurance (30s efforts) starting into the mix, before round 2 on the 2nd of Nov.  Pre-entries have been trickling in for that, and we've got 13 pre-entrants already.  Two weeks to go!


Stood up!

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No-one wants to come for a ride this morning ....

Looks like I'll be on the ergo on my own today!

C'est la Vie ...


Big days ...

A swim, a ride, a gym session ...

Yesterday went as expected - enduro stuff, after the scratch race I was dropped down to C grade pretty promtly! ... So today, some cross-training in the pool (500m w/up, 10 x 25m sprint/25m cruise on the minute, 500m w/down), then some strength and power efforts at the velo (3 x S150's, 2 x F100's) and I'm about to hit the gym, then dinner and a movie .. it's all good!


Blackburn's Summer of Track tomorrow

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The regular summer track racing season starts tomorrow!

Scratch, progressive points (yuk!) and then motorpace (ok!).

I've been put into B grade for the start of the season, given that I was racing C towards the end of last season and not winning, that's a bit rough, but it'll sort itself out soon enough. I'm more interested in the BSSS than the SoT, the SoT stuff is mainly a bit of fun (not that the BSSS isn't fun too!).

The BoM says :

Saturday      Fine.                                  Min 12    Max 29

so the weather will be good for racing.

Congrats to the V-Train

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Stuart 'V-Train' Vaughan medals at the World Masters again

The V-Train, for the second year running, has medaled at the World Masters Games in Sydney.  Last year, he won the world championship for Masters 40-44, this year, third place.  Top stuff Stu!


Want a power meter!

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No power meter on the track bike ... curses!

This morning was a set of standing start 150's at the velodrome for strength, this evening, lifting in the Powerhaus - this is a strength week.

When we were doing spin sessions indoors I used the Powertap to measure power and torque, but now it's nominally summer I'm out on the track bike doing more real stuff.  There's no power meter on the T1 at the moment, and without someone with a stopwatch it's impossible to know how I'm progressing.  WKO+ is useless with no data and I'm a data junkie ... At the moment a set of SRM cranks is out of the question (~$5000).  The only chance at the moment for anything useful and vaguely affordable is the Quarq CinQo. They're not providing a track version yet, but claim to 'soon'.  Hurry up! 


Back into it

After a lazy first half of last week ...

It wasn't until mid last week that I started to feel even vaguely energetic, and my times on Thursday were rubbish as previously noted here, but I did have a half decent session at the Mermet on Thursday night, although I was only squatting 140kg, it still felt reasonably good.  On the w'end I did a set of standing 150's at BBN on Saturday and on Sunday did 5 x 5 @ 150kg squats and felt good through them.  We've been setting up a basic olympic lift platform in the Powerhaus so I can drop weights!  Heh!

An old friend of mine expressed a little bit of interest in having a go at the track sprinting stuff (he's a big, strong man, it may be something he's quite good at and would enjoy) - I'm hoping he'll get in touch with me to make a time to have a go on a track bike and see if he's keen to have a crack.

On Sunday morning at not-gentlemans-hours I took the motorbike out to Point Cook to motorpace some of the lads preparing for this year's Warny.  2 hours of motorpacing out to Little River and back with a hot northerly blowing - the lads did pretty well I think.

Today, as expected, tired legs from the squats and Saturday's S150's, but feeling ok - I'm going to go for a swim tonight and then do more weights and riding drills tomorrow.  I might snatch a few minutes on the rollers and do some high cadence stuff if I get time. The basic plan between rounds of the BSSS is :

  1. Recovery & strength
  2. Strength & power
  3. Power and speed-endurance
  4. Taper


So this is week two - strength & power, squats, standing starts in big gears and a few flying 200's or downhill sprints or motorpaced sprints for power, as well as clean pulls in the Powerhaus rather than deadlifts or lunges etc. The Blackburn Summer of Track program starts this Saturday which I'm kinda looking forward to - it'll be interesting to see how I go in track enduro stuff.  I'm tipping not very well!

Well done to Eddie Wilson who had a strong finish at the St Kilda crits on Sunday, hopefully Fast Eddie will be able to make it to a few rounds of the BSSS to keep The Wizard honest and challenge for the track F200 record. And of course a big 'Go well!' to the V-Train who's heading up to Sydney to defend his world masters pursuit title.  Go Stu!



Residual fatigue?

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I hope so!

