Archive for the ‘Bike Workouts’ Category

On Saturday, we’ll do our first century ride of the season. This ride won’t be too hilly and should give you a great chance to practice being down in the aerobars for an extended time. For the most part, we’ll stick to country roads without much traffic, but there will be sections where it’s important to get out of the aerobars and ride single file.

There will be a couple places along the route to stop for emergency nutrition or to fill up water bottles (most notably the convenience store on Page Street as we exit Stoughton — right about Mile 50), but for the most part, you should plan to carry everything you think you’ll need. The good news is that it’s supposed to be fairly cool and cloudy in the morning, which should make for good riding conditions.

Our route is below. We’ll start from Endurance House at 6:00 am. The team leaders will ride at a fairly easy but steady pace, so if you expect you’ll be going faster or slower than them, please print out a copy of the route. The idea of a century ride is to keep riding, so with the possible exception of a brief stop in Stoughton near our half-way point, we won’t be stopping to regroup anywhere along the ride.

May 10 Century


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Today we were finally able to get off of our trainers and out on the open roads, and 15 Team Members enjoyed a great 60 mile ride in perfect spring riding conditions.  Everyone who started made the full distance with no problem, so the Team is definitely well on its way to a successful Ironman Wisconsin 2008!

As we do more outdoor riding as a Team, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always know the route.  It’s fine to ride ahead or behind the pack, but your workout will be a lot more effective if you know where you’re going.  The routes for all of our team rides will be posted on the blog beforehand, as will the expected pace of the Team captains.  If you think you’re going to be riding faster or slower than the main pack, take the time to study the route.
  • Take advantage of the draft.  One way to stay with stronger riders is to “tuck in” behind their wheel and take advantage of the lead rider is providing.  A good draft requires being within 1 wheel length (3 feet) of the rear wheel of the rider in front of you.  There is no shame in drafting, and it is actually has a positive training effect since it allows your legs and cardiovascular system to experience riding at a higher speed than you’d otherwise be able to on your own.
  • Ride single file.  Unless we’re on very wide roads or country roads with very little traffic, we should be riding single file.  In the battle between our bikes and the jacked-up pickup truck trying to pass us, bet on the truck.

The next organized team ride isn’t until April 19th, when we’ll meet in Verona and do two laps of the Ironman Wisconsin loop.  But don’t let that stop you from calling up a Teammate and getting together for a ride.  The more time you put in the saddle now, the less time you’ll be in the saddle on September 7th!

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Spring Challenge Ride

For those who didn’t get into the Horribly Hilly Hundreds (and even for those who did), here is another great chance to do a fully-supported century ride this spring: The Iowa County Humane Society QuadruPedal Spring Century.  This event is organized by Stuart Schilling, who also hosts the very well-respected Dairyland Dare challenge ride in August.  It is scheduled for May 4, 2008, which is a nice time to do our first true Century ride of the season.  Be forewarned, though, this is a tough ride, with about 9,000 feet of climing.  The pain is worth the chance to get out and enjoy what is often perfect riding conditions, and one of our first chances to show off our Team colors to a lot of other endurance athletes! 

This event will not sell out nearly as quickly as Horribly Hilly, so you don’t have to be too quick on the trigger.  However, those interested in doing this ride should talk with the Team Captains — if there is enough interest, we may make this ride an official Team workout.

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For those interested in a great training opportunity for Ironman – and a great capstone event to Block III – registration for the Horribly Hilly Hundreds opens tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 9:00 am. Click here for a link to the registration site. [Note: if you want to do this ride, you have to register within minutes of registration opening. It is almost certain to be full by 10:00 am.]

For those unfamiliar with this event, it is a 124 mile ride over just about every big hill in southwestern Wisconsin — a total of over 14,000 feet of climbing (the website says 10,700, but this is using slightly less accurate technology) and 40 “major” hills. The course elevation profile looks like an EKG of a hamster on crack.

The Horribly Hilly is a great way to cap off our Block III endurance training and a huge confidence builder. If you can finish this ride and still be able to walk afterwards, you can finish the Ironman. However, in the event you don’t or can’t register, we’ll plan on having an equally-epic ride scheduled for that weekend, so no one will have to miss out on all the fun!

