Tired EHB

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Well, I should have known better but I did an Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop, even though yesterday’s ride was pretty tough. My legs weren’t too bad over the first hour, but by the time I was in Black Canyon, it was getting pretty hot and I could feel myself fading.

I wasn’t trying to make hard, I mainly just rode low tempo, but I always like giving it a go on the hill. But today I had nothing by then and just rode tempo. With a nice headwind, it wasn’t much fun. I did enjoy the downhill as usual and just paced myself back home. With another three hours of saddle time it gives me a solid 16 hour week. With my CTL at 102TSS/day, it’s time to let it drop a little bit over the next couple weeks leading up to Elkhorn.


Double Bogus

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – To get Heather ready for Mt Hood, and me for Elkhorn Classic, we rode early today to get in some serious climbing miles. We did a slight modification of our new favorite climbing ride: Riding up and over Seaman’s Gulch to Hidden Springs, then Cartwright to Bogus Basin Road, up to the Pioneer Condominiums, and turn around and return the same way. But today when we rode it, we rode the Bogus to Pioneer climb…twice!

View from Pioneer Condo parking lot.Since we knew it would be an epic day, we took it easy on the Cartwright climbs and just rode low tempo up Bogus the first time. Even so, it was still hard and when we got to the top I double-checked with Heather if she still wanted to do another one, and she confirmed she did. The second time up we pushed the pace and ended up splitting up a little ways up the hill. There were quite a few riders out and we saw a few of the competitors in the Camels Back Duathlon.

I pushed the Pioneer section of the climb as best I could and then refilled my bottles…again. Heather wasn’t too far behind and after she refilled, we headed down for the last time. It was nice and cool at the top and we really didn’t want to descend down into the heat in the valley below. The hill on Cartwright by the motorcycle park was even more painful than when we do Bogus only once, but somehow we managed to get over it in our 25s. Seaman’s wasn’t as bad, but we had a headwind the rest of the ride back to Eagle.

In the end it was a 104 miles with approximately 13,000 feet of climbing. I say approximately because Bikely, MapMyRide and my Garmin all report different elevation gains. Don’t know which one is “right” but all I know is that it’s a lot of climbing and we were both cooked by the time we got home!


Memorial Day Bogus

IMG_25592009-05-25CropUhl in Eagle, ID – Even though we just completed a two-day, three-stage race, Heather and I headed out to do Cartwright, Bogus to Pioneer, Cartwright. Yes, we love to suffer! But the weather was just perfect and we both beat our times (and wattage) from the last time we rode Bogus.

We did sleep in a little bit and didn’t head out until 8 AM. It was a bit cool heading out on Hill, but perfect by the time we climbed Seaman’s Gulch. My legs were hating the first few pedal strokes up that hill but it got better as we went along.

IMG_2552We really enjoy the nice, new pavement on Cartwright Road. What a difference nice asphalt and bike lanes make! The “wall” is definitely a lot less steep than it used to be, but it still hurt in my 39x25! On the motorcycle hill I “only” hit 51.7 MPH this time; the wind wasn’t conducive to a high-speed run today.

We both treated Bogus as one, long interval. Heather stayed with me for a while, then dropped off on the switchbacks. I felt pretty good and very comfortable on the bike but my legs started to fade as I approached the trees. I eased up through the flat section, then kicked it up again through the parking lot and the last section to the Pioneer condos. I just barely finished all my fluid by then, so I went straight to the spigot and refilled my bottles.

Continue reading "Memorial Day Bogus" »


Top Five

IMG_2524 Click to view race and flyer stats Uhl in Eagle, ID – This afternoon was the last stage of the Treasure Valley Stage Race, the Nampa downtown criterium. Heather went off before me and it was an interesting race to watch with only six women. Heather was on the front a lot, but that was the plan. Heather really wanted to get a workout in as the Mt Hood Cycling Classic is only a week and a half away! Heather and her teammate had a plan for the finish, but it didn’t unfold as they wanted so neither of them won today’s stage. But Heather still won overall, in addition to racking up a bunch of cash primes.

