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Early Season Updates: Team Camp
It’s almost spring! The front range of Colorado has seen a long winter, at least through my eyes. I was fortunate enough to train outdoors for a significant part of the winter. This however did include some VERY cold rides. I don’t mind the cold, but obviously some day’s chill you right down to the core. I did enjoy the tranquil winter training provides. On my daily training I would see on an average of 1-5 other riders. Not many riders compared to the parade of people currently out cycling through Chatfield State Park and the surrounding bicycle paths. After a visit in NY during the first week in January, the faster winter training began with Saturday morning group rides. I can remember a few times waking up in the morning, looking over at my phone and seeing 18 degrees. A fast group rides is always great motivation when the temps are below freezing. This winter I invested in an amazing pair of cycling gloves by Pearl Izumi. Pearl Izumi P.R.O Barrier WX and it was well worth it. I believe my coldest ride was around 14 degrees (without the windchill included) and my hands stayed warm the entire ride. I did use the liners which were included and without them I think my hands would have been cold. If you train outside all winter like me I would highly suggest them. If you follow my blog I don’t normally promote products but when something comes along that changes my training I like to let others know. Since I’m on the same subject many of you may be asking yourself what does Adam use during training and racing? Well, let me tell you! I LOVE Powerbar Gel’s and use them during most rides. They are easy to swallow and it seems to enter my bloodstream fast.
I started noticing a few psychological changes during this winter. I was recovering faster on those 5+ minute efforts. I have also been noticing my weight fluctuate more in the winter months than past years. My heaviest weight was 141 this winter, but I’m happy to report I’m currently at my goal race weight for the season of 135. It’s sometimes hard to master race weight in early spring. A hard training cyclist will see lots of burned calories during a winter of training and one’s appetite can be superfluous. Maija and I have gotten into a consistent eating routine for dinner and this has helped keep my weight more balanced. I tend to have an over-conscious zealous attitude about my weight more than power numbers, heart rate ranges, and any other psychological aspect which relates to competitive cycling. I don’t weigh my pasta but I’m regularly checking the scale to make sure I don’t go off my goal race weight.
My season kicked off with a small Criterium (I took 11th) in City Park, Denver and I left the next day for my team’s training camp in sunny southern California. I decided to drive the team van from our shop (In Littleton) to Thousand Oaks, CA. We had this crazy idea we could drive straight through for 17 hours by doing 6 hour shifts each. I did the first shift and actually didn’t feel too bad. We hit a few rough snow storms over the mountain passes which left us driving 20mph on the highway with zero visibility. By the time my driving shift was over all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball on the back seat and sleep. That’s exactly what I did. I would wake up every now and then to the van’s undulations. The last 6 hour stretch through Nevada was a long one and I could barely keep my eyes open. Every now and then my head would rock backwards and I’d be in a state between being awake and asleep. Nonetheless, we finally made it to the hotel where we would be staying and I took a long nap, relaxed in the room, and readied myself for the week’s training.
James, Jeff, and I before our excursion to California.
I’ve had this Red Stripe T-Shirt for many years but have never actually tried Red Stripe. Turns out I don’t like it at all!
Training in southern California is awe inspiring. All of our rides started from the hotel and after a short 30 minute warm up through the town we would hit the mountain sides which stood tall near the endless Pacific ocean. You could smell the slaty ocean air as you pedaled, and feel the dampness in the atmosphere. I first started cycling on Long Island, NY and my house was only a 30 minute bicycle ride to the ocean. I quickly became used to the humid damp air Long Island provided. In California, I felt these same weather traits and it was a welcoming nostalgic memory. Pedaling along the highways was also a treat as they ran parallel to the ocean. We would ride along the coast as a group and the road would pitch up, slightly and navigate through mountain rock formations, and then drop us back down to the coastal highway. The week of training was tough, especially the longer climbs of 5+ miles. I’m beginning to learn I can hold my own on long sustained climbs but I really shine on those 3 mile or less climbs. My legs seem to respond better when they are presented with short punchy ascents. I also felt my legs starting to open up after 3 hours in the saddle. This was a good feeling as many of the coming races this season will be 3+ hours.
Below are some of the pictures from my team’s training camp. (Giant Cycling World). I had an amazing time meeting a large majority of riders while on the trip and I was impressed with how well organized our itinerary was. If you ever have the chance to ride in southern California do it! Once you get into the hills the traffic is minimal and the roads are endless.
We were also fortunate enough to have Jody Grigg along with us. Jody is a professional photographer who takes some amazing shots of cyclists. He has a passion for cycling and this trip would have been a lot different had he not been snapping photo’s out of our team van and helping us with other things along the way. All photos from the team camp are credited by Jody Gregg. Please visit his website and check out his work or if you are interested in using his servies. He is a great guy and easy to work with. Jody Grigg - Jodygrigg.photoshelter.com.