Went riding yesterday with Lorri Lown of Velo Girls, who is going to be my cycling coach this season. It was really helpful – she pointed out a couple problems with my form, gave me advice for how to practice cornering, and a couple of mini-exercises I could do while cycling. She’s also going to work with me on losing weight once I get back – I’m currently at 150 lbs and would love to lose about 20 lbs. That may or may not be realistic before the Death Ride, but 10 lbs certainly is.
We agreed that it doesn’t make sense for me to start a formal training plan until after I get back from Ghana. So for the next three weeks I’ll be on my own, working at building a “base” so we can jumpstart my training when I get back. I’ll have five months of solid training time between now and the Markleeville Death Ride, and Lorri thinks that should be enough – even allowing for AIDS Lifecycle, which will take place the 2nd week of June. (It will take about three weeks for my body to fully recover from the stress of AIDS Lifecycle, which is 585 miles in a week, so requires quite a bit of energy.)
Plan for the next three weeks:
- Weight training 2x/week (probably Monday-Wednesday)
- Spin classes 2x/week (probably Thursday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday)
- 1.5 hour ride on Saturday
- 2-3.5 hour ride on Sunday (gradually increasing)
Also, before I leave Lorri is going to do a power test on me with the CompuTrainer, so we’ll have a baseline before I start formal training. Every eight weeks she’ll do a test for me, so we can track my progress.
Lorri said she was “very impressed” with my cycling fitness after a nine-week hiatus (“much better than I expected”), so I’m pleased. We did a 25-mile, rolling hills/flat ride, in about two hours. I averaged about 13.5 mph over the entire route, which is not too bad. I still don’t think I’m a fast rider, but Lorri swears I’m not a slow rider either.
On the whole I’m very pleased with the ride and with the prospects for Markleeville – one of the things Lorri said was that my fitness level was probably higher than my cycling self-image. When I started, I was a slow rider with a tendency to injuries, and then of course the last three years has been all about injury rehabilitation – well, the knee is finally back at 100% capacity, and I’m actually a fairly decently-trained cyclist, so perhaps she’s right and it’s time to really see what I’m capable of.
I’m looking forward to working with Lorri – I decided to switch coaches this year because I felt that I needed more mentoring/skills development than Curtis would be able to give me (he lives in South San Jose so it takes me two hours just to get down there). I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to get that from Lorri, so I’m pretty psyched.
More on the training regimen once I return from Ghana.