IMG_2527 My race also had a small field; only 11 starters today. That was fine as this was a pretty technical course; lots of turns and bumpy pavement all around. We started out steady with Team Bob’s Bicycles setting tempo. From time to time, there’d be a surge in the pace, but then it would settle down again. The first few of them, my legs were really feeling yesterday’s road race.

It got better after the first 20 minutes, so then I decided to attack. Well, “attack” may be too strong of a word. I just rolled off the front as the pack slowed on the back stretch. Since I was so far down on GC, no one chased so I quickly got a good-sized gap. I put it in TT-mode and just rode the corners as smoothly as possible. Riding solo and picking your own lines, you can pedal through every corner.

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Treasure Valley through Stage 2

IMG_2517 Uhl in Eagle, ID – The road race was long and hot by the end, but I finished! We got to the start area early and being in farm country, we got to watch a crop duster to its thing. We started with eight miles of neutral which just delayed the pain to come. But with a small field, everyone was content with keeping things together until the hill(s). It’s really a double hill, just like Chicken Dinner; a more gradual one on Deer Flat, then Perch is the steep one. Even before we rode up Perch, everyone agreed to have a pee-stop. Since I didn’t have to go, and I knew how bad Perch would be with 5 lbs of water on my back (no feed support) that I just rolled through and got a head start on the hill. Well, I wasn’t even but 1/3rd the way up, when the climber-types just sped by me! I managed to stay with the group, but so much for taking the hill “easy” the first time. Next time I’ll “roll through” faster so I have a bigger gap!

Then things basically stayed together and on the headwind section along the Snake River the whole group just pacelined. Then the second time up the hills I was dropped early on Deer Flat. I just paced myself over both and could see that I wasn’t too far off by the time I crested by the landfill. I time trialed for the next five miles and managed to catch them before the steep downhill by the river! That was my big accomplishment for the race. I knew if I didn’t catch by then, I would never because the pack will always be faster than a solo rider with a strong headwind like that. So I integrated back into the front group which was down to about 10 riders at that point.

Continue reading "Treasure Valley through Stage 2" »


1,000 Warriors Registration Ends Friday!

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Race the hardest stage of the Tour of Utah, hours before the Pros take to the course. It's about 100 miles with over 10,000 feet of climbing. If anyone breaks the pro's times, they get $1000! But don't do it for the money, this route takes you over the best climbs in Utah. I know, I've done all three...just not in a row! Should be epic!

YouTube Video of the Course


First Full Bogus

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Did my first full Bogus climb today and it was tough. Heather and I were debating about doing a “Big Loop” but opted out after yesterday’s harder than planed workout along with lots of house work. We thought a shorter, but lots of climbing, ride would be better.

We rode in on Cartwright and rode Bogus Basin Road all the way to Pioneer then came back on Cartwright as well. We were really pleased with the work they did on Cartwright as now most of it is nice smooth asphalt with a decent shoulder. I also forgot how steep the hill before the Owyhee motorcycle park was as I hit 55 MPH on the descent!

Then on Bogus we rode tempo to the bottom of the switchbacks, then I started an interval to the Pioneer condominiums. The first half was okay, but by the time I reached the trees my legs started to fade. I only averaged 272 watts for the 85-minute interval, with a normalized power of 279 watts. Yesterday’s ride took more out of me than I thought. I waited a short time for Heather then we had fun on the descent. On the way home on Cartwright, when we hit the first big uphill by the motorcycle park, we were both really glad we didn’t do a Big Loop. In the end it was solid 70-mile ride with 9,000 feet of climbing.


Indoors Outdoors

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I did a half hour on the rollers so I could get some intensity before heading out with Heather, Dan and Kurt for a nice 3+ hour outdoor ride. Did a short set of 4x3-minute VO2s on the rollers then headed outside and rode mostly tempo. We rode west out through Middleton, then north on Old Hwy 30 then returned on Oasis, Hollow and Galloway. The weather was nice and cool for most of the ride and the wind wasn’t too bad. Solid ride.


4x4 VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – After hardly riding the last couple days I ended up doing a nice set of VO2s today. I only did four 4-minute intervals as that’s all I had in my legs. The ride was just over an hour but I didn’t want to do any more than that anyway since I’m still TSB negative. The weather looks good for this weekend so I plan to rack up some serious TSS before tapering for the Treasure Valley Stage Race next weekend.


