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February RAAM Training

by on February 4, 2015

February is a tough month to ride in Maryland.  This is the month where there is a greater chance of accumulating snow and awful conditions.  Some have asked how I’m training for RAAM this month.

I’m still in my base miles mode.  My goal is 700 miles in February, but that’s not all slow and steady miles.

  1. I’m riding the fixie most of the time.  Not only does that keep my legs spinning and improve my pedal stroke, but it helps in that I plan to do very little coasting during RAAM.  I estimate that a fixie is up to 25% more work than a geared bike.  Additionally, I’ve changed the gearing on the fixie so that I have to spin a little faster than normal to keep up with the other riders, helping me to increase my baseline cadence and give my heart a bigger workout.
  2. I’ve started getting up earlier.  It is only 15 minutes earlier right now, but that gives me an additional 15 minutes on the bike before meeting the guys at the bridge.  Since I’m increasing my miles and I don’t have time at the end of my ride … at the beginning is where I have some flexibility.  Yes, 4:30 a.m. seems very early.
  3. I’m incorporating some intervals and sprints.  These are still organic rather than prescriptive at this point, but they are there.  For instance, this morning Chip was getting a little chilly so he increased the pace and I stayed with him.  Then it was an all out sprint near the end of the trail.  It is hard to believe, but I beat Dan this morning!  On the return, we kicked it up along B&A Blvd for a few miles.  (Dan showed he wasn’t a slacker and I eventually gave up trying to catch him there.)  Every little rise or hill is taken as a place to increase speed and push the heart rate into the red zone.  Strava segments help too.
  4. I’ve got some strengthening exercises that I am working with several days a week.  Most of those are core strength, and (explosive) leg strength exercises.
  5. Diet and nutrition are a factor as I continue to gradually drop weight.
  6. I’m looking at getting several long rides in, including a possible 300k mid-month.  Each of those longer rides have several goals embedded within them.  That might mean short intervals, sprints, 30-45 minute sustained high level effort, etc.

I’m also carefully monitoring my physical status to prevent overuse injuries.

I’m watching my sleep time.

Hydration is a constant focus.

Now, if the weather will cooperate …

From → Cycling, RAAM

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