Over the last two weeks, my volume has increased dramatically. That’s why I have been neglecting blog updates and have pretty much abandoned all social networking activities (Sorry Twitter, Facebook followers and blogger friends). The last few weeks have been about getting rides in when I can. Since I am also a husband, an employee, and a student, that has left scarce time for anything else.
How much volume? A lot, trust me. Ever since my hamstring scare, I have been averaging about 250 miles per week. Before my Tuesday/Thursday group rides I’ve had my own little solo pre-rides, where I get anywhere from 25-30 miles. After the group ride I end up with 55-60, the last half of which are strenuous and spirited. A couple evenings I have arrived home with a higher mileage than temperature reading on my Garmin.
The heavy volume period is going to last one more week. My mountain plans for tomorrow are going to fall through due to potential weather, so I will be riding Tour de Lake again, which I enjoyed last year. That will be a slow century for me.
After some weekday rides, I’ll cap my training period with a 3-day weekend at Table Rock State Park. I’ll be with a dozen other cyclists, who I will ride with on Friday and Sunday. On Saturday I will be participating in Issaqueena’s Last Ride.
Last year I couldn’t have imagined myself capable of this sort of volume. There have been two things that have really made the difference. The first is a new type of recovery drink. As soon as I arrive home, I prepare a cup of whey protein, soy milk, organic fruit juice, ice and water, mixed together. The taste and temperature hit the spot after a hard ride, but more importantly, it really does get the muscles in recovery mode.
The second thing is foam rolling. I have a humongous foam roller that I used to stretch out in the evenings in front of the TV. To supplement that, I use a rolling pin on my quads and hammies. I work most of the tension out and generally feel refreshed and ready to ride the next day. Even on days when I take a rest, I feel that I could be riding.
It has been a successful training season for me. Soon I’ll be slowing down, tapering, and preparing to tackle the big mountain once again.