St George Training Camp

IMG_2437 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I went down to Saint George, Utah for a mini-training camp of long rides in hot weather. After the spell of warm weather a few weeks ago, riding when it’s only in the 50’s wasn’t doing it for us so we decided to head south and ride where it was really warm.

IMG_2475We got some good rides in, though we didn’t hit it as hard as we thought we would at the start. With a hectic week leading up to the trip combined with the travel, we took the first few days easy with only 1–2 hour rides. But we slowly increased durations and ended up going to Enterprise and back on Thursday giving us a nearly 5-hour ride with over 8,000 feet of climbing.

2009-05-10CropWe did one more short, but hard ride on Friday, then had fun with family at the pool before we left. After travelling home we were both wasted on Saturday, but still did a long ride on Sunday; an Emmett Rd – Horseshoe Bend loop for another 4+ hours. So my totals for the week are almost 20 hours of saddle time with a TSS of 1,086!

BTW, more pictures from the trip are posted to my Facebook profle.


May Day VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Did a nice set of 4x5-minute VO2 intervals today. I think the wattage numbers are slightly low, probably because my PowerTap wasn’t properly zero’d. The LCD recently broke so I can’t see the top line anymore. I still zero the torque before every ride, but since I can’t see the display, I do it based on muscle memory.

Comparing my watts and speed with the last few times I did 5-minute intervals, I can confirm that today’s set doesn’t correlate. My average speed for today’s intervals are more representative of average watts around 340, not 330. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, it’s still a good training effect. Hopefully there’ll be a break in the predicted rain tomorrow and I can ride outside.


Hail Storm

IMG_8177 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Good thing I rode indoors this morning. This afternoon we had a nice thunderstorm roll through with pounding rain and hail! It left a nice little pattern of hail beneath the rain gutter.


First Half-Bogus

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today I rode Bogus Basin for the first time this year. I rode out with Kevin and we were greeted with windy conditions. I didn’t really have a plan but after some hard tempo up the switchbacks I decided to keep the pressure on. I just rode to the Forest Service sign and then quickly turned around as it was clouding up and I didn’t want to get rained on. We rode from work but after descending Bogus I still had to ride home. Fortunately the wind was coming from the southeast so I had a super tailwind on Hill Road and managed to make it home in 25 minutes!


To the Finish

IMG_2316 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Emmett–Roubaix was today and I wasn’t very excited about racing. After riding in a sleeveless jersey on Tuesday, today’s weather was more like early March than almost May. The other warning sign that it wasn’t going to be a good day is that my legs didn’t feel so hot during my warm-up. Actually, they didn’t feel good yesterday either. But once you’re registered…you’ve got to race, right?

So the pace starts off ballistic, even before we hit South Slope Road. Fortunately I was at the front and was able to stay pretty sheltered. Then on South Slope it was more of the same with random people attacking here and there. The pace was fast even though we were going into a headwind.

Continue reading "To the Finish" »


Added Tempo

2009-04-22Crop Uhl in Eagle, ID – Even though I felt fatigued all day from Sunday’s and Tuesday’s rides, I still went out to rack up another hour and a half of tempo. It was a little bit cooler ou but still pretty nice. I ended up riding by the start of the FCA Time Trial and saw Klaas pinning his number. From how my legs felt, I wasn’t jealous at all. If I had to time trial today, I’m sure it would have been ugly.


Tuesday EHB

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – After a tiring Chicken Dinner road race, I decided to rest a day before riding long again. Even though it was hard due to the unseasonably warm weather, I didn’t even get on my bike yesterday. Instead I hit the gym and did some light cardio and core work.

IMG_2295So it was a good thing the warm weather held out another day so Heather, Cory and I could do a nice Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop after work. It was my first ride in just shorts and a sleeveless jersey, thanks to the 80°F weather!

Cory was an “eager beaver” when we headed out and even though my PowerTap CPU display is cracked, I swear I was doing like 250 watts just riding side-by-side with him on Beacon Light. It was probably just residual blockage from racing hard on Sunday then taking Monday off, but then again, I’m not one who can talk and ride unless I keep it to zone one. By the time we were northbound on Hwy 16 my legs felt better and the three of us enjoyed the strong tailwind to the top of Emmett hill. It’s always fun to ride uphill at 20+ MPH!

