Thursday, December 30, 2010

Easing into an Interval Session

Today I needed to get the endorphins flowing to end the old year on a high note, what better way than to do a strength endurance interval session (or drink some beer). I could not make it to the gym (car buried under snow). Below is the protocol I used from the Carmichael Training series of videos for the iPod:

Class 3: Pedaling Power with Chris Carmichael: This workout focuses on minimizing "dead spots" in your pedal stroke, so you can deliver more of your power directly to the road or trail. $9.99
One-Legged Pedaling00:45
One-Legged Pedaling00:45
One-Legged Pedaling00:45
Power Interval03:00
Power Interval03:00
Total Video Time1:05:59

Below are the stats from the workout:

Legs felt like jello after the workout and heart rate refused to come down, even after a ten minute cool down.

The Challenge

The snow is here and it’s not even January, global warming they say. I am trying to stick to my training program, but it is becoming increasingly difficult as the days delve deeper into the cold and dreary months. I need to keep asking myself - why am I doing this? Why am I spending time and money in pursuit of a few tenths of a second in some obscure unpopular track event with only a cult following around the world? The answer is – I don’t know, probably ingrained stupidity.

I am approaching forty six and I'm starting to see a pattern, always looking for the next challenge, typically it has taken me about five years to exhaust my enthusiasm for each challenge. Started racing bicycles in 85 and left the sport in 91, returned to the sport in 2006 and I am at the tail end of another five year period, with enthusiasm slowly waining. I wonder what the next challenge would be, a return to cricket perhaps or flying or soccer or martial arts or how about actually making money at something worthwhile (my dad's favorite line)? I am still trying to stay focused, although the sport of track cycling is becoming time consuming, and too expensive to stay current and competitive.

Strength Training:

I am currently in the Strength Training phase of my weight lifting program. Three days per week alternating between upper body and lower body workouts and tying it all together with core exercises. This phase will last up until the end of January 2011 after which the Power Training phase will begin using Plyometrics and Powerlifting exercises.

Aerobic Training:

Concurrently I am accumulating my base miles mostly indoors , riding in Zones 1 & 2 to build up an endurance base of about 2,500 miles using pedaling cadences over 100 rpm, before entering the interval training phase in February 2011 to peak for opening day, which is at the end of April 2011.

Until then I am awaiting the next challenge.............

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New York Times - If you are fit, you can take it easy

New Year’s resolutions tend to war with wintertime malaise. Resolution urges you to work out. Malaise suggests that you linger in bed. But there’s good news for those of us torn between these impulses. A number of newly published studies offer compelling reasons to get out and exercise on the one hand, as well as new estimates of just how little we can do and still benefit on the other.

The most sobering of the recent studies, published last month in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at a large group of retired elite male athletes, most now in their 50s. Some had remained physically active, although they were no longer competing. Others had taken fully to sloth, avoiding almost all exercise. When the researchers examined the health profiles of the two groups, they found, to no one’s surprise, that the sedentary ex-athletes had a much higher risk of metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, than their more active counterparts. Training hard and often in their youth had not conferred lifelong health benefits on the athletes as they aged, not if they now sat around all day..... more

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NY Times - Excercise and Masters Athletes

.....EXERCISE HAS BEEN shown to add between six and seven years to a life span (and improve the quality of life in countless ways). Any doctor who didn’t recommend exercise would be immediately suspect. But for most seniors, that prescription is likely to be something like a daily walk or Aquafit. It’s not quarter-mile timed intervals or lung-busting fartleks. There’s more than a little suffering in the difference.

Here, though, is the radical proposition that’s starting to gain currency among researchers studying masters athletes: what if intense training does something that allows the body to regenerate itself? Two recent studies involving middle-aged runners suggest that the serious mileage they were putting in, over years and years, had protected them at the chromosomal level. It appears that exercise may stimulate the production of telomerase, an enzyme that maintains and repairs the little caps on the ends of chromosomes that keep genetic information intact when cells divide. That may explain why older athletes aren’t just more cardiovascularly fit than their sedentary counterparts — they are more free of age-related illness in general.

