Time To Update My 2011 Mileage Goal

Back in January I set some goals to help me stay motivated through the year. During today’s morning ride before work I broke my mileage goal for the year. It feels so good to be meeting my goals and hopefully it’ll inspire you to continue working towards yours. The goal I broke today was riding 2000 miles for the year. After this mornings ride I’m currently sitting at 2014 miles for the year. When I set that 2000 mile goal back in January I took into account how much I had ridden last year and added some onto it. Knowing that I would be training for the Tour de Cure in the beginning part of the year I figured I would break 2000 but not quite so early in the year. August isn’t even over and I’ve got four more months of riding left thanks to the mild fall and winters here in Northern Florida. The year started off great when training for the Tour de Cure and it saw me put in quite a few miles during the first five months of the year. Over the last two months the mileage tapered off and really went into the toilet the last few weeks. Then the Just Ride post happened and I’ve started to see a resurgence in my riding and mileage over the last two weeks. Last week I put in 116 miles (with my best group ride ever last Saturday) and already have 44 miles logged this week after two days of riding. In other words, my riding is on the upswing, I’ve met my 2011 mileage...

Just Ride

The last few weeks I’ve struggled both on and off the bike. I was in one of those down periods that we all experience from time-to-time and it was affecting my riding more than anything. Prior to this week my weekly riding mileage was on the decline with totals of 58, 45, and 35 over the last three weeks. I knew I needed to ride more but was struggling to get out of bed in the morning to get it done. It seemed like I was tired each morning or was just too lazy to get my butt out of bed and get it done. It was becoming too easy to just try and get one or two weekday rides plus the Saturday group ride. I was in a downward spiral and I knew it. This past weekend I got my weekly email from my nutritionist Kelli. I explained to her what was going on and she had this to say: Sometimes, you have to force motivation by just taking action. She had other things to say but that sentence really hit me. I was struggling to find the motivation to get going again. I was trying to find it but couldn’t. After reading the sentence above it made perfect sense. I just needed to take action to get started again. No detailed training plan, no motivational video, no pep talk. Just ride. So that’s what I did this week. I made a commitment to ride 100 total miles for the week. Tuesday through Friday I rolled out of bed, got kitted up and rode. No worrying about what...

Replacing Your Clipless Pedal Cleats

The cleats on the bottoms of our cycling shoes are some of the most well-worn pieces of equipment a cyclist has. They get walked on, shoved into a pedal against spring pressure, scraped onto the ground, and are forgotten about until they become a problem. Kind of like tires on your car. I decided to shoot a little video for this topic. The quality isn’t great so please bear with me as I try something new. I had to replace mine last week when I noticed my shoes weren’t feeling as ‘solid’ when clipped in. A close inspection revealed some pretty good wear that required replacement. Here’s a couple of pictures of my well-worn cleats. You can tell in the second pic that I had a huge chunk missing out of the leading edge of my cleat. No wonder it felt weird. Why Change Your Cleats? As your cleats become worn, they lack the surface area to keep them securely fastened to the pedal. A worn clear can cause the following: Lack of power transfer. The whole purpose of having cleats is to make our power transfer from foot to pedal better. If the cleats are worn then they aren’t transferring power properly. Injury. If your cleats are worn, and you’re not regularly checking them, your first indication may be when your foot comes unclipped while pedaling. This would be a bad thing if you’re involved in a group sprint or out of the saddle while climbing. Not only could this injure you but you could cause a crash involving other riders. Tips When Changing Cleats I mentioned a...

