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Long distance is where it's at - fact!

A place for vegan athletes from all levels and sports to keep their training journals.

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:51 pm

Wednesday
Early 4 am start = too tired to train

Thursday
Had to make up some CV training, but couldn't face getting soaking wet through, again. So headed to the gym and ploughed through 30 minutes on the stationary bike. Constant pace and I was pleased with the level of work I put in. Unfortunately it's not shown on the HRM chart, unless my heart decided to do something rather strange 5 minutes in, I guess I forgot to wet the chest strap!

Image

Decided to have a week off back squats before starting a new cycle.

Front Squats
W/U: 16, 16
25 lb plate: 10
Bar: 5, 5, 5
25 kg: 5
30 kg: 5, 5, 5 - form left something to be desired I think - easily hitting depth but proper tipping forward and having to fight it.

Leg Press
6 block: 10
8 block: 10
10 block: 2
9 block: 4, 6, 6

Abs

Press-ups: 10, 10 - felt tired

Friday
Rest

Saturday - XC Malvern
Managed to organise a ride for a few bestest riding buddies on Saturday.

Image

Easy paced trip out just milling around favourite descents and making the most of the rain-free window after the downpours of late. Finally got a replacement camera for my beloved J10 that died last year - a £35 second hand bargain that is far and away better than the supposedly 'upgraded' finepix I have to suffer for work.

Image

Mojo has gone walkabout. Had a rather abrupt rider-ground interface and was suprised to find no serious resulting damage.

Still, enjoyed the trails none-the-less.

Image

Time: 3:40:22
Distance: 12.37
Climbing: 831 meters
Av HR: 149
Max HR: 189

Sunday - DH Day
Met Johnstuff at Hopton for some HT DH practice. 8)

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Felt wasted. Sore from the crash on Saturday and generally below par. There is no way it can be overtraining, surely? I do so little training compared to a few years ago. Legs were on fire though, even descending I found my quads were cramping. Couldn't get the front wheel to behave half the time, ended up crashing after landing a drop off line and having no way of correcting. Another lucky one with no lasting damage, but I'll be heading for a big one if I carry on riding like an egjit.

Image

Was great to be on the HT's though, especially as Spring finally turned up and, at least for part of the day, fought back the hailstorms to give beautiful views. :D

Image

HT's on downhill courses = so rewarding when things go right. So scary when they don't!

Monday
Rest

Tuesday - Bench Day
10 minute warm-up on bike

Bench
Bar: 10
25 kg: 10
30 kg: 10
35 kg: 10, 10, 8

Shoulder dumbell press
7.5 kg's 10, 10
20 lb: 8, 8, 8

Lat pulls
4 block: 10
6 block: 10
7 block: 4, 4
6 block: 15

Abs
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby bob_summers » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:53 am

interesting to see a stationary bike HR trace. have you thought about going into time trials?!

trails look gloopy there, i don't know how you find motivation - not that i mind getting wet and muddy, it's the constant washing that kills me
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Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby mabli » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:24 am

Do you come to Wales ever? I think new downhill tracks are being done in Ffestioniog that folk seem to be getting escited about...
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:59 pm

[quote="bob_summers"]interesting to see a stationary bike HR trace. have you thought about going into time trials?!

trails look gloopy there, i don't know how you find motivation - not that i mind getting wet and muddy, it's the constant washing that kills me


Time trials? As in pedalling up and down the road on a massively overpriced bike that weighs less than my current wheelset whilst wearing a strange pointy helmet and dodging angry drivers? :P

No, not really - I've never really thought much about TT to be honest. Not in a 'I'm a MTBker and refuse to' way, but just through circumstances not really giving much opportunity here. I wouldn't even know where to start to have a go at TT! I know I certainly wouldn't want to train/ride on the roads habitually, it's just too dangerous. Oh, and it seems like hard work for so little fun (but then I've never really done it so probably don't have the right to comment!).

As for motivation - I didn't have a huge amount of it on Sunday tbh. I just know that suffering through the mud makes me so much more confident when the trails dry back out so I force myself to get out in it. It's definitely working, I'm much more confident this winter than last.

