Thursday, February 28, 2013

And I tackle the training schedule

Time to STP: 134 Days

As you know, I have been training actively for about two months at this point, but I have finally started falling on the basic training schedule guidelines put out by the Cascade Bike Club. 

Because I have gone so long without seriously riding, and because I am nervous about hitting up STP without dying in the process, I basically put all my free time into riding whenever and wherever I can.  This starts with moving up my alarm clock in the morning to 4:59 (I contend that there is something psychologically different about waking up at that hour versus at 5:02) so when I have my kids (I am a part time dad and have them for a week at a time), I can get up and ride while they are sleeping and be home before they wake to shower and have my first cup of coffee.  I also have stopped driving to my girlfriend's house (or anywhere else that I can help it) and instead ride there in the evening when I don't have my kids.  It gives me about 6.5 miles if I go there as directly (and safely) as I can, and more if I want to work in another mile or two during the day.

As a result of this, I think I am getting into a better habit of general training for interval purposes and I have recently decided I would try and really concentrate on my cadence as well.  The bike computer I bought is finally set properly, so I can more closely monitor how fast I am going.  My goal is to maintain around a 14mph average wherever I go with the idea that I can complete each leg of STP in about 6 hours or so (my 30 mile ride day last Sunday took me just over 2 hours, so I am optimistic).

I have also discovered increasing problems trying to find ways to stay local and meet my mileage goals.  While I intend on starting to bike to and from work towards the end of March (around 16 miles round trip), the big weekend rides are going to be difficult to do with the limited resources that  I have available to me (I do have the entire Internet, true, but sites like do not have a lot of resources for the Vancouver area).  So, in an effort to get in my mileage requirements and learn more about the nuances (and rules) of group riding, I plan on doing a Metric Century in April and then a full century ride in June.  STP is just over four months away and I want to be as prepared as I possibly can.

I have also, just in terms of suggestions, have found that Ride Oregon is a remarkably useful website for a variety of reasons and have started frequenting it more and more as I learn more and prep up more. 

As I prep up my menu for next week, I will post a few more recipes, as well.  My morning breakfast standard, instant oatmeal, has been modified for the last couple of weeks.  I have continued with the low sugar oatmeal, but now make it with organic soy milk.  It is quite tasty, fills you up and provides you with a wide variety of nutrients.  For those of you that want a nice and healthy snack during the day, I recommend picking up some dried soy beans or some edamame (which you can find in the frozen food isle).  It really takes the edge off hunger and gives you a healthy dose of protein for the day.

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