Update: Sickness and Self-Myofascial Release

So I’ve been sick since Sunday with a head cold. I’ve still been able to do my workouts – not at the intensity I’d like – but still. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Several positive things have happened.

I tested my FTP with the FTP Confirmation Test Saturday and I’ve tentatively concluded it has increased to ~270W. I’ll confirm in a few weeks with a CP30 test if this is the case. Here’s the workout and description of the FTP Confirmation Test.

I discovered Myofascial Release. This has cured a problem I’ve been having with my right leg and hip for several months. Seriously, I cannot describe how awesome this is.

At first, I thought I had a tight IT band. However, after conducting The Ober’s test, I determined this wasn’t the case. I have good flexibility, so some kind of tightness just didn’t add up. I remembered reading that a foam roller could help with muscle soreness. At the time I passed it off as “not going to work for me” but at this point I was willing to try it. So I wrapped a vacuum tube in some tool chest liner and rolled my outer leg on it. I could feel two sizeable knots along that length of the muscle and that’s where I focused the roller. I won’t lie – I was nearly in tears because of the pain. However, after a minute or so, it stopped hurting…completely. I then did that closer to the hip joint and around the back of the hip joint. Again, it hurt at first but gradually eased off. I couldn’t believe it. After having this pain for almost a year, a simple roller fixed the problem! The next day I went for a ride and had almost no pain. It was pretty amazing. I bought one of these almost immediately. It came yesterday and it is big improvement over the vacuum tube. I plan to continue maintaining this as an integral part of my exercise routine. If you have any pain that doesn’t respond to stretching or comes back frequently, try using a roller on it. It’s cheap and easy to do.

Power and Fatigue Profile

Below you can see my fatigue profile calculated from the Peaks Coaching Group Fatigue Profiler. This is a comparison within power levels and indicates how quickly you fatigue for the different power levels.

2012 Fatigue Profile

2012 Fatigue Profile

You can see that my anaerobic capacity needs some work. It makes sense that I struggled during those moments during a race where I needed that L6 power to stay in the peloton to get over a small hill or stay with the lead group during the last hundred meters for the sprint.

This also coincides with my power profile.

2012 Power Profile

2012 Power Profile

My 1 minute power is my weakest area. Given that I’m 150 lbs and 5’11” I suppose that makes sense. I also hate doing AC intervals…

I think, based on my recent exercise efforts, that my FTP has changed. I will soon be doing a LTP test. My goal for this season was to reach an FTP of 275W. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

For next season I think my goals are pretty clear for training. Continue doing the FTP workouts but also make sure I spend some serious time focusing on my AC. I’ll be posting my tentative plan in the coming weeks.

Update: Exercise Nutrition

Success!!! I’ve got to say, that worked incredibly well.

Here are some stats from the ride:

  • Distance: 98.8 miles
  • Time: 5:19
  • Energy: 3738 kJ
  • Drank over 100 oz of sports drink with the skratch labs drink mix
  • Ate approx. 210 carbohydrates in the form of energy gels and Allen Lim’s rice cakes made by my wonderful wife
  • Averaged 200 watts for 5 hours (new PR!!!)

My preride meal was typical. A bowl of the Feed Zone cook book’s oatmeal, beet juice and a cup of coffee. I also finished strong, doing an hour of tempo effort riding from hour 3:45 to 4:45.

This was also a good test of my aerobic fitness which shows I am doing very well. For three hours, my heart rate and power were coupled under 5%.

So all in all, this was better than I could have hoped. I will most certainly be doing this again. If you want to see the data from the ride, just click here.

Exercise Nutrition

At this point in my cycling, nutrition on and off the bike has become important. There are several really good resources if you are interested in the right nutrition on and off the bike that tastes good. One is the Feed Zone Cookbook by Chef Biju and Dr. Lim. Another is this recovery drink recipe.

However, in this post I wanted to highlight something I’m going to test this Saturday on my scheduled 5 hour ride. In the paper Nutrition for endurance sports: Marathon, triathlon, and road cycling by Asker E. Jeukendrup, he recommends a formula for determining how many carbohydrates (CHO) are needed during exercise.

For anything over 2.5 hours, he suggests a rate of 90 g/hr of multiple transportable CHO. I also found this carb calculator which gave me 63 g/hr. I’m going to start with the lower end first. But this still ends up being one energy gel and one of Allen Lim’s rice cakes every hour! I have never eaten that much during a long ride, but I always seem to tire in that 4th or 5th hour. Not sure what the results will be, but I’ll keep you posted.

A blog about the struggles of an amatuer cyclist

This blog was inspired mostly by Russell Harding’s blog – The Road to Cat 1. Very cool stuff there by the way if you’re just starting out. I recently upgraded to cat 4 since I completed 10 mass-start USA Cycling permitted events. The “struggling” part comes from my placement. I haven’t had good performances up until this past Saturday’s race – The Lionheart Grand Prix (formerly PUR Tour). Although I placed 18th, it was my first cat 4/5 race. I stayed close to the front the entire race until the last 400 meters or so. My goals for next year are to get some upgrade points to cat 3 and actually win a race.