Monday, 28 February 2011

Snow Dayssss

Nope, SNOW, it ain't going to stop me from enjoying my time back in Victoria, no matter how hard it tries!! After one day of creative cross training, including walking in knee deep snow for hours on end, swimming and other gym activities, I threw in the hat and headed back outside to ride. Being an Alberta girl I figured -4 in the snow wouldn't be too bad...ya -4 in Victoria, for 3 days in a row!!! Well, I was very wrong, the cold damp wind off the ocean made for a couple really really chilly wet rides. But I MUST do volume so I am proud to say that I managed two 3 hour mountain bike rides without crashing on the gnarly ice.

Saturday I managed to con Regan into a mountain bike ride with me, which actually ended up being really really great. The snow packed singletrack trails added that little extra technical and physical demand that left us both whipped at the end of the day. Sunday wasn't as enjoyable, with warmer weather it was raining instead of snowing, and the soft snow was turning to thick wet slush. .....very, very hard to ride in.....on the other hand it turns into a great strength workout (both upper and lower body).

I want to welcome Genuine Innovations to my team of sponsors for 2011. Genuine Innovations is the World leader in high pressure valve products such as CO2 inflators. Not only as a racer, but just a rider in general, nothing can put a kink in a great ride like a flat tire, and although you never want to have to use their products, it's inevitable that you're going to need to at one point in your career and nothing beats having a Big Air CO2 to re-inflate your tire and get you riding again as fast as possible

I do have to say, my new favorite product is the Tubeless Tire Repair Kit!!!! I've been a cyclist for 8 years and I've seen the beginning of the tubeless tire revolution, but for some reason this cool product eluded me. About a month ago, I was mid way through a 4 and a half hour mountain bike ride with Regan and Melanie McQuaid and I flatted, small rip in the tread of the tire to which the Stans seemed to just not want to plug......something that has been happening a lot to me lately. I was getting ready to put in a tube and pump it up....when Mel said "Do you want a tire plug??" Well, I've definitely heard of those for vehicle tires, but I really didn't realize there was such a thing for mountain bike tires. I've been riding that tire hard with the same plug in it for a month now and I haven't lost any pressure. If you know me, I have a hard time getting rid of something if it still has life in it so this is awesome. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't start a race with this tire (that's just tempting fate), but I am thrilled that I can still train on that tire!!

Just when I thought things were looking up, it starts snowing again...haha.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Got them dirty!!

But man oh man, these Sidi winter shoes are awesome in the cold weather. Decided to brave the snow today, and my toes were very happy!!!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Really? REALLY???

Yup, just planted seeds in my garden yesterday...haha, must have stepped on a spider.

So much for my week of volume. Today's workout...
Walk to the gym, in mid calf deep snow...30 mins
Spin bike for 90 mins
Elliptical Machine for 30 mins
Swim for 20 mins
Walk to Pro City Cycle in almost knee deep snow....30 mins
Grab a Timmy's half and half on the way, all this snow was just screaming Canadian coffee
Walk to Blockbuster and the grocery store, still almost knee deep.....10 mins
Walk home, definitely knee deep in a couple places.....50 mins

I am pooooooooped....haha

Oh ya, this was the view on the weekend, what a change!!!!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Fitness Anywhere

Back in Victoria, and of course, I brought with me the cold weather....oh well, gonna make me tough!!!!! Did my first set of intervals outside for the season...OUCH!!! I actually don't mind doing intervals inside on the trainer, but I can never seem to push myself as hard inside as I do outside. I don't think that I actually end up pushing myself harder outside then I do on the trainer, but intervals outside just feel more satisfying.

I want to officially welcome TRX Suspension Systems to my team of sponsors that are helping me meet top fitness and performance for the 2011 race season. I am pretty excited about this little tool from, for it's versatility and ease of use. It's a really neat network of heavy duty webbing that can be anchored to the ceiling or with a small attachment can be hung off the back of a door, that offers an unlimited number of possible exercises. I always find it really difficult to maintain my strength workouts while traveling, but the TRX packs up so small it can go anywhere I travel this summer. Using just your body weight and the TRX, you can work out and strengthen pretty much every muscle group in your body.

I just got a physical assessment done today by Paul McIntrye of the Broadmead Physio clinic in Victoria, the first one that I've ever done. For some reason I've never thought to get something like this done before, but it makes perfect sense as a professional athlete trying to maximize my performance and minimize my down time due to injury. All and all, I'm in pretty good shape....PHEW....a little tight in a couple of areas and a little week in my butt muscles. My butt, really!!! If I work my butt out anymore it's gonna be huge; I really hope Regan like booty! Off to watch the TRX demonstration video to see which exercises will help me with my butt.