IMG_2297 We cruised through the back roads in Emmett and then hit Hwy 52. For the first time this year we stopped at the Wild Rose park to top off our water bottles. With the warm weather comes increased hydration needs. Then we got back on our bikes and did a nice rotation through the canyon to Horseshoe Bend. Since Heather had a hard stage race this past weekend, she took easier pulls while Cory and I pushed it a bit more.

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Chicken Dinner

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Whew! That was a tough one. After getting dropped on the hill and chasing back on a couple times, then cramping hard during the third (or was it fourth?) lap, I managed to finish another hard race. The hill on Perch is a killer and that comes right after the hill on Deer Flat. I’m not in climbing shape yet so it felt super hard. My biggest accomplishment was chasing back on, by myself, after falling off the lead group the first time up the hill. I had to really hammer to catch them. But we were eventually caught by a good-sized chase group so the pack was over dozen again. Then I cramped hard a couple laps later and mostly rode solo to the finish. But on a course like this, just finishing is an accomplishment. Five times up that hill was brutal!

Results on Spondoro:
http://www.spondoro.com/results/ChickenDinner/2009/results.pdf


Two in a Row

2009-04-12Crop Uhl in Eagle, ID – I did another long ride today; I wanted this weekend to be all about endurance. I felt fine the first couple hours but then I started feeling fatigued. I was keeping it most of the ride and fortunately the wind cooperated so I didn’t have to fight a headwind too long. Between yesterday and today this weekend should definitely kick my endurance up…after some rest!


Longish Ride

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – Rode with Kurt again today and this time he brought Nick, a friend of his from Portland. We rode west out to Emmett Rd, then headed up to Emmett valley and rode South Slope Rd. In we parted ways; Kurt and Nick needed to get back to Eagle, while I continued onto Horseshoe Bend. I rode tempo most of the rest of the ride and pushed it up the hill. Good, solid workout today.


Monday EHB

Click to view intervalIMG_2221Uhl in Eagle, ID – I wanted back-to-back hard days so this evening I did an Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop with Kurt. The weather was warm and I was finally able to ride with just arm- and knee-warmers. We had a kicking tailwind up Hwy 16 which made that go by quickly.

We had a little bit of a headwind through Black Canyon but that was okay; I wanted it to be somewhat of a workout, so I ended up pushing tempo most of the time. We stopped at the Chevron then headed up the hill.

IMG_2226 I did a low-end LT interval up it (as I typically do) and then double-backed to catch-up with Kurt. We rode up the remainder of the hill at a easy pace, chatting most of the way. Had fun on the downhill back into Eagle. It was a nice ride, and we got a taste of what spring should feel like.


Birds of Prey

Uhl in Eagle, ID – With warmer, dryer weather and more quality training under my belt, the Birds of Prey road race went much better than the Slammer. I actually finished this one! It started out a bit nippy but the bright sunshine warmed it up enough that I was only cold for the first hour.

My legs felt better today and was able to stay near the front and even helped push the pace at times. Unfortunately I kind of ran out of gas in the last hour and ended up falling off the front group. I tried to latch on to the Weyen Machine as he (it?) cruised by after a mechanical. Unfortunately I could barely hang on. Then when we were only 40 meters from the front group, there was a flurry of attacks and they sped off into the distance. Of course Weyen was able to reach them and proceed to get 3rd!

After that I was just spent, and rode tempo just to get to the finish. I could feel my body start to bonk and was dreaming about stopping and just lying down on the roadside. But I kept chugging along. Then I was swept up by a decent-sized chase group. But after taking only three pulls I was done…all I could do was hang onto to the back of them. Since were were just racing for 10th place or so at the time we just all rolled in together without much of a sprint.

So despite a major fade in the last hour of the race, I was happy with my performance.

Full results on Spondoro:
http://www.spondoro.com/results/BirdsOfPrey/2009/results.pdf


Intel Core i7 isn’t fast enough for Adobe

Uhl in Eagle, ID – I received this warning message today when I launched Adobe Bridge CS3 for the first time on my new computer, a Dell Studio XPS 435T. I thought it was pretty funny that it told me my processor was not compatible, even though it’s an Intel Core i7 920, one of the fastest processors currently on the market.