Dino and I hit the Blackburn velodrone this morning for some strength efforts then a F200 and a match sprint.

It was pretty cold this morning, and we did a 20 lap warmup (86")with a bit of a sprint finish - with one to go Dino was on the front, at the 200m line he lifted the pace a little, and I came over the top to pip him by not very much!

Ok, warmed up, but still cold, I can't speak for Dino (except that he was very sluggish too) but my legs were not responsive at all. If he'd done any more than a gradual lift of pace I don't think I'd have been able to go with him.

Anyway ... Standing 1 lappers on 86.4".  I do mine first, it's a low 28 (307m track).  Dino goes slower than me (how? Trackstanding?), we rest a while, and go again, I do a high 28, Dino goes a bit faster than his previous time, but still slow(and still slower than me!).

Ok, that's the strength stuff 'done'.  Time for flying 200's - We bump up to 91.8". The sun comes out and it warms up a little. Nice. I think it warms Dino up quite well.

My run - 14.7! WTF?! Dreadful! Conditions are near-perfect now, no wind, sunny enough to drop the winter jacket and ride in a jersey.  Dino does a much faster, but still way below his PB, run. 

So we square off to finish the session with a match sprint, Dino's qualified fastest so he gets to choose, and I'm told to lead it out. 2 laps as per BSSS round format.  I keep lifting the pace to try and pull Dino down off the bank but he stays up and we circle faster ... I'm watching him and he jumps from a fair way back, at around 220m to go, I'm way too slow to react and he flies past me, gets 5 meters or so and that's how it stays all the way to the finish line.

That's it, we pack up and go home! I hope I can squat properly this afternoon, and lift at the Mermet tonight! My head hurts!


A couple of lazy(ish) days

I had two days off!

Off training, that is....

On Monday I was trashed from racing on Sunday. Non-sprinters might scoff, but 4 maximum efforts are hard to recover from and my legs were jelly on Monday! The rest of me didn't feel too crash-hot either.  So Monday, recovery day.  Tuesday, I was going to do a light weights session, but got swamped with work and also trying to get as many of the videos from Sunday online, I'm about half way there now - video editing, even in my very very crude and quick and dirty way is time consuming, and I'm certainly not very good at it!  Thus, it's been a slow process.

Today I rode to work and back (wooo ... 2km each way to Cycle Science from home!) but also got a swim in after dinner for a bit of high intensity aerobic work.  Tomorrow Dino and I hit the concrete again at Blackburn for sprint work, then I do a squats session in the afternoon, and a power (olympic lifting) session at night in at the Mermet.  For the next one and a half weeks the focus is strength, then a week of power, then a week of speed-endurance, then it's round 2! Rinse, lather, repeat ... Round 3 ...



Round 1 of the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series

Phew ...

Round 1 was an amazing success.  You can read my race report for it here.

How did I go?  Not too bad, I qualified mid B grade with a 13.80 (52.2km/h) which I was quite happy with, a new PB at Blackburn (beating the 13.88 which I set the week before at the practice round).  So that's good ... in the rounds, I raced Neil Robinson, who gave me a drubbing with a great jump I was too slow off the mark to react to, Adam King beat me by a whisker in the throw after taking a very high line. I should have won that one, Adam made it very hard for himself, and I managed to stay in front of Dale Reith (Dale had already raced at Glenvale that morning) for a win for the day. Not into the finals, with just the one win, but still pretty pleased, and today (Monday) legs on strike.

The best thing was seeing how well all my people went, having Richard come back to racing was great! The Big Ox got a win, Dino rode A grade and was far from outclassed, Merv & Karen, Alex and Marika, and Em and Krissy entertaining us between rounds. Not to mention Mick Thomas in A grade and Mason Austen, who'd ridden Glenvale that morning and is training for the Warny, having a red hot go.  Just a brilliant day in the end.  Thilled to bits!


Amazing success!

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The first round of the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series, what a day!

I'm still working on the race report, photos and video etc, but a very quick summary :

30 riders (we had more show up and had to refuse entry to them as we were full).

Perfect weather

Fantastic racing

Wonderful people helping run the day

Just brilliant!



It's all falling into place

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We still need a race day director, but everything else is sorted ...

The weather forecast : 21 & fine

The track : fixed

The lads : keen!

Equipment : sorted

All I need is a race-day director to do the grading etc, and we're set to go. I think I have someone in mind, after our previous day director pulled out late this week.


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