This will be my last monthly report via blog post. I am going to change it up a bit for the future and put together a short e-mailed Newsletter of highlights, links and any new lessons learned for subscribers, in place of the monthly reports that I have been posting. I intend to have the Newsletter in place over the next couple of months. This will also give me a bit more time to dive deeper into a specific topic each month such as nutrition, training, health, gear etc… instead of the high level excerpts that have been in my monthly reports. Each month would be a new topic, so every 3 to 4 months I would circle back to some of the same topics for updates of my progress in each area and what I have learned. I think, I personally will get more value out of deep diving the topics and you as the reader will hopefully get more value out of what I write as well. I started the blog up to chronicle my journey into better fitness and endurance. It has been a lot of fun and I am looking forward to taking the blog to another level, along with my fitness and endurance.
All that being said, here is the usual monthly report.
My only race this month was the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival 40 mile race.
Total Races: 1
Mountain Bike: 1
Chequamegon 40 Fat Tire Festival
187th place Overall
179th place in Men
32nd place in Age Group
This was my season finisher, even though it was not the race that I was really focused on for the year. It is a great race weekend and a lot of fun to be part of. It is only 2 hours from our house and there are over 3,000 participants between the 40 miler and the 17 miler combined. The finish line is great with a big festival atmosphere and kids events going on. I would like to have finished better and with a faster time, but I placed about 350 spots better than last year and can’t complain about that.
I still have a big itch for some more racing this year, but have no other races planned for the season. I have a couple Fat Bike races in mind for the winter months and am working on a fairly heavy racing schedule for next year with multiple 100 milers.
All races are included in the mileage and session counts. I count a warm up and race as only 1 session, so if you are following me on Strava, the session count on Strava may or may not match exactly.
Mountain Bike: 265 miles
Road Bike: 122 miles
Total Sessions: 16
Mountain Bike: 8
Road Bike: 7
I had a rough month as far as training goes. I started the month off with some really bad training choices that took me over a week to recover from. I have a tendency to get a bit carried away and push myself very hard every time I go out because I don’t stick to a plan. Part of the overtraining problem is that I just love pushing myself, but in hind sight, I hate the achy worn out feeling, getting sick and time off needed to recover from the unwise training. I am working on a plan and a bit of an outlined schedule for the future to help with this. At the end of the day, I think I will enjoy the riding more as I won’t get burned out with the overtraining and going too hard for too many days in a row.
Here is where the break down occurred recently. I was traveling at the end of August, which I wrote about in my last monthly update. I finished off the month of August with 5 days straight of riding and went right into 2 days of running, with one of those days being an 8 miler. The 8 mile run was a bit unplanned and I later paid for it. I followed up the runs by 2 more hard rides the next 2 days, with the last ride being an attempt at hill repeats where I fell completely on my face the first spin up. I knew at that point that I had screwed up, but stupidly gave the hills another couple of goes. They went pretty terrible and I finally packed up and went home to lick my wounds for a few days.
I have had some big lessons learned this year in my training. Sadly, most of the lessons are coming from mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, I did a few really good things this year with my training also, that I will tweak for the future that provided me with some huge gains over last year. My big mistakes, that ended up costing me valuable training time this year, are pushing myself too hard on every ride and then just not having a solid recovery plan. Not having the solid recovery and training plans both have led me to really screw up. I did end up much stronger than last year, but with better planning I don’t believe I would have broken down so much at the end of the summer and would have been able to enjoy a couple more races through the fall season. Everything aside, I learned a lot and will be smarter and stronger in the future because of it.
Nothing has really changed in this topic for the month, so I’ll save the repetitiveness. Some of this repetitiveness is what is leading me to make the changes I mentioned above.
Health and Fitness
Weight: 155 lbs
As I eluded to last month, my overall fitness levels have seemed to plateau and I feel like I have gone a bit backwards. I believe this is due in most part to the way I have been training / riding. My weight has been maintained and all my jeans are a bit big in the waist as they were in the spring as well. My shirts are becoming a bit big on me though. Now, I say that my fitness has plateaued or gone backwards, but I haven’t really put any fat back on. I think it is mostly just a build up of fatigue that I need to recover from before putting in another training build. I do not have a coach, so this is just all from my own personal observations and what I can learn by reading as much as possible and listening to various podcasts out there.
I didn’t add to my gear or make any changes to my gear this month, but I am starting to make my list of essential gear for Fat Bike season. Last year, I bought the bike and just made do with some of the odds and ends gear that I had. I had to keep my rides short as I was always fighting frozen toes and didn’t quite have the right layers set up. The top of my list are some riding shoes / boots and I have my eyes on the new Wolvhammer’s from 45 North. I see they did come out with a sub zero boot as well, but I think the Wolvhammer’s are probably my best bet for the main portion of my riding. They are a bit pricey, so time will only tell what I end up doing. The list of wanted gear and upgrades is never ending…
Personal Training Certification
I finally started the scheduled online class portion of my Personal Trainer Program and am real happy that I went that route. I bucked up and paid a little extra for the eTeach Program from NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). I am only in the second week of it, but it appears that it was a good choice to go this route. There are many online videos and slide decks that guide you through the reading material in an order that makes a bit more sense than just reading the book cover to cover. It has been interesting because I see the overlap of what I am learning in this class with some of the same things I have learned in the cycling world. I am looking forward to getting into it a bit deeper.
These pictures are all of my bike after the Chequamegon 40 Fat Tire Festival Race.
As I mentioned at the top of the post… This will be the last monthly report via blog post and I will transition this to a short Newsletter for subscribers by e-mail over the next couple of months. There is a place on the right side bar where you can subscribe, or you can also go to my Start Here page where a pop up should appear.