Interview with David Mills – Author of The Distance

Today I have a special treat in the form of an interview. David Mills has written The Distance where he talks about his quest to complete an Ironman Triathlon after watching two friends accomplish this amazing feat. Most importantly, David isn’t a professional triathlete. He trained while balancing the demands of being a husband, father, and Officer in the military. In other words, he has a life like most of us do. His book is geared to help the Average Joe complete an Ironman. You can place a pre-order at The Distance Book. BTL: Completing an endurance event like an Ironman Triathlon takes goals. Did you have a strategy involving short and long term goals in order to succeed? David: It’s so extremely vital to set multiple small goals in your triathlon training, that I really can’t emphasize it enough. A 140.6 mile triathlon is far too daunting; it’s got to be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, during the marathon, I viewed it as simply doing a one mile run – 26 times. I knew I could always run just one more mile. And with aid stations located at every mile marker, it was easy to mentally run to the next aid station. BTL: I’ve written posts before about balancing training time and family time. How did you do it? David: Balancing training with real life can be hectic and messy if not approached properly, and this is really the cornerstone of my new book. Most of us are not pro athletes with a masseuse and a chef and 30 hours a week to train....

Cycling and Weight Loss Report – July 2011

Welcome to my July 2011 Cycling and Weight Loss Report! This is the first of a series of reports I’ll be posting each month summarizing my weight loss and cycling progress. I want to keep you updated on how the pounds are coming off, highlight things that are working for me both on and off the bike, and share whatever else may be of importance. Honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t started this before now. Tale of the Scale Almost exactly a month ago I made a July Weight Loss Goals post where I told you I wanted to see the 250s on the scale or the low 260s at a minimum. I didn’t come close to seeing the 250s. Or the low 260s. I may have been a little over ambitious. On July 1st I weighed 273.5, hit a low weight for the month of 268 on July 16th (probably due to water loss from a hard ride) and finished the month at 269 on July 31st. Overall that’s a total weight loss of 4.5 pounds for the month. That’s a loss of about 1.13 pounds per week. A weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is considered healthy so I think I did pretty good. Hitting that 269 on July 31st couldn’t have made me feel better. On the Bike I have to admit that my mileage as of late has been pretty disappointing. For some reason I’ve battled motivation early in the morning. I haven’t had a problem with that before but wonder if it may be due to not getting enough sleep. I have...

Should The TdF Only Be A Week Long?

Every year I watch the Tour de France. You know, that three week race that takes place in July over in France. In fact, it’s going on right now. You should check it out. Each time I watch it though I can’t help but wonder if it’s two weeks longer than it should be. Why? Let me explain. Each year the race is setup the same – prologue, team time trial (maybe), sprint finishes, mountain stages, more sprint finishes, more mountain stages, and an individual time trial followed by the last stage into Paris. Year in and year out it always comes down to who the strongest climber is. Why? Because the fast dudes who win the sprint stages can’t hang on the mountain passes. There are exceptions but for the most part the sprinters are out of puff the first time the road tilts to the sky. A few stages ago, while watching another sprint stage, I began to wonder if it (the sprint stage) wasn’t just fluff to the actual race. Everybody knows the real winner is determined in the mountains. If they aren’t, the mountains is what separates the men from the boys and sets the stage for the individual time trial that will determine the winner. Are the sprint stages fun to watch? Most of the time they are but they do get old after a while don’t they? So, after tossing this around a little bit I began to wonder if the TdF should only be a week long. Or maybe 7-10 days in length. A format like: Day 1: Prologue – either a...

July Weight Loss Goals

It’s about 8:30 in the evening as I sit here writing this post. The Stage 4 replay of the Tour de France is on TV and I can’t wait to see the finish [again]. You see, I already watched it on Eurosport at work this morning (don’t tell my boss!). The finish was so good though that I had to watch it again tonight. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I had my feet up while lounging in my soul-crushing cubicle. I had the stream running, head phones on, and was working intensely while I listened to a great race. Anytime the announcers got excited I would switch over and check out the action. Ok ‘intensely’ may be too strong a word. About this time I get an email from Kelli at Apex Nutrition. She commented on my current weight (it spiked over the weekend), told me my food intake for the day was great, and asked me what my goals were for this week. And for July. She always asks me what my goals are for the week but this is the first time she’s asked for my goals for the month. And it got me to thinking. I hit the reply button and tapped out a response. Here’s a shortened version: For this week: Stay strict on the eating plan and hydration just like I’ve been doing so I can get back down to the 271 range by the end of the week. For July: I would like to see 250s on the scale. Low 260s at a minimum. Her question has prompted me to write...

