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Entries For: April 2009


1503 watts

Excellent Smithers, excellent ...

A good turnout at spin tonight, 19 riders braved our session.  A top bolla, and I got my 1500 watts!

Must. Sleep. Now.

Tonight, 1500 watts? One can but try ....

Trying to get more power tonight

I've just finished a medium set in the 'Haus, 5 x 5 squats at 155kg (backoff weight) and then a set of 10 140kg deadlifts. Right now I'm refueling as fast as I can, I've hit high 1400 watt peaks over the last two weeks, the aim is to get 1500 if I can, at tonight's spin session.

I spent some of today designing a logo for the aboc Sprint Squad and trying to find a t-shirt printer that does online small orders.  Cafe Press does it, and you can see the basic shirt and logo here.  The killer is the current exchange rate and postage.  A $20 shirt ends up at about $40.  The Australian sites I found don't have as good online design pages.  If anyone has any suggestions, please send 'em on through.

My copy of Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" DVD arrived in the mail today too, so I've been watching it while working.  It's got some great instructional stuff about all the core lifts we do in the 'Haus, the squat, the press, the benchpress, the deadlift and the power clean.

Time to pack the rest of the stuff for tonight! Tonight's bolla sauce is a ripper.  I'm hungry!


Running late!

Our first DISC session went well, but got off to a very late start

Sunday was big squat day, I had to get 5 x 5 at 165kg (new PB) - and I got it, in reasonably good form.  I did them after Lucie and I had a good tidyup of the 'haus, moved stuff around etc.  The things you do on a cold and rainy day.

Alex picked me up at around 3:30 and we scooted down to Blackburn to pick up my bike, then in to DISC.  The masters omnium was on Sunday, and we were expecting it to be done by 5, but it wasn't.  Not really a surprise, so we got off to a pretty late start.  We got on the track as soon as the racing finished at 6pm, but were then waved off so that the presentations could happen, which oddly seemed to have to be run on the infield but facing the stands, which had all of 10 people (at most!) still spectating.  In the interests of fair play they could have had the presentation completely in the infield.  No matter, it just took an extra half an hour so we didn't actually get to start our session 'til 6:30pm.

We had a healthy turnout of about 10 riders, we did our usual warmup, then the enduros did 2 by 5 minute hard rolling turns, the sprinters did 3 x standing 125's, enduros did a few motorpaced high speed runs, sprinters did 2 x three lap revouts behind the bike and then we finished with a 10 minute 'take a lap grand prix'.  All done by ... 8:30pm!  Needless to say we were all famished!



DISC tonight

Our first DISC session for winter '09 is this afternoon

Nath and I have our first DISC training session to run today, 5pm, after the Masters Omnium.  The weather forecast is ok, cold, windy, wet ... good for training indoors! The air will be cold and thick so we'll be slow, but we'll be dry and comfortable.  Before I go in I have to lift heavy again, this time 5 x 5 @ 165kg squats and some upper body assistance stuff.  Then it's strength and power on the bike at DISC.  IT'll be good to get my teeth into it.  Nath had a good night at DISC on Thusday winning a motorpace, Em and Dino trained well in the 'haus yesterday, we're all going great guns at the moment!


Power on the track

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We're getting close to having a power meter for track bikes

The rumours are true, soon there will be a PowerTap SL hub that works with fixed gear bikes, Rich Sawiris from is making them.  By hook or by crook, they'll be cheaper and more portable between bikes than the SRM track cranks, and we shall have one, oh, yes we shall!


More PB's in the 'haus

A good session for all

Dino and Em came to the 'haus tonight to train with me.  They both set good PB's with both squats and hang power cleans, and we did a new pullup exercise that we'll all feel tomorrow.  I got the 165kg squats done (5 sets of 3) and was happy with how they went, but I didn't make 6 80kg cleans, I got 5 ... but number six was a failed lift!  Just as well the lifting platform is well padded.

After that fun it was off to the Blackburn AGM.  No real changes there, a few minor shuffles.  Status Quo continues.  Not a bad thing in many ways.  I'll have a go at addressing and proposing a solution to the junior retaining issue in a day or so.  Glad it's over anyway ...

