Monday, April 9, 2007

The ups and downs of April in Cleveland

After a pretty successful month of March training I was really psyched about April. On April 2nd I rode a 110 mile loop around Cleveland known as the Emerald Necklace in 70 degree weather. In fact I rode it faster than I ever had, so I was really up. The next day I rode a 50 mile recovery ride also in 70 degree weather and felt great. Then on Wednesday, the temperature went down 40 degrees and the snow began to fall. It fell all week and all week-end and the only thing I could do was bring my bike back inside and work on the trainer in the basement. Yesterday(Sunday), my training consisted of shoveling 18" of snow off the driveway for two hours, weights, and 75 minutes on the trainer. All that nasty weather had me feeling a bit down. But I just have to accept the fact that this is Cleveland, and that's the way the weather can go here in April and you just have to try and make the best of it. I'll be out on the road again in a couple of days and some of the interval work I did on the trainer should be beneficial.

Last night Rachel and I had the distinct pleasure of having Charles Barr's parents over to our home for dinner. They were in Cleveland over the Easter week-end. Prior to last night, I had really only known them through many exhanges of e-mail messages. What a gift it was for me to visit them in person and share some wonderful memories of Charles. They have been very supportive of my bike ride for Charles and having the opportunity to get to know them better leaves me feeling very up.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

March Training

For training three months prior to the Elite Tour (which is March for me), PAC Tour suggests riding 150-200 miles per week with 1 ride per week being over 100 miles. With that standard in mind, I had a respectable month of March. I rode a total of 927.3 miles and had 5 rides over 100 miles. The weather conditions here in Cleveland were a little sporatic so I had to spend some time on the trainer early in the month. Then the Cleveland Orchestra spent a week in Miami in the middle of the month and during my free time, I managed to get in rides of 120, 180, and 100 miles. The century I rode in 5:20 averaging 19.1 mph while on the bike.

Today is April 1st. I now have 10 weeks until the start of the Elite Tour. PAC Tour owner and director Lon Haldeman has written that it takes a rider 10 weeks to go from pretty good shape to great shape with proper training. Well I do feel like I'm in pretty good shape and have a solid aerobic base. The training suggestion for April is 200-300 miles per week with 1 to 2 rides each week over 100 miles. I have no plans other than to follow the suggested training. I will get in my long rides and throw in some fast group rides to work on my speed as well as some hill repeat rides to work on my climbing. Not exactly rocket science. The trick sometimes is finding the time to train while balancing work and family responsibilities.

Usually here in Cleveland the month of March is wet and cold. I normally don't think about getting out on the road much before April 1st. But this year of course I couldn't afford to think that way and get prepared for the Elite Tour. Thankfully, due to getting to spend a week in Miami and some decent weather here, I'm way ahead of where I have been in past years at this point in the riding season. The start of the Elite Tour feels right around the corner and the thought of it still feels incredibly intimidating. But I feel very positive about my training and my fitness and I will just continue to build on it. In my next post, I'll report on my April training.