Journey To H2H – Goals And Objectives

Michael Henry Rocks... on a bike
Michael Henry Rocks… on a bike

Update: I am STILL recovering from a calf injury that I sustained in January of this year (2016).  All activity beyond just existing has provoked it so I’ve shut everything down.  Therefore no H2H for me this year.  I hope to be able to get to riding before long and will use the Winter to rebuild fitness and establish some sort of base.

I’m planning an Imperial Century for 2016.  I’ve already done one of them ( H2H ) so the actual goal of riding 100 miles isn’t my burning desire.  I certainly want to do it again but I’m going to make it the end result and not necessarily the goal.  It’s the lettering on the icing on the cake.  Some of my objectives will occur as a result of the 100 miles itself however.

I’ll list the goals and objectives and then chatter about them below.

  1. Ride Result – Ride the Imperial Century at a much healthier bodyfat % <- I could stop here, actually
  2. Ride Result – Average 15 mph during ride time
  3. Ride Result – End ride in good physical and mental shape
  4. Get to 50 mile distance as soon as possible
  5. Achieve 100 mile weeks by outdoor or trainer rides starting first week in April 2016

All the above serve goal and objective #1.

Chatter

Ride Result – Ride the Imperial Century at a healthier body fat %
What’s this mean?  If I’m eating right, recovering properly, and putting in the work then in theory almost each say I’m at a healthier body fat %.  Goal met too soon?  Well technically yes but I’m shooting generically for 12% body fat.  Is that what is right for me?  Not sure, I won’t know until I approach it.  Could be that I need to be above that but I doubt it.  Could be that I need to be below that … maybe.

By getting there (properly) my fitness will increase and I will arrive (or come close to) my target BMI, whatever that is.  I’m picking 200 lbs as the body weight I would be at as it seems right according to the mirror.  I’ll let my body fat % determine the weight my scale says though.

Ride Result – Average 15 mph or more during ride time
The Dayton Cycling Club has rider classifications which go from “D” (9-12 MPH for 20 miles) all the way up to “AA” (22+ MPH for 100 miles).  Right now I consider myself at a “C” (12-15 MPH for 40 miles) classification.  Averaging 15 MPH or more for a distance of 65 miles results in a “B” classification if done during an official ride.  Obviously 100 miles satisfies the 65 mile requirement, I just have to figure out how to make my planned ride an official event.

End ride in good physical and mental shape
Completing the ride isn’t the goal.  I’ve done an Imperial Century when I wasn’t properly prepared and it was painful.  I was actually hoping my bike wold break in half around mile 80 so I could stop.  I wouldn’t allow myself to quit but if my bike broke?  THEN I would HAVE to stop!  I don’t want to do a fun 100 that same way again.  I’m sure I’ll attempt some distance in the future where I’ll end in pain, like a 200 miler, but for a distance I’ve already done I want to prepare and ride it to finish in good spirits and physical condition.

Get to 50 mile distance as soon as possible
Fifty miles seems to be a distance that I can achieve even if I don’t have a massive amount of time.  I could do it in the morning as part of my commute if I wanted.  That would be ONE HECK of a morning commute  but if I could pull that off as well as a weekend 50 miler I’m well on my way to increasing my fitness and satisfying an exercise component of my healthier me.

According to the MapMyRide.com calorie estimator if I rode 50 miles (using my age, height, weight) at 15 MPH at medium intensity I would burn 3500-4,500 Calories.  Wow!  Even if that is the normal over-estimation that the calorie estimators give I will still assume it would be a TREMENDOUS way to start to my day.

How realistic is it to ride 50 miles and still be in my office at 8 am?  Not sure.  It is an opportunity that I have the time for but I just need to have the will power to get up early enough to get it done.

Achieve 100 mile weeks by outdoor or trainer rides starting first week in April 2016
Part of getting to 50 milers as soon as possible means that when I can get outside in the spring I need to have a decent base that has been maintained or built in the cold months.  I already have started getting my indoor trainer setup going but the challenge is to make it interesting.  Many experience this “make it interesting” challenge so I’ll be doing plenty of reading to look into the various virtual apps, mind games, etc.

Journey To H2H – The Problem Is …. Recovery

The time required to get ready for the Hofbräuhaus 2016 isn’t an issue.  I can get up early enough during the week to get in my needed time in the saddle.  I’ve just got to do it.  I’ve been getting up at 5 am now a few times a week so I just have to make sure I get to bed in time to not run down as the week progresses.  I may not be able to get in longer and longer rides but that’s something I’ll just have to deal with.

So let’s eliminate time as an uncontrollable factor.

Effort?  Sure.  Dedication and perseverance?  Sure.  Those are things I can control so let’s eliminate them as an uncontrollable factor.

Right now I’m doing CrossFit three or four times a week depending on my schedule.  I prefer FIVE times a week but that would  mean M-T-W, F-S which as fastpitch season arrives I won’t be able to accomplish due to game schedules.  As the bike hits the path I couldn’t do five days of CrossFit and bike sufficiently either because of the one thing I can only highly influence yet can’t control.  That thing is RECOVERY.