[quote="mabli"]Do you come to Wales ever? I think new downhill tracks are being done in Ffestioniog that folk seem to be getting escited about...


That's North Wales isn't it? We do come over occasionally as have friends in the area, I'll ask around about these tracks and see what's happening with them/how scary they are. Thing with DH courses is, many of them are really so huge that you really need a lot of experience/skills to even be able to make your way down. I am mostly lacking such skills :lol:

Always good to hear about new trails being built though!

Wednesday - evening ride.
Finally the nights are drawing out. :D

It was one of the those very rare workdays where everything goes so well that the joys of flexitime can be used to maximum effect, without the guilt of leaving behind a stack of 'stuff-that-needs-to-be-done'

Image

After a mid afternoon sleep, dog walk and several cups of tea, there was just no excuse left not to get out on the bike and get some miles in in the evening sunlight. A niggling groin strain from yesterday's gym session was at the back of my mind, however, was barely noticeable when pedalling. Heaven, my legs felt good, climbing felt good.

Image

I never felt the need to stop, however circumstances forced me too on several occasions. What with two dodgy mechs, a flat, aggressive vegetation and a necessary photo on the top it was hardly the constant paced ride needed to do to build a decent base for the summer. Brief thoughts passed that perhaps a road bike may be a good idea.........until watching two guys descending the Beacon on tarmac.

Image

Stuff that for a game of soldiers, what a total waste of gravity assisted fun. I'd rather be less fit and get my kicks from the on-off, up-down, stop-start chilled rides, especially with the views to match.

No lights needed until the last 20 minutes, when they lit up blissful drying singletrack at full pelt pace back home.

Thursday
Rest day
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby bob_summers » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:20 am

aye, *whispers in case JBC is around* TTing always seemed a bit masonic to me. Meet at a church hall in the dark, ride up and down a dual carriageway in the rain for an hour, most of the other riders have packed up and gone home by the time you get back, then back to bed before normal people have even woken up.

Very "English" landscapes in the pics! Where are they, Derbyshire? Lovely.
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Se envejece cuando se deja de pedalear"
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:05 am

Pics were from Malvern again Bob :)

It's been that long since I blogged, I forgot what's happened!

Friday 4/3/11 - rest day I think

Saturday 5/3/11 - Nibley, again
Mojo still missing. Rode nevertheless, fell off, generally felt rough. Got back home, felt rougher. Still, was good as ever to see the guys, and see Johnstuff styling it up BIGTIME, and on a HT too!

Image

Sunday 6/3/11 - Dig day.
Rather than drag myself and the big bike all the way to the trails, I just left the bike at home and took the spade. It was a good decision. Digging it totally rewarding and I felt much better by the end of the day. Like I had expended worthwhile energy rather than chasing a missing mojo.

Some digging.....
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....equals some jumping!
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I never thought I would find digging trails to be as satisfying as riding, but it really is. :)

Monday 7/3/11 - Gym
Still not hundred percent, but feeling well enough to go to the gym. Reduced the volume dramatically on back squats for this cycle (to triples), but feck moi, it still left me wrecked for two days!

Warm-up 10 mins on runner

Squats
Free: 10, 10
Bar: 8, 8
30 kg: 5
40 kg: 5
45 kg: 3
50 kg: 3
55 kg: 3, 3, 3

Middle set here:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW0LVqCDb9A[/youtube]

Rows then pulls
Leg press
Abs
Press-ups
Back hyperextensions

Tuesday 8/3/11
Nightriding with very sore legs. Mojo still missing. Every descent, even the easy ones, felt like hard work, my arms were on fire, "this isn't right" "it's got to be more than just my missing mojo" It was. My forks were stuffed. Lack of maintenance strikes again!

Ah well, at least the climbs felt good again!

Wednesday 9/3/11
16 hour work day wasn't much of a rest day for my protesting DOMS afflicted quads

Thursday 10/3/11
Rest
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:59 pm

I'm watching you bob. another slip and I'll make sure JBC knows.


