2006 goals, and bicycle coaches

December 29, 2005 at 5:57 pm

I was reading Fatty, and he talked about his goals for 2006. So, I thought that I’d talk about mine, and perhaps give him a bit of advice…

I’ve decided on my bicycle goals this year. My big rides are going to be:

STP One-day (July 15th)

I’ve never done STP. I’ve thought about doing the two-day variant, but I didn’t really want to go on a ride with 8000 of my closest friends. Last year I was probably in shape to do the one-day version, but I didn’t know I’d be there in March when I needed to register.

RAMROD (July 27th)

RAMROD (Ride around mount rainier in one day) is a 143 mile ride all the way around Mt. Rainier. It features around 10,000′ feet of climbing. This will be a  long and hard ride.

I think that I can get into decent shape on my own, but I’ve been thinking of spending some money on a coach. Since I don’t have any racing aspirations, it seems strange to think about a coach, but I’ve taken ski lessons for the last 5 years or so, and it’s had a tremendous impact on both my ability and my enjoyment. I spend enough time on my bike training (well, much of it is just *riding*…), and I’m pretty sure I could be more efficient in using that time.

Carmichael provides an entry-level service for $40 a month that gives you a program to follow that I’m thinking of using.

Anybody tried Carmichael, or any other coaches?

Oh, and Elden, I noticed that Carmichael also provides nutritional consultation. If you’re planning on dropping that much weight, it might be worth considering…

The last few days, I spent eating, sleeping, and reading, so today I got back on the bike and did 25 miles with just under 2000 feet of climbing.

Flow vs. Collaboration

December 16, 2005 at 1:31 pm

I’ve been talking about some agile techniques with one of my co-workers, and one of his concerns about pair programming or not being in separate offices is that he won’t be able to get into a state of flow in that kind of environment.

My limited experience with working on projects in group settings leads me to believe that the benefit you get from informal collaboration is far more important, but I’d like some more data.

What do you think? Is the lack of time for flow a real issue, and if it is, how do you deal with it? Or do you find that the collaboration is more important.


December 8, 2005 at 6:45 pm

Fatty is talking about overtraining as a possible excuse for not riding, and mentions Friel’s statement on overtraining ()

Less than one-tenth of one percent of the general population is capable of attaining such a feat.

That’s a pretty powerful statement, and Fatty uses it to assert that only the upper level of pro athetes can overtrain (it’s not clear to me if his statement is another Friel quote, or a paraphrase, hyperbole, or the product of too much of “the best cake in the world“)

To me, what it comes down to is this question:

Is my overall fitness level going to be better if I:

a) train today?
b) rest today?

If the answer is “b” and you train today *anyway*, you are overtraining. Of course, there are some caveats – your “training” today might be more “active rest” than training.

So, how many cyclists overtrain? Well, my experience is that many people – especially those who like to push “until I start getting tunnel vision” – tend to have trouble controlling their intensity. Friel says:

Generally, a week should have at least as many recovery workouts as hard workouts, if not more. Every third or fourth week there needs to be a period of greatly reduced training with an emphasis on rejuvenation.

Carmichael says something similar.

So, anyway, my point – and there is a point this time – is that many – if not most – serious recreational athletes are in danger of overtraining now and then. I have a friend (no, really, a friend…) who would ride his bike “all out” for 75 minutes every night for a period of months. I don’t see how he could be anything but overtrained.