Monday, March 22, 2010


These photos are of the race in 2008. I finished but not without a considerable amount of pain through not enough training.
On reflection I realise that I needed to train for the longer distance. My training was adequate for 100Ks. I suffered after that. I also need some lower gears for the last two long hills. I walked Hatepe Hill,the last one, of three ks. There were two 80 year olds that were ahead of me. I am certain that they had others riding with them to pace and encourage them.

And now I have been quite amazed at how easily I have got back into riding again with no stress, no abnormal heart rate or heavy breathing. I gave up for a year and an affliction I had didn't improve and the cycling didn't cause it so what the hell.. so in principal I have decided to ride the Round Taupo Callenge again in November and see if I can do better than last time. I have been studying my diary and find that I did just 1500 ks in the four months before, which of course was just not enough. I have a problem though, August and September are still very cold months and I only did 273 ks in August and 350 in September. My longest rides in October and and November were just 91ks and the Taupo race is 160 and very hilly. The answer of course is to spend the cold months in Queensland.That would be great but there would be no one to look after the nursery. Its like being back to dairy farming again with no time off.

I never did any intensive hill climbs or any high intensity rides so I will look into that. I'm also learning how to dress when I ride in the winter. I have ski gloves thermal underwear, leggings and shoe warmers or covers.I think I should go to a skiing shop to see what skiers wear. Any suggestions.Anyway I think I was bluffing myself as to how much training I was doing.

The roads around here are good with little traffic on the farm roads and no potholes. There are as many hills as needed with many different grades, some hills up to three ks long and very steep. I have one right behind our house which even has an hairpin bend, so I can do intervals on it without having to ride very far. Now there are just eight months to go.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is what I am up against.

This is what I am up against.
Muscle mass can be at least partially maintained with strength or endurance training. Mitochondrial density and capillary density can be maintained with vigorous exercise training. Stroke volume can be increased with exercise training, but heart rate declines irrespective of activity level, resulting in an age related decrease in cardiac output and VO2 max. Muscle glycogen content can be increased in older individuals, but the studies that have been conducted to date have used low intensity or short term training programs and have not increased muscle glycogen levels up to those of younger people. Exercise probably enhances the function of the neuromuscular junction, and allows better recruitment of skeletal muscle. Based on the findings presented, our model predicts that sedentary older adults should have dramatically lower short term maximal performance than younger adults. However, an older adult who is trained at the same volume and intensity as a younger adult should be capable of performances similar to his/her younger counterpart. The unalterable decrease in heart rate and consequential reduction in VO2 max may prevent the older individual from training at the same volume and intensity as a younger athlete, and consequently, performance of the older athlete will be limited by the reduction in absolute training volume and intensity. However, the trained older adult should almost certainly have performances superior to those of younger and older sedentary adults, and therefore may have a better ability to cope with the physiological demands of free living.
See Also As good as it gets
In an earlier study, the researchers found that the muscles of octogenarian men also failed to gain strength with the exercise program. Together, the studies show that the muscles of octogenarian men and women are far less responsive to improving with exercise, even compared to people only 10 years younger.

“The message of the study is that exercise is good for octogenarians, just not as good as we thought it would be,” Dr. Trappe said. The study also suggests that it is better to build as much muscle mass as possible earlier in life to ensure more muscle strength in later life. “We should do all we can to educate people to build up the muscle before 80,” he said.

See comments for training zones using a Heart Rate Monitor. I take my Max HR to be 155 or thereabouts.

My Early Cycling Mementos


Track Racing, Pietermaritzburg, 1952.

Ladysmith To Pietermaritzburg Cycle Race 1948.See comments for details of this race.

Me on my tricycle 1932.

My Friend Tommy at Victoria Falls Bridge. 1953. This is the same tandem Mike Leppan and I won a silver medal with at the South African Championships in 1955.It was a most unsuitble tandem for track racing. We were beaten in the final by Bobby Fowler and Jimmy Swift, both Olympic Silver medalists at the Helsinki Games in 1954.

Bobby Fowler racing at the Malvern Stadium, Johannesburg in 1951, and Jimmy Swift a Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, and Tommy Shardelou also Olympic games Silver Medalist.
Reg Harris, one of Britain's greatest sprint cyclists was unexpectedly beaten into second place in the 1948 London Olympics by Italian Mario Ghella.He also won silver in the tandem 2000m sprint partnered by Alan Bannister.Harris won the World Professional Championship five times, the first in 1949. Incredibly he won his fifth British sprint championship at the age of 54 and continued to race most of his life. He died at the age of 72.

In 1949 Walter Jowett brought Mario Ghella out to South Africa to race against the locals

(bottom)Fausto Coppi, one of the worlds greatest cyclists.
Even though he wasn’t able to compete for the majority of World War II, Coppi still won a total of seven Grand Tours.

Coppi shares the record of five victories in the Giro d’Italia with Alfredo Binda and Eddy Merckx.
Coppi won the Tour de France twice, in 1949 and 1952, dominating the competition and easily winning the overall title and mountains jersey competitions.
Coppi was the first rider to win the Tour de France - Giro d'Italia double. He did so in 1949 and 1952.
Coppi also won the the the Giro d'Italia - World Championship Road Race double in 1953.

