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RIDE FROM LAGUNA TO SANTA CRUZ, Day’s 3-4

Day 3’s breakfast was the best of what I could consume at Holiday Inn Express Lompoc. As continental breakfast’s go it was decent. I had a banana, pancakes, yogurt, scrambled eggs, OJ and lots of water. I had located a neat little store on Google maps called Lassen’s Health Foods for day 3’s lunch. I enjoyed a GT Kombucha, turkey sandwich on sprouted wheat, fresh fruit, more water and stocked up on some nice honey baked walnuts. The honey provides initial energy, while walnuts provide the necessary dense calories for a ride like this. Also the lectin’s in walnuts are a great blood sugar stabilizer. Such a perfect long ride snack.

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This is the view from our room in Gorda Springs Resort, Ca. It is about twenty miles into the south side of Big Sir. As you can see the view was spectacular, as were all the views rolling through Big Sir. Certainly a highlight of the adventure. The entire Big Sir coastline was majestic when I was able to lift my head from the winding, climbing road and take it in. This was between all the rented convertible Mustangs and motor homes that were also cruising the coast Fourth of July week.

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I was very happy that the third night was the night that my wife and daughter’s were joining me since I broke my rear derailer cable just before beginning the climbs of Big Sir :(. At that point I was about 90 miles into the longest/biggest day and ended up climbing miles 95ish through 124 adjusted into my 3rd cog. PS, there is virtually no cell service through most of Big Sir. Fortunately I was able to get a hold of my wife in time for her to catch a shop and buy a new cable on her way to meet up, phew! I REALLY appreciated my revitalized gears for day 4.  Day 3 totals were 124 miles with 6240′ elevation. http://app.strava.com/activities/64672445

The Gorda Springs Resort was the one venue that did not posses a continental breakfast, so I was relegated to starting day 4’s adventure on 4 Cliff Bars for breakfast. Those and one gallon of water cost me $17. The salmon and salad dinner at their attached restaurant dinged me $48. Location, location, location. Lunch was delivered by my wonderful wife who due to my miss-communication did not catch up to me until Carmel at about 70 miles into the day with a custom burrito and smoothie from Big Sir Riverside resort. This was partly because I started busting out some miles after getting through the rugged coast line while riding on some fast paced freeways. Oops, one of which was off limits to riders and I was safely escorted off. There are many section’s in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Monterrey counties were Ca 1 and 101 merge and provide a bike lane. For me, these lanes provided a good opportunity to bring my average speed closer to my projected pace. I am very happy to have completed this long standing bucket list item. It went smooth and I would be happy to have the opportunity to do it again. Maybe going south in fewer days or starting farther north. Day 4’s total’s were 105.5 miles and formidable 9857′ of elevation. http://app.strava.com/activities/64564243

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The Next Step in Training

Ideally you will spend at least the first 3 months of your training building the aerobic base by exercising purely in the zone discussed in “The Heart Rate That You Should Train At” post. Then, and only then if you are seeking to perform at a more race type level you should begin to add in some “interval” type training. This is training above, or well above the target heart zone for very specific, intentional, short periods. Training at higher intensities basically breaks the body down to cause growth, strength, or speed gains. This helps the body to become more efficient in clearing lactic acid. The caveat is that the body then needs to appropriately repair, which takes longer depending on life stress levels and age. i.e. At my current work load and age, I do 1-3 higher intensity, interval workouts per week during race season. Being well into my 4th decade of life I also need to balance this with a week of all aerobic exercise (no intervals) at least once per month. Believe it or not, by adding more true aerobic training you will progress and get faster, faster. Enjoy the process. Next we’ll give ways of tracking your progress.