Hope you're feeling better DHD!
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby KaliBaby » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:47 am

[quote="downhillingdemon"]Image

this is my favorite, what a great shot!
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:55 pm

Friday 11/3/11 - Gym
Warm up - CV on bike and rowing. Huge difference in the amount of effort needed for rowing (last 10 minutes on chart below - first section is cycling), It is totally brutal.

Image

Luckily goog came to the gym (very rare occurance) so that gave me a reason to stick out the 10 minutes (to beat him, obviously!)

Bench
12lb dumbells to warm-up
Bar 10
25 kg: 10
30 kg: 5
35 kg: 5
40 kg: 3
42.5 kg: 2
35 kg: 2, 2 (slow down, large pause, fast press)

Standing push press
Warm-ups with 10 kg bar then
20 kg: 8, 8
22.5 kg: 5
25 kg: 5
27.5 kg: 5, 5, 5
Strict press with 20 kg to finish: 10 (ouchy, that hurt!)

Rows with bar 10, 10 to warm up for
pull-ups
4 (woot!), 2, 2

Planks and back hyperextensions to finish

Saturday - Ladies Day
For the first time ever, I went on a ladies only MTB ride. My vegan friend Rosie joined me and we drove to Swindon to meet up with the group at 'Croft Trails'. Let me tell you a bit about the Croft Trails project. In summary, Swindon is as flat as a pancake compared to most MTB destinations. However, a group of locals have set their mind to constructing something fun (with permission) in an area of council land. They have totally succeeded, and even managed to secure funding which has helped a great deal with materials. It's a short trail and is never going to compete with the likes of the big centres, but it offers a real gem to the local MTBkers, and is just so much fun to ride!

Image

Rosie did superbly, having only had her Orange Diva for a short time, she was tackling all the trail obstacles. In fact, it was nice to see all the ladies out and about, there was a real range of abilities, but everyone seemed to be having a great time. Definitely a great way to encourage more ladies to ride.

This is Rosie managing to do that very rare thing of looking good in a cycle helmet!

Image

One thing I realised is that Ladies know how to do a bike ride - meet up, chat a bit, ride a bit, stop for cake, ride a bit more, stop for more cake.....you get the idea. Jodie, the lady that organised it, had been so kind and made vegan carrot and lemon cakes, so those, along with Rosie's rather tasty peanut butter cookies, saw my legs fit for the whole morning ;)

A randomly hiding husband caught some of the action on film and has put together this little edit. I'm the one in the red and white top and Met Parachute helmet.

http://www.vimeo.com/20992309

Sunday - Nant-yr-Arian
We were supposed to be heading to the peaks, but, to be honest, it was just too much to drive up on Saturday night for an early early start on Sunday. So we headed over to Nant-yr-Arian for a leisurely 10 am start with two other couples. It was a decent paced ride, and I was gutted not to have worn the GPS as, 22 miles later, I was utterly exhausted (in a very good way!). It felt great to have finally got a decent 'out there' ride done, especially as, yet again, we had pulled an ace with the weather and the company :D

Image

Image

Nant-yr-Arian is a great trail centre, the big loop follows some of the man-made singletrack before heading out into the wilds via some cracking doubletrack and stunning scenery. Then, just as thighs are beginning to cramp and struggle, the singletrack returns forcing the rider out of the saddle and back on the pace. Well, that's if they have anything left at all. I was mostly wasted by that point, so it was rather unsurprising when I ended up hitting a tree. :lol:

There will be video to follow!

Oh yeah, not only did I survive the tree incident unscathed, my guardian angel was around earlier and allowed me to get out of this with nothing more than wet feet. Wide bars + narrow bridge = fail!

Image

TFF flat pedals!