AdobeBridgeError

Lesson for you software developers: Don’t hard code specific processor versions into your product!

Secondly, any sort of system check is better done before the product is installed, not after. That way the user hasn’t wasted any time if they postpone the install until they upgrade their hardware, or, decide to install it on a different machine altogether. Anyway, it made me chuckle when I read it. And yes, Adobe Bridge runs just fine on my new computer.


Cold, Windy VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Even thought it’s now April, the weather still feels like winter. It was sunny most of the day and looked warm outside, but it barely got into the mid-40s. I wanted to get some VO2 work in so I headed outside anyway and did a set of 5x5 minute VO2s. With intersections, right-hand turns and some ups and downs, they were more variable than when I do them indoors, but that’s part of specificity…I don’t race on rollers. In the end, my average wattage across the set was pretty good. After a few minutes recovery I cruised at mid-tempo pace and met up with Dan for the ride back home. The sun had given way to high clouds so I was pretty cold by the time I got home. But a solid workout nonetheless.


Long Cold One

2009-03-28 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I did the Hamilton Corner–Emmett loop today. Originally we were planning to go all the way to Horseshoe Bend, but as we headed north on Substation Road, we could see rain off in the distance and we decided to head back to Eagle.

It was already a cold ride by that point. What was supposed to be a sunny, 62°F day, turned into a cold, damp one. Even heading south on Hwy 16 to Eagle, we still got sprinkled on a bit but at least it was warmer there. The first three hours of the ride were pretty darn cold. Even though the stats don’t show it, it felt like a long, tough ride.


Springtime EHB

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today is the first day of spring and it sure felt like it. It got up to 67°F in the valley with strong sunshine. I setup a group ride with some of my buddies and since Heather didn’t have any appointments for the late afternoon, she actually joined us for a change. She’s a “trainer” gal; between her work schedule and lack of aversion to riding a stationary trainer, she’s typically trains indoors year-round. But today was the exception and we started out with four of us: Jeff (a neighbor), Ben (my teammate), Heather and me.

IMG_2090 We rolled out at around 3:40 PM. It was a southeast wind today so we had a nice tailwind on the way out which added to the feeling of warmth. It was nice to be riding in shorts and no vest. We headed up Hwy 16 where Jeff turned around as his lungs weren’t feeling good. He’s been fighting off something the whole week and didn’t want to make it worse. It’s always good to play it safe.

IMG_2095 Ben kept us at a tempo pace up the hill, taking longer and harder pulls than Heather and me. But I didn’t complain as the quicker we got off Hwy 16 the better. It’s a high-traffic road that time of day on a Friday. When we got to Emmett, we eased u a little bit and I told Ben I wanted to tone it back a little.

As we headed east we had headwind. We got to the dam, where Ben kicked it up the back-to-back jammers that made my legs hurt. But once the road flattened out it was back to the medium-tempo rotation. We took long pulls and kept it at a brisk pace through Black Canyon. The wind was bad at the front but it was nice to have a couple minutes rest as the others rotated. I’m so used to doing this ride solo in which case I don’t get a break until Horseshoe Bend.

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EHB on the Down Low

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – With Daylight Saving Time in effect, I was able to do an impromptu Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop after work. This week I’ve been forcing myself to ride easy, but ride longer. Today I started out a bit hard doing my usual high-tempo up Hwy 16, but eased up through Emmett and restrained myself through Black Canyon.

I started up the hill at a slow pace but ended up pushing it towards the top…seems that my body just likes to suffer up that hill! But I still managed to keep it fairly tame with a sub-threshold wattage of 265. And finally, there wasn’t a headwind! I was worried about traffic at that time on Hwy 55 but was surprised at how little there was. I guess all the commuters were already home. At the end it was a good ride, even though my legs felt it, it wasn’t a total killer. Weather is looking good so I plan to do it again on Friday.


Slammed

2009-03-15Crop Uhl in Eagle, ID – So that didn’t go as I’d hoped! Multiple factors contributed to my downfall today but the biggest one was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Got dropped within the first 15 minutes of the first race of the year! Oh well. I was really bummed as I was time-trialing while I watched the pack ride away from me, thinking that it was all my leg’s fault.

