6 week Iceman Cometh Training Plan

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Photo Credit: bryanmitchell.photoshelter.com

It’s that time of year already! Monday September 23 marks 6 weeks until Iceman. Iceman is one of best events we have in Michigan. Many of you sign up because it’s a good challenge and in a sick way it sounds fun. Remember, while you’re training and racing to have fun! This training plan is a guide and should give you some ideas. This isn’t a special formula that you have to follow. If you put time in on your bike you’ll do great. This training plan has you putting in 6-8 hours a week. Most of training for Iceman can be done on the road but try and make it to a trail at least once a week. As the days get shorter you may end up doing a few of these workouts on the trainer. With light technology these days you can avoid the trainer and even start your workout in the dark. The longer endurance rides try and get outside.

This training plan has you riding 4 days a week. You can have a great Iceman riding 3 days a week…but studies have shown you can gain a lot by training 4 days instead of 3 days a week. The gains training 5 days a week are still there but aren’t as great. Everyone has different schedules so you’ll have to figure out what days you have time to do what workout. Make sure the intensity workouts you are well rested. For all the workouts make sure you’ve had something to eat before. Doing workouts tired or on an empty stomach aren’t as effective. At the bottom I’ve listed a few good races and events that can help you train and put in miles without doing it on your own.

Race Day Tips:

If you’re traveling to the race bring clothing for all conditions. Even the morning of the race bring a decent amount of clothing to the start incase the weather changes. The thing people like about Iceman is the unknown of what conditions you’ll be dealing with on race day. Kalkaska were the race starts can be a little colder then the finish so look at the weather for Kalkaska and Traverse City.

As far as the race goes save some energy for the final 3rd of the race as that’s were the hills are and you’ll need some legs. You can save energy in the beginning by staying calm in the singletrack sections. If you get caught behind someone slow take a second to recover until there is time to pass. Trying to pass when there’s no room is risky and wastes energy.

Post race is a great time to tell race stories with your friends and those around you. Try and get your sweaty wet clothing off and slip into something dry as you’ll be able to hang out longer without getting chilled.

Training Plan:

Week 1: Build

Day 1: Ride 1.5-2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: Ride 1.5 hours with long intervals: (20 min warm-up) 3×10 min at a solid tempo (Zone 3). 10 min easy between.

Day 3: 2-3 hours endurance ride zone 2. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 4: 1 hour Intensity: If you have a local race do it! If you’re going to go training do a 15 min warm-up then do the following 2 times (2 minutes zone 4, 2 minutes easy, 1 min 40 seconds zone 4, 1 min 40 seconds easy, 1 min 20 seconds zone 4, 1 min 20 seconds easy, 1 min zone 4, 1 min easy, 40 seconds zone 4, 40 seconds easy, 20 seconds zone 4, 20 seconds easy.  After doing this 2 times do 15 min easy.

*Gravel Fondo Sunday October 2

Week 2: Build

Day 1: Ride 1.5-2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: Ride 1.5 Hours with intervals: 20 minute warm up, 4 times 5 min at threshold zone 4. Take 5 minutes easy between each interval. 20 min easy to warm down.

Day 3: 2-3 hours endurance ride zone 2. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 4: 1 hour Intensity: If you have a local race do it! If you’re going to go training do a 10 min warm-up then the following: 4 times 5 min of 40 seconds hard zone 5 20 seconds easy with 5 min easy between each 5 minute interval. 10 min warm down after.

Week 3 Recovery

Day 1: Ride 1-1.5: Fun ride at a trail or a favorite easy loop. Take it easy and smell the leaves.

Day 2: Ride 1.5-2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 3: Ride 2 hours Zone 2

Day 4: Ride 1 hour fun intensity: Do a local race or head out on the road or trail and mess around with going fast when you feel like going fast. Going fast for 1 hour isn’t necessary. More like go hard up a couple hills or sprint for a stop sign or two.

Week 4: Build

Day 1: Ride 2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: Ride 1.5 Hours with intervals: 20 minute warm up, 4 times 5 min at threshold zone 4. Take 5 minutes easy between each interval. 20 min easy to warm down.

Day 3: 2.5-3 hours endurance ride. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 4: 1 hour Intensity: If you have a local race do it! If you’re going to go training do a 15 min warm-up then the following 2 times (2 minutes hard Zone 4, 2 minutes easy, 1 min 40 seconds Zone 4, 1 min 40 seconds easy, 1 min 20 seconds zone 4, 1 min 20 seconds easy, 1 min zone 4, 1 min easy, 40 seconds zone 4, 40 seconds easy, 20 seconds zone 4, 20 seconds easy.  After doing this 2 times do 15 min easy.