Tomorrow, all day at the LBS.  I hope it's quiet, I think I'm going to be quite sore.




Consistany on the ergo, new record to be set tonight

Last night's spin confirmed that my previous PB on the ergo was no fluke, and tonight in the 'haus I have to lift more

1466 watts last night at the second spin session of the year.  That backs up on the last week where I got 1473 watts. That's good, it shows that the improvement isn't a fluke.

We had 17 at the spin session I think - a few regulars from last year aren't coming and I'm going to give them a call and see what we're doing wrong and try and fix it.  Other than that it's going well, apart from everyone else having terrible taste in music.  That can't be helped sometimes.

Today I have to duck down to DISC to pick up the keys to the motorbike so we can motorpace at our sunday sessions, which start this Sunday.  I've got 4 people coming so far!  Anyone else?!  The dinner is getting closer too, please let me know if you're keen to come by email.  I might set up a signup sheet for it but for the dinner I'm happy to keep it informal but I need an email so I can keep track of it.

Tonight's the night in the 'haus when I'm going to be attempting 165kg squats.  It's only 2.5kg more than I did on Sunday.  That's not a lot more weight, really.  We'll have a full 'haus too, the Apolitos and Merv are coming to train.  After that it's off to Blackburn for the AGM for the club.  I've got all the food except pita bread there already.  Hot dogs, dips, spring rolls, ricotta triangles etc.   Hopefully more than 5 people turn up!


Tonnage again

I got the 162.5kg squats!

This arvo, after a disrupted and messy weekend ...

5 x 5 @ 162.5kg squats - 4,062.5kg tonnage

10 x 135kg deadlifts - 1,350kg

Total tonnage : 5,412.5kg - almost five and a half tonnes!

Got to go, guineapig's are having babies and Dad needs his PC fixed up ... fun fun fun.


Squats, weights, easy days and lunacy on TV

I'm ashamed to admit it, I watched an episode of 'reality tv'

This last two days have been mainly easy days, I lifted moderately heavy on Wednesday in the 'Haus (5 x 5 @ 150kg squats, 1 set of 10 130kg deadlifts, total tonnage 5,050kg) after Tuesday's spin session and on Wednesday night had a couple of short E1 rides for a total of about an hour and a half's riding.  Thursday was just an easy tootle to the LBS and back, no lifting and today was again around 45 minutes all-up E1 stuff. 

Tomorrow I'll lift heavy when I get back from the Baw Baw if I'm not too knackered from riding the motorbike out there. It's time to bump it up to 162.5kg squats again. I'll be trying for 5 sets of 3 reps, and depending on how that goes will up the deadlifts to 140kg.  130kg was hard, but I think I can manage 140kg for 10.  We'll see about that anyway. If it's not done on Saturday I'll do it on Sunday after Lucie and I go for a kayak paddle ... My arm's slowly getting better after the bursitis incident on Monday, I guess I'm starting to get old though, injuries take a bit longer to heal and mystery injuries crop up without explanation.

Speaking of lifting ... I'm a bit ashamed to say I was a bit bored on Thursday and watched a bit of 'the biggest loser' (the biggest loser is the person watching that rubbish... never again).  They had the punters all lined up in a semi circle with Olympic bars on their shoulders - except they weren't on their shoulders, they were way back off their necks on padding.  A big no-no when squatting heavy - it increases the moment arm around the lower back and increases the risk of lower back injury because to keep the weight over the lifter's feet they have to lean further forward, and they'll slump sooner or later and put a huge dynamic load on the lower back.  To make matters worse, they were doing it to failure and they were loading up the weights while the punters were holding the bars.  This made for asymetrical loads and twisting on the lower back as the 'trainers' (dangerous idiots) pushed the weights around while the punters were holding them up.  You wouldn't dream of doing that to experienced and strong lifters, let alone this bunch of untrained gumbies.