2009-03-15MMPWell fortunately I rode with my PowerTap and was able analyze my power data when I got home. One TrainingPeaks WKO+ chart I like to look at is my Mean Maximal Power (MMP) for a ride versus my all-time best. How close the solid yellow line comes to the dotted line is how close I came to breaking a personal best for that duration.

In this case, the graphs come awfully close together in the 1.5–2 minute range. Looking at the details, I was only 4% off of my best 1min 43second effort…ever! And that PR was achieved mid-season in 2005, one of my best years.

Continue reading "Slammed" »


4x5 VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I did a nice set of 4x5-minute VO2s today. Wattage was good for the set and while I probably could have done another one, I restrained myself. Saving my energy for some long rides in the next few days.


Hour of Power

Click to view intervalUhl in Eagle, ID – I was reminded of the HOP (Hour of Power) workout – popular among wattage geeks – when I read Alex’s recent blog post. So after doing some L7 stuff yesterday, I decided to try the HOP. After a fifteen minute warm-up, I picked it up to just below threshold, then then did a 15-second push every five minutes. I tried to mix it up, varying cadence for each five minute block as well as each of the “sprints”. With a fifteen minute cool-down it turned out to be a solid 1:30 workout.


Weekly Volume

Click to view all weeks Uhl in Eagle, ID – If I’ve learned anything over the past six years of training with a power meter, it is how to train efficiently. With things like TSS and ATL/CTL to help quantify training loads, I now regularly put in the same amount of training stress per week in 8–10 hours as I used to in 11–14 hours.

I’m not a fan of riding just to get in “saddle time”. When I get on the bike, I always have a purpose. With only a few weeks over 10 hours this winter, my fitness is better than it typically is this early in the season. That’s primarily due to training smart and by focusing on Sweet Spot training. The old school definition of “base miles” is gone and has been replaced with quality, FTP-building Level 3 and Level 4 work.

Continue reading "Weekly Volume" »


Windy Workout

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today we did a team ride, this time starting out downtown for a change. We headed southeast on Pleasant Valley then east on Kuna Mora into a stiff crosswind. We turned around at the railroad tracks then headed to Cloverdale where we turned north for nice tailwind. We did a lot of hammering making it a real tough ride. By the time I got back to Eagle I was cooked! Hopefully rides like this will get me used to the suffering sure to come during the first couple races of the George’s spring series.


Hammer Until Your Teeth Hurt

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – It’s just over two weeks before my first road race so to get my body accustomed to going all out, I did some anaerobic work capacity (AWC) intervals today. I warmed up riding tempo, with three short sprints to get my legs primed. After some more tempo, I did five 30-second efforts with 90-second rest intervals. The first three weren’t too bad, but by the fourth one, I was reminded how much I hate AWC workouts! I was breathing so hard that my teeth hurt! While I suffered, the 90 second rest interval gives some respite, as opposed to Tabatas where you only get 10 seconds. Those are of the devil!

After all that suffering was over, I rode tempo then did a 1-minute L6 push and a couple uphill L7 efforts. With more rest in between them they weren’t as bad. And doing them on a steep hill always helps; more power for less perceived effort. For fun I did a one more sprint right after the downhill on Deep Canyon Drive in Hillsdale Estates. I only managed 1,047 watts for 10 seconds, but not too bad considering I hadn’t tone any sprints since last season. As for the workout, 1hr 45min at an intensity factor (IF) of .91, ain’t too shabby.


Tough Group Ride

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – A few of my teammates and I did the Emmett Rd,South Slope, Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop today. Even though we waited until 11:00 AM to start, it was still a bit chilly for me the first couple hours. We rode tempo for the first hour with a blowout effort when we reached the backside of Little Freezeout on Emmett Rd. We took it easy on South Slope then stopped in Emmett. A few headed south back to Eagle while a remaining group of seven hit Black Canyon. It was warmer there and we actually had a tailwind! We kicked it up and things broke apart giving me the opportunity to do a 16-minute LT interval (295 watts).