Week 5: Build

Day 1: Ride 2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: 1.5 Intervals: 20 minute warm up, 4 times 5 min at threshold zone 4. Take 5 minutes easy between each interval. 20 min easy to warm down.

Day 3: 2.5-3 hours endurance ride zone 2. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 4: 1 hour Intensity: If you have a local race do it! If you’re going to go training do a 10 min warm-up then 10 times 1 minute Zone 5 1 minute easy. 10 minutes easy then 5 times 40 seconds Zone 5 hard 20 seconds easy. 10 minutes warm down.

 Week 6: Recovery

Day 1: Ride 1-1.5: Fun ride at a trail or a favorite easy loop. Take it easy and smell the leaves.

Day 2: Ride 1.5 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 3: Pre ride the finish of the race before or after picking up your packet. Remember you’re not racing yet. I’ve seen people out riding the finish the evening before the race going faster then they will be in the race. It’s okay to get your heart rate up a little while you’re riding the finish the day before but save it for the next day!

Day 4: Race Day!!  Warm-up can be rolling around before the start and maybe throwing in there a minute or two of tempo. Otherwise use the road section at the start to warm up.

Training Zones:

Training zones can be done using power, heart rate or feel.  When using feel we use the RPE (rate of preserved exertion) scale. 1 being this is easy to 10 being my goodness made it stop.

To figure out your training zones from power or heart rate you need to do a field test. This is easiest done on a trainer. After a solid warm up you will do a 20 minute effort as hard as you can go without slowing down. Try to average the highest power that you can for the duration. Don’t go out to hard and pay the price later. We want you to finish strong. After you’ve done 20 minutes we want your average HR for the 20 minutes. This we’ll call your FTP or functional threshold power. We then calculate that as a percentage to get your zones. Below in the zone chart you’ll see what % off of your average HR is appropriate for each zone. If you’re using power take your average wattage and multiple by .95 and that will give us your FTP. Below on zone chart you’ll see what percentage of your FTP each zone should be.

Zone 1: Active recovery, Easy Spinning, RPE <2 (HR <68%) (Power <55%)

Zone 2: Endurance, All day pace or classic long slow distance, RPE 3-4 (HR 69-83%)(Power 56-75%)

Zone 3: Tempo, fast group ride paceline, RPE 5-6 (HR 84-94%)(Power 76-90%)

Zone 4: Lactate threshold, above time trial pace, RPE 7-8 (HR 95-105%)(Power 91-105%)

Zone 5: Vo2 Max, This hurts a lot!! RPE 8-10 (HR 106-120%)(Power 106-120%)

Great Events to use as Iceman Training

October 2nd  Gravel Fondo at Virtue Cider by Velo City Cycles: A 18 or 36 mile gravel road ride. Great endurance day training ride.

October 6, 20, and 27th Mountain Bike-tober: A free practice race by Velo City Cycles at Pigeon Creek on Thursdays

October 8th Founders Fall Fondo: On the Barry-Roubaix course. A gravel road ride good to build your endurance and get a little climbing in.

October 8th Gears and Beers Iceman Pre Ride: Einstein Cycles does a pre ride on the Iceman course.

October 15th Peak to Peak Mountain Bike Race: A great race at Crystal Mountain to see how the legs are shaping up.

October 30th Kisscross Cyclocross Races: October 30th. Make sure to come to the one November 27 in Holland too!

 

Start to the US Season

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The season is well underway for me and the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. We’ve been racing in Argentina, Australia, Oman, Qatar, and Taiwan but we’ve just begun our season her in the US. When we race here in the US we are the team to beat. Especially when it comes to the criterium circuit. We’ve worked hard on race strategy and tactics. We’ve worked hard on our fitness and we started the season off well, but have missed the top step so far. It hasn’t been from a lack of trying or good racing. It’s what happens in racing and that’s the beauty of this sport. You have to be strong and tactically smart but sometime you have to get a little lucky too.

This past weekend at the US Pro Criterium Championships we raced a great race. It’s always a little different having new team members coming into a system you have so dialed, but the new guys did great and fell right into their role. You can watch the full race replay here or forward to near the end. I was really proud of the team for racing so well. Lots of people see what we do and say it’s easy but if it were easy everyone would be doing it and they aren’t. Everything was going to plan until the final corner our riders scrubbed a little speed and Brad Huff got a good run and had a great kick beating us. It’s always tough losing especially when everyone raced well and we were so close but that’s how it goes sometimes. Brad had a great run and sprint and earned it.

