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Strength Maintenance

Strength Maintenance

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. Over-working my low back and an ill-advised experimentation with my road bike's saddle height combined to make my low back pretty uncomfortable.

In deciding what to do, it was tempting to cut the Strength block short, and take a few days off the bike to let my hips right themselves. That's what the conventional wisdom typically prescribes.

But my experience is that healthy movement helps healing, and that my body thrives on hard workouts and lots of recovery. So that's what I did.

I fixed the seat height and continued lifting normally, aside from reducing the load on the deadlifts from 180# to 120#. (Heading right back and deadlifting my max just seemed reckless.)

A few days (and a few good nights' sleep) later, everything was sorted out. I'm a little proud of myself for not letting that stop my training cold. I'm healed, and maintained my schedule.

And now, I've flipped into "Strength Maintenance" mode. Basically, this means doing a moderate workout once a week so that my body holds onto the strength gains I made over the last couple of months.

I was up all night Sunday-Monday taking care of one of my dogs, so Monday's hill intervals never happend. But I made a little time to hit the weights yesterday for a maintenance workout, and today I'm back on my road bike. The plan is to do about 50 minutes, with 30 minutes of steady Z3 effort.

And if I do all that, and keep the rest of my life running right, I'll be doing okay.

The Grudge

Evidently, Simi has a new trail: The Grudge. I guess it's been there at least a year, but it's new to me.

I'm already planning to have another go at cracking 30:00 on Johnson sometime soon, and I can't think of a better follow-up than checking out a new route back down the mountain. Might be a bit rugged for me, but I can't help but be drawn to new stuff in my old hometown.

Training Update: 5mm, and Base 2

Training Update: 5mm, and Base 2

I am dumb. I should have learned my lesson. A year or more ago, I raised the seat on my road bike by 5mm, and loved it immediately. Slightly higher, slightly more power to the pedals, all the usual awesome.

And after a couple of rides, I noticed my hips hurting. I located the trouble in my iliotibial bands. (No surprise there.) I lowered my seat back to where it was, and that fixed the problem.

Two weeks ago, like an idiot, I raised the seat on my road bike by 5mm.


More Exploration

I had two reasons to head out to where the bike path passes the north end of Coal Canyon.

First, I'm trying to stack up as much time as I can on the bike to complement the strength work I'm doing. 90 minutes at 140BPM/100RPM is perfect for that.

Second, I wanted to check out access to the climb up Coal Canyon through Chino Hills State Park.

By the time I got there, it was dark and drizzling. Access to Coal Canyon seems to be via an underpass under the 91 FWY there, but the terrain looked a little chunky for my road bike, and I just didn't want to go stumbling around in my road bike shoes, alone, in wet weather 45 minutes from home. Should be fine in good weather on a mountain bike, though.

When I have time, I'll take a mountain bike recon ride to scout access to Coal Cyn and Chino Hills State Park from near that point where the Santa Ana River Trail bike path meets Green River Rd.

Bike Path Cruise

Clearing my Head

I had a terrible morning yesterday. So once the dust settled in the afternoon, I took the chance for an extended ride, and headed out along the bike path. The goal was to log about 90 minutes spinning the cranks at 140 BPM and 90-100 RPM.

After so long just doing short, close spins on familiar trails, it really felt good to stretch out a little, explore new territory, and be able to just keep going as long as I had daylight.

I could feel the recent barbell work in my legs. Better power and stability in my hips, for sure. I'm now secure that focusing on dead lifts for this strength cycle is a good call. I need a stronger hip hinge. It's what I feel when I push hard in the saddle, and when I'm downhilling on my mountain bike.

Bike Path

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