After a quick stop in Horseshoe Bend it was time for the last big effort, Old Horseshoe Bend Hill. I had been eating and drinking well and I hoped to have good power on the hill. Power was decent but the prior three hours with those efforts had taken it’s toll. I managed “only” 287 watts for a sluggish time of 28:41. Yes, that means we had another headwind…can’t we ever hit the hill with a tailwind! Even though I’m anal about wiping my tires when I go through crap, I still managed to get a flat by the Shadow Valley Golf Course. I performed a quick change, but the pump I had on my bike is years old and didn’t pump very well. So I only put in enough pressure to make it home. I was totally wasted by the time I got to my house, but I still managed to wash a couple bikes after taking in some food. It feels like a long day so I hope I can sleep like a baby tonight!


5x5 Minute VO2s and LT

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I’ve been taking it easy since the weekend, so today was the first day doing a “real” workout. I got on the rollers and after a good warm-up I launched into 5x5 VO2 intervals with 4-minute rest. They were pretty tough but I managed to produce consistent wattage across the set.

I followed up the VO2s with a 20-minute LT interval. Those are always tough after a set of VO2s. Power was okay, but the perceived exertion was quite high for my wattage. I was hoping that the blow-out efforts I did yesterday would help, but no such luck! But hey, at least I’m getting used to suffering. That’s what cycling is all about…right?!?


Back Indoors

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today I was back on the rollers but I didn’t mind. Even though it was sunny outside, it was colder than yesterday and I was in the mood for a steady one hour ride. I mainly rode in the upper-endurance, lower-tempo range with a couple pushes for variety. I also killed two birds with one stone as I caught up on a few cycling forums I frequent.


Emmett–Horseshoe Bend

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – We had a decent turnout for our team ride of the Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop today. This morning we woke up to fog so I was afraid the it wouldn't lift by our start at noon. So I was happy to see it break up at around 11 AM. We started out with about a dozen or so riders. Even with the hazy sun, it was was fairly chilly on the way out...the air was pretty damp. We took it easy for the rollout and then up Hwy 16 we fell into single-file. There was a decent draft so in order to keep my wattage up I just kept a gap in front of me.

Up the two small rollers the pace, or at least the effort level picked up. For me with a pretty pathetic anaerobic work capacity, it felt downright hard! Then it would ease right back up when we leveled off. As we neared the top it was finally my turn to be in the wind so I figured I'd make the most of it. Other than the two risers, I wasn't really getting much of a workout. So I pushed it for the few minutes it took to reach the top, giving me a decent 3.5 minute VO2 interval (350 watts). We then cruised down the hill and took it easy through the east side of Emmett.

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Outside in Boise

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today was the first time I've ridden outside here in Boise, since November. The temperature was in the high 40's by early afternoon so I ditched work early and got a ride in. I just did an hour and a half of tempo, without any structured intervals. I didn't want to go any harder since we have a nice team ride planned for tomorrow. Even so, I managed to keep it in the upper end of tempo with a normalized power (NP) of 255. I've kept my workouts short since we got back from our trip to St George, but I think I still feel some residual fatigue in my legs. We'll see how tomorrow goes. The plan is to do the Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop, which is my favorite local ride.


Long Weekend in Saint George

IMG_2045 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I headed down the Saint George, UT for a weekend of warm weather riding. On Saturday we did a ride which we've always wanted to do; St George to Enterprise and back. We've gone north past Veyo on Hwy 18 before and know that there's some decent climbing up that way.

We chose Saturday to tackle this ride since it was supposed to be the warmest of the three days of our trip. We left before noon, when it was still a cool 40-something degrees in town. Riding up through Snow Canyon was as scenic as it always is. Even taking pictures while riding no handed, gives you some great shots. You can just point a camera in any direction and you're guaranteed to get a decent picture.

IMG_2032Fortunately the climbs kept us warm on the way out. While there were a couple downhill and flat sections, it was mostly uphill. That is until we hit the summit of the last climb...6150 feet above sea level! Mind you, St George is around 2,600 feet, so there was lots of climbing, though it never got very steep. It was cool to see my Garmin Edge 705 read exactly the same as the summit sign.

