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What Happened, What’s Up & What’s Next

September was pretty much the wrap up of my mountain bike racing for the year and now I’ll be going into a bit of a recreational mode for awhile before doing some base training again. I’m still getting stronger and faster year over year, so my goal will be to not loose too much of my fitness during this fall period and then dive into some base training and build back up to a race in late spring or early summer again. Here are a few highlights notes from last month…

I kicked out another race report, My first Shenandoah 100 with a podcast.

The Marji Gesick 100 difficulty was ramped up with the heat and a few additional trail sections.

I’m starting to dial in a schedule of when I can be available at the various gyms. I’m also now working out of the North Branch and Rush City Snap Fitness, Minnesota locations.

Podcast Version Of This Report

This one has a podcast to go along with it…

Listen on Google Play Music

Listen to Stitcher

August Training Summary

Cycling

September Mileage – 390 miles

2017 Mileage – 3,175 miles

September Duration – 40 hrs, 14 min

2017  Duration – 239 hrs, 30 min

My structured Training ended in August and then I took a recovery week prior to the Shenandoah 100. The Shenandoah 100 was my last big ride before the Marji Gesick 100 and the start of my taper down for the Marji Gesick 100. I couldn’t taper down exactly how I wanted as the Shenandoah obviously stacked up more fatigue than I would have ideally wanted, but that’s how things roll sometimes. I skipped any race simulation type riding during that week and then got back to it on the following weekend with a 4 hour trail ride.

I would get a couple of endurance rides in over the next couple of weeks to maintain my endurance and then every few days get a trail type race simulation ride in and continue droping the ride time as I got closer to the Marji. Things didn’t go quite as planned when I ended up sick the weekend before the Marji. I would have ridden a little higher intensity than I did, but stayed out of too much intensity as I wanted to keep the head cold out of my chest. Regardless, I still got out on the trail and worked on my trail flow and skills. I then skipped my last race simulation ride in exchange for a light gravel ride, as I was struggling to drop the cold, but didn’t want to go into the race completely flat.

At the end of the day I feel pretty dang good about my race finishes with the number of training hours and miles that I actually put in. 3,000 miles and 240 hours of ride time might seem like a lot to some people, but all reality, that’s definitely at the low end of the hours. I try to be efficient with my time as an example for folks with limited time. Yes, I put in 40 hours of ride time in September, but keep in mind that almost 24 hours of that is race time. So, my actual average training time per week is really low and outside of races… My long rides tend to peak out at around 3 hours with an occasional 4 thrown in.

I reference a variety of books when I’m putting together my training plans. I don’t really think any specific one actually nails it for me as is, but I’ve been able to pull bits and pieces from a variety of sources that help me piece something together than I think works well for my situation. Here is my recommeded book list or list of books that I reference for a variety of things related to training and fitness: Reference Books Page

Running

September Mileage – 1.3 miles

2017 Mileage – 113 miles

September Duration – 14 min

2017 Duration – 17 hrs, 26 min

My only run was a short run with my son around our neighborhood. I’ll probably be doing some more running this fall, but will likely give it another week yet.

Strength

I did very little work in this area, other than some very minor core maintenance stuff. I am pretty happy with the results of my changes to my strength routine this past year. I haven’t had any shoulder, neck or back issues on the bike and believe it’s due to the work I’ve been doing. I put a lot of focus on my back and shoulders this year and I think it has paid off. I’ll be diving back into it again soon.

I also plan to ramp up some leg work in the gym soon as well. I’ll probably give it another week before starting to ramp into anything serious, but I really want to work on some off the bike leg strength before I start hitting my heavier bike workouts again this winter.

Nutrition

Not much to say here at this point, although I will mention that I have had terrible cramping issues this year and need to look into it more. I think I cramped really bad, really early in just about every race I did this year, whether I went out hard or easy. I had backed off of a Magnesium and Calcium supplement earlier in the year, because I just don’t like being tied to supplements, but I can’t help but think that might have somethign to do with it. More to come on it I guess.

Upcoming Events

No races, but here are a couple events you might find me at…

October 8, 2017: Woolly Bike Club Family Day

November 5, 2017: Beat The Dark

Personal Training

I’m working out of the following gyms… Contact me for availability.

North Branch, MN Snap Fitness

Rush City, MN Snap Fitness

St. Croix Falls, WI Snap Fitness

Virtual / Remote – I also provide Personal Training & Fitness Coaching services for non-local or non-gym goers through phone or web video sessions.

New Podcast Episodes This Month

These can all be found on your favorite podcast players as well. If you can’t find it, please let me know. Don’t forget to subscribe and please leave a review in iTunes or wherever you listen to the podcast. Hopefully you can give it 5 stars, if not… please send your feedback my way.

I’ll also be working up a few new ideas over the next couple months as the race season/reports from my end slow down and I transition into a different season…

Ep 11 My First Shenandoah 100 MTB Race

New Race Reports

My First Shenandoah 100 MTB Race

shenandoah 100 podcast

New Tools & Resources

MTB Race Checkpoint Time/Split Planning Calculator

This was new last month, but I still think it is worth mentioning. I have a couple other things in mind that I can put together for race planning if folks find stuff like this useful. Let me know if you find this stuff useful and I keep adding to the tool pile.

Instagram Account

Link: Endurance Path on Instagram

Most Popular Post This Month

My First Marji Gesick 100

This post had a lot of traffic all year as people prepared for the Marji Gesick 100. If you haven’t checked it out, go ahead and give it a look and listen to the podcast. I’ll probably be another week before I have my report out from this year.

marji gesick

On To Next Month…

I’ll just be doing some recreational stuff and starting to plan out my next year or at least start looking at what events will be at the top of my list. If you have any questions about anything I shared, feel free to hit me up using my Contact Me page.

-Steve

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What Happened, What’s Up & What’s Next

August monthly report

Ok, so this is a few days late, but I had a busy weekend and week… Shenandoah 100 is now in the books and it was a good one! Here are a few of the highlights from last month before diving into the details…

I changed up my race plans again for the month of August and actually didn’t race at all… Instead I added the Shenandoah 100 MTB race in Stokesville, VA over Labor Day weekend. Race was awesome!

I am going to start accepting personal training clients out of 2 more Snap Fitness locations, which is nice because they are closer to home with one of them only being 2 miles away.

I released a new web based tool on the website for calculating arrival time at race checkpoints to help plan race nutrition, drop bags, etc…

I kicked out another race report and a handful of new podcast episodes.

I also had to bail on a couple workouts that I just didn’t have the energy for.

Podcast Version Of This Report

I doubt this one is going to end up getting an episode on the podcast with the written report already being so late. I might put that time toward getting my Shenandoah race report out sooner instead. We’ll see what happens over the next few days. In the mean time, check out some of my other episodes and get subscribed to keep up with the newest upcoming episodes and don’t forget to give it a rating.

Listen on Google Play Music

Listen to Stitcher

August Training Summary

monthly recap

Cycling

August Mileage – 411 miles

2017 Mileage – 2,785 miles

August Duration – 28 hrs, 40 min

2017  Duration – 199 hrs, 15 min

My training hours dropped off in August, but keep in mind that 8+ hours and 100 miles of my training time in July includes the Wilderness 101 mountain bike race. Taking that out of the equation, levels it out a little more closely as I didn’t do any races in the month of August. Plus, the month of August included 2 recovery weeks. The first recovery week being week 1 of August and the 2nd recovery week falling in the last week of August.

With that being said, I only hit about 6 hours of ride time for 2 of the training weeks and peaked out at about 10 hours for a 3rd training week. The 10 hour week was actually inbetween the two 6 hour weeks. I intended to hit another 10 hour week, but by the time the weekend came around on the 3rd week, I was pretty trashed and had to pull the plug on some planned training.

I think I over did it a little the previous week with the amount of strength work I was doing in the gym, stacked with just to much intensity on too many rides without the proper amount of sleep and recovery. That is usually the problem right there. Even if you can find the time for the extra ride time… You still have to plan the appropriate recovery and sleep time and I think that is where it can fall apart for most people as well.

10 hours is a pretty heavy week for me and at the end of the day… Not that I can’t handle more, but I just have other things in life that I also enjoy doing outside of biking and everything is a balance… So, I’m pretty happy with my race results overall, given the amount of hours I put in.

About the failed workouts…

The first one doesn’t really show in my calendar above, but I really meant to get at least 3 intervals in of those 12 minute threshold pulls and I was burried by the end of the second one and felt like it was a smarter move to skip even trying the 3rd. I think I was still feeling the effects of the Wilderness 101 as I really didn’t recover well. I hadn’t sleept well leading up to it and when I returned, I just had a lot going on and again just never really fit in enough rest.

The next one was the VO2 max intervals on Saturday. I think it was raining and I originaly wanted to do some trail riding and really hammerfest some of the trail sections. I replaced that with an attempt at some VO2 max intervals on the trainer and I bailed halfway through the 3rd one. I’m not sure if I went out too hard on them or if I just hadn’t gotten myself the proper recovery after the Wilderness 101 still or not. I’m without a power meter right now, so it’s a little more difficult to really nail some of these workouts than it would be if I had power.

The 3rd failed workout was my attempt at doing hill repeats at the end of the 3rd week. I went out for an easy out and back warm up ride that turned into an hour. I forgot my food as well, but I was smoked at the end of the first climb. I attempted a second and quit less than halfway through it. It wasn’t really my legs, I could just feel an overall fatigue in my cardio and just felt weak. I tucked my tail and rode back to my car. I might have went out harder than I should have on the first one, but don’t think that was the main problem. I was just wrecked from a little too much intensity through the previous weekend and just ready for some recovery. Like I mentioned, that previous 10 hour week is a heavy week for me relative to what I can normally fit in. On a positive note… I did set a PR on that hill climb, but was using my full suspension 29er vs my previous PR being set on my road bike! Probably a good sign that I went too hard on that first interval.