Exactly how exercise affects older people is complicated. On one level, exercise is a flat-out insult to the body. Downhill running tears quadriceps muscles as reliably as an injection of snake venom. All kinds of free radicals and other toxins are let loose. But the damage also triggers the production of antioxidants that boost the health of the body generally. So when you see a track athlete who looks as if that last 1,500-meter race damn near killed him, you’re right. It might have made him stronger in the deal.

Exercise training helps stop muscle strength and endurance from slipping away. But it seems to also do something else, maintains Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (who also happens to be a top-ranked trail runner). Resistance exercise in particular seems to activate a muscle stem cell called a satellite cell. With the infusion of these squeaky-clean cells into the system, the mitochondria seem to rejuvenate. (The phenomenon has been called “gene shifting.”) If Tarnopolsky is right, exercise in older adults can roll back the odometer. After six months of twice weekly strength exercise training, he has shown, the biochemical, physiological and genetic signature of older muscle is “turned back” nearly 15 or 20 years......  more

1980s old school wind trainers

Wonder why these types of indoor wind trainers were discontinued? I had one of these made by Vetta parked in the basement with my Atalla road bike mounted - felt like a propeller plane taking off when pedalling fast. The idea was that the fans in the back created the resistance as you pedal and at the same time generate a cooling wind

Monday, November 29, 2010

Asian Games 2010 Kerin Finals

Josia Ng Blog

Indoor Trainer Kilometer Record = 32.48 seconds

Manfred has held seven Guinness world records for roller racing related cycling. He has won over 80 roller races most of these between 1983 and 1990, in June1984 he won six events (and six bikes) in one month! The records Manfred has set are pretty mind-blowing, will he come out of retirement to take on younger riders in the growing goldsprints scene?

Manfred’s Amazing Records:

* Sustained power of 1020 watts average over one minute to power 100 electric razors (13 May 1991)

* Maximum peak power 2378 watts for 3 seconds to power 200 energy saving light bulbs (22 March 1995)

* 14.36 seconds for 500 metres, average speed 126kph / 78mph, maximum speed 133 kmh /83mph
on the CYCLUS 2 Recordtrainer Gear ratio 54×12 / 121.5″ (15 August 1997)

* 32.48 seconds for 1000m average speed 111kph / 69mph, maximum speed 119 kmh /74mph
on the CYCLUS 2 Recordtrainer Gear ratio 54×12 / 121.5″ (8 August 1997)

* Cadence record 271 RPM on 170mm cranks (9 March 1990)

* Absolute speed record on a standard bike164.1 kmh / 102 mph 54 x 11 gear (16 September 2000)

* Acceleration 0-100kmh in 1.7 seconds 52 x 13 gear (28 March 1990)



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lower Body Weight Workout - Training Zones

Today I worked out for an hour and a half in the gym, I used a pulse watch to track how much time was spent in each training zone. I am still in the high volume hypertrophy / endurance phase of weight training.

The workout consisted of:
-Warm up / core / stretching
-Hamstring curls
-One leg barbel squats
-Two leg barbel squats
-One leg dumbel squats
-Vertical Leg press
-Dead lifts
-Warm down

Time spent in training zones:
-Zone 1 - active recovery = 4 minutes
-Zone 2 - endurance = 27 minutes
-Zone 3 - tempo = 26 minutes
-Zone 4 - lactate threshold = 21 minutes
-Zone 5 - Vo2 max = 4 minutes

The only exercise which was able to push me into Zone 5 was the two leg squat with high reps and light weight. Below is the heart rate profile for the two leg squats using only 100 lbs, doing a 10 rep warm up and then doing 50 reps with the same weight. It was a result of doing 50 reps that my heart rate soared to 186 bpms. The only time it goes into zone 5 is during a race or doing hard intervals on the bike. The 50 reps took about two minutes to complete - basically this was an endurance set as noted here.

