Saturday, March 25, 2006

I hate early season....

It appears as though my goal of regular blogging has failed, miserably. It's been difficult finding time between training, travelling and racing. This time of year is very much like it always is; Cold, wet, windy and medicore. But hey, it builds character. And we all need more of that.

I hope everyone's training and/or racing is going well. Until next time, stay healthy and ride hard. :)


Anonymous Bjørn said...

I know exactly what you mean, Mags. Seems it's been raining every weekend (and although I'm self employed, that's when the greatest part of my training is done) for months. Can't wait for those endless summer days, kicking back mountaintops in nothing but a pair of shorts... out the window now the fog so thick I can't see across the street. Here's to the sun, and here's to good training and great results, and here's to fun. :-)
Keep up the blogging. I've really enjoyed it so far.

Blogger Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...


Hang in there friend. Spring racing is a great bit of luxry when you consider that it is a great test of fitness and deication. It seems like more people announce their retirements, or at least hatch the idea, during those early races where the weather is so rough.

As for the blogging... well, I haven't been much of a good blogger for the past few months either. Life will do that to you sometimes.

Off to Australia for two weeks in a little over 24 hours. Sometimes work can be good...

Hope your racing yields the results you've been working so hard for.

Blogger mags said...

Yes, early season races are good training. I haven't let up on the volume yet, so I've got pretty heavy legs at the start.

Have a safe trip to Australia, Tim. Enjoy!


Blogger iain said...

When things get busy at work, blogging is always at the bottom of the to-do list. I just wish it was cycling that kept me from the blog and not the office job.
Good luck for the season ahead.

Blogger mags said...


Thank you very much. I really enjoy reading your blog, so keep it up. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, there.

I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I am pretty impressed by your ambitions and training dicipline. I, too, love my bike, but I'm unfortunately not able to train as much as you do.

I've got a few questions for you, though. When you go for your long (4-6 hours) rides, do you bring a backpack to carry extra water bottles? Two bottles will not be enough when you're riding for that many hours. What else do you bring for your endurance sessions? Do you use PowerBar or any other sports nutrition?

Also, how do you stay warm during the winter/spring? I've seen riders like Tom Boonen training in the cold wearing tight lycra shorts and jackets. Do they wear wool underware or something?

One last question: How do you measure the intensity of your training? Do you just use a heart rate monitor, or do you use something more advanced, maybe like a SRM crank? I read your post about "Keeping it simple", and I found it interesting. Do you really not periodize your training at all? And when you talk about zone 5 and zone 3-intervals, what set of zones do you use? Zone 3 can be anything, some people say 80-85% of your maximum heart rate, and some say 70-75%.

Well, that's a lot of questions. I'd really appreciate it if you could at least answer some of them.
Thanks for your time, and good luck in the future!

Blogger mags said...

Thanks for the posting, my friend. I'm glad some of what I write actually is interesting... :)

Before I try to answer your questions, keep in mind that the only way to train such a high volume (anything above 750 hrs a year), is to do it full-time.

Long rides: You are right, on longer rides, 2-3 water bottles can be too little, especially in warmer weather. I never bring a back-pack, but I make pit-stops to refill on fluids. Either at gas-stations, or if I'm running or on the MTB, I simply stop at a creek and fill up my bottles. I have experimented quite a bit with nutrition on longer rides and I think this is very much an individual issue. What works for me, may not work for you. Personally, I've found that a solid meal prior to starting a long session (4-6 hours) is adequate as long as I bring some sort of sports-drink / homemade fruit juice. So no power-bars etc.

Staying warm can be a challenge during the winter - I swear to the Craft line of winter sports wear. Nothing beats the quality and functionality of it. You will stay warm with their products.

Intensity - In a perfect world, everyone should be able to measure intensity in at least a couple of ways. In my opinion, the most effective and important method is still perceived exertion. In other words - how does it feel? Easy? Medium? Hard? Besides that, HR monitor, power meter and lactate measurements help determine training zones. I can't stress enough the importance of knowing your own body though - learn to figure out what is easy, medium and hard. This is often much more accurate than all the fancy, and expensive, gadgets that we use.

I do periodize the training a bit, yes. From October through Januar I focus more on high volume and 1-2 sessions a week of controlled interval (threshold). After that, it's more quality and a bit less volume (higher intensity intervals - Max VO2 training). I probably periodize much less than most riders though. My periodizing really only consists of varying the type of intervals (intensity) throughout the season.

Training zones: In Norway we have a scale from zone 1 through 5 (actually zone 1 through 8, but only 1-5 is interesting for endurance athletes).

The zones can be measured by perceived exertion, HR, lactate etc. If measured by HR:

Zone 1: 60-72%
Zone 2: 72-82%
Zone 3: 84-87%
Zone 4: 87-92%
Zone 5: 94-100%


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