A quick note on the intensity thing… The previous weekend, I had done some hard race pace trail riding on Saturday at the Woolly Bike Club Trails in St. Croix Falls, WI. It went well and I set some lap & segment PRs. My intention on Sunday was to do some trail riding, but just keep it to an endurance/tempo pace. I went to a different trail that had milder climbs, but lots of switchbacks that would force me to work on my trail flow and efficiency. This would be Elm Creek in Champlin, MN for those curious. I held back my first couple laps, 20+ miles. I noticed that my lap times were right there with my previous PR lap time that would have been set with much higher intensity. I couldn’t help myself and started dialing things up my last 3rd lap and at the end of the day, just stacked up way too much intensity into the week. I did beat my previous PR by around a minute though and still did it with less intensity, a lower average heart rate. So on a positive note, I’m still getting faster!

Another positive note on the workouts… In the 3rd training week, I was able to nail a threshold interval workout. I completed four, 15 minute intervals at threshold. That was extremely difficult and I almost quit after the 3rd one, but ended up gutting out a 4th one. I was pretty burried after that though…

I reference a variety of books when I’m putting together my training plans. I don’t really think any specific one actually nails it for me as is, but I’ve been able to pull bits and pieces from a variety of sources that help me piece something together than I think works well for my situation. Here is my recommeded book list or list of books that I reference for a variety of things related to training and fitness: Reference Books Page

Running

August Mileage – 5 miles

2017 Mileage – 112 miles

August Duration – 50 min

2017 Duration – 17 hrs, 12 min

 

I honestly didn’t plan to do any running this month and have pretty much officially scratched on my plans of running the Madison Half Marathon in November. That being said, I am actually planning to get back to some running in October, but will try to do most of it on the trails. I figure I’ll give myself a week or so after the Marji and start doing some hiking and turn it into a month or so of trail running before winter sets in. I really do still want to do some trail running. The running I did this month was just some slow paced warm up jogs on the treadmill at the gym, before hitting some weights.

Strength

I intended to keep my strength work to just maintenance type stuff this month, but I was spending a fair amount of time in the gym because I started Personal Training out of 2 more Snap Fitness locations. So, I actually put in 2 weeks of solid strength building routines. It was all in the upper body as I was already hammering my legs with my bike workouts throughout the week. I was doing 2 days a week of chest/shoulders and then another 2 days a week of back and core. The timing may not necessarily been perfect, but it felt really good actually to cycle through some solid upper body strength work. I could use it too! I am looking forward to some more solid strength work in the upper and lower body this fall and winter.

Nutrition

My nutrition has been on the better side of things this month. I’ve been incorporating more whole grains and I’ve had less junk type food than in the past few months. Part of that is due to the fact that we ran out of Ruhbarb in the garden, so the Ruhbarb pie production came to a screeching hault. As I type this and thinking about it, I’ve actually had a fairly clean diet the last month. I’d actually bet that I’m a tad leaner right now than I was a month ago. I don’t actually look at the scale that often. It’s really not about the number on the scale for me anymore. It’s all about how I feel. Aside from that, I’m not going to dive into it much deeper at this point, other than mentioning I will probably spend some time studying nutrition this fall.

Upcoming Events

It’s a short list, but is 200+ miles and hopefully no more than 20 hours of racing.

September 3, 2017:  Shenandoah Mountain 100

September 23, 2017: Marji Gesick 100

New Podcast Episodes This Month

These can all be found on your favorite podcast players as well. If you can’t find it, please let me know. Don’t forget to subscribe and please leave a review in iTunes or wherever you listen to the podcast. Hopefully you can give it 5 stars, if not… please send your feedback my way. I’m working up a few cool ideas for a few months from now as the race season/reports slow down and I transition into a different season…

Ep 5 Monthly Recap: What Happened, What’s Up & What’s Next

Ep 6 – Maah Daay Hey 100 Race Report

Ep 7 – Ore To Shore Race Report

Ep 8 Wilderness 101 Race Report

Ep 9 Marji Gesick 100 Race Report

Ep 10 Chequamegon 40 Fat Tire Festival Review

New Race Reports

Wilderness 101 Mountain Bike Race Report

monthly report

New Tools & Resources

MTB Race Checkpoint Time/Split Planning Calculator

I think you’ll find this useful in planning which aid stations to leave your drop bags at or how to schedule your fuel ups, bottles, hydration pack, etc… Check it out, let me know if you like it because I have a few more things like this in my mind, along with improving the format of the existing one and adding some more features if there is enough interest. Like I said, let me know.

Instagram Account

Link: Endurance Path on Instagram

Most Popular Post This Month

Podcast Episode 9 – Marji Gesick 100

If you are interested in racing the Marji Gesick 100, you should check this out. I know I’m biased because it’s my podcast, but it’s almost 2 hours long with a lot of detail about the race and I have gotten some good feedback on this episode..

marji gesick

On To Next Month…

2 big races in September and then I’ll be switching gears for a little bit. I’m really looking forward to seeing how my body handles these 2 tough races so close together and how my recovery is this year after the Marji Gesick compared to last year. If you have any questions about anything I shared, feel free to hit me up using my Contact Me page.

-Steve

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July Recap: What Happened, What’s Up & What’s Next

I did end up changing my race plans for July and made it out to the Wilderness 101 in Pennsylvania at the end of the month. I also, significantly cranked up my training hours in July. Not anything to do with the Wildnerness as it would have been too late to do any specific training for that anways, but July was the first of 2 structured training builds that I have put together in preparation for the Marji Gesick 100 in September.

I also started a podcast in July, where you will also find an audio version of this race report with some off the cuff commentary about the month and a little more details about the training I was doing.

Podcast Version Of This Report

As I mentioned, the audio version of this in podcast form is a bit off the cuff with more details and additional conversation. Check it out at the following links.

Listen on Google Play Music

Listen to Stitcher

June Training Summary

I went ahead and grabbed a screen shot of my Training Peaks Calendar from the month for your viewing pleasure. Keep reading for some more details and explanation.

Cycling

July Mileage – 556 miles

2017 Mileage – 2,375 miles

July Duration – 42 hrs, 26 min

2017  Duration – 170 hrs, 35 min

I significantly kicked up my training hours in July. I’ve typically been a 3 day a week guy with a 4th day being only a really light recovery type ride, but I went to 5 days in July. I had 3 days of high intensity and 2 days of long endurance riding and even hit over 13 hours of riding one of the weeks. I didn’t do much riding the week after Lutsen, other than a lap around the campground that we stayed at on occasion later that week. I did get out for a couple hours of gravel the following weekend, but that was it.

I treated the first full week of July like a recovery week, but was active as you can see and finished it with a threshold test. I don’t have my Kickr anymore, so it was just heart rate and speed. My heart rate threshold estimate came out to 171 bpm. My average speed on the Jet Fluid Pro was up 1 mph from the last time I did a threshold test on the Jet Fluid over a year ago, before getting the Kickr. I don’t expect my heart rate threshold number to really go up anymore, aside from maybe a beat or 2, but I was real happy with seeing my average speed up by 1 mph hour. That’s my gauge in place of having a power meter and until I get another smart trainer to measure power, I will be using that average speed to judge my power increases.

I won’t dive into typing out the details of the other workouts here, but I may talk about them more specifically in the podcast version, so be sure to check out the podcast. That being said, my focus for this training period was force output, muscular endurance and general endurance. My workout plans were more of a hybrid late base & build period vs a pure build period. I cranked out big gears on my force intervals on Tuesday and the hills during my Saturday ride. Thursday’s ride was about muscular strength endurance and the Wednesday/Sunday rides were all about aerobic endurance.

The 3rd week of the build, which was the last week of July was meant to be more like a traditional Joe Friel style build week that ended with a “B” race. My Thursday ride did not end up following plan as I rode the first climb of the Wilderness race and came out of that workout with double the training stress that I should have put on for having the race on Saturday, but I was interested in checking out that first climb.

Without the race on Saturday, I would have stuck to the previous 2 weeks training schedules. Being that it was a 100 mile race on Saturday, I did adjust a little as I had burried myself pretty deep in the first 2 weeks and overreached a bit. At the end of the day, I ended up carrying quite a bit of fatigue into the race on Saturday.

I reference a variety of books when I’m putting together my training plans. I don’t really think any specific one actually nails it for me as is, but I’ve been able to pull bits and pieces from a variety of sources that help me piece something together than I think works well for my situation. Here is my recommeded book list or list of books that I reference for a variety of things related to training and fitness: Reference Books Page

Running

June Mileage – 2.74 miles

2017 Mileage – 107 miles

July Duration – 26 min

2017 Duration – 16 hrs, 22 min

I only ran once this entire month and it was the weekend after the Lutsen 99er. I actually might pull back on my running plans of doing a half marathon in the fall. As of right now, I am getting reinvigerated with my joy of endurance mountain biking and might keep the running to some minimal cross training on occasion to mix things up for my legs. I’ll be taking a recovery week the first week of August and I might do a couple of light runs or hikes during this week before I get back to hammering my legs on the bike.

Strength

I kept my strength training to mostly maintenance this month with my typical pushups and pullups, but I also included romanian deadlifts, bench presses and bicep curls. I completed the bench press as a superset with the push ups. Meaning I did a set of 10 bench presses and immediately followed them up with 10 push ups with my feet on a stability ball. The bench gave me a little bit of strength work, while the stability ball push ups provided for some upper body stability work and when combined in a superset, the total reps helped with muscular endurance.