Could they do it in any more of an unsafe manner?  I'm not sure ... That was a pretty comprehensive catalogue of things not to do when holding a bar on your shoulders.  They got away with it ... But it was terrible.  So very irresponsible.  They should have had them progressively deadlift greater weights or something if they wanted to do something like that, at least a failure wouldn't risk blowing a back to pieces so badly. They'd just not be able to pick the bar up.  Shame on you, whoever came up with that stupid and dangerous stunt.  Lifting isn't a dangerous activity if it's done properly with good instruction from people who know what they're doing and with progressive and managed overload.  These idiots, on the other hand, threw essentially untrained people (who were no athletes) into a situation where they had to hold a (relatively) heavy weight in a biomechanically poor and dangerous position (padded out from their traps) while it was loaded up to a failure and twisted and pulled while they were doing it.   If I did that to anyone I was working with I'd expect to go to gaol for gross negligence when they got hurt.

Anyway ... Tomorrow I'm off to take photos of the lads racing the Baw Baw, I'll be at Winch Corner where it's an ~20% gradient.  Good luck to you all doing it. Pay no attention to the chalk writing on the roads! I've also been in touch with the bloke who built one of the AIS's sprint training ergos (the 'Wombat') and arranges wind tunnel testing - watch this space, we may have some slots to get into the tunnel and test sprinters for aerodynamics.




Hope the break isn't for too long, Yehuda

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A good web comic has a break. I hope for not too long.

If you haven't seen it, Yehuda Moon is an excellent webcomic about a bloke (Yehuda) who works in an LBS. It's entertaining and written by someone with a real clue about the issues involved in riding on-road and also the funny stuff that happens at bike shops.

One of my favorites is this one.

I hope Rick Smith (author) gets back into it.  It's an entertaining and poignant comic that often strikes a chord with our experiences on road and in shops.  I hope I haven't ruined your day's productivity if you haven't seen it before and spend the rest of the day catching up from the first strip! Nah, you know the risks ...


First spin for '09 - and a new PB

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Our first spin session for '09 was a success

13 people turned up to ride with me tonight at Blackburn for our first spin session for the winter of '09.  The lazy, fat sprinters did :

2 x 10s HCLR:2

3 x 10s MAX sprints:5 (2nd one seated)

2 x 10s HCLR:2

The enduros did E2's and E3s etc for 90 mins, lazy sprinters, 40 minutes.

My first MAX I hit a new PB, and a significant one.  My previous highest wattage was around 1387 back in September '08, I got a 1473 watt peak tonight.  Woo Hoo!  Almost 100 watts more than last year.  The bursitis didn't seem to be an issue on the bike, which was good.




Strength, ok!

Bursitis doesn't affect squats or deadlifts

This afternoon, after a morning's moping about, Dino and Em came over for their PowerHaus session.  I had to give it a try.  My target; 160kg squats (5 x 5) and 120kg deadlifts (1 x 10).  Got 'em!  4,000kg squatted, 1,200kg deadlifted for the session for a total of 5,200kg lifted. Em and Dino also PB'd volume (squats) and intensity (deadlifts).  A good session indeed for all involved. Now it's protein time!

While I was moping I made some new chocolate-chilli icecream, this time with 86% dark chocolate.  It's in the freezer and I'll try it tonight. Mmmm....




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I wasn't watching the Roubaux last night, I was sleeping.  I woke up at about 2am, with a very painful left elbow. Painful enough to wake me up and I sleep through anything!  Huh?  I don't remember hitting it on anything or doing anything odd or unusual.  The kayaking wasn't hard and doesn't involve much elbow bending anyway.  It felt like a nasty bruise on the outside of my elbow (the bit you can't see).  It was hot and very tender to touch, and no matter how I moved it would not stop hurting.  Hrm.  Got up, checked the 'net for a local doctor who was open on a public holiday. While I was at it I checked cyclingnews for the result, no luck again for Big George Hincapie, but Tom Boonen ... wow.  Three wins for Tom. This morning I trundled off to see the local quack (open on a public holiday, good-o).  He takes one look at it and says 'Bursitis'.  Huh?  What's that?  He gave me a script for some anti inflams and an antibiotic (the heat, probably an infection).  It's ok to use it, he says, but not if it's painful, and it should be ok in a week.

