Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Rapha Festive 500 - day 7 & 8

Last day of the Rapha 500 today and I ended up on a total of 501,29 kilometers. But to do that I got up just after 4 AM this morning. Started my Garmin at 4:32 and was out for over five hours. Then I was at work for 8½ hours and after work I only had to ride home. More or less. So I am pretty tired right now. Tired but happy with all this good training that I have gotten during this week. A couple of days ago I did not think I was going to make it. But with a strong finnish I did. Now my bike will rest for a few days. Or weeks...

Temperatures between -10 C and -14 C this morning.

Picture from yesterday morning

Picture from yesterday evening.

The long way to work this morning:

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Rapha Festive 500 - day 5

The only photo of the day. Started working at 0600 today, so I went up at 03:40 and started my Garmin at 04:14. Only for you Rapha, only for you... Had the best average speed of this week with an amazing 23.9 km/h. The 38.56 kilometers I got before work had been okay. If only I had done som training after work as well. But my wife wanted to pick me up after work so I would get more family time. And who can argue against that?
Now I have 251.51 kilometers left to do. In three days. You do the math. It is not impossible, but almost. Even if I fail, I have gotten some really good hours on my bike so I won't regret this at all. But I hate losing so it does not feel to good right now. I should have started of a lot harder. Maybe I should pay a visit to our velodrome...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Rapha Festive 500 - day 4

Short blog post today. Have been on my bike for four hours and ten minutes and at work for nine hours. Need some sleep because I start working at 06:00 tomorrow and I am going to work by bike...
It was snowing the first two hours this morning. After that the wind came and made things difficult. Only -6 C was nice for a change. Was riding in winther bib shorts and leg warmers.
On my way home in the dark I was racing against myself. Virtual friend in my Garmin. Won with about 180 meters after a good and hard fight.

My not so straight way to work:

The way home:

87.47 km today and 290.07 kilometers to go. In four days...

The Rapha Festive 500 - day 3

In sweden we celebrate christmas on christmas eve. So yesterday I had a great day with my family. That great family day ment zero kilometers on my bike. I did not care then, but today I was ready for my punishment. From the start of the Rapha Festive 500 the average amount of kilometers you had to ride each day was 62.5. After the first day I knew I had to do 64 kms the other days. And after yesterdays rest day I now have to do 75 km/day. Tough task when I only have a limited amount of hours to ride my bike due to work and family. On a good ride I average 21 km/h, so I do not get that many kilometers on my few training hours either.
My kids in front of the christmas tree.

To get some extra kilometers in my book I got up at 5.30 AM this morning. That gave me an extra hour in the saddle before work. Dark in the morning, and dark when I went home. This morning the moon kept me company and actually helped a lot. I think it's much nicer to see something when I ride my bike. I have a bike lamp, but that is mostly for the cars to see me. I do not see much with it. Rode some smaller roads and dirt roads today before work. That ment no street lights for much of the ride. 
Had -14.5 C ( 5.9 F ) in the morning. On my way home the temperature was up to -11.5 C ( 11.3 F ) and it actually felt warm. Interesting how the human body adopts fast. -11.5 aint warm! Tomorrow we will have about - 6 C ( 21.2 F ) here in Falun. Big question is what to wear at that hot temperature!?

Some of you may think that I am suffering a lot doing these rides in the dark, cold and snowy conditions. But it actually does not bother me. I love riding my bike and enjoy every minute of it.

Going to work:

Going home from work:

Day one: 26.11 km + 25.66 km = 51.77 km
Day two: 0 km
Day three: 41.81 km + 28.8 km = 70.69 km
Only 377.54 km to go!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Rapha Festive 500 - day 1

Making the 500 will be a difficult task. To cold, to much snow and to much at work. But I will try, the worst thing that could happen would be me getting fit. Got nothing to lose. To get some kilometers I rode my bike to work today. Good thing my work is located in another city. Bad thing would be that it's only about 26 km to work which means commuting to work by bike will not be enough. 
Pictures and Garmin data:
-14 C (  6.8 F ) at the start today and some cozy -13 C ( 8.6 F ) when I got to work.

25 minutes from work I got to see the sunrise.

Sun looking all warm and nice. But it was not warm today, not at all.

On my way home in the dark. Bike lanes almost all the way!

-16 C ( - 3.2  F ) when I rolled out of Borlänge, and when I got home our thermometer showed -23 C ( -9.4 F ). Good temperatures for taking cool pictures.

