Monday, February 4, 2013

Finding a route

Time to STP: 160 Days

As I am now into my second real week of training for STP (although, I am operating ahead of their proposed schedule), I have found it increasingly difficult to find routes around Vancouver to use for training. At least ones that logically lend themselves to riding a bike and not having to dodge cars or (by extension) suck exhaust.  As such, I just started taking the little information that I know about distances in the city and started looping them around, trying to find a place to meet my daily mileage requirements.  This, I have learned, is not the most efficient way of doing things.

What I have started to do now, is use Runkeeper's website to create routes, which allows me to track mileage along the way as I create it.  Also, I am able to modify it, even if I have it all mapped out, to include additional mileage.  With the added satellite view, it makes things a good deal easier.  I knew I was going to cycle both days last weekend (I have been using the stationary during the week up until this point) from two different start points and I knew the kind of mileage that I was hoping to achieve (as close as I could get to 15 miles each day).\

It is a wonder how your sense of perspective changes, truly.  A couple weeks ago, I was riding in 27 degree weather and when I went out Saturday and Sunday morning, I was astonished at the balmy 40 that it was (read: much sarcasm). While the training information I have found has really encouraged riding relatively flat rides with at least 1 hilly ride a weekend, I have found that I just like to mix it up for the sake of not being bored.  Saturday's ride as well as Sunday's were a nice combination of those things (with Sunday finding me tackling the dreaded Mill Plain hill again).  However, on both days, I ended up shorting myself some on mileage.  Saturday was around 12 and Sunday was around 13.  25 miles for the weekend isn't bad, but wasn't quite what I was hoping to accomplish. 

The two day training schedule from last year.  A good guide regardless.
The schedule also suggests just riding in the middle of week and the weekends.  I am hoping to mitigate some of the heavy weekday riding by doing several smaller rides during the week either before or after I go to work.  Does anyone have any experience prepping for a century that they might be able to suggest?  A friend of mine recommended beer and burgers as a good offset.  I don't disagree with that, but I also know (through some more reading) that I would benefit from increasing my veggie and fruit intake more.
Also, on a more personal note, I regressed on smoking this weekend, back on the wagon today.  I really need to just kick that demon to the curb.

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