Thursday, July 15, 2010


Now Taupo Cycle Challenge doesn't look so bad.Top. Stage 16 - Bagnères-de-Luchon Pau 199.5 km.

Bottom. The climb up Col de la Bonetta. I took this in 1987.The climb up from Saint Etienne-de-Tinee is twenty seven kms. and the same distance down the other side to Jausiers. Elaine at the top of the Col.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Short blasts of exercise as good as hours of training, scientists find Less really can be more when it comes to exercise, scientists have discovered.

Sixty years ago we trained using high intensity repetitions of short duration. On the track we did intervals without calling them intervals.We would warm up then sprint for a half a lap or three hundred metres and then do another lap or two at easy pace and sprint again. Doing this many times. Often after track training I would cross over the river from the track to a very steep street which was about a hundred metres long,turn the fix wheel around to a bigger sprocket, and climb the hill as hard as I could, then ride down sans breaks to the bottom and repeat it several times.Its not new.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 2:06PM GMT 12 Mar 2010

The body can get as much benefit from a short but intensive bursts of exercise lasting ten minutes than it can from ten hours of moderate training.
The technique not only takes less time but also involves much less physical effort.
Researchers believe their findings "blow away" the belief that staying in shape is a time-consuming affair. The claim was made after a study into the benefits of "high intensity interval training", known as HIT, by McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.
The technique involves running or cycling at almost maximum effort for a minute and then resting for a minute before repeating the process around 10 times.
HIT is "a time-efficient but safe alternative to traditional types of moderate long term exercise," they discovered.
In experiments, volunteers rode an exercise bike in stints lasting just 60 seconds while peddling hard enough to get close to their maximum heart rate.
Tests afterwards showed that their muscles had improved as much as if they had been involved in endurance training.
Professor Martin Gibala, one of the researchers, said the study proved that it was "possible to get more by doing less".
His report, published in the Journal of Physiology, said it was not clear why HIT was so effective but it appeared to "stimulate many of the same cellular pathways" as traditional training regimes.
The findings also meant that a lack of free time was no longer an excuse for refusing to exercise, the professor said.

The great Czech athlete Emil Zatopek, whose record is unlikely to be beaten, won 10000 M at the 1948 Olympics and the 5000M, 10000M and Marathon at the Helsinki Olympics, had this to say about his training ' When I was young, I was too slow.. I thought, why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow... I must learn to run fast by practicing to run fast.... People said, 'Emil, you are crazy. You are training to be a sprinter.You have no chance' I said 'yes, but if I run one hundred metres twenty times, that is two kms., and that is no longer a sprint.' By 1948 Zotopec had refined his daily training to become essentially 5x 200, 20x 400m and 5x 200m(with 150m jogs between each.The total distance covered each day was about 18kms. (The Lore of Running by Tim Noakes)

There is no short cut. You will still have to spend hours on the road just to get used to spending the sort of time the challenge will take on your bike. Otherwise your bum is going to get extremely sore, not to mention you arms and hands.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Training. July 2010.

I find I really get spooked by the cold.There is so much preparation,putting on all the clothing HRM stopwatch gloves helmet etc. etc. In the old days in SA I just put on my riding shoes and off I went sans helmet or gloves.There was so much freedom. I never remember feeling cold even in the middle of winter.I suppose I was tougher then.

1..........17 ks. Fairly fast warm up and then two short hill repeats. Cool and Sunny.
2..........25ks. Easy ride along Tod Road. Cool and sunny with no wind. Nice ride.I hadn't planned on such a ride today but there is rain forecast for the next few days. HR109. Cadence 82.
3. Day of drama. Elaine was taken to hospital by ambulance again. Electric power lost so trouble heating house. Followed later to spend afternoon with Elaine. She will see the Heart specialist tomorrow I hope.
4..........30 Ks. to Argyle school and back. Coldish and sunny,no wind.Cadence 78.Easy ride but made an effort up the two hills.I'm sure my training is having the desired effect.
5..........A cold and damp day. Fetched Elaine from hospital.
6..........50 mins. on trainer while watching Tour H/Ls. Lots of rain.
8..........More rain
9..........30 mins on trainer. Rain. Lowered saddle by about 2.5 mm. and forward.It feels more comfortable.The trainer is very useful for making these adjustments.
10.........60 mins on trainer.Cadence 81. Sunny but very icy wind. Watched Tour H/Ls. This hasn't been a very good start to my official training.
11.........45 mins training. A freezing morning.Warmed up on the trainer and then went out and did six short hill climbs at max.The best I could do under these conditions. It was so nice and warm in the lounge.
12.........30 mins on trainer. Rained in the afternoon.
13.........18kms.Repeated what I did on Sunday but did nine short hill climbs.Tried to make corrections to my first try so that I could have gone on doing even more as my last time was the fastest. Climb is 220 metres in length, at about 7% and steeper for the last twenty metres.Cadence 79.Total time 1hr.7 mins.including warm up.
14.........20 mins. on trainer. Cold overcast with a little rain.Very depressing.
15........Overcast rain and cold. Went to Hospital to take Elaine to see the specialist.Too cold to train anyway.
16.........30 mins on trainer.Spent much of the morning working in the nursery. Then it was too late to go out so did a bit on the trainer.
17.........16 kms. Seven short hill repeats.I thought I had done eight.Did them in faster times than on 13th.Cadence 81. I hope this is working and that I will over time see an improvement.I have to traim differently from two years ago as my training then didn't work all that well.Cold and overcast.The hill is just behind the house so I can chicken out any time.
18........20 mins on trainer.
20........33 kms. easy ride. Tiko Rd. I wanted to do more but had visitors just as I was getting ready,so decided to have lunch, by which time it was 2pm before I left.Cadence 81 . Av. HR 109. Max 147.Cloud and sunshine. Coldish.
22..........20 mins on trainer. Went to hospital to see specialist. might have to have an op in next six months.Hope to put it off till after the challenge.Rain all day.
23........18 kms. Really didn't feel like training this morning.Had to drag myself out to the bike but once I had warmed up had a really productive session.Did eight short hill repeats using a higher gear and times improved dramatically.Av HR 109. Max 152. Cadence 77.The weather was sunny for a change.
25........34 kms. Longest ride so far.Went over Col de Argyle. The hill is quite stiff and just under 3ks.Sunshine /cloudy and cold. Rain all yesterday.Easy except for the hill. Pleased as my time was the same as two years ago so I haven't deteriorated that much.
27........19 kms.Very nice ride to Otane. Cadence 84 much improved.Elaine to Hospital to see specialist in afternoon.
28........14kms. Hard session, 5 short hill repeats in higher gear which reduced my time considerably and gave really good workout.Sunny in the morning but I left it till after lunch when it became overcast and cold. I never learn.
30........20 mins on triner. Too cold to want to ride.Tomorrow looks better.
31........42 kms. Milage going up. Nice easy ride. Pushed it at times. Cadence 81.
Sunny and coldish with no wind.Makaroro Rd. Highway 50 and back through Onga onga.

Total Ks. For the Month 266ks. with 11 road training sessions.