Going to work:

Going home from work:

Day one: 26.11 km + 25.66 km = 51.77 km
Only 448.23 km to go!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dark and cold

No outdoor cycling for me today, we had -26 C ( -14.8 F ) outside this morning!
But it's not all bad today, the good news is that from now on it will be more and more daylight for each day. These days before christmas is the shortest days during the year. Here in Falun the sun rises at 09:05 and sets at 14:46 today.
I hope we get some warmer weather soon, because I have planned on doing The Rapha Festive 500.
After my to long snowy rides last week I did two days of cross country skiing. On saturday I did a shorter 48 minute session and on sunday I did a little bit more than two hours on the Lugnet Riksskidstadion. I have had two rest days now after my Training Camp Light. So today it's time for some training again. If it gets any warmer I will go skiing tonight after work. If it stays this cold I will do a warm session on the Monark.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Two long rides in two snowy days

My wife took our children and went to her mothers place in Stockholm this wednesday so I'm having a training camp light while they are gone. They will be back on monday so I have three more days to focus on training. Yesterday we got 10-20 cm (4-8 inches) of snow, but that did not stop me. For the first two hours I was accompanied by Jens Westergren. He is a good friend and also a really good cyclist, with several medals from swedish championships in cross country, Mountainbike Marathon and cyclocross. After about two hours he had to go to work, so I continued by my self for another three hours and got home with five hours and nine minutes on my watch.
We have lots of small roads in the forests around Falun, so in this blog you will see plenty of trees.

This is Sundbornsån, or The Sundborn river. Sundborn is a village about 10 k from Falun.

A smaller dirt road covered in fresh snow.

Plenty of snow and trees in those pictures. Hope you don't mind. This is what I see during my training rides, and I really like it.

On this asphalt road there was enough snow on the road for me to place my bike in it and take a picture without the bike falling. 

And this is me during yesterdays ride.

Today I got to ride with four of my friends from Falun. They where out for about three hours and I kept on going until I had five hours and eleven minutes on my watch today. We hade some snow today as well but not as much as yesterday. I was a bit worried that they might be to strong for me but I managed to follow them all the way. Great feeling and I think that I am much stronger on my bike than last winter. My average heart rate today was 146 and my maximum heart rate was 186. After eating I took a nap in the bathtub for an hour! Temperature was about -2 C (28 F) today and about - 4 C (25 F) yesterday. Perfect temperatures for winter training in Sweden. Only took a few photos today, this is one of them:
Picture taken in Solarvet, a very small village on the top of a mountain about 25-30 k from Falun

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bike commuting to work a cold winter day

This week has been a week full of work and familystuff. So very little time for training this week. I realised that if I was going to get any training I had to ride my bike to work. That is better than no training and if done right, it can actually be really good training as well. Going to work I was in a bit of a hurry. The snow on the bike lanes, the studded tires and the lack of good shape made me a bit slow. I have about 25 k to work and it took me 75 minutes at an average heart rate of 170 ( 86.7% of my maximum heart rate ). On my way to work it was -15º C in Falun and -12º C in Borlänge where I work. On my way home after the 10 hour long work day it was -13º C in Borlänge and -16º C in Falun. A bit chilly... Not working this weekend, so I hope to get some more training done.

Over the hill and in to the sun

Snow on the bike lane was slowing me down

I am acutally enjoying the ride, although it does not look like it

Snow striped roads going to Borlänge

Frozen breath on my backpack

Only took one picture on the way home. Notice the frozen tears beside my eyes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

4 x 4

Did some training on the Monark this morning. And this was my view for 4 x 4 minutes.
You know, those intervals that was so popular a couple of years ago. I do not like them, I really don't. But once or twice every year I give them a chance. I will do some more 4 x 4 this winter to see if I can improve my 4 x 4-skillz.

And this is me after my last interval. Did all intervals at about 340-350 watts.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

10 from 2010

I was looking through my training pictures from 2010 and picked out 10 of these to show you.

No training today, and since I'm at work between 11:30 and 20:00 tomorrow there will probably no training tomorrow either. My wife is at work right now and will be back about 9:30 in the morning so there is no time for training before going to work. After work I will probably just be to tired. I did do some cross country skiing yesterday so I have managed to get four training sessions this week, and that is OK. Not good, but OK. Now it's time to sleep, if my daughter allows me to get any sleep tonight...