Then we descended down into Enterprise and that was one super-cold descent! I was thinking to myself that it was a mistake to continue on; we should have just turned around at the summit! IMG_2034But we descended all the way down to Enterprise which wasn't that much further. Even though it was only 35 miles away, it was like a totally different climate zone...snow as far as the eye could see. It must have been 40°F and we were both shivering from the frigid descent. Nothing like traveling to a warm place so we can climb to where it's the same temperature as home!!!

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Microintervals & Tempo

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – It's been a while since I've done microintervals. Actually, come to think of it I haven't done them since last winter, so it's about time to add them into the mix.

I started out with a nice 20-minute warm-up with a couple pushes. Then I did two LT intervals, with 30 seconds above FTP, then 30 seconds below. As my FTP is about 300 watts right now, the first set I alternated between 350 and 250 watts. It wasn't too hard, but the interesting thing is that the worst part of the interval is during the "off" portions. That's when you really feel the prior 30 seconds and you can't believe how fast the "rest" interval is over!

Click to view full-sizeFor the second LT interval I alternated between 320 and 280 watts. Even with less variation, it felt harder, probably because the first interval took it out of my legs! Not to mention, this has been an intense week of workouts! Ideally I try to do these at 450 and 150 watts for a bigger ratio, but I figured I'd start conservatively.

After that was done I spun easy for five minutes then did an hour at low- to mid-tempo. Ended up a 2:15 minute ride and 176 training stress score (TSS). Watching the 2008 men's Olympic road race with my music in the background definitely helps make the time go by quicker. Looking at the ride graph, you can see the microinterval-induced Bart Simpson heads in it.


One More

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I just had to do another LT workout today, but this time I extended the ride after my 1x60 by doing 45 minutes of high-tempo. With warm-up, cool-down and in-between time it made for a solid 2:05 ride and 164 TSS. More importantly, I burned nearly 2,000 calories which means I don't have to feel guilty about the bowl of ice cream I just ate!


LT, LT, LT

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – Last few days I've been doing back-to-back LT workouts. Monday I did a single 1x20, yesterday 2x20s, and today I did a 1x60. In the back of my mind I did want to use today's interval as a pseudo test; see if I could hit 300 watts for the hour. But I missed it by a few watts. I went just a bit too easy during the first thirty minutes, that kicking it up over the last 10 wasn't going to get the average where I wanted it. Ended up with an average power of 296 watts and normalized power of 297. I'm pretty close to updating my FTP value, but I'll wait until after this weekend's workout to make the switch.


MAP Test Redux

Click to view intervalsUhl in Eagle, ID – I was feeling frisky this morning so I decided to redo the MAP test I did last week. My warm-up was more in line with my standard protocol and my legs felt good during the pushes. The MAP test went well, hitting 406 watts for the final minute. Two weeks ago I only hit 398 watts, and my best ever was 411 watts back in May, so I'm pretty happy with today's result.

2009-01-17MAPAfter the test I tried to do some VO2s but my legs would have none of it. Looking at my workout in WKO+, it looks like I started the VO2 only two minutes after going to failure on the MAP. For some reason I thought it was five minutes, so no wonder it hurt so much! Shows you how dull your brain becomes when you max yourself out! Either way, I decided to bag the VO2s and do LT work instead. I ended up doing a solid set of 2x20s giving me a nice 1:36 minute workout at .91 intensity factor.


Time for a New Receiver?

IMG_2000Uhl in Eagle, ID – After 20 years of faithful duty, my Carver AVR100 receiver may have finally bit the bullet. I'm surprised it lasted this long as it survived four years of college life and multiple moves without a glitch. It has powered my Snell E2 floor-standing speakers beautifully and, even though it's only a 4-channel amp with Dolby Surround (as in 4.0...compared to today's 7.1 systems), it sounds great with movies.

So now I'm researching whether it can be repaired and if so, how much would it cost. Blue book says it's worth only $100–$200 when fully functional, so if it's a costly repair, we'll probably just replace it. Even though we watch a lot of movies at home—free rentals from the library are a great thing—our home theater system is quite dated. We still have a 27" tube TV and we planned to finally upgrade to a flat-panel this year. But this incident may move a new receiver, higher in the list.

Anyway, here's how it went down...

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