Happy Trails

Monday, 14 February 2011

More then just cycling

With three days left in my second rotation up north, I've almost finished my interval block, along with a lot of cross training filling in the gaps in my days. Running, snowshoeing, strength and my favorite, cross country skiing. Skate and classic skiing are absolutely great full body workouts, no matter how hard or slow you go. It's one of the few activities that employs major upper, lower and core muscle groups all at the same time. Due to the fact that all these other muscles are being fired to propel myself forward, rather then predominately just the leg muscles as in cycling, it's a whole heck of a lot easier to get my heart rate up into the endurance zone (or way way above). No wonder a one hour "easy" ski feels very similar to the body as a 3 hour endurance ride.

Why, you may ask, would a cyclist want to workout non-cyclist specific muscles such as arms? You'd be surprised how often, especially as a mountain biker, the "other" muscle groups are used while riding, particularly the core. I have found through trial and error that my core strength is inversely correlated to my lower back pain; the stronger my core, the less likely I am to experience back pain on longer rides....funny thing.

Oh ya, another great thing about cross training other then just working out and strengthening all other stabilizing muscles..........I am sooooo excited to get back outside on the bike again!!!! Three more days till West Coast Heaven.

I have to send my cross bike back to Trek Toronto, so I'm left with my Trek 6700, and it's gonna get lots of road and trails miles chasing Regan around.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Switching Gears

Being stuck up in the frigid white north again...however am I going to get myself ready for racing in...WOW....just over a month!! I can not believe, and I say this every year, just how fast the "off season" goes by. I am also very surprised and pleased with how good I feel after 2 weeks and 40 hours of good riding. The human body is a wonderful machine and it really is amazing what your body can get used to. Not even 2 years ago I know that I wouldn't have survived that kind of solid volume without getting really sick or burnt out. I'm not saying that it was a walk in the park, there were a couple days I woke up feeling that I'd be okay with just staying in bed, but once I got out and riding I was good. That's when good riding partners are extremely important, if you know someone is waiting for you to ride, you're a lot more motivated to get out and ride.

So now here I am back at work, definitely not able to get nearly as much volume in. I am most definitely not one of those people that can do repeated 3 or 4 hour trainer rides. So now what??? Well, shift my training a little into an intensity block. Lower volume and higher intensity (yes intervals) with some strength, cross county skiing, snowshoeing and running thrown into the mix. I actually love and really value any time that I get to cross train, almost as much as cycling.

This is where the magic happens.

It's pretty funny, after taking 2 weeks off of "planned intensity" and just riding, I was actually really excited to start doing some structured training rides again. So there it is, I'm currently in my 2 weeks of intensity, then back home to the beautiful Victoria for some more volume!!

On a separate note, this season I will be riding for Trek Pro City out of Victoria, BC, and I am very excited about this opportunity. I want to send out a huge thank you to Barry Near from Trek Toronto Store for everything that you have done for me over the past 2 years. It has been great working with him, however the goals of the team and myself are going in slightly different directions and I felt the need to pursue my goals as best I can. I will definitely still be flying the Trek logo and riding the wicked Trek Bikes!!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Cabin Fever

So I've been stuck back up north in camp since wedesday and I'm going to admit I'm getting pretty bored. Things are moving pretty slow with the current well, so needless to say, I'm spending a lot of time "relaxing".....good thing it's my rest week. But today, I finished my trainer workout (intervals!!!!), did a good stretch, ate lunch and I was really bored by I asked "Lee, got anything that I can do?? I'm getting cabin fever (or trailer fever in my case) here!"

So I went hunting orange tape with my snowshoes...good way to get some extra base miles:)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Italian Shoes

Oh ya, nothing like a bunch of hot Italian shoes to make a girl very, very happy.....yes, bike shoes make me very happy, Sidi shoes make my feet very, very happy!!! I don't know if you've ever had the pleasure of wearing Sidi shoes before, but it's like wearing your most comfortable pair of slippers.....but they look like your sexiest stilettos.

Yup, giggle giggle, that's right, 3 pairs. In the middle is the Sidi Carbon Dragon SRS, with super stiff carbon sole, Sidi's comfortable soft instep strap system and their adjustable heal retention device that can be tightened down easily to prevent heal slip....amazing!!!! These are going to be my XC race shoe for 2011.

The black pair on my left foot....oh, I'm excited about these guys....the Sidi Mountain Diablo Gore....ya...Gore-tex!!! I think these shoes were made for winter riding in Victoria!!! 3 velcro straps over the foot and a large velcro strap around the ankle seals the shoe right off. Wish I had them all winter.

No, my excitement over the Carbon shoes and the Gore shoes definitely doesn't dwarf my excitement over my new red shoes! The new Sidi Spider SRS are going to be great for cyclocross. Rubber toe cup to protect the shoe front bumps, such as hitting barriers, and a more relaxed heel cup great for dismounting and running. And the great SRS (Sole Replacement System), also found on the Dragon and other models, helps to prolong the life of my favorite Sidi shoes. And did I mention...RED!!!!

I want to send a huge Thank You to Rob at Vellendtech for hooking me up with these Sidi shoes for 2011...I am so excited to rock them all year. Definitely will have shoe action shots coming in the near future.

pictures from reganpringleshoots