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The new training program for Block II (“Strong Before Long”) is now up on the Team site – just in time for the New Year!  The “Training” page also includes an explanation of the philosophy behind the next 12 weeks of our Becoming an Ironman plan and the goals we have for this Block.

Even though this portion of our training plan is about building strength and, to a lesser extent, muscular endurance, it’s also about focusing on two fundamental elements of a successful Ironman:

  • Training consistently.  This block contains as many as 12 workouts per week, but all but 2 or 3 of these will be one hour or less.  The key to building strength and refining technique is frequent, shorter, and often intense workouts.  Don’t worry, once we move into Block III, many of these shorter workouts will be replaced by fewer, longer ones.
  • Turning Weaknesses into Strengths.  The first 8 weeks of this Block contain 2-3 “choice” workouts per week.  These are designed to allow you to focus on training those events that you consider to be weaknesses.  There is an old adage in the sport of triathlon: “Train your weakness; race your strength.”  This is the time to be working on that weakness so that it doesn’t hold you back from racing your strength when we begin racing in June.

As always, this plan is not going to be perfectly suited for everyone.  Following its basic format will set you up well for our long training rides and runs in Block III, but you may have to tweak it in order to make it work for your own schedule, goals, and abilities.  If you would like any help in personalizing the plan, please get in touch with Andy.

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Team Update

Over the next 10 days, we have three team events to cap off our first 12-week training block.

1. On Saturday, Dec. 15 at 6:30 am, we have our longest ride of the season at the Endurance House indoor cycling studio. Note that we will be starting at 6:30 am so that we can be wrapped up by 10:00 and you can get on with your day. This will be a three-hour ride. Three hours on the indoor trainer is a long time, but it goes by a lot quicker when there’s a big group.

2. On Thursday, Dec. 20 at 6:00 pm, at the Boulder Creek Apartment Clubhouse (1080 Pleasant View Road in Middleton), we have a great guest speaker to talk to us about whole-body fitness: Tim Gattenby. Tim is a 10-time Ironman (including two Kona finishes) and a 2-time winner of the 500 mile border-to-border triathlon. Tim is a professor of kinesiology at UW-Madison and is a true expert on how our bodies move and what it takes to keep them healthy and strong during rigorous Ironman training. Tim will also talk about the importance of getting a professional bike fit, and will be offering special rates and schedules for bike fits to team members this winter.

On Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7:00 pm (immediately following and in the same location as the seminar), we’ll have a screening of NBC’s broadcast of the 2007 Ironman World Championship in Kona. You only need to bring two things:

  • Your family and friends, so they can see what it is you’ve been spending all your time doing lately; and
  • A small Ironman or Hawaiian-inspired dish to pass (to keep with the Kona theme).

We’ll have some gifts for our supporters to hand out, raffle prizes, and a special announcement regarding our Team Block I Award Winners, so stick around and celebrate your accomplishment of (almost) finishing the first 12 weeks of the Becoming an Ironman training program.

3. Finally, on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 8:00 am, we have our first team indoor triathlon. This will be a 15 minute time-trial swim at Middleton High School Pool, at 45 minute time-trial bike at our indoor cycling studio, and a 4 mile run in the Greenway Station neighborhood. This is a great way to cap off our first block of training (and a great way to go into your well-deserved week of rest). At the end of the second block in mid-March, we’ll have another indoor triathlon that will be about twice the distance, with the goal being to keep the same pace during that triathlon as you were able to maintain during this shorter one.

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The Great Indoors

Well, the snow flurries have started to fly and next weekend’s temperatures aren’t expected to climb out of the 20s, so that means it’s officially time to kick off the Becoming an Ironman indoor cycling season!

The Endurance House staff has procured the use of space in Greenway Station that we will be turning into our indoor cycling studio. We will have at least 5 scheduled team workouts per month at this facility. Generally, this will consist of 2 or 3 Saturday morning long rides (2-4 hours) and 3 weekday rides of 60-90 minutes. Endurance House will provide music and eventually videos (although potentially not until January). All you need to bring is your bicycle and trainer. To help mitigate the cost of renting this facility, the Team Captains also ask that each Team Member interested in taking advantage of this opportunity pay a monthly fee of $5. That’s just $1 per session!

Check the Team Events page and the Team Training Calendar for more information about specific training sessions during December.

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