I also did force myself into some flexibility work. It’s one of those things that I know I need to do, but I’m just one of those antsy people that have a hard time settling down and relaxing to go through a solid stretch routine. That being said, I did keep up on some minor stretching and have almost no tight muscles after racing the Wilderness 101 and making the 16 hour drive each way.

Nutrition

I actually used MyFitness Pal to log my food for a couple weeks at the start of the month. I think it was great, but I can only focus on so many things at once and decided to stop doing it. That being said, just logging it for a couple weeks, was really helpful in building an understanding of what my nutrient balance actually was. I even broke out my kitchen scale for the excercise. I might get back to it again this fall/winter, but I have enough to concentrate on right now. It’s not that I am not focused on keeping my diet rained it, but I’m not going to go to the extremes of logging the data right now.

Upcoming Events

There is a chance that I will be changing my August race plans, similiar to what I did in July. I might skip out on the local series races in exchange for making another road trip at the end of the month. I don’t know that I’ll commit to the road trip till last minute, but I might go ahead and pull the plug on the local series events, just in case. A big part of me would rather put in my structured workouts for the Marji Gesick anyways. I like the satisfaction of nailing planned workouts and learning from them, just as much as I like racing. Not only do I enjoy the journey of the race itself, but I also love the planning and preparation for the big races.

Original Event Plan…

August 13, 2017:  The Great Hawk Chase

August 20, 2017:  Cuyuna Crusher

September 2, 2017:  Laddies Loppet or Race The Grind

Potential New Event Plan…

September 3, 2017:  Shenandoah Mountain 100

Just like I mentioned last month, I did enjoy all the local racing, but I really like the adventure of getting out to new events and riding new places. I’ve heard this is one of the best event weekends of all the NUE races and I think I can handle doing this 3 weeks before the Marji Gesick 100. I won’t decide on this for a couple weeks though. I want to see how quickly I recover from the Wilderness 101 and use that as a gauge to see if I can recover from Shenandoah quick enough to still get in some solid peak phase workouts and not blow my Marji Gesick race. Keep an eye on my Instagram account. If this happens, I’ll post a screen shot of my registration like I did for the Wilderness. Link to my Instagram Account Here.

New Podcast Episodes This Month

These can all be found on your favorite podcast players as well. If you can’t find it, please let me know.

Launch of The Endurance Path Podcast

MTB Race Report: Revisiting 2014 – My First Lutsen 99er

MTB Race Report: Revisiting 2014 – My Second Cheq 40

MTB Race Report: Revisiting 2014 – Red Wing 4 Hr Lap Race

New Articles This Month

Lutsen 99er – MTB Race Report

lutsen 99er

The Endurance Path Podcast Launch

endurance path podcast

Podcast Series: Revisiting 2014 Race Reports – 3 New Episodes

Resources Page

I’ve been adding new things to my resources page lately, so be sure to keep checking it out. Most notably this past month, I’ve expanded the Event Finder lists to include popular race series and bucklist events that are out there. It’s not meant to be a list of every event, but rather to help you find the big bucklist events or guide you to places to look for events. There is already some great event calendars out there and I’ve included links to those calendars as well. The mountain bike one is by far the one that I’ve put the most work into at this point.

Link: Resources

Link: Mountain Bike Races

Instagram Account

I posted this last month, but here it is again as it is still new. I’ll keep this Instagram account feed related to the stuff on this website vs some of the random stuff you’ll see on my personal account. You can still follow my personal account, but the new account will be dedicated to Endurance Path.

Link: Endurance Path on Instagram

Most Popular Article This Month

Lutsen 99er – MTB Race Report

lutsen 99er

On To Next Month…

I’ll be taking it easy this first week of August, but I’m looking forward to some hard structured training the rest of the month. I’ve got 2 weeks until the first potential race, so I’ve got some time to make my decision on which race plan I’m going with. If you have any questions about anything I shared, feel free to hit me up using my Contact Me page.

-Steve

Posted on

Monthly Recap: What Happened, What’s Up & What’s Next…

endurance path instagram

I started off the month of June with a good race at the Borah Epic, ran a solid 10k trail race and finished off the month with the Lutsen 99er. I’m looking to change up my race plans for July, so read on for the latest and what’s coming up.

June Training Summary

Cycling

June Mileage – 315 miles

2017 Mileage – 1,818 miles

June Duration – 24 hrs, 14 min

2017  Duration – 128 hrs, 9 min

My June riding was mostly focused on peaking for the Lutsen 99er with some structured workouts to keep my intensity levels high, but dialed back my riding time some. I wouldn’t neccessarily say the workouts I did were maybe the best for the Lutsen, but I like to try out different things.

My total ride time was down about 2 hours from the previous month of May with an average weekly ride time around 6 hrs/week in June. 2 hours of riding doesn’t sound like much of a taper, but keep in mind that my ride time from the Lutsen race itself is rolled up in the total hours. For reference, the previous month of May was tied with January for my max average ride time of 6.5 hrs/week of riding.

That’s really not a lot of ride time for my goals, but I try to be efficient and purposeful in the hours that I put in. In the grand scheme of things of averaging only 6 total hours of ride time per week, I am fairly happy with my race results so far this year. Especially, since all my actual race hours are rolled up into that average ride time as well.

I did have some nasty poison ivy on my rear end as well, which is a whole different story that you can find at the bottom of my Borah Epic race report (link below)… Anyways, it was bad enough that it kept me off the bike a little bit. It got in the way of me getting in a couple of my longer endurance rides, early in my taper for the Lutsen. It was fun getting out to a new event like the City of Trails 10k, but it also got in the way of some riding that I wanted to do as well.

I took it easy the week after Lutsen as I spent a few days camping, canoeing, kayaking and fishing with my wife and kids. July will include some structured build workouts mid week and the weekends consisting of some longer rides to start preparing for the Marji Gesick 100 in September, which is the next race that I would consider as my primary target. Any other racing between now and then will just be fun, new adventures or training races. Again, not that I won’t be racing hard… But, I won’t make much adjustment to my training around those races and I’ll just treat them like any other training ride in my schedule for the most part.

Check out my upcoming events section for more discussion on what my riding will be like in July. I’m looking to change up my race plans.

Running

June Mileage – 13 miles

2017 Mileage – 104 miles

June Duration – 1 hr, 51 min

2017 Duration – 15 hrs, 55 min

My running this month consisted of only 2 recon runs for the City of Trail 10k and then running the actual City of Trails 10k on race day for a total of only 3 runs all together. I intend to do a little more running this month, but the mileage will probably be on the low side still and I’ll likely keep the intensity on the low side as well with my focus being on some structured bike workouts.

Strength

I did not do a whole lot of strength work this month, other than doing some stretching and the random pull-ups and push-ups. This was mainly because I was going through a peak/tapering phase on the bike and had planned very minor strength maintenance work during this time.

Regarding flexibility, I had gotten extremely lazy on my flexibility a few months back and am paying for it a bit now. So, I’m back to putting some more focus on it and already starting to see the difference. I’ll also be getting back to some upper body and core strength maintenance work in the month of July and August while I go thru a couple more build phases on the bike.

I did add a page to my reference section with links out to some of the gear that I have in my own little home gym/workout area. Some simple gear can go a long ways. Here is the page: Home Exercise Gear & Equipment

Nutrition

Disclaimer: I have no official training in nutrition, so take whatever I write about my nutrition as interesting stories or lessons learned. In no way shape or form is any of this meant to be advice for anybody. I like to experiment with many things and nutrition happens to be one of them.

I’ve mentioned this quite a bit, but my diet has been loose to say the least the last few months. I will be putting a little more focus on getting the diet and nutrition dialed in over the month of July again as I get a little more serious about ramping up my training. I might even bust out the kitchen scale and do some tracking on My Fitness Pal. We’ll see… I have a lot of things to focus on right now and have a bad history of trying to do too much at once. However, I feel it’s time that I put a little better focus on my diet.

Upcoming Events

It’s highly likely I’ll be changing my race plans for July, but I am still working through the logistics of it.

Original Event Plan…

Not sure if I was going to pull off all of these, but I had good intentions of hitting most of them and thought it would be interesting to do some double header weekends. There was another road race in there on July 22nd, but I can’t find the details on it anymore. They may have dropped the road race and stuck with just crits for the weekend, so I dropped it off the schedule.

July 9, 2017: Border Crossing 4 Hr Lap Race

July 15, 2017: Birchwood Blakeley Road Race

July 16, 2017: Big Wood Classic

July 29, 2017: MN Road Championships

July 30: 2017: MN Toughman Triathlon

Highly Likely New Event Plan…

July 29, 2017: Wilderness 101

I’ve had a ton of fun doing a lot of racing in May and June, but I’m itching for some more epic endurance stuff again and it looks like I might be able to fit the Wilderness 101 into my schedule. I could still do some of the other races in July, but I’ll need to swap out those race fees to afford the trip expenses and the race fee for Wilderness 101. I’d also like to swap out the race days for some more deliberate endurance mtb training rides anyways.

I don’t feel like my muscular endurance is where it needs to be and the race days tend to take me to a slightly higher intensity than needed to really hone in on the muscular endurance. Plus, the effort is so up and down random during a race that I can never really stay in the right zone consistently to build that muscular endurance. I’m all about fun and enjoyed lots of racing, but I also enjoy the journey of chasing a goal as well and I’m really after building my endurance fitness so that I can race more 100 mile type events, more often.

Anyways, I should have it sorted out over the next week. I thought I’d share both options. Hit me up if you have any thoughts on it that you’d like to share.