We’re now in Arkansas getting ready for the Joe Martin Stage Race. We have an uphill Time Trial followed by two road stages and a criterium. Even though we lost the team has high moral and expectations going into this race. Last year we were able to win 2 stages and the overall on the last day.

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Tour of Qatar in the Bank

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“That tour’s in the bank boys, miles in the legs, they can’t take that out. ”  ~Karl Menzies

Tour of Qatar started off with a 15 hour plane ride from Miami, FL and an 8 hour time change. Not 30 hours from landing we were racing full speed in the gutter with wind whipping sand across the road.

“Qatar is not a normal race. It’s special.” ~Marco Canola

This is a special race. Everyday everyone is fighting for position because an echelon will form and the road is only so big. Everyday there are crashes. Everyday the field will split into groups and no matter if you’re in the front group or last group you’re going as hard as you can. For this race I had a 54 tooth front chainring, and yes, I spent a bit of time in the 54×11 as we hit top speeds of 50mph on the flat dessert roads with average speeds between 28 to 30 mph for more than 100 miles.

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We gave it our best shot. The team had some strong performances against some world class competition. Personally, I felt like the legs were coming around each day for the effort that is required at race pace compared to training. The team started moving better together by the end of the race and Marco Canola was 10th on the final stage. Not a result that we are normally happy with but we have to be realistic in the end.

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We’ll take what we got from here and move onto the next race which starts in just a few days. We have a little down time today to enjoy the nice place we are staying before flying out to Oman. Oman is more of a “normal” race. By the looks of the profiles there will be lots of climbing.

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Season Opens in the Desert

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After a couple months of preparation it’s time to get this 2016 season underway. This year my season starts at Tour of Qatar. This will be my first time racing Tour of Qatar. I’ve heard plenty of war and horror stories about this race. If you’ve seen pictures you can tell the race blows apart every day due to cross winds. There’s no such thing as easing into the season but sometimes you can hide. In Qatar there is no where to hide.

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Are you ready? I get asked this often before the first race of the season. Many of you know I live in a very opposite climate to Qatar. The Michigan winter has been pretty tame for the most part but winter and snow are not friends to a professional road racer. Going into the first race of the year is always tough to know where the body and form will be. It’s a long season so I prepare physically and mentally the best I can and then give it everything. If it goes well then great! If it goes bad there’s a lot more racing to come. I’ve had fun preparing for the season with fat bike rides, nights rides, and very few trainer rides. The mental freshness is important heading into a long season. Even if I suffer a little in the fist few races it was worth not pounding out crazy hours on the trainer.

How do you deal with the heat coming from Michigan? This is another question I get asked a lot. Luckily the temperatures don’t look too bad but it will be an adjustment. That’s not the only adjustment we’ll be dealing with. Usually we get in a few days ahead of the race. After 27 hours of travel and an 8-hour time change we’ll have one day before we start racing. It’ll be crucial to hydrate as much as possible while flying. We’ll be in the Middle East for about 3 weeks. After the Tour of Qatar we stay and Race Tour of Oman. Oman will be more hilly which is a race that riders like Contador and Froome do well at where Qatar is more for the Classics riders like Boonen and Cancellara. A lot of the guys who want to be flying at the classics use these races as preparation. I’m not sure of exact schedule yet I but these races will get the legs going for the upcoming season.

 

 

Mechanics 101 Classes

Mechanics 101 with Brent

Park Tool School at Velo City Cycles – a novice class
3-week classes – Mondays, February 8, 15 and 22  (second class March 7, 14, 21)
6-8pm
Tuition Cost: $150
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike)
Class Curriculum/Benefits:

  • BBB-3 Textbook
  • Expert knowledge and demonstrations
  • An overview of the entire bike focusing on cleaning, inspection of bike, tires & tubes, repair and basic adjustment to shifting and breaks.

Spots are filling up! Call today to reserve yours! 616-355-2000

1-on-1 Mechanic Training with Brent or Nate
Learn to tune-up your own bike, while actually fixing it at the same time! Get some 1-on-1 training with your favorite mechanics. We can customize the training to whatever gaps are in your knowledge.

$120 for a two hour class
Stop in or call to schedule a your training! 616-355-2000