Friday Feedback: Feeling Yucky Sucks

Thought I would take a few minutes and give everyone a little feedback on my riding and weight loss. I haven’t been updating you and feel that it’s something I should be doing more of. Plus it’ll get me into a habit of posting more since I am really sucking in that area. For this first feedback I’m going to start two weeks back and bring you up to speed through today. Last Week On The Bike It was a really good week for me both on and off the bike. I continued working through the 15-week interval training plan I’ve been following and haven’t had much problem with it so far. I did determine that I’m not riding as much as I need to (only getting about 65 miles per week in the saddle). I vowed to extend some of my weekday rides in order to up the mileage. Last Saturday’s group ride from the shop was awesome and one of my best yet. I managed to hang with the fast group for just over 13 miles hitting speeds up to 25 mph. I kept myself tucked away in the pack for that ride and didn’t do any pulls in order to conserve my strength. I’m not sure I could have hung with them for as long as I did if I had been out front pulling. Regardless, it was a great ride for me. I’ve got a post planned to pass along some info that has helped me stay with the faster group that you beginners might find interesting. Last Week Off The Bike I hit a...

Binge Eating on the Weekends: My Nemesis

Binge eating on the weekends can wreck your weight loss strategy faster than my daughters can tap out a text message. And they’re fast. I love the weekend but no schedules to keep, no meetings, and no commute spell disaster for my healthy eating plan. For me, the weekdays are so much easier to concentrate my eating plan. Why? Because they’re structured. I get up, ride, have breakfast, around 10 have a mid-morning snack, have lunch, around 2:30 have an afternoon snack, then dinner in the evening. Rinse and repeat Monday through Friday. Simple and easy. I can thank a long military career for liking things structured like that. It drives my wife batty as she’s the polar opposite. Then along comes Saturday and Sunday. Saturday morning is somewhat structured because of the shop group ride but after that my eating plan goes out the window. I’m not sitting at a desk waiting for the time to roll around to have a snack. There are temptations in the house to graze on and everything starts to go down hill. And before I know it it’s Monday morning and I’m wondering where all that weight came from. Time to fix it. Not being able to connect a good week of eating with a good weekend of eating is hurting my weight loss right now. I think my root problem is willpower and a false feeling of “I just did a hard group ride this morning so these few chips aren’t going to hurt.” Have you ever told yourself that? But then those few chips turn into chips and guacamole, a...

Can Bad Rides Be Good Rides?

The last couple of weeks have seen me have Saturday shop rides at both ends of the spectrum. Good and bad. I detailed in on of my recent posts about how awesome of a ride I had Saturday before last. The ride this past Saturday wasn’t nearly as awesome. In fact, it downright sucked for a few miles. The stats at the end of the ride told the real story though. A couple Saturdays ago I had one of my best experiences riding in the shop group ride. Everything seemed to click, I got a lot of pulling time in, and I had learned the route good enough to be able to rejoin the group after stopping to help someone. It was an awesome ride. This past Saturday saw me doing the same shop ride with a lot of the same folks. Everything started out great and I got a good pull in within the first five or six miles. At about mile eight though things started to unravel. My energy levels dropped off and I couldn’t maintain the 19-20 mph pace anymore. In fact, I was struggling to keep it at 17. I wound up getting dropped but eventually was able to re-join three other riders at a stoplight. After another mile or two I decided to go ahead and suck down a Hammer Gel at the 50 minute point of the ride. My energy levels came back up and I was able to finish the ride strong. I didn’t feel too great though knowing that I had been dropped from the main group and knew my numbers...
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