New Articles This Month

My First Borah Epic – MTB Race Report

borah epic

City of Trails 10k Trail Run – Race Report

city of trails 10k

New Resources Page

I put together a resources page with a variety of things that I find useful or I thought folks out there might find useful. I’ve included links to some handy training zone calculators, recommended gear, fitness tracking apps and templates that I use. Look for more stuff to get added over time. Here is a link to the page…

Link: Resources

New Instagram Account

I posted this last month, but here it is again as it is still new. I’ll keep this Instagram account feed related to the stuff on this website vs some of the random stuff you’ll see on my personal account. You can still follow my personal account, but the new account will be dedicated to Endurance Path.

Link: Endurance Path on Instagram

endurance path instagram

Virtual Personal Training & Coaching

I am set up to do virtual sessions. I do these using Skype or Facetime and it works out well. I can go through a full workout, demonstrate exercises, etc… on live video during the sessions. Before getting into fitness, I spent a lot of years working with or managing engineering teams in other parts of the world. I think personal training or coaching over the web is going to be much more common in the future as people continue to be crunched for time. Contact me anytime if you have questions. If what you’re after is not in my wheelhouse, I’ll let you know and point you toward somebody else if I have a suggestion.

Link: Personal Training & Coaching Services

Most Popular Article This Month

This was the report I wrote from my very first Lutsen 99er back in 2014. It was actually my first 100 miler also. I’ve made a lot of improvements since then! I’ll have this years report posted soon.

My First Lutsen 99er

On To Next Month…

I kind of covered most of this in the upcoming events section, but I’m planning a structured build period for the month of July with the goals of increasing my threshold power and building up my muscular endurance. I’m about 90% sure at this point that I will be opting out of the multiple races and heading out for the Wilderness 101. I should have it figured out within the next week.

-Steve

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Monthly Recap: What Happened, What’s Up, What’s Next…

detroit mountain

May was overall a great month of training, racing and just getting out and being active. I’ve stayed healthy! My training has been fairly mild in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve also been fairly consistant and purposeful with a couple workouts per week outside of the weekend racing. I know some people don’t care for structured training/workouts, but I find great joy in them when I understand the purpose and are working toward a goal.

Monthly Training Summary

Cycling

May Mileage – 359 miles

2017 Mileage – 1,503

May Duration – 26 hrs, 14 min

2017  Duration – 103 hrs, 55 min

It was a really good month of cycling. I had a couple 4 hour races and then finished off my last build week with a near 6 hour road, gravel, ski trail, singletrack tour on my mountain bike that ended up being 92 miles overall. That was my last big ride before the Lutsen 99er. I’ll do the Borah Epic this weekend, that should be around 3 hours I guess and then I might get in another 4 hour ride the following weekend, which would be 2 weeks out from the Lutsen 99er.

My training has been fairly structured, even though I was racing. I stuck to my planned workouts during the week and treated the races as my long weekend race paced workouts as I was going through a structured build period. I’d say the only difference probably being that I rode harder in the races than I probably would have if they were just a training ride, or at least the Woolly race I did. Which isn’t neccessarily a good thing, as it did take away from my following planned workouts that fall early in the week. Regardless, it worked out and I’m confident in making some gains throughout the build.

I’d say my only issue or downfall now is that I did not recover well after that final 6 hour ride. This is not because I over did it, but I finished the ride and then did some fairly heavy work outside the next 2 days and really never let my legs recover. I also didn’t plan my fuel well for the ride and came in pretty much depleted. I am in a recovery week now, but I already know that I won’t recover completely from that last build during this recovery week before the Borah Epic and might be in a slight hole going into my following peak weeks. I’ll adjust and figure it out, but I thought it was interesting stuff to mention for those that follow along closely.

Running

May Mileage – 27.1 miles

2017 Mileage – 91 miles

May Duration – 3 hrs, 46 min

2017 Duration – 14 hrs, 5 min

I did less structured running this month and more steady state running or general trail running. I know my mileage is still low for a guy wanting to get into distance running, but it was a heavy month of bike racing and I am focused on a solid Lutsen 99er race for now. I am planning to do a 10k trail run in a little over a week, but more for just the experience and I’m not real worried about how well it goes. I’ve said this before, but I’m just running enough to keep my legs in the motion and be ready to ramp up for a half marathon really late in the year if all goes to plan.

Strength

I am pretty much in maintenance mode when it comes to strength. In fact, my strength work is all pretty much spread throughout the day now vs in specific sessions. I will wip out a couple sets of very short circuits maybe once a week at the gym, but the rest of it is intermittant throughout the day. When I say intermittant, I mean I will take a short break from the computer or whatever I am working on and hit a circuit of push-ups, pull-ups, curls, rows, romanian deadlifts, etc… and then get back to work. I usually need a little break from the desk anyways and don’t always have the time for a dedicated session. I mix up the circuit as well with a variety of exercises, but those are the basics of it.

Nutrition

Disclaimer: I have no official training in nutrition, so take whatever I write about my nutrition as interesting stories or lessons learned. In no way shape or form is any of this meant to be advice for anybody. I like to experiement with many things and nutrition happens to be one of them.

My diet has been pretty loose this past month and a little heavy on the carbs. That being said, I feel like I have way more energy for the long hard efforts than I did when I tried to keep the wrap tight on my carb intake.

One other thing I’ll mention about this in regards to race nutrition… I did 2 different 4 hour races this past month and was able to do both races on all liquid fuel. All I had was CarboRocket, except for 1 can of Red Bull about 3 hours into one of the races. It was cold, wet and just plain nasty weather and I thought the caffeine spike would do me some good.

Upcoming Events

June 4, 2017: Borah Epic Mountain Bike Race

June 11, 2017: City of Trails 10k Trail Run

June 24, 2017: Lutsen 99er

July 9, 2017: Border Crossing 4 Hr Lap Race

The Lutsen 99er is my first “A” race or “Target” race of the year. I’m planning for 2 mountain bike training plan build and peaks this year, with the first one being the Lutsen 99er and the second one being the Marji Gesick 100 in September. Everything else is just good ole fun racing experiences and training for the bigger events. I figured the Minnesota MTB 4 hr marathon lap race series, along with races like the Borah Epic would be great training rides/races for the Marji Gesick and help me improve my singletrack game while enjoying some race day experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be racing hard those days, but I’m not adjusting my training around those races and won’t be in the best race form for most of them.

New Articles This Month

Woolly MTB Race Report

My first mountain bike race of the season… I was expecting to finish a few places better than 10th, but I had a good race overall.

woolly mtb race

Grantsburg Adventure Triathlon Race Report

This was a Bike, Paddle, Run event that I ended up finishing 4th at. I was first through transition off the bike, 2nd through transition off the kayak and then dropped 2 more spots on the run to finish 4th. I was happy with my performance overall and even though I dropped a couple spots on the run, I still put down a nice run for the amount of running I’ve been doing.

Detroit Mountain Race Report

This was a cold, wet and muddy ride. I don’t really mind the rain and mud. Sometimes it’s kind of fun, but temps were in the 30s and I was not preppared for the weather at all. I finished 7th overall.

detroit mountain

New Instagram Account

I created a new Instagram account specifically for Endurance Path. I still have my old personal account and you are more than welcome to continue following along there, but I wanted seperate them out. When I created the account, I went back and loaded the feed with pictures going back to my first race after getting back in shape and into biking again… the Chequamegon 40. It’s a cool album now covering the last few years. Here is the link: www.instagram.com/endurance_path

instagram

Personal Training & Coaching Services

These services range from fat loss, functional fitness, performance or recreational fitness, along with beginner to intermediate level mountain biking. Contact me anytime if you have questions.

Coaching Sessions – Single Session or Packages: $49 – $359

Personal Training & Coaching Plans: $119 – $1,599

Custom Fitness Plans: $39 – $199

Custom Training Plans: $99 – $299

Snap Fitness of St. Croix Falls Personal Training

Snap Fitness of St. Croix Falls Group Fitness Ride

Most Popular Article This Month

My First Marji Gesick 100 MTB Race

There has been a lot of conitnued chatter about the Marji Gesick 100 and this report has been popular every month since the race. Once again, it was the most popular article of the month. It’s almost a book, so I suspect it gets inflated page views because it likely takes folks multiple sessions to read through the entire report.

marji gesick

On To Next Month…

I’m looking forward to dialing in my race taper for the Lutsen 99er and peaking out for it. My bottom line race goal is 6:30, but I will be racing for a stretch goal of 6 hrs. I don’t believe I put in the amount of hours or miles that many of those guys put in that achieve those times, but I feel like what I do put in, is fairly purposeful and we’ll see if it gets me there. I’m always looking to maximize my time and get the most amount of results out of the least amount of effort.

-Steve

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Monthly Recap: Training, Tips, Lessons & Stuff

April was a good month and I feel like I’m getting back in the groove of things after kind of a messed up winter. I’ve been feeling pretty healthy and excited about doing some racing again. Enjoy the recap.

As I mentioned last month, these monthly recaps have been moved back to the blog feed for now and I have changed the content and layout a bit from the previous e-mail only version. They will still get e-mailed out to subscribers as well. Enjoy and let me know if there is anything else you would like to see in them.

Monthly Training Summary

Cycling

Mileage – 311 miles

Time – 21 hrs, 2 min

This is actually slightly less miles than the previous month. I’d like to say it was because my intensity increased, which it did… but my overall training stress was actually slightly lower this month as well. That being said, I have started moving into some shorter and higher intensity workouts now that racing season it getting here. I hate that feeling at the start of a race, when you’re about to blow up because you haven’t been regularly raising your heart rate.

I am planning to do more singletrack racing this year. It’s not quite full on XC racing, but not full on endurance either as they are 4 hour singletrack lap races. I guess that is endurance, but definitely at the short end of it. Anyway, with that in mind, I’ve been working on my short power jumps that I believe will help me jump out of the switchbacks and up short climbs in the singletrack.