Image

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Rest, well, actually long drive, long cold day on a snowy Scottish site in a leaking unit = chilled to the bone

Wednesday - Woke up feeling a bit rough, so the planned run on Irvine beach turned into a stroll before the long drive home from Scotland. Few more days off for me now, as it's the big uplift weekend this weekend and I have to be 100%. Squatting will have to wait.
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:20 pm

Right then, first things first, here is a few snippets of footage from Nant-yr-Arian as promised. Just sums up the gorgeous scenic doubletrack and quite how exhausted I was by the time we hit the singletrack!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1P5Ua5kOPE[/youtube]

Thursday and Friday - Rest

Saturday - Bringewood Buffday

Well, I may not always be able to pull off top class riding, but I can seem to pull of top class ride organisation*blows own trumpet*

30 riders travelled from as far as field as Devon, Leeds n North Wales to join myself n Woody for our shared buffday celebration ride. Ok, so the buffday isn't until the 28th, but it was a good enough excuse ;)

The Devon crew kept their promise of bringing decent weather from the South, and Pearce kept their promise of 3 landrovers plus trailers for a full day's riding.

By the end of the day, everyone had a big grin and stories to tell of surviving near misses (or not), pulling off best lines and that one perfect run that could have been.....

I did try and get a bit of headcam footage of a few of the riders, but the dark woods coupled with my, erm, not-so-smooth riding style means it's not the best in the world. Orange Al is first, followed by Johnstuff, goog n then Faffy. On a good day, I can sometimes hang onto the back wheel of Johnstuff and goog, but Saturday I was struggling a bit to keep up so they get a bit out of shot.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krRnvjJ5fhw[/youtube]

There is also a bit of headcam of me on the top section taken by addict. It's great digital cameras are dropping in price so more and more people can make the most of them. So great to have memories of a fantastic day recorded forever :)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoeiQROKEOg[/youtube]

Best part of the day for me was seeing Tom back out on the trails....he's come back from a serious neck injury last year. How wonderful he can ride again.
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby bob_summers » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:47 pm

Very very smooth looking in that last vid DHD. Trail looks a lot of fun too, although the trees always give me the heebyjeebies on film, they seem to pass far too close/fast!
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:40 am

[quote="bob_summers"]Very very smooth looking in that last vid DHD. Trail looks a lot of fun too, although the trees always give me the heebyjeebies on film, they seem to pass far too close/fast!


You think? Interesting, it didn't feel smooth at all! Didn't feel like I had a smooth run all day. I know what you mean about the trees, it's amazing how much faster things feel when you are riding close to fixed objects (that hurt if you hit them :lol: )

Sunday - Bushcombe


Got to ride in the trails at Bushcombe on Sunday with Ian123 and Woody (allowed on special invite ;) ). It felt good to finally see how they ride. The top half is a flowing dream, the bottom half....well, either my skills, or the trail, need a bit more tweaking!

It was such a great chilled atmosphere all morning, with a good number of riders out and soaking up the sun.
Image

Ian123 off the first drop - so much fun, you can hit it as hard as you like :)
Image

Woody
Image

Looking over the valley to Malvern
Image

goog
Image

Here's a bit of headcam goog filmed. I'm riding the top half, he completes the full run.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noDQQBI6sq8[/youtube]

Tuesday - Squat day at gym

Wednesday- Malvern morning
Pulled of a sunny morning ride after working late the evening before. 1.5 hours of utter bliss under blue skies on dry trails with the work phone switched well and truely off.

Got a few pics for the STW weekly photo competition - theme being colours

Dry weather shoes over bituminous black top. (as a note, this was a trial run in non 5:10 shoes, and they felt good. it was liberating not to be dependant on the 5:10 rubber. I'm not sure I'd wear them for full on DH or rocky stuff, but they were great for pootling around in)
Image

Blue skies
Image

Red lion pub
Image

Thursday - bench day at gym. They got rid of the only decent bench. This did nothing to revive my flagging motivation so I just went through the motions and packed off home early.

Friday - rest day
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:01 pm

Saturday - Rhayader
The Rhayader Round - a beautiful mid-welsh epic with some (now slightly famous) techy sections including the notorious gulley. A steep, off camber rocky slab with only a couple of workable line choices.

Image

I wasn't really feeling 100% fit and had a suspicion I might blow up before the end of the ride. Luckily it happened pretty early on (erm, about 2 climbs in...) leaving me the option of cutting the loop short and pootling back to the car. I just don't have the legs for the big epics like I used to, especially when a bit tired.