At the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, South Africa won several medals on the track, with a Silver in the team pursuit, where Bobby Fowler, Jimmy Swift, George Estman and Tommy Shardelow excelled.Tommy Shardelow and Ray Robinson won Silver in the 2000M tandem sprint and Ray also won Bronze in the 1000M time trial. Jimmy Swift again won Bronze at Melbourne Olympics in 1956 in the 1000M time trial.He was the last South African to win a medal in cycling. I have a picture of Jimmy who beat Bobby (above) in the individual pursuit at Paarl in the trials, in what was a most exciting race. In the evening after the team for the games had been anounced,Jimmy our team captain sat at the head of the table in the hotel, bubbling with joy. I have never ever seen anyone so happy in all my life. My memory is getting poor but I think the Natal team consisted of Jimmy Swift, John Ramsey, Rudy Voster, Chips Rafferty,my tandem team mate, Chris Olivier our junior and myself.There may have been one other.Wally Jowett was our manager.

In the London Olympics in 1948 South Africa sent George Estman, Wally Rivers and Dirk Jacobus "Dirkie" Binneman, who unfortunately came back empty handed, but they sure gained a great deal of experience and told us how important cycling was in Europe. So South Africa gained a great deal from the knowledge gained.I think it was the great George Estman who unoficially broke the 1000m world time trial record. Unforunately there were insufficient time keepers.The time was as I remember 1 minute 10.1 secs.There were also many 1000m match sprint duels between George and Tommy Schardelow, and also between Tommy and and a young junior Denis Keyser at the new Malvern Stadium.
Alfred James Swift (25 June 1931–13 April 2009 was one of only 3 Athletes (of all types) to win South Africa’s highest honour, the Shield of Jove.Picture of Jimmy at medal presentation 1956 olympics. Below.Bottom. Ghella beating Harris in the Olympics 1948

Saturday, March 20, 2010

May 2010 Training

Last month didn't go too well so all I can aim for this month is to do better.
1...........30 minutes on trainer.
2...........42 minutes on trainer. Weather cold and windy.
3...........14.5ks 50 mins hill repeats. Sunny but coldish. Winter is here.Did one more hill rep.Three in all. See comments.
4...........1 hour on trainer. 20mins+20 mins+ 20mins with about 10mins in between.Watched my cadence. See Comments on Cadence.
5...........20 minutes trainer concentrating on cadence. Went to Hastings to see doctors and it was too cold when we came back.
6...........19 kms. good session 4 hill reps. 1hr. 11 mins. Sunny but cold
8...........40+ mins. 0n trainer. Cold and overcast,high cloud.Kept cadence up
9...........21 kms.Cool and overcast,no wind.cadence 82.2 hills 1.5 ks.ea.
10..........20+ minutes on trainer at HR 50-60%of max.
11..........30 Good weather today but cooled down soon after lunch.
14..........14.5 ks........49mins Three hill repeats.cadence 72.Max HR 155
16..........19ks. Otane cool sunny/overcast. Little wind.
18..........20ks. Five hill reps. cold and overcast.Did them slower. 1hr.18mins cadence 73
20..........13ks.Two longer hills. cold and overcast.Should have done more but it was getting dark.
21..........30 mins on trainer. Rain. Watched Tour of California. Saw Armstrong fall off his bike. Also news about Landis, Armstrong and doping.Nothing would surprise me.
22..........14 ks. Two long hill and one short in between. sunny and coldish.faster time on long hills than last time.
23.........40 mins on trainer. concentrating on cadence Av. 85
24..........16 ks Two hills 2ks eaach.
25.........20 mins on trainer. Sun in the morning rain inthe afternnon.
29.........20 mins on trainer
30.........8.5ks Tried outnew gear arrangements. Too cold and windy ride much. Did one hill without warming up.
31.........20ks Three long hill reps.Av. cadence 77 New gears are to help me up the last hill in the Round Taupo Challenge.Not sure if they will help or not. Did my best times up the longer hill though and managed three reps.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Training 2010.

Distance................. Longest Ride
210 kms................. 25kms.
Mostly easy rides.

Aim 400kms. Mostly Easy
April 1.....19ks.Otane.Sunny and Warm no wind.
2...........12ks. Perfect day. Training curtailed .Too many visitors.
4...........21ks. Nice day.Hard ride. Not intended.
5...............20mins stationery bike. Rain all day
8...............30 mins on new trainer. cold and rain on and off
9...............30 mins on new trainer, Sunny day warm
10.......... 25 ks. beautiful day ,no wind. very easy ride.Tod Road
11.......... 20 ks. Beautiful day with againsterly winds.Argyl Rd.
12............Nice day . 30 mins on Trainer.
14...........10ks. hill reps. 45mins total. nice day.
15...........20mins on trainer. went to hospital to see anesthetist.
16...........40 mins on trainer.cadence.cold rainy, windy and sunny.
17...........10.95ks.same hill reps on lower gear 41mins46secs
Going into day surgery on Monday for a colonoscopy to check for polyps so will be out of action for a while
20...........Survived. Feel very woozy.Very careing nursing staff.
23...........was very tired last couple of days. Did a few minutes on trainer.Felt OK. Have bought a new cycle computer with cadence meter.Now I have everything.Engine rev. counter, piston speed and speed over the ground.
25.........10 ks. Went for my first ride. Cadence much better than I thought.
26......... 5 ks cycled round the block and up a steep hill to keep blood flowing. (See my Comment)
27...........9.5 kms cycled two hills around block.
28...........9.5 kms.---- do.--- Total riding time 38mins.
29...........12.5 kms----- do---+ extra hill.Riding time,51mins.Brilliant day.
30...........12 ks. Warm,overcast. Easyride to test new HR moniter.