Running

Mileage – 26.1 miles

Time – 3 hrs, 58 min

My mileage is still pretty low for a guy wanting to get into distance running, but I am slowly ramping up. I am going to do a couple running events this spring/early summer, but I’m not real focused. This year is more about building my distance up comfortably and increasing my pace.

Something else I should note about my running… I usually do a 20 minute warm up on my bike prior to running, vs doing a traditional running warm up. It’s just a little way for me to get my legs used to going from bike to run as my end game is to do an Iron Man one of these days.

Strength

I’ve been wanting to add some upper body strength and figured if I was going to do it, that I better work on it soon before I got into the heavier racing season. I did do a couple weeks of lower rep/higher weight work, but probably will shy away from it now until some extended downtime from any racing at the end of the year or over the winter again.

My main focus on strength now back to maintenance, but always improving my stability and balance. I’ve been doing a lot of exercises in an unstable state such as standing on one leg while doing dumbbell curls or doing my pushups with my feet on a stability ball and/or hands on a bosu ball.

I’ve also been using TRX straps for some exercises and will likely be purchasing a set of my own to put in my mobile personal training tool box. I’ve been using the TRX straps at the gym, but can see that these can be great for some mobile training and can be hung from a tree, garage rafters, pull-up bars at the park, etc…

Nutrition

Disclaimer: I have no official training in nutrition, so take whatever I write about my nutrition as interesting stories or lessons learned. In no way shape or form is any of this meant to be advice for anybody. I like to experiement with many things and nutrition happens to be one of them.

I mentioned last month about cleaning up my diet and going on a short no/low-carb binge… I picked up intensity of some of my workouts this past month and at the end of the day, the low carb thing just doesn’t work for me. It might be because I haven’t stuck with it long enough, but I’ve decided to error on the side of overfueling a bit, even on the carb side to make sure I get the most out of my workouts and replenish my carb stores afterwards as well.

This puts me a little on the heavy side and I am definitely carrying a little fat in mid section right now. However, I’d rather error on this side for now as I’m trying to get stronger and not really worried about leaning out at the moment. The race, that I am most concerned about this year is the Marji Gesick 100 and then running a strong half Marathon in November and I’ve got a lot of time until then. In the mean time, I’m going to make sure that I am well fueled for workouts and make sure I replenish well afterwards for muscle repair and carb stores.

Upcoming Events

May 6, 2017:  Minnesota Mountain Bike Series St. Crois Woolly 4 Hour Lap Race

May 13, 2017: Grantsburg Adventure Triathlon (Bike, Paddle, Run)

May 21, 2017: Detroit Mountain 4 Hour Lap Race

June 4, 2017: Borah Epic Mountain Bike Race

June 11, 2017: City of Trails 10k Trail Run

You might notice that I am planning a much busier race schedule this year than I did last year… Last year, I did quite a few 100 mile races or rides throughout most of the year. I felt like I spent more time recovering than I did getting in valuable training time or just enjoying the ride as much as I had in the past. I really like race day experiences, so this year I decided to do way less long distance stuff and a lot more of the shorter or mid distance stuff.

This should allow me to race more often and still be able to fit in valuable workouts to get stronger. I really want to lay down a solid Marji Gesick 100 race in September. All this other racing is just a way for me to train up to that point, while enjoying a solid season of racing more often. Maybe I’ll write up a seperate “Deep Thoughts” article about it all at some point.

New Articles This Month

NETA Group Cycling Instructor Certification

I’m planning to put on an Indoor Group Cycling class in the fall. Hit me up if you’re local to me and interested. I’m also tooling with the idea of doing some online live sessions come fall if there is some interest with that as well. Hit me up if interested in either, so I can gauge interest levels.

neta group cycling


THK Road Race Report

1st road race of the season. I really haven’t been enjoying road riding much lately with the fear of always looking over my shoulder for drivers and road racing was a chance to get out on the road and worry less about car traffic.

thk road race


Ken Woods Memorial Road Race

2nd road race of the season and starting to feel like I’m figuring it out a little bit. It’s a totally different ball game than mountain bike racing.

Ken Woods

Personal Training & Coaching Service Updates

For clarification… These services range from fat loss, functional fitness, performance or recreational fitness, along with beginner to intermediate level mountain biking. Contact me anytime if you have questions or need clarification on any of these options.

Coaching Sessions – Single Session or Packages: $49 – $359

Personal Training & Coaching Plans: $119 – $1,599

Custom Fitness Plans: $39 – $199

Custom Training Plans: $99 – $299

Snap Fitness of St. Croix Falls – Announced last month, but new stuff in the works here also.

Most Popular Article This Month

My First Marji Gesick 100 MTB Race

This one has been popular every month since the race. It’s almost a book, so I suspect it gets inflated page views because it likely takes folks multiple sessions to read through the entire report.

marji gesick

On To Next Month…

Lots of racing getting underway and back to the dirt after trying some road racing again last month. Excited for the Adventure Triathlon and hoping I can hold things together during the run.

-Steve

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Monthly Recap: Training, Tips, Lessons & Stuff

I’m moving these monthly recaps back to the blog feed for now and have changed the content a bit from the e-mail only version. They will still get e-mailed out to subscribers as well. Enjoy and let me know if there is anything else you would like to see in them.

Monthly Training Summary

Cycling

Mileage – 361

Time – 22 hrs, 53 min

I got in a short period of what I would consider base training at the start of month, which you can find at the end of my last training report. I intended to go into another similiar base type of training block again, but switched gears and put a couple weeks of focus on my diet. More along the lines of cleaning it up I guess, but my cycling was fairly random during the last couple weeks. You can check out the nutrition section if your interested in my diet shennanigans.

Running

Mileage – 15.9 miles

Time – 2 hrs, 55 min

I’m still not running a lot of miles, relatively speaking for somebody who would like to run a half marathon this year. However, I did give a hard effort to a 5k one day and ran it under 21 minutes with a 6:44 pace, which is faster than I have run a 5k in over 20 years. So… I am making progress at least. More to come on this and maybe I will be able to get out on a trail during the month of April.

Strength

I mentioned in a previous recap (previous recaps were e-mail only), that I was doing most of my strength training randomly throughout the day vs in a dedicated session. I am again doing some of my workouts as stand alone workouts now between client appointments at the gym. Anyways, I am getting in 1 to 2 structured sessions per week and then some random work on another 1 or 2 days per week. I have some go-to exercises, but am always changing up the sequence and/or adding in some other excercises as I like to experiment.

One of my go-to superset exercises for the upper body is bench presses, immediately followed up with stabiliy ball push-ups (feet up on a stability ball). I find it to be a good combination of building some strength with endurance along with some upper body and core stability when done back to back. My upper body and core feels much more solid and stronger on the bike if I’ve been keeping up on these.

Nutrition

Disclaimer: I have no official training in nutrition, so take whatever I write about my nutrition as interesting stories or lessons learned. In no way shape or form is any of this meant to be advice for anybody. I like to experiement with many things and nutrition happens to be one of them.

I needed to clean up my diet and kind of reset and figured I better put some focus on it before all the cycling events kick off later this spring. I started off by going high fat and low carb. To the best of my knowledge, it was very ketogenic. At any rate, I went all in and then after about 1 week, I started pulling more carbs back into the diet in the form of complex carbs vs simple sugars. This no doubt effected being able to get in any type of high intensity workout. I actually tried, but felt like I was tearing myself down.

I’ve gone fairly long periods in the past on very low carb diets and can get extremely lean and feel pretty good. The downside has been that I always seem to crash hard about 2 hours into a race or ride that has any high intensity, even after dumping down gels or any type of sugar. It just always seemed like my body didn’t know what to do with them. I know there is a lot of fuss around ketogenic diets and endurance racing, but I’m yet to do any race, even the ones that last 12 hours that don’t require some high intensity sugar burning efforts throughout the race.

Anyways, my intention was not to go back to the fat burning thing, but rather use it as a reset to dumping all the crappy carbs out of my diet and easing back in with more healthy foods. In the end, I will still go back to somewhat of a low carb diet, but need to plan my carb intake better around my workouts and learn more about loading appropriately for races.

Upcoming Events

Apirl 1, 2017: Group Cycling Instructor Certification Class

I feel pretty confident in my ability to put together the actual workouts, but I am interested in learning more about putting together the overall class in general and think this might be helpful.

April 15, 2017:  THK Road Race

Yes, I am going to try some road racing again. I got dropped hard on the climb at this race 2 years ago and got spit right out the back of the pack mid way through the race. Hopefully, I can redeem myself this year.

April 22, 2017:  Ken Woods Memorial Road Race

This is another one that I did 2 years ago and hung in there with the lead pack until the final climb and then got dropped bad. Again, hopefully I can redeem or at least learn a little more about road racing.

May 6, 2017:  Minnesota Mountain Bike Series St. Crois Woolly 4 Hour Race

I may actually race in quite a few of the series races this year. I think it will be great for improving my singletrack skills and trail endurance.

New Articles This Month

Lots of workout reports in here if you are looking for workout ideas.

Winter Base Training Report – Bike & Run

New Services Added

I started accepting appointments at the St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin Snap Fitness.

Snap Fitness Personal Training & Fitness Plan Design

Most Popular Article(s) This Month

Apparantly there is some interest in the Marji Gesick 100. I am obviously bias toward my own reports… but if you are interested in this race, then I highly recommend reading my report. I share a lot of details about the race if you take the time to read the entire report.

My First Marji Gesick 100 MTB Race

Fat Bike racing was wrapping up, so the Polar Roll report was still popular. It was a fairly fresh post as well.

