Saturday, February 28, 2009


After my recent foray into the magical world of butternut squash soup, I've recently discovered the deliciousness of squash. You can make soup with them, grill them, fry them, or even turn them into Fries! That's not all, I'm going to start experimenting with stuffing them with various things. too good. If you haven't eaten squash in a while, go buy one, look up a recipe, and make it. I can guarantee you won't be disappointed. I think they're quite healthy too. lots of vitamin A, decent vitamin C, and way better than a cup of pasta. I much prefer getting my carbs from natural sources like squash and sweet potato instead of pasta/rice/bread like most other cyclists. I've mostly stuck with Butternut, or Acorn squash, but there are many varieties to try out.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

OCA camp thoughts

Well, I recently returned from the OCA training camp based out of Seneca SC. Although this wasn't my first time that I've gone south to get a week of good training in, it was the first time I did it in a structured group based format. This definitely opened my eyes to the emphasis that roadies put on doing large volume, and low intensity. I have been used to training such that every minute tries to get the most training benefit possible. This is mainly since I don't have that much time to train, and I want to get the most out of every minute spent on the trainer.

It took a few days for the shift to occur mentally. I usually just want to hammer all the time, riding tempo, upper endurance, or threshold ranges most of the time. At the camp, we did some massive mileage, and most of it was done at sub endurance, or just hovering around endurance pace. I'm still not convinced that this type of training is as effective as some people lead me to believe, mainly because the group typically has such massive variations in rider strength, that while one person is getting good fatigue, others are going too easy.

Looking on the bright side, although the volume was huge, due to the low intensity, I should be able to get a good boost in efficiency, and not have to take a recovery week after the camp.
Always climbing up, getting fitter, and hurting the same amount... life is good :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Getting the most from the least

I always end up reading other people's blogs, and then imagining what I would say about myself, if I were to blog, and if anyone would read it, or even care. So, I guess this is a bit of an intro into my first blog.

Anyways, the winter can be very long, and cold, and depressing, especially in Ottawa, where it seems to be unseasonably/unreasonably cold this year. I mean, -30 is just plain rude. Anyhow, as such most of the cyclists in Ottawa who are serious about their training and their fitness resort to riding trainers, going to the gym, and doing XC skiing. This provides a pretty good base for fitness, and is fairly effective in maintaining or even improving on your fitness from last season.

The trainer seems to be a very effective tool, and when you are in a position such as I'm in, and you only have a few hours in the day that aren't taken up by classes, homework, or other pre-established commitments, you are able to get a good workout, including warm up, changing clothes, and cool down in 2-3 hours. If you have the time, and equipment (car, skis, trails) then Skate skiing is wicked, but it takes a lot longer to get that same workout. Also, lets not pretend that anyone who cycles as their main sport is going to be competitive in a world cup Loppet any time soon. I like to push it when i'm skiing, but the fitness that you can devellop when skiing is far different, and less specific than cycling.

One of the key concepts of effective training is the priciple of specificity. I like to view this in a more holistic method... Every workout should have a specific goal. Examples of these goals can be to increase or maintain strength, aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, or simply to refresh your mind and recover for your next hard workout. If you find yourself getting onto your trainer just to fill up your weekly training hours, ask yourself if this is really the best thing to be doing? Whats the purpose of your workout? Are you committed to getting the most out of this workout, or are you just going to get on your bike, watch a movie, and not really care about it?