Not a bad time to get an injury I guess, next weekend I'm going to take photos at the Baw Baw and this is mainly a strength phase of training and I think I'll be able to squat and deadlift without too much trouble. It's more annoying than anything.  On the way back from the quack Lucie and I stopped in at the local stupormarket and grabbed the ingredients for tomorrow night's first spin of the winter.  The clubrooms are probably still jam packed with junk that we'll need to move out to make room for everyone. At least with a dodgey elbow I can get everyone else to move things!  Small victories .... Ha!

Excellent Sunday splashalong

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Luc & I went kayaking!

We paddled a repeat of a month ago's Pound Bend loop.  Much more fun now there's more water in the Yarra. Although there's still not a lot of water, it's the low end of 'green', there's just enough to paddle.

Here's a map, courtesy of my 'new' GPS. It fits neatly under my PFD and I don't notice it's there and it works despite being under foam and my torso.  I had to replace my old Garmin ETrex that died recently with a new one, so I got another ETrex, but the new one (the ETrex 'H') has a much more sensitive antenna.  Good-o!



View Pound bend loop kayak/canoe in a larger map



There you go!


Tomorrow weights with Em and Dino, and on Tuesday we start spin for the winter.  Bring It On!


Got 'em

5 x 5 @ 157.5kg squats, tag it and bag it

Got the lifts, and to prove a point, finished off with 10 x 110kg deadlifts.

Total tonnage today : 3,937.5kg squat (25 x 157.5kg), 1,100kg deadlift : 5,037.5kg.  5 tonnes.  That'll do.  Off to mum's for dinner by way of Canoes Plus to drop off the 'yak we hired for Alex yesterday.


A pretty good Friday

Riding, paddling ... sweet

Alex Vaughan and I took the MTB's for a blat along the Yarra Trails from Fitzimmons Lane (Westerfolds Park) to somewhere along there and back again for a 2 hour ride in the morning.  It was his first 'real' MTB ride and he had a ball, and so did I on the big Fuel EX8.  He had his new Cannondale Furio (lefty) and it's safe to say he loves it!


View Yarra Trails tootle in a larger map


After that, we took a couple of kayaks for paddle down the Yarra, from (again!) Westerfolds/Fitzimmons Lane down to a park at the bottom of Westerfolds.  Not a bad way to spend the day!

Today's a relaxing day, but I'll be in the 'haus later, lifting heavy - it's a strength phase for the next while.  The aim being to get up to squatting 5 x 5 at 170kg by June.  Today's goal is 5 x 5 @ 157.5kg, I did 5 x 5's at 155kg on Wednesday and did them reasonably well, so I expect the 157.5's won't be out of reach.


View Fitzimmons Lane kayak in a larger map




Jobie Dajka

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Found dead this morning

Jobie Dajka was a world champion track sprinter as a junior and senior rider. His palmares etc are listed on his wikipedia page.  A few of us saw him race and raced with him at DISC on Thursdays and at some of the country carnivals.  He wasn't in the best of shape, but had a huge burst of power and was an amazing athlete.

Our condolances to his family and friends.



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Round 6 was washed out.

We need rain, so there's no whinging here.  Round 6 was a washout.  We did get through all the flying 200's, with a strengthening souwesterly wind and steel-grey skies gathering.  2 races into the rounds and down came the first shower, then it cleared, we got another race done, and down it came for good.

So we had a BBQ, gave out the loot, packed up and went home. I rode a 13.58 flying 200, which, given the wind, I was pretty happy with.  Not a PB at Blackburn, but not far off it. It was my third fastest F200 at Blackburn which with that big wind blowing, I was pretty happy with.  Dino was back on the pace, Emily rode an outdoors PB for her F200 and we had a good time.

A few weeks of R&R, time to get the mountainbike dirty, the kayaks wet and get into the right headspace for training for next summer.

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