906 Polar Roll Fat Bike Race Report

On To Next Month…

I’m ready to get on some trails!

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Endurance Path Monthly Report – September 2015

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.

SUBSCRIBE by going to my Start Here page where a pop up window will appear, or just go to the right side bar of the webpage.

All that being said, here is the usual monthly report.

Racing

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

Results:

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.

My full 2015 Chequamegon 40 Fat Tire Festival Race Report

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.

Training

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.

Total Miles:

Mountain Bike:  265 miles

Road Bike:  122 miles

Running:  8

Total Sessions:  16

Mountain Bike:  8

Road Bike:  7

Running:  1

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.

Nutrition

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.

Gear

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.

Riding Photos

These pictures are all of my bike after the Chequamegon 40 Fat Tire Festival Race.

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Summary

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.

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Endurance Path Monthly Report – August 2015

Welcome to my August 2015 Endurance Path Monthly Report!

I started the month off with the Maah Daah Hey 100 and spent the rest of the month learning some lessons about recovery and fatigue.  I need to learn how to just go out for recovery rides sometimes without having to push the limits every ride.  This was a good month for me though, in helping sort out the type of racing that I want to do and that is Endurance Racing.  I like the races that push you to your limit and will make you suffer to get to the finish line, regardless of who you are.  There is some massive satisfaction knowing that you can take yourself to that place and push your body through it.

Racing

I raced twice this month with the Maah Daah Hey 100 being my big Epic for the year.

Total Races:  2

Mountain Bike:  1

Road Bike:  1

Maah Daah Hey 100

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Results:  10th place

This was my big Epic Endurance Race for the year and I am totally hooked on Endurance Racing.  At the end of the day I just wanted to finish the race, but did have a 12 hour goal in mind.  I ended up finishing in 12 hours and 5 minutes.  The race was brutal and took a massive toll on my body, but left me wanting more of that type of racing.

My full 2015 Maah Daah Hey 100 Race Report

Minnesota State Championship Road Races

Results:  20th in Cat 4/5 and 7th in Cat 5

I almost didn’t go to this race, but figured I would have put a hard ride in that day anyways and was still curious about road racing.  I was pretty fatigued still, but held my own most of the race.  I wasted some energy in a few hard pushes and pulls and entered the final climb in a terrible position.  Regardless, I still got beat pretty good on the final climb by the winners.

My full 2015 Minnesota State Championship Road Race Report

Upcoming Races

September 19th:  Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival

Training

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.

Total Miles:  510

Mountain Bike:  214 miles

Road Bike:  283 miles

Running:  13

Total Sessions:  21

Mountain Bike:  8

Road Bike:  9

Running:  4

I spent the first couple weeks of the month recovering from the Maah Daah Hey 100.  That was by far the most brutal race I have done and I was pretty beat up from it.  I pretty much stayed off the bike for a week, aside from a 4 mile ride with my kids.  I still don’t know if staying off the bike for a week was a mistake or not.  What I do think was a mistake is that when I did get back on the bike, I jumped right into riding hard again and I should have eased my way into it.

When I did get back on the bike the second week, I was still feeling deeply fatigued.  I could ride the distance, but could definitely feel the fatigue when I pushed myself.  For some reason, I kept pushing and its taken me a bit to recover because of it.  I still went ahead and entered the Minnesota State Championship Road Race anyways, as I was still curious about road racing and thought it would be a good hard training ride regardless.

One big change to my training this month was the addition of some running.  I have an urge to add some endurance running to my calendar and feel like it would be some good cross training while potentially creating another season for me in the future to change up the muscle usage and fatigue.  My intention is to keep it up, but ease my way into it.

Nutrition

My nutrition this month was extremely poor and I am paying for it.  I was traveling quite a bit and also visiting family.  I do pretty decent when traveling, since we take our travel trailer that has a full kitchen in it, but I tend to eat a bit too much garbage on the longer driving days.  I am back home now and will have it reined in within a couple days.  I can totally feel the bad nutrition from both energy levels and digestion.  I will have to pull things together in the future if I am going to continue to compete in the events that I want to compete in.

Health and Fitness

Weight:  155 lbs

My health has been good, but my overall fitness levels have plateaued and I am feeling overall fatigued as I have already mentioned.  I think this is to be expected after a couple big endurance races and spending time recovering before being able to do another building block.  That being said, during my last trail ride at the end of the month, I was feeling like I could have ridden all day long at an average pace.  My average heart rate was relatively low and only jumped when I gave a good push.  I’ve noticed that I can ride an average pace for quite some time, but seem to fatigue quickly when I push things.  Right now, I am nervous that I will fatigue quickly when pushed in a fast paced shorter distance race like the Chequamegon 40 that is coming up.  I have some really good endurance built up, but feel like I never let my muscles fully recover for speed and strength.

The last couple of months I have been experimenting with ice baths and hot Epsom Salt baths.  I store up ice in the deep freezer from our ice maker and then take a 10 minute soak in an ice bath after a hard workout such as interval sprints or hill repeats.  It seems to take away any inflammation and then allows the muscles to heal up faster.  I’ll use the Epsom Salt an hour or 2 before bed to help the muscles relax so that I can get a good nights sleep.  I feel this helped me recover from day to day and get some good hard workouts in on back to back days.  Now that I am deeply fatigued, I am not sure how much they help.  But, I do think they were helpful during my build phases.

Gear

This was a new section last month and I enjoyed documenting it, so I will keep it up.

Mountain Bike

The biggest thing I have to say about my Mountain Bikes is that my Felt Edict NINE 3 totally rocked on the Maah Daah Hey.  I may want to upgrade the Elixir 3 brakes at some point and maybe even go to a 1 X 11 drivetrain, but I love the frame geometry and the feel of the bike.  It climbs well and the current build weighs in at 26.5 lbs with my pedals on it.  It lost 2 lbs when I swapped out the stock wheel / tire package for a tubeless set up with the Sun Ringle Black Flag ProSL wheel set with Continental X-King Protection 2.2 tires.

My Specialized Fatboy Expert has turned out to be a great summer training bike and I have been spending more and more time on it.  It is just a fun bike to ride on and I have been pretty amazed at how well it handles single track.  The only time I did not enjoy riding it was at one of my local trails that is extremely hard packed and smooth.  All I heard was my tires on the trail and for some reason, I just wasn’t having fun that day on it.  That being said, my next all around general purpose bike might be a full suspension Fat Bike.  I have to attribute some of my increased fitness levels to trucking the Fat Bike around the trails.

Road Bike

I have been messing around with my bar position on the road bike.  I dropped it way low so that I could try and get in a good arrow position while gripping the hoods, but it was straining my back way too much and I ended up bringing them back up a bit.  My road bike is mostly used for training.  I did do quite a few races with it this year, but that was mostly early season training, so I do not intend to do much with the road bike for racing purposes.

Personal Training and Coaching

I am just getting started on my studying, but just the little bit that I have read has been interesting.  I am looking forward to learning as much as I can.  I think there are a lot of people that go through the Personal Trainer Programs, just for the certificate so they can start working at a gym, but that is not my purpose with it.  I really do want to learn as much as possible and long term have no intention of working at a gym with it.  I would like to do private coaching and learn how to create my own personalized training programs for people and have a high interest in learning the science behind fitness and nutrition.

Riding Photos

This is a new section, but thought I would share some photos from this past months riding…

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Summary

My biggest lesson for the month is that I need to know when I have peaked for the season and when to go into maintenance and sustain mode.  There comes a point in the season where fitness levels are going to peak out and if I try to keep pushing or building during those times, I will risk breaking down more and getting weaker vs recovering and being ready for the next event.  I think I am on that edge as I type this.

Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for my Chequamegon 40 Race Report in a couple weeks.

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Endurance Path Monthly Report – July 2015

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Welcome to my July 2015 Endurance Path Monthly Report!

This is coming out a couple days earlier than normal, as I am out in North Dakota for the Maah Daah Hey 100 which is Saturday August 1st and I will want to focus on my race report immediately after the race.  That being said, keep an eye out for my race report in the next few days.  I spent the first few days of July recovering from the Lutsen 99er and then jumped back into training.

Racing

I only had 1 race this month, but it was a big one.  I spent most of the month training and preparing for the Lutsen 99er.

Total Races:  1

Time Trial:  1

Synergy 40k Time Trial

Class:  Open Stock Non-Aero

Results:  4th of 9

This was my first Time Trial of this distance.  I really would have liked to finish faster.  I was around a minute off of 3rd place, but almost 6 minutes out of 1st.  I pushed myself pretty hard, but did have a bit more left at the finish.  That being said, I don’t know if it was enough to catch 3rd place.  I struggled to stay in a good aero position and have been playing with the handle bars on my bike since.  Jury is still out if this is something I would like to get heavy into, but for now, I am interested and plan to hit the Minnesota State Championships if I am recovered enough from the Maah Daah Hey 100 by then.

Upcoming Races

August 1st:  Maah Daah Hey 100

August 8th:  Minnesota State Time Trial Championships

August 15th:  Minnesota State Road Race Championships

Training

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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 will be higher than this monthly report.

Total Miles:  472

Mountain Bike:  133 miles

Road Bike:  339 miles

Total Sessions:  22

Mountain Bike:  10

Road Bike:  12

My training this month was back to more road miles, but heavily focused on sprints / intervals and hill climbs.  I am definitely still building strength in my legs as I am sprinting and climbing faster than I ever have.  I still have a long ways to go to get to where I want to be, but it is refreshing to continue seeing progress.  Some may say that I should be very trail focused this month due to the Maah Daah Hey 100 being all single track, but I really believe the road bike training complements the mountain bike quite well. In my opinion, my endurance levels at this point are where I am going to get them for now and the best thing I can do is focus on strength through hill repeats, sprints and intervals so that when I hit the big climbs in the race, I have enough strength to get through them and keep on riding.

