Monday, January 26, 2009

Thanks to a restless night of sleep, I was fortunate enough to be up and about with my first cup of coffee when the sun made its appearance over Mt. Pisgah on Sunday morning. With a heavy frost on the ground and clear skies, I had big hopes for the day that included some time outside riding. After 3 weeks of a nagging back injury, I was hoping my latest round of chiropractic and massage treatments had kicked in and was going to let me throw leg over saddle for the first time in way too long.

As it turns out, the morning was beautiful and the temperatures did make some very nice gains while I was doing some of those non-riding things that just needed to be done on a beautiful Sunday. By late afternoon, when riding had moved to the top of the priority scale, the skies had clouded over and it appeared that rain was imminent. I decided that pulling the bike off the trainer, dressing appropriately for some cooler weather riding, loading everything and driving off the mountain to get in some road time was likely to end poorly. So, I did the next best thing... I rode Hawaii virtually again!

Because of my back injury, I've not had the chance to try out the second video in my boxed set of Training DVDs from Cycling Fusion. Today, I chose Oceanside Ride for my inspiration. I selected the Australian coach with music from the DVD setup. You can have your choice of music or no music and select among 3 or 4 coaches each of which have their own training goals on the same video. This ride was taped along the coast and appeared to be pretty flat with only some small climbs interspersed. The focus of the Australian coach was to experience interval training keeping your heart rate between 60 % & 70% of max and cadence between 80 - 85 rpm or 95-100 rpm depending upon your skill and fitness level.

After a pleasant interlude of getting warmed up, "coach" started us on the course and for the next 40 minutes, I enjoyed yet another good workout. I was pleasantly surprised that after 3 weeks off, I was still able to maintain pace as directed by the "coach". On this video, as with the first one, the images are excellent to ride with and it is interesting to see traffic coming at you and around you. Keep in mind that my setup is on a projection screen so I'm looking at some pretty large images! My only criticism of this video was that the mix between music and the coach's narration was off to the point that, in the early stages of the video, it was difficult to comprehend what the coach was saying. The music over shadowed her voice. I was able to improve this by increasing the volume on my stereo. The workout was strenuous and I felt both exhausted and exhilarated when I finished.

The end of this video contains a pilates workout for cyclists. I didn't have the energy left to participate in the pilates. Instead, I tried to recall some of the yoga moves from the first DVD to make sure that I stretched my back and hammies fully post-ride. I continue to be pleased with the purchase of the DVD training set. It will be interesting to eventually go back and try these videos with the different coaches and different training perspectives. Given that we have at least 2 days of predicted rain coming up and I have late into the evening appointments scheduled, I'll probably get the chance to try out that third video sooner rather than later.

I must admit that I felt like a real (select the word of your choice here indicating lack of manhood) after reading of some of the exploits of cyclists further north this weekend. Kent was out and about riding around in the snow on his tringle speed bike, the "fit chick" was out and about in sub-freezing weather on a group ride, and that guy up in Minnesota that was riding below zero with his front wheel frozen up really puts the meaning of being a dedicated cyclist in a whole new perspective for me.

Until later,

-- Zeke

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