#coachnotcoach speaks

November 20, 2018 § 3 Comments

How are things after a week or so of Project Less Sleep? From your blog it seems you went down to 6.0 hours per day. Bold! Dumb, but bold. Didn’t we talk about getting pre-approval before you launch off on stupid shit? Sigh.

I see you are looking at increasing your riding load/volume. A few thoughts:

  1.  Don’t add too much, too soon. It’s a boring and buzzkill cliche, but also packed with truth. Let your mind guide you, but feeling like “Oh, man, I could have done more” is much better than feeling shellacked early in your comeback. Not that you are doing a comeback, since you’ve quit racing. More like a “goaway.”
  2. I’ve found that increasing an hour a week is about all that a fit and dedicated athlete can add, and you’re neither. Taking a rest-ish week every three or four weeks is good to absorb your training, pathetic and half-hearted though it is.
  3. Speaking of absorbing the training, that’s THE GOAL Training puts stress on your body sufficient to stimulate the training adaptation (growth) you want. Think about it like this: You suck, right? And you’ve given up, right? Hmmmm, this is going to be harder than I thought.
  4. In other words, you want to prompt your body to be doing its best growing, not limited to the ugly nose hairs and spiny tufts growing out of your ears. Ecccchh.
  5. You are seeking the best adaptations. Growing muscle. Tolerance of lactate. Capillary beds (with hemoglobin comforters and oxygen pillowcases). Mitochondria that look like mini-elephant erections. Heart stroke volume without the cranial stroke. Red blood cells. Those last four are all aerobic fitness components. The nasal hair, not so much.
  6. The goal of training isn’t to wreck yourself and be a training hero, unless being a training hero is your goal, e.g, Head Down James. Nothing wrong with that, but actually, for you it’s impossible because HDJ already is the training hero and that twin bed ain’t got room for two.
  7. You have one goal, to have your body growing to the best of its ability, as much as possible. Think of it like a bank account. Do you want it to grow smaller? Heck, no. You want it giant, engorged, veiny, and purple with cash. The purpose of riding hard is to induce stress and adaptation, not to be a destroyed and worn out old shoe.
  8. Frequently people think it is heroic to go for a monster ride. They have never had to cut off the heads of enemies with a machete or charge a machine gun nest. Bicycles aren’t heroic, they are silly. Fun, but silly. And monster rides aren’t usually great for training unless you’re Eddy Merckx, and you know how you can tell whether or not you are Eddy? See if anyone talks to you in Flemish. That’s a good place to start.
  9. Monster rides keep you from doing the training you need in the subsequent days, to keep pinging your aerobic system to develop, for example. In other words, when you are destroyed and swallowing fistfuls of peanut butter cupcakes, you’ll find that you can’t work out from the couch. So you’re likely better doing three-hour rides than a 12-hour beatdown that takes three days to become ambulatory and two weeks to get your bowel movements back.
  10. With monster rides, you’re so wrecked that you can’t go hit your system again the next day or two. And your body will keep growing and strengthening its systems only if you stress those systems, which is why I generally avoid days off. Days off are for losers. So you might want to take them. A lot.

Anyway, I only had five minutes to dash off this superficial note. I’ll send you something more detailed and substantive when the check clears, or when the credit card numbers you keep giving me actually work.



How tired are you?

November 15, 2018 § 5 Comments

I was talking to a friend who said “Man, I am tired. My legs feel terrible.”

“Then you should rest,” I said

“Are you crazy? Tired legs mean you’re fit.”

I shook my head. “That’s nuts.”

Then I remembered a conversation I once had with Derek the Destroyer. “Best results come when your legs are tired,” he had said.

“That’s fucked up,” I had dismissed it.

A couple of days ago I was having coffee with my coach. Actually I don’t have a coach. He is more like a friend. Actually, I don’t have any friends. He is more like someone I bought a cup of coffee for. Actually, he hates coffee.

“So what’s all this bullshit about tired legs being good?” I asked.

“It’s true. Tired legs mean you are fit.”

“Dude, my legs are fuggin’ NEVER tired.”

He shrugged. “You’re proving my point.”

“So are you always tired then?”

“Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

“Like how tired?”

“I fall asleep mid-day. Can’t focus. Constantly disoriented.” Then he nodded off mid-sentence. I shook his shoulder.

“So I should be more tired?”

He blinked like an owl. “Where am I?”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” I said. “2019 is gonna be the year of the tired, starting now.”

Coachnotcoach nodded, smiled, and drifted back off.

Getting on the program

I went home and took out my trusty notepad to sketch out my training plan. Obviously I had been going way too easy on myself. I get up at 4:30 AM every morning, and since I go to sleep at 9:30, that’s a whole seven hours of sleep. I immediately penciled in 3:30 as my new wake-up time.

Then I reviewed my usual schedule, which looks like this:

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Easy spin

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Brisk pedal

Friday: Coffee cruise

Saturday: 3 hour spin

Sunday: Rest day

Factoring in my new training plan, which was to always be tired, I came up with this revised schedule:

Monday: Easy 3-hour spin

Tuesday: Ten 30-sec. intervals followed by NPR, followed by 20 miles of hard climbing

Wednesday: 1-hour all-out effort

Thursday: 4-hour climbing ride with The Big One, Anchovy, Friendship Park, Domes x 2, Via Zumaya, the Woods repeats x 3

Friday: 50-mile coffee cruise with one 20-minute threshold effort

Saturday: 40-mile warm-up, Donut Ride, 40-mile cool down

Sunday: 150-mile easy recovery ride

No slack in the schedule

It was pretty obvious that the above schedule was going to tire me out so that I would really be able to go fast, but it seemed like I’d overlooked something, and I had: Nutrition. Turns out I am overeating for a true exhaustion training plan, so I went through my normal diet, which looks like this:

  1. Breakfast: Piece of bread
  2. Lunch: Piece of bread with a teaspoon of peanut butter
  3. Snack: Half a small banana
  4. Dinner: 100g of plain pasta with salt

This type of gluttony wasn’t going to cut it, so I went immediately for the overage (and I know it’s hitting you in the face like a bucket of spit), which is clearly the banana. So the new Exhaustion Diet looks like this:

  1. Breakast: Half a piece of bread
  2. Lunch: Small cup of water
  3. Snack: Smaller cup of water
  4. Dinner: Salt

Anyway, please check back soon as I will be updating this blog with the results of my new training plan. You are free to use this plan, but please give me proper attribution.



Special movie news, from my friend Kurt Broadhag: There will be a screening of the RAAM movie on Nov. 28th at the AMC Galleria South Bay 16 at 6:30 pm. For the show to go through, he needs 40 more people to purchase tickets within the next five days. You can get tickets at: https://tickets.demand.film/event/6316

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