Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vad kan vi se fram emot under 2012?

2011 blev ganska späckat med tävlingar och träningar och som det ser ut nu så blir det inte mycket mindre under 2012. Som det ser ut nu är följande större "händelser" inbokade:

Utöver detta ska jag försöka köra en hel brevet-serie (200, 300, 400 och 600km), köra Kompiscrossen, köra några motionslopp på cykeln (typ Roslagsvår/höst) och några triathlontävlingar på Olympisk distans. Tyvärr så krockar nog Stockholm Triathlon med Sala. Men då kan jag kanske få en chans att äntligen köra Lidingö Terräng Triahlon som går den 19/8.

Den observante noterar att Kalmar inte ligger med i listan. Det får bli nästa år istället. Jag vill inte bara genomföra. utan faktiskt genomföra på ett bra sätt. Och då behöver jag nog träna i ett år till och som förberedelse i år köra två st IM-halvor (1.9km simning, 90km cykel och 21km löpning). Enda orosmomentet i listan ovan är väl återhämtningen mellan Vansbro och Jubileumsmaran.

Tyvärr platsar inte heller Sverigetempot i listan. Men jag tror att det loppet platsar med någon annan satsning överhuvudtaget (inom en rimligt tid av själva loppet). Sverigetempot får bli av när triathlonsatsningen är lagd på hyllan. Då blir det cykel på heltid.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Festive 500 - final day

Day 8 – The Final Countdown

I had to work today, so I wasn’t sure whether I would find the time to finish the challenge or not. Wife was working and daughter was at an extended play date with the neighbor’s kids. At lunchtime I decided to go for a ride. The plan was to cover at least 60K, leaving as little as possible for tomorrow.

Skipped lunch (a really smart way to go when leaving for 3h+ rounds, not!), got dressed and left. The temperature was just around freezing point, leaving me with the hard choice whether to switch back to studded tires or stick with the slick ones from yesterday’s ride. I went for the daredevil option and kept the slicks. Only downside to this was a bit of cowardly driving through corners and curves, but I stayed upright through the whole ride.

Lake Bornsjön - a perfect place for tempo training
Brook of the day!
Cycling roads shouldn't be wider than this - can you spot the bike?
It was colder today. After some 15K I realized that I had forgotten to put my overshoes on. Not smart since my toes are really susceptible to cold. However I had my