It’s difficult to find the needed long climbs on the mountain bike to get the right amount of sustained climbing hill repeats in, as well as a long enough mountain bike segment to stay in a hard spin long enough for a good long interval burn.  The mountain bike does provide for some great short interval training, but many times I feel that the mountain bike intervals are too short to get what I need out of them.  It does depend a bit on the trail as well.  My local trails, just don’t have the long enough hill sections to get the same kind of burn going that I can get on a good road climb.  I was lucky enough to find this type of riding at Copper Harbor and Marquette back in June, but I was home most of July and did this on my road bike.

I am becoming a big proponent of shorter mileage training, but heavily interval / sprint /repeat based type training vs just getting out and hammering mile after mile.  It has helped me to learn recovery after pushing the heart rate to red line along with building muscle.  In the past, I would go out and just ride heavy miles and tear the body down when I could have backed off the mileage and had a very purposeful training session.

My big Moutain Bike Race after the Maah Daah Hey 100 will be the Chequamegon 40 that I finished last year in 2 hours and 39 minutes from a gate 5 start.  I am gunning to knock another 20 to 30 minutes off of that time and it is not going to happen by me just going out and riding lots of miles.  I plan to focus on shorter distances with very high intensity intervals and hill repeats.  My expected outcome is to be able to ride faster at the same heart rate threshold.  To get close to the 2 hour finish mark, I will need to average close to 20 miles per hour and that is not going to happen by me going out and riding 50 miles as fast as I can.

Nutrition

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This section may start sounding like a broken record, but this is a work in progress all the time.  I am constantly trying new things, but eggs and vegetables seem to be a never-ending constant.  I have been going through eggs like no tomorrow.  I do use a protein powder as well, after heavy workouts.  All I can say, is that I can do a hard workout and I have not been cramping and my legs are getting stronger without being sore.  I do get fatigued, but my muscles seem to be building vs getting torn down.

Health and Fitness

Weight:  155 lbs

My health is much better than it was going into and immediately after the Lutsen 99er and my fitness levels seem to be increased.  One of the things I struggle with regarding health, is that I have been getting allergy shots to build a long term tolerance against things (which seem to be many) that I am allergic to.  I have reached my max dose on the allergy shot, which is basically an injection of what I am allergic to and each time I get the shot, it knocks me on my butt for a couple days.  I have to really make sure I am not too fatigued when I get it or I risk getting sick.  You might ask, why I am getting the shots then? I continue to get them because they have helped in the long run and big picture.  2 years ago, I would be sneezing, itching and eyes all puffed up after spending time outside and that situation has drastically improved.  I just have to get myself through the maintenance phase of them now and then I can stop them.  In the mean time, it just takes some additional planning and thought of my training around when I get my shots.

Gear

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This is a new section, but I think it might be helpful.  If it is not, then by all means, let me know.  If you would like to see or know something specific about my gear, then again, let me know as well.

Mountain Bike

I seem to have finally wore through some parts.  After the Lutsen 99er, I found that my drive side crank bearing was shot and after sitting for a couple days, was darn near locked up.  It is no wonder the pedals were feeling a bit heavy in the last few miles.  While I was at it, I decided to replace my chain, as well.  I replaced the BB with the stock Sram GXP bottom bracket and the chain with the stock Sram PC1051 chain from Amazon.  I am glad I did, as when compared to the new chain, the old one was definitely stretching.  In the past, I have had a bad habit of not replacing my chains soon enough and consequently ruining my rear cassette and front rings.  These little replacements made my Felt Edict feel like a brand new machine.  I really like this bike.

Road Bike

I have also reached a point in time where I am starting to wear through components on my road bike.  In June, I replaced the wheels as the stock wheels were starting to get a bit of grind going on in them.  I didn’t get fancy though, as I primarily use my road bike for training and figured since I am still racing in Cat 5 on the road, I have no reason to get fancy with my ride.  I ended up going with a cheap set of wheels from Performance Bike that seem to work just fine.  The hub doesn’t spin as freely as I might like, but again, I road ride and race at this point, primarily for training.

The next thing I noticed, was the crank not spinning as freely as I thought it should, so I ended up replacing the Bottom Bracket.  My bike is 10 years old and still has the stock FSA Gossamer Crankset with pinch bolts and the FSA BB is actually a bit expensive compared to the Shimano stuff.  I ended getting a Dura Ace BB from one of my local bike shops (Penn Cycle in Blaine, MN) for $35, which was cheaper than the FSA BB.  After pulling everything apart, it turns out that the BB wasn’t really in all that bad of shape, but I went ahead and replaced it anyways.  I will keep the FSA BB in case I decide to build up a gravel grinder on the side.  Not that I have something planned, but just saying…

This brought me to some further inspection of the drivetrain.  After further inspection, I also felt it was time to replace the chain and cassette as the chain was stretched quite a bit and the cassette teeth were getting widened to a great degree.  I went with a Sram PG950 12-26 cassette and Sram PC971 chain from REI.  The cost of these 2 combined was still $30 cheaper than the Shimano Ultegra Cassette alone.

My next thing is figuring out a better position for Time Trial racing on my stock bike.  I am really mixed on it.  I feel like I have a good position on it now for road racing and training, but I don’t want to mess it up for the occasional Time Trial.  That being said, I went ahead and lowered the bars and pushed the seat forward.  It is quite a bit lower and more strain on the back, but I can definitely get my back parallel to the ground now and probably in a bit better aero position while gripping the hoods.  I will keep you posted on my progress with this in the future.

Personal Training and Coaching

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Some other big news that I have, is that I have started studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer and a Level 3 USA Cycling Coach.  I will of course, want to work my way up through the levels, but this is the starting point.  I chose NASM for the Certified Personal Trainer because it seemed to be a bit more athletic focused and I really want to learn for myself first and then obviously I would like to start coaching other athletes.  I feel my big area of focus for athletes will be people like me and where I was a couple of years ago.  I really want to work with people that have decided to make changes in their life and challenge themselves, whether that be just getting started in some type of endurance competition or those that are making the progress to become competitive.

I will keep you posted on this in the future.  I feel I have learned a lot about training, racing and making lifestyle changes over the past few years, so I can start working with other folks to do what I have done and what I am doing.  My plan is to go a bit further with it and study nutrition and performance going into next year, but I need to take things a step at a time.

Summary

This was another great month of increasing my fitness levels and climbing abilities.  To further what I mentioned last month, I am starting to see climbing as one of my strength areas.  I will stay focused on it for sure and continue to build leg strength.

Again, look out for my Maah Daah Hey 100 race report in the next few days.  Also, keep an eye on my Twitter account Saturday as my wife may get some live stream video of some of the race, if cell signal allows.  Until next time, keep the wheels spinning.

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Endurance Path Monthly Report – June 2015

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Welcome to my June 2015 Endurance Path Monthly Report!

My report this month is a bit shorter than the last.  I spent most of the month riding and was able to get out to a few new trails that I had never ridden before.  It was a very mountain bike focused month as I finished the month with the Lutsen 99er race.  As always, any feedback is greatly appreciated.  If there is something specific you would like to see or do not want to see in these monthly updates, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail through my Contact Me page.

My intention is to share quick highlights of any endurance racing, training, nutrition, health and any other fun endurance sport related activities that I experienced this month.

Racing

I only had 1 race this month, but it was a big one.  I spent most of the month training and preparing for the Lutsen 99er.

Total Races:  1

Mountain Bike:  1

Lutsen 99er – Lutsen, Minnesota

Results:

81 of 462 Overall Finishers

77 of 477 Male Finishers

27 of 92 Male 30 – 39 Year Old Finishers

I had a great race, even though I was fighting a cold.  I finished more than 2 hours faster than last year and was really happy with how I did overall.  Each race I do, I seem to be improving in good strides.

You can read my full race report here:  2015 Lutsen 99er Race Report And Results

Upcoming Races

July 22nd:  Farm Dog Time Trial #6

August 1st:  Maah Daah Hey 100

Training

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 will be higher than this monthly report.

Total Miles:  503

Mountain Bike:  322 miles

Road Bike:  181 miles

Total Sessions:  21

Mountain Bike:  17

Road Bike:  4

I put a lot of focus this month on trail miles.  We took 2 family trips where I was able to really focus on my mountain biking.  We spent 4 days at Cuyuna Lakes Recreation Area and then about a week in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where I was able to ride Maasto Hihto / Churning Rapids, Swedetown, Copper Harbor and Marquette.  Those were some fantastic training days.  I utilized my Fat Bike for some heavy trail miles that provided for great workouts.  My fitness levels seemed to sky rocket between Cuyuna and the UP.  I did wear myself down quite a bit and was on the verge of over training.  I did end up catching myself a pretty bad cold that I am just now getting over.

I plan to do another time trial in July.  I do think the short time trials are great little threshold training sessions.  During my race and my heavy trail training days, I noticed that I could just push and push and my lungs never ran out of air.  I attribute this to the criterium and time trial racing that I was getting into.  They were great above threshold training sessions that taught my body how to push to the max and then quickly recover.  I will definitely continue that type of racing next spring.

My big focus right now is training for the Maah Daah Hey 100 on August 1st.

Nutrition

My nutrition has been good overall.  I tend to stay fairly consistent.  I did slip a bit while traveling in Michigan as we were staying with relatives and I didn’t have my home or camper kitchen with me.  That being said, I managed it ok.  The key for me, is the right foods before and after workouts.  On heavy training days, I try to have a bit of protein before bed.  Usually in the form of 1 or 2 eggs, depending on how full or empty my stomach feels.

