Friday, December 19, 2014

Training - Tale of Two (Trainer) Rides

I did two rides in three days. One went well and one was, well, less than that.

The first night I was so wrapped up in my thoughts while listening to music that my first realization of how much time I'd been on the bike was when I saw 2 hours and 37 minutes on the SRM.

That translated to something just short of midnight so I pedaled a few more minutes then stopped.

Considering how I felt, considering my water situation, I could have realistically gone for at least another hour without feeling bad, maybe another 90 minutes. My goal had been to do an hour of pedaling so the extra was sort of a bonus.

But with two important (aren't they all?) appointments this morning, at 7-ish and 8 AM, I had to stop. The later one is a blood-drawing appointment which means that I'll have some blood values to share. I'm curious myself what my hematocrit will be as I've been aggressively dieting and actually riding somewhat regularly. I figure both will drive my normal 46-49% hematocrit down a bit.

We'll see.

So how do I lose track of time on a trainer?

Well, I can't really answer that since I lost track of time.

I spent the first bit of the session watching the F1 highlight clips produced by the F1 people, the "official race edits". They're a bit light on actual race info but short and fun to watch.

I then started playing playlists of songs off of YouTube. It seems that YouTube automatically does playlists if you pick a song, meaning if I start playing song YouTube will queue up another song, going on endlessly. This made it easy to lose myself in music, the cursor hovering over the "play next song" area so that if the song didn't fit my immediate mood I just clicked the touchpad.

I'd just put my head down and keep going. Many of the songs had no real video, or I didn't care about watching video, so I typically just closed my eyes.

I thought of a stream of consciousness post that I'll do later, so that's one thing that went through my mind.

Another part of it was thinking of the stuff happening in my life. It's all about the family, to paraphrase a popular song, and I'm coming to the end of the first phase of Junior's life, the "stay at home Dad" phase. I've always found change to be good, although I suppose I view change in a positive way. Therefore my primary mission, to find employment, isn't a bad thing.

Although I'll see a bit less of Junior, I'll be able to continue to contribute to the household. If I don't start working then the reality is that I won't be able to contribute, and that's not good.

Stress, even good stress, is stress. Apparently I deal with this by riding while I think. I used to do really long rides in high school, meandering around various towns, not really training as much as meditating on the bike. Now, with some immediate and more important responsibilities (aka Junior and the Missus) I don't feel comfortable kitting up and taking off on a 3 hour night ride. I used to do that, starting as late as 11 PM or midnight, and doing a 2 or 3 hour ride. It was fine then but not now.

I'll have more on exactly what I'll be doing for work later, when things get finalized.

However at this point it's a bit nutty. One opportunity literally fell into my hands yesterday. Another is realistic. And another is a bit of a stretch.

So that's the work part of things.

For the training my emphasis recently is getting down my weight. Even in 2010, when I was pretty fit, I wasn't much lower than about 13% body fat. My target is to return to that weight - right now I'm about 10 lbs over, and it seems like I'm in the low-20s in terms of body fat.

One of the reasons I wanted to ride that night was to work off a 180 caloric overage for the day. I wondered if this is what being a pro is about, or maybe even a better amateur. Or maybe any amateur? I don't know. It's like a game, chasing the calorie count.

Based on MyFitnessPal I would stay pretty even at 2100 calories a day (I logged that many calories one day and it said that I'd weigh the same in 5 weeks). My budget is 1510 calories, so a net loss of about 600 calories daily. Although not exactly accurate I use the "3500 calories is a pound of fat" number for rough estimates. This means that a 600 calorie deficit daily works out to 4200 calories a week, or, very roughly, just over a pound of fat loss.

However I've been pretty aggressive with the burn rate, meaning exercise-related expenditures. On a given day where I ride I will end the day at a net loss to my goal, typically hitting a 400-900 calorie surplus, meaning I was that far under my 1510 target.

It means I netted, for the whole day, something like 1100 calories to a number as ridiculously low as 600 calories.

Yesterday was a bit excessive, at well over 1000 calories under. If the kJ work number is accurate (kJ is typically 95-120% of the number of calories burned) then I took in just over 400 calories for the day.

I took a day off the bike, mainly because I was so fatigued I passed out on the couch trying to play with Junior.

Tonight, the next day, I got on the trainer even though I was only about 30 calories over target. I wasn't hungry, I felt like I could ride a bit even after a very long day with Junior (he was my responsibility from 7:30 AM to 3:55 PM when he finally fell asleep).

After he fell asleep I headed down to the trainer.

And my ride just totally bombed.

I started out spinning a low gear, 100-110 rpm or so, for a good 15 minutes. Then my legs went out from under me. I struggled to hit an hour, then struggled to hit 1:30, then struggled to hit 1:45.

At 1:50 I decided it was enough. At this point I was so fatigued that I was barely turning the pedals, my heart rate was all of about 85 bpm, and riding the bike was just a waste of time.

It's just past midnight now and I'm looking at just under a 700 calorie surplus, meaning I took in 800 calories for the day. That's a solid 1300 calories short of my "maintenance" number of about 2100 calories. It's still very short of my 1510 budget which is a 600 calorie a day deficit.

And I'm not hungry.

Tonight I'd ridden, for the first time, in a size M jersey that even in 2011 (the year after I was light) was a bit snug on me. It's still a bit snug but it wasn't embarrassingly so. I also wore the matching size S shorts (normally I'm a size M). I need to go to the next notch on my belt.

So, for now, I'm making progress. I have another solid day in terms of diet under my belt.

I won't worry about training very hard for another month or maybe even two months, so I have some time to trim down my weight.

We'll see how it goes.

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