It was still a fantastic ride though, there is little that beats mid welsh rocky trails, especially on the HT, in the sunshine.

Here's the HR trace. I forgot to start the Garmin so we'd already done three miles by this point - looks like my legs were struggling as much as it felt by the second climb!

Image

Sunday - Wyre Forest
The Wyre is 50 minutes from home, yet this was the first time we'd ridden there. How on earth could we have missed this? Ok, so the perfect trail conditions and top class guiding by Jes may have influenced things slightly, but the stunning singletrack is so well ridden, and so flowing it didn't take long before the only thing that mattered was what was happening right there and then.

Image

Total focus is such a rare thing for me, when it comes, it offers complete escapism from everything. This is the real reason I ride. So funny to find it so close to home.

Here's the HR trace, much gentler start and lots of milling around compared to the Rhayader trip

Image

Monday - Malvern Evening
After Saturday's truncated ride, it's become obvious my legs need a bit of a rest. However, there was no way on earth, no matter how sore they were feeling, that they were going to have it on the last dry day forecast. The last evening of a hazy sunset and perfect trails.

Focus was on a slow start and non-stop steady pace. It was an unusual pleasure to ride pretty much non-stop and it didn't take long (1:08) to get round the 7 and a half miles.

Image

It was nearly not such a steady pace though. The superbig furry cows had escaped the electric fence; one of which had taken up residence on the singletrack. Flying along in the dark you don't expect to find a 1 tonne blockage in the way....a split decision was due 1) try and stop and create a right racket doing so or 2) keep going and hope she doesn't bolt...

I chose option 2. The cow just carried on mowing the grass and didn't even flinch when I flew past!

Tuesday - Rest

Wednesday - Gym
Early 4:15 am start, but managed to get a bit of sleep before getting home. I wasn't expecting much from this squat session, particularly as I wasn't sure I'd loaded the bar right the week before so my 57.5 kg may have been less looking at the video (long story!) and I wasn't sure I'd be able to get even one rep with 60 kg never mind 3x3 and generally (as you can probably tell) was in a bit of a pickle!

So decided on a 'see how it goes' approach. I think it went pretty well. 60 kg for 3x3 was really the goal for this cycle, but with the amount of warm-up confidence building work I needed for the session, I settled for 60 kg for 2x3. I am still pleased. I had a spot so wont put the video up, but here's a still - depth, just about, I think! A good place to end the cycle and drop right back to restart with something new.

Image

Warm-up - 10 minute cycle

Squats:
Free 10, 10
Bar 10, 10, 10 (felt really stiff - tried moving my thumbs over bar, but there was no way my dodgy thumb could take the weight)
30 kg: 5
40 kg: 3
45 kg: 3
50 kg: 3
55 kg: 3
57.5 kg: 3
60 kg: 3, 3

Warm up rows then pulls from dead hang - 3, 3, 3

Inverted sit-ups
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:27 pm

Thursday - Evening Ride
He's a machine, is Wayne, and normally disappears out of sight on the climbs without even breaking into a sweat. Well, tonight the playing field was levelled by his recent extended travels and supertacky tyres....ha! For once (and I mean that very literally, no doubt), I managed to keep him behind on the climbs. :P

It was a great evening, windy, but dry. Pretty high paced for a weekday ride, but a pleasing level of hard work, managed just before yesterdays squat DOMS really kick in.

So much for the easy paced base-building......

Time: 01:37:45
Moving time: 01:30:11
Distance:9.49 miles
Elevation: 607
Av HR: 172
Max HR: 194

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:50 pm

No time, no time! Have been working non-stop since last Monday. Haven't managed anything much - bit of a pootle round some lovely dry singletrack, a mill about tonight, and a brief gym session Friday. Nothing heavy, nothing full on, and I think it's done my legs the world of good.

Bugging to get back training now, but this huge survey is going to keep me tied up for pretty much all of April so will just have to fit in what I can. Keeping a training log will therefore be on the back-burner for a while.
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