I have started substituting Sun Flower Butter for cheese on burgers and sandwiches.  I’ll even add an egg to a burger sometimes for a little extra protein stack.  Mid day, I have been having a cold turkey sandwich on whole grain bread.  I’ll spread a bit of Sun Butter on each slice of toast and then layer it with diced up broccoli before adding a fried egg and turkey.  It’s a good sandwich with a good mix of carbs, proteins and fats for a mid day meal.

Health and Fitness

Weight:  155 lbs

My overall fitness is fantastic and the best it has ever been.  I was a pretty good wrestler back in high school, but I feel like I could kick the crap out of my 18 year old self.  I am exactly twice that age now.  As I train more and get stronger, I am starting to see how and why endurance racing is being dominated by the middle aged guys.  There is a mental toughness that builds up in you as you age.  I am looking forward to seeing the kind of shape I am in a few years down he road when I turn 40.

With 5 weeks between the Lutsen 99er and Maah Daah Hey 100, I believe that I have the opportunity to recover a bit and then build my fitness level a bit more before tapering back down for the Maah Daah Hey.

Summary

This was a great month of increasing my fitness levels and climbing abilities.  I no longer feel like climbing is one of my weaknesses.  Soon, I can see climbing being one of my strengths.  I will stay focused on it for sure and continue to build leg strength.

I hope you found this update useful, whether it be insightful or inspiring.  I am thinking about switching this to a monthly Newsletter via e-mail vs a blog posting.  If you have any thoughts on that idea, I would appreciate your feedback.  As I mentioned above, please leave a comment below or or send me an e-mail through my Contact Me page if you have any questions or comments.

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Endurance Path Monthly Report – May 2015

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Welcome to my May 2015 Endurance Path Monthly Report!

I had a busy month of racing that included Time Trials, Criteriums and Mountain Bike Races.  I had some big lessons learned in making sure my equipment is working well before a race and have maintained my weight.  As always, any feedback is greatly appreciated.  If there is something specific you would like to see or do not want to see in these monthly updates, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail through my Contact Me page.

My intention is to share quick highlights of any endurance racing, training, nutrition, health and any other fun endurance sport related activities that I experienced this month.

Racing

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A picture of my son cheering me up Mt. Kato.

A lot of racing in the month of May.  I did my first Time Trial on my road bike, finished out the Tuesday Night Worlds Criterium Series and competed in 2 Mountain Bike Races.  I feel like I am getting stronger each race and have made big improvements over last year.  I have a long ways to go to get where I want to be, but I am proving that a guy in his mid 30s can lose some weight, get in shape and be competitive.

Total Races:  7

Criteriums:  3

Time Trials:  2

Mountain Bike:  2

Tuesday Night Worlds #4 Criterium – Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Class:  Cat 4/5

Results:  5 out of 46 – 5 points

I am starting to get this figured out.  I was in the top 7 on the 1st sprint and then won the 3rd sprint.  I completely blew up though, after winning the 3rd sprint.  I took a lead out way too early, but held on to it resulting in completely blowing up after coming across the line and almost got dropped before the last sprint.  That being said, my goal for this race was to win a sprint lap…  Goal accomplished.

Farm Dog Time Trial #1 – Lakeville, MN

Class:  Open Stock

Results:  6 out of 9

Average Speed:  22.3 mph

This was my first Time Trial race.  I have done many threshold pulls on my road bike by myself and was anxious to see how I would stack up in a race.  I raced in the Open Stock Class where aerodynamic equipment is not allowed on your bike, but you can wear aero equipment such as a skin suit, aero helmet and shoe covers.  I don’t have any aero gear and just raced with my normal road riding gear.  I was a little disappointed in my finish of 6th place.  I was within .2 second of 5th place, but over a minute back from 3rd.  I definitely could have gone faster and never really completely pushed the pain envelope.  In general though, not bad for my first one.

Tuesday Night Worlds #5 Criterium – Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Class:  Cat 4/5

Results:  44 out of 57 – no points

I was struggling for most of this race.  I had done the Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit workout the day before the race, which turned out to be a bad idea.  Never do a new workout or something you haven’t done in quite a while the day before a race.  I was close to going for one of the early sprints and top 10 on the forth sprint before getting dropped off the back of the pack and barely hanging on for the last 3 laps.  Also, I wasn’t paying attention to lap count again and didn’t realize we were going for 15 laps versus the 12 that we had been racing up to this point.

Minnesota Mountain Bike Series #2 – Woolly Bike Club – St. Croix Falls, WI

Class:  Comp

Results:  42 out of 54

This race was a disaster for me and I was glad to get some kinks worked out for the season.  This is why you need to do a few shorter races before jumping into your primary races.  I crashed, bent a derailer hanger, broke a spoke and a couldn’t hold the right gear the entire race because of a loose cassette.  It was a mess, but I finished.  The good news is, I feel like I belong racing in the Comp class after this race and have some confidence.

Woolly Bike Club Race Report – CLICK HERE!

Tuesday Night Worlds #6 Criterium – Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Class:  4/5

Results:  17th out of 50 – no points

This was the last race of the series and we were hammering the pedals pretty hard.  It was our fastest average speed for the season.  I gave a solid effort on the first 3 sprints, but wasn’t quite positioned enough be close.  I dropped off the back after lap 9 to get a rest and almost got dropped, but was able to jump back on before lap 11.  I worked my way back up toward the front and jumped in a lead out line about 4 back, going into turn 3 on the last lap.  Coming out of turn 4 on the last lap, I went for it.  I was able to get a lead, but couldn’t quite hold on to it all the way through the finish.

Farm Dog Time Trial #3 – Lakeville, MN

Class – Open Stock

Results:  1st out of 5

Average Speed:  22.8 mph

I was excited about my finish here and know that I can still go faster.  I am currently sitting in 5th place overall for the season, but am confident I can get myself up to 3rd .  I will need to pick up an entire mph to get myself in 1st place for the season.

Minnesota Mountain Bike Series #3 – Bluff Riders Charge – Mankato, MN

Class – Comp

Results – 25th out of 65

This was a good race for me.  It shows that I am improving and I know I can be competitive in this class.  There was a ton of climbing, as this race was on a ski slope and I got through the climbs ok.  I did pretty decent on the technical sections as well.  Climbing is still the area for me to work on.  It is more the repetitive climbing that I really need to work on.  I am also learning how to pace myself well in a race.  Now, I just need to carefully pick up that pace.

Bluff Riders Charge Race Report – CLICK HERE!

Training

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 will be higher than this monthly report.

Total Miles:  310

Mountain Bike:  101 miles

Road Bike:  209 miles

Total Sessions:  19

Mountain Bike:  8

Road Bike:  11

I would like to have put in more miles, but I did get a bit distracted with some of the racing.  I need to learn how to continue training with these early season races.  I am not quite ready for the Lutsen 99er yet, based on the goals I have in mind for it.  I will get some heavier training sessions in during June to get myself ready.  Last year, I finished in 9 hours and 12 minutes, but I would like to knock some serious time off that for this year.

My longest ride this month was 62 miles.  I was hurting at the end of it and should look for a new seat and shorts soon.  My road seat is 10 years old and is showing its age.  If you have any suggestions on seats, please comment below.  I would really like to hear what people are using.  Also, I am looking for some suggestions on shorts.  I only have 1 pair of road shorts and they are 2 years old now and ready for replacement.  I am thinking about switching to bibs for the long races and rides.  Again, any suggestions on brand and/or model would be appreciated.

Nutrition

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My nutrition is always a work in progress.  I experiment with a variety of things, but I keep my breakfast fairly consistent.  It always consists of eggs as the main item and I tend to vary it between 4 different meals…

  1. Just eggs, either scrambled or fried.
  2. Eggs with vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and/or cauliflower.
  3. Eggs with lentils on occasion, which is a recommendation from Tim Ferriss.
  4. Egg sandwich on whole wheat or whole grain toast.

I am much less consistent with the rest of my meals, but I do tend to eat more often during the day with fewer calories at each meal.  Dinner usually consists of a meat and vegetable.  Sometimes a bread is added if hamburgers are on the menu.  The point is, I don’t tend to over eat much except on pizza night.  To be clear, our pizza night is our own homemade pizzas.  The kids love it and we each make what we want.  Mine is usually a thin crust, olive oil, cheese, diced tomatoes, artichokes, green olives and pepperoni.  I occasionally post a #cheatday picture on Twitter.

With some of my longer rides and tougher races, I may finish the evening off with a couple more eggs before I go to bed.  I think the protein is good in them and they don’t keep me awake at night.

Health and Fitness

Weight:  158 lbs

I have maintained the same weight this month.  I am not going to use the body fat % anymore as it fluctuates too much on my old scale for it to be of any value here.  In general, I feel slightly leaner than I was a month ago, so hopefully that means, I have put some leg muscle on.

I have been feeling really good, aside from a few of my recovery days where I may have worked out a little too hard the day before.  I tend to push it sometimes more than what I may be ready for.  I am learning to dial back when I need to.  I am just a little bit impatient and want to get to a peak fitness as fast as possible.

Website Updates

If you have any thing specific you would like to see on the website, please leave a comment below.  I updated to a new theme this past month that seems to be a little better to work with and I will be working on new content.

Summary

I had another good month with some new challenges and accomplishments.  Just like the previous month, I still need to pick up the training a bit more if I am going to be more competitive.  I still tend to struggle with recovery and I am working on figuring that out, whether it be sleep, food or overtraining when I do train.  I hope you found this update useful, whether it be insightful or inspiring.  As I mentioned above, please leave a comment below or or send me an e-mail through my Contact Me page if you have any questions or comments.

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