Category Archives: Training

Cycling, strength training, body weight training, maybe even running?

2016, Day Four


Woke up pretty sore today. But I need to get some quality rides in to get myself ready for RAGBRAI, so I had my egg whites & seitan, but today with a banana instead of spinach and headed out on the Big Sky loop, an old favorite that I have not been on for a long time.  It’s not very long at 55 miles from the house and there’s not that much climbing at just over 3,200 feet, but it’s a challenging ride and I’ve put in some good work over the past two days, so I was really suffering by the last climb of the day, back up Santa Susana. That’s OK. I need it.

When I got back, I made a soy curl burrito and a big salad, along with about 4 ounces of Protein shake, all that was left in the container – new one arrived from Amazon this afternoon.

Dinner tonight was a grilled portobello burger, onion rings and an ear of corn on the cob. Beer and a glass of chardonnay because, hey, it’s Sunday.

Feeling pretty used up tonight, but in a good way.

Tomorrow is strength day at the crossfit box. How will I be feeling for that?

Day Twenty Five

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Up the canyon with one gear again today for a couple more PRs.  That feels good!  Great leg workout, great core workout, great confidence builder and I’m getting some good Anaerobic time.

One legged dead lifts added to the workout this morning and I practiced a few more handstands tonight – headstands, really, and I’ve got a sore spot on the top of my head from that.  Incentive to get up on my hands before I rub in a new bald spot.  I am getting a few seconds off the wall, freestanding before I lose the balance – that’s an improvement.

Sugary dilemma this afternoon when our corporate controller offered me a piece of Huckleberry Fudge that his wife brought home from Montana.  I did want to try it, it sounded interesting, it looked fantastic, but I did not want all that sugar.  At the same time, you can’t refuse everything all the time or people start to regard you as a pain in the ass and at least it was vegetarian.  It was damn tasty. And consumed 15 minutes before the commute home, so just good fuel for the ride, really.

Nasty nail sticking out of the rear tire tonight when I pulled the bike out of the rack.  Always sucks at the end of the day when you just want to get out of there.  Well, OK, flats consistently suck all the time.  A rear flat on the single speed is an extra treat because there’s really no way to get that wheel on & off without handling the chain.  Got the job done pretty quickly and then I’m standing there in my white team kit with greasy fingers…what do do? Go back inside? Not if I can help it…wiped ’em on the seat bag, saddled up and rolled.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, pecans, flaxseed and hemp hearts
    • Green smoothie: Spinach, kale, strawberries, raspberries

The taco filling was just as good today and I thought the Pasta was excellent.  I used rigatoni because I like rigatoni and my wife does not and she is in Wisconsin this week.

Quick trip to Whole Foods with Jake after the school bus pickup today to procure more hemp hearts and oil. I do like that stuff – the hearts with oatmeal and salad, the oil in vinaigrette. Really tasty.  Also bought some overpriced ginger ale for her and some of Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Oats for me.

Jake is baking cookies right now – with m&ms and chocolate chips, brown sugar and white sugar.  Lord help me.  They are for school tomorrow so I have some motivation to keep my hands off until they disappear into the bus in the morning.

Day Twenty Four

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Added side planks into the morning workout today.  I like it. The form is going to be pretty shaky for awhile, but that’s the journey, that’s what it’s all about.  Also spent some time this afternoon practicing some one-legged dead lifts and taking some baby steps toward the mighty hand stand.  Step 1: Head stands against the wall, facing away, just getting a feel for the balance, how to pull away from the wall and hold the body up with my head and hands.  Once I can hold it for a reasonable amount of time I’ll go for hands, no head but baby steps, baby.

Another blogosphere shout out to Al Cavadlo whom I discovered a few days ago while searching for body weight workouts.  Something that’s interested me for quite awhile now, but I just never actually did much about it.  20 minutes of watching Al’s videos and I’m in, 110%.  Love it.  Isn’t it interesting that something like that can just sit in your consciousness for years sometimes, not acted upon, occasionally gazed at like art on the wall or a still life on the table and then one day the stars line up, you make a first step and before you know it you can’t imagine what life was like before this thing was a part of it.

That’s how I’m feeling about vegetarianism, certainly how I feel about cycling and now about mastering my body weight.  All three of these roads stretch over the horizon and keep going as long as you want to keep improving and refining and to me that’s exciting.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, pecans, flaxseed and hemp hearts
    • Green smoothie: Spinach, kale, strawberries, raspberries

Finally had some time to make burritos for the rest of the week’s lunches.  I normally make brown rice and bean burritos with black beans, but I was one can short today so I forged ahead with Cannelini beans.  They are slightly different, but just as tasty.  Variety is mostly a good thing.

And I managed to get a decent commute in this afternoon.  I can’t divulge how I pulled that off, but it was on the 1 speed – man I like the way that bike makes me push myself.


The Workout

I typically get in a short workout 5 days a week, on weekday mornings. Saturday and Sunday are almost always reserved for long, hard bike rides so I skip the ‘gym’ those days. Likewise, if it’s a holiday or a day off and I have a big ride planned, I usually skip the workout.

It’s a simple workout, only takes about 15-20 minutes and consists of a little bit of core work and a little bit of strength training. This fall and winter, during the ‘off-season’, I plan to add more strength work, perhaps in the evenings. I’ve been rotating through some of the exercises in Tom Danielson’s “Core Advantage” and in Selene Yeager’s “Get Fast”. Workouts are always a 3 circuits, something like this:

Monday, Wednesday & Friday:

  • Bicep Curls 12 reps
  • Tommy D’s Supine Knee Drops 15 reps (1st 2 circuits, third is shoulder blade squeeze)
  • Pushups 45 reps
  • Pull ups 4 reps (sad, but true – just added these and I have a long way to go)

Tuesday and Thursday

  • Bicep Curls 12 reps
  • Dumbbell squats 12 reps
  • One arm, one leg planks – 30 seconds each side
  • Pull ups 4 reps

That’s it. I can feel the difference on the bike – I have a pretty solid core and when everyone else starts complaining about their back or their neck I just ask what their core workout routine is. As a cyclist, I don’t need the bicep curls, but as a genetically skinny guy, I like the way it looks. I don’t get paid to ride my bike, so it’s an indulgence, get over it. I did. I also think I have a little leeway to just get stronger overall – more than just a chicken body with big legs. Once I shed the rest of the fat I’ll be light enough that I can afford to carry around a little extra muscle. Just a little

Maybe not the most scientific workout and I’m sure it could be improved 100 times in 100 ways, but I believe that consistency and commitment are the most important ingredients. I do the workout religiously and will keep improving it for effectiveness as I go. If I’m traveling and don’t have access to a gym, I just do more core stuff and forgo the weights. I like the idea of body-weight / minimal equipment workouts. There is an endless variety of increasingly difficult exercises just waiting to be done.

For a series of good descriptions of many body weight workouts, have a look at: Dude is totally nuts, but in a good way.Shows that you can get ripped & strong, just using the weight of your own body. And I don’t believe you need to spend hours at the gym to do it. If that’s what you’re into, that’s cool – don’t get me wrong. I’d just rather spend more hours out on the road on my bike and fewer hours on stuff that feels like ‘working out’.