Fifty Athletes Over Fifty - Book

Sandy Scott is a colorful 69 year old elite cyclist who resides in Seminole, Florida, and who has managed to pack so much into his life that its density approaches that of a black hole, pulling you toward him to hear his stories. Sandy had a varied professional career, at one time or another being a police officer, in the military, a commercial airline pilot, a corporate sales executive, and an entrepreneur. Of all these, Sandy loved being a pilot the most, and because of this, says he would have done it for free. Sandy also has many other interests including chess, collecting all kinds of things, amateur radio, playing drums, martial arts, photography, skydiving, high-fidelity audio, logic puzzles, motorcycling, electronics, running, tennis, golf, and of course cycling............. read more

Monday, November 8, 2010

Brooklyn Velo Force - Velodrome comparison article by Scott Demel

.........Two BVF teammates, Chris Barbaria and Mike Howard, competed at tracks away from New York City region this season: Masters Track Nationals at the Frisco, Texas Velodrome and at the Pan-American games in Cuba. Chris described racing at the 250m Frisco Velodrome “like another sport” when compared to our local tracks at Kissena and Trexlertown. The steeper banking, the short straights and wood surface completely changed the approach to riding. For comparison:

- Kissena is 400m, an asphalt surface and banked 19 degrees.

- Trexlertown is 333m, a concrete surface and banked 27 degrees.

- Boulder is 142m, a wood surface, and banked 45 degrees............ read more

Friday, November 5, 2010

Typical Weight Training during the Hypertrophy Phase - October thru November

Currently doing a combination of Hypertrophy / Endurance weight training using relatively light weights.
My One Rep Max (1RM) for the Squat and Bench Press
Based on the One Rep Max I am doing a combination of Medium to Low intensity workouts alternating between upper body on one day and lower body another day. This gives the muscles 72 hours to recover and repair.
Typical warm up and core workout before weight training - takes about 15 minutes.
Typical lower body workout takes about 1 hour. This one leaves me extremely winded and sore.
Typical upper body workout takes about 1 hour. Not as hard as lower body but still a lot of residual soreness.

 December to February will be the Strength Phase.
March to April will be the Power Phase
May to September will be maintenance Phase

Monday, November 1, 2010

2010 Masters Track World Championships - Portugal

Delroy Walters:
Bronze - 500 Meter time trial
Bronze - Match Sprints (qualified second - 13.919s)
Bronze - 2000 Meter time trial
Bronze - 5km Scratch Race
Gold - Points Race (WORLD CHAMPION)

Bonnie Woodbury:
Gold - 500 Meter (WORLD CHAMPION)


Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 2010 Training Summary Sheet

Training Metrics

Training Summary Sheet

10 31 2010 ride track bike on the road - 45x21 gear

Above - I set up my Prolite track bike to ride on the road, notice the clip on aero bars and the forward facing seat post - this is to get used to riding in the aero time trial postion for the kilo event. The forward facing seat post allows me to bring the seat more forward to change the seat tube angle to a steeper one allowing for a more powerful time trial position. The bike has a 45 x 21 inch gear (57.9") and a front brake to prevent any mishaps. Today I did 40 miles in three hours at an easy pace, see data below:

Garmin Data

Cell Phone Data

Monday, October 25, 2010

Managing Weight and Calories

I was never one for counting calories or monitoring food intake, I never really had a weight problem, only a body fat problem.(does that make sense?) As soon as the weather gets colder I noticed I tend to eat more and drink more. Also with the reduction in racing and riding the body fat percentage goes up.

I recently discovered this App for the Android smart phones – Calorie Counter it is called and it makes counting calories easy with its extensive database of foods, nutrient content, calculating your daily caloric needs, monitoring weight and exercise caloric expenditure and then displaying this information not only on your phone but sending it automatically to the website for further analysis. After only using this App for one week, it has opened my eyes to how easy it is to eat the wrong foods, or not get the ratio of carbs to fat to protein right. It only takes a few minutes to input the data in the phone which is always close by, so this new method of monitoring food intake is going to be a great learning experience and best of all it is free.

From their website:

The Calorie Counter is the essential Android application for people who want to keep track of their food, exercise and weight and be able to sync and access all their information online at

All the cool tools!

The Calorie Counter application has all the cool tools to help you succeed:
  • A food quick pick to get calorie and nutrition information
  • A barcode scanner for nutrition labels
  • A food diary to plan and keep track of what you’re eating
  • An exercise diary to record all the calories you burn
  • A weight chart
  • A journal to record your progress

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2010 Colin Prensky wins Bronze Medal at Elite Nationals

Bianchi track bike with Zipp wheels - $1,500

Ray Tirado is selling his Bianchi track bike with Zipp wheels and all components pictured above for $1,500. If you are interested - contact him at his email -

October 16 2010 4th Annual 150 lap iron arse ride - pics

Ride and food was organized by Chris Barbaria