If I was a finely tuned athlete I could do a 6 am workout then recover and do a lunchtime ride.  My goal is to get to that as that is what endurance athletes do.  Not sure I’m that just yet or would be able to get there anytime soon.  I think in order to do both on the same day I’d have to cruise through one to have enough energy to get through the other.  Part of my strategy MAY be to do both at moderate pace one day a week and that would be an interesting experiment but I’ll have to give that more thought.  CrossFit Endurance have some workouts where you do both in the same day with a minimum of 3 hours rest between the two.  At what level do you need to be at in order to do that?  I don’t know but I’m going to explore it along with my CrossFit coach.  If I COULD do a good job at two workouts in one day on M-W-F that would allow for a day of recovery (T, Th) between.  One could make a few arguments for and against that approach.  In the end it comes down to the ability to get in the proper workouts with the proper recovery and move along the path towards the goals.

Speaking of my CrossFit coach I am working with someone that is far more knowledgeable than I am.  She is going to do a bit of research to see what would be a good initial approach for someone who wants to do CrossFit, train for a distance ride, is on a health journey, and has the time I have committed to.

In my next post I’ll lay out what my “As It Stands Right Now” plan is.  I’m sure that Plan won’t Stand.

Journey To Hofbräuhaus 2016 – Setup

In early Jan 2016 I started CrossFit to “add some morning cardio” and I quickly found it was much more, of course. Prior to joining I committed to organize and ride in a 100 mile bicycle event the weekend before Halloween. I committed to that to give myself and a few others a goal to encourage us to get out and ride for our health and to have a fun reward at the end. Three years ago we did this same event and it was painful yet fulfilling.  I had started that year VERY overweight and at a base of ZERO miles on the bike.  The group that went decided to do it again so it was set.

Along the way I’m also continuing a weight loss journey. More specifically instead of being on a weight loss journey I’m actually on a “Healthier Body Fat %” journey. We know they are not the same, right? However when many say “weight loss” that’s what they mean. Others don’t mean that. So… if I slip and say “weight loss” know I am just looking to get leaner in a healthy manner.

CrossFit is helping me get “functionally fit”.  This means moving towards a healthier body fat %, correcting muscular imbalances (quads to hamstrings, rear shoulders to front, etc), controlling my body in space (balance, getting up and down from the floor) and generally improving health and wellness.

The fastest way for me to get functionally fit is to continue with CrossFit as my primary physical outlet and put riding my bike as secondary.  However since I’ve committed to the 100 mile ride I can’t do that else the day of the event will arrive and I will be in pain while completing it.  That’s not the point.  The 100 miler is there as a reward to show ourselves that we got our rumps out the door and prepared for it.  Riding the H2H and doing it without suffering is a by-product of improving our health using the bike as a tool.  We know it’s not the ONLY way but it is what we chose.

So how to manage all the goals that I suddenly have?  How to improve cardio?  How to add some needed muscled?  How to improve stamina, improve my body fat %, create a clear mind, etc. all while doing both CrossFit AND getting ready for 100 miles?

Good question.  I’ll begin to address it in some subsequent posts.  I’ll catch you up on the discussions I’ve had, the research I’ve gone through, and overall the plan I have right now.  The plan will change, but I’ll let you know the NOW.

Welcome. Hop on. Advise and argue. In the end it will be a fun experiment.

Journey To H2H – Why?

FeaturedImage_ChainRing_01I have been going over my 2016 goals for riding my bike, which is also a large part of my health and fitness approach.  Two summers ago I was on fire to get on my bike because I had found confidence in my ability to lose some weight and was excited that I could ride my bike without it being a massive struggle.  Fast forward to the next year (2014) and my confidence in losing weight and getting healthier was still locked in but it wasn’t new and shiny anymore.  I allowed my resolve to get on the bike falter.  That also occurred for the most part of this summer (2015).

It is now October 14th, 2015 and just a week ago I started to get going on the bike.  A bit late, right?  I agree.  I forced myself out the door by joining a few cycling groups and volunteering to organize and lead a few group rides.  If I lead it I need to show up, right?  Right.

Riding with a group was tons of fun so it got me thinking.  I’m a social creature when it comes to many things, a private creature on others.  When I’m trying to get somewhere I selfishly like to get others involved as I think it is fun and it also holds me more accountable.

With 2013’s Imperial Century in mind and how I tried hard to get out and prepare for it I decided to stop TALKING about WANTING to schedule another and now I’m actually going to lock down a fall weekend in 2016 and get it going.  That in itself is good but I’m also going to schedule a fair amount of my prep rides as group rides through Dayton Cycling Club with the cross-posting of rides to Miami Valley Cycling’s Meetup.com site.

I don’t know the rides I’ll be scheduling yet as the plan is still formulating.  I do know that to ride an Imperial Century and not suffer TOO MUCH you need to be to ride a lesser mileage comfortably.  Is this lesser mileage 80 miles?  Seventy-five?  Still thinking about all that.  I’ll make some other posts about some approaches and in time will come back and update what worked for me (and maybe others) and what did not.

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