Training vs Stupid Training

I made my fair share of critical mistakes leading up to last year’s HH100.

I mean really, really stupid, even for me!

To begin, I didn’t start getting serious preparing for the race until June.

Brandon, my riding partner, and I would take the White Rock Creek trail and circle White Rock Lake once a week but logging 100 miles a month was not going to cut it. Around July took a drastic increase in the number of miles we were riding per session in an attempt to make up for what we missed by getting a late start.


As I mentioned in the previous post, I was preparing to complete in a powerlifting meet the week before the race in Wichita Falls so not only was I logging miles on the bike, but I was pressing squatting and deadlifting upwards of 95% of my 1RM.

I know, not smart…

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This absurd amount of work resulted in partially tearing a quad muscles 3-weeks from the powerlifting meet and 4-weeks from the race.

Luckily, the injury did not require surgery but did force me to take a hard look at the training intensity and volume I was subjecting my body to.

The previous year it was simply about riding as many times per week as I could, while attempting to balance my lifting schedule, run a training business, spend time with my family… and oh yeah get that pesky thing known as sleep in my schedule.

It sucked.

Things had to change because I was not doing that again.

Fast forward to this year, and my programming dramatically changed from last year.

I began my training prep in April by getting a 25-mile ride once a week, and a two short rides (6-10 miles) during the week.

This lasted a few weeks then I started to get serious; here is an example of my training block for May and the first two weeks of June.

  • Monday: Rest day

  • Tuesday: Recovery ride (6-8 miles)

  • Wednesday: Weight training day

  • Thursday: Intermediate ride (10-15 miles)

  • Friday: Weight training day

  • Saturday: Rest day

  • Sunday: Long ride 25 miles+

On my long ride, Sunday, I would try to add just an extra five miles each week if I felt we had in in the tank.  The goal was to train, not strain. Some weeks we added the extra mileage, other weeks we stopped around 25 miles, and I missed a few days of training due to my niece getting married.

In years past I would have been climbing up the wall, although I seem to recall the look my wife gave me when I suggested I bring our bikes ha! This year, didn’t sweat it whatsoever.  

Using a recovery ride after riding 25+ miles helped tremendously. Obviously improving equipment and revamping my nutrition was a positive impact, however alternating between long strenuous rides and recovery rides instead of adding mile after mile kept my legs fresh and pain free.

This brings me to my current training block; I am 4 weeks into a six-week training cycle and seem to be right on track. This training block ends July 29th leaving 4 weeks left before the race, and three weeks before beginning the taper process.

This training block looks very similar but with a few minor differences.

  • Monday: Rest day

  • Tuesday: Recovery ride (6-10 miles)

  • Wednesday: Weight training day

  • Thursday: Short ride (12-15 miles)

  • Friday: Rest day

  • Saturday: Intermediate ride (20-30 miles)

  • Sunday: Long ride 45 miles + adding 5 miles each week.

This past Sunday I rode a total of 45 miles with my training group and went out for an additional 12 miles to get a bit of sprint work in. 

At first glance this looks very similar to the previous training cycle, but there are a few key differences. First change was removing a weight training day while adding a fourth riding day to the training schedule. I needed to increase both volume and intensity so it was critical to maintain two complete rest days each week, so I could effectively recover while improving work capacity. My job as a fitness trainer is physically demanding so even on rest days be assured I am still physically active.

One topic needing to be addressed is the importance of sleep. Most athletes and coaches underestimate the power of this simple yet powerful recovery method, and often do not place themselves in the correct setting to optimize this. Former Navy Seal Jeff Nichols addresses this topic very well.

Now you or I are not placing the same physical demands as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, Army Special Forces, Recon Marine or a tactical athlete, however the ability to learn how to maximize recovery potential by implementing tactics used by these elite warriors is priceless.

Regarding my weight training day

Due to the amount of stress placed on my nervous system, as well as the soft tissues, I primarily have been limiting myself to body-weight or movement based training over the previous three weeks.

Plenty of push-ups, squats using kettlebells or body-weight, back rows using dumbbells, TRX or bands, and full body stability movements such as planks, stability ball movements, landmines and fall-outs have been my movements of choice.

The results so far have been positive.

After the Sunday long rides, I feel fatigued BUT not in pain whatsoever.

That has not always been the case.

Monday is all about rest; Tuesday’s recovery ride is easy and slow and most times I have to pull myself back from doing too much.

Wednesday is a quick resistance training workout, and Thursday I head out for about an hour on the bike.

For me spending time on the bike is relaxing. I have my Bluetooth headphones and all I need to do is concentrate on the road and what is in front of me, nothing else.

Friday is another rest day, but I spend a bit of time foam rolling and working trouble issues I may have felt over the last few days.

Saturday means it’s time to get to work.

The past few weeks Christina and I would ride White Rock Trail/Lake (24 miles), but we rode with a with a group from Performance Bike in Plano this past weekend and had a great time. Participating in a group ride is a nice change of pace, and I find myself picking up a few nuggets of information every time I join a new group.

Sunday rides are always a beast and getting started earlier is always better to limit our time in these 100+ degree Texas days.

I pack enough energy gel’s or bar’s to refuel every 20 minutes, make sure to bring plenty of fluids for the trip, have a few bike tubes and CO2 canisters to change a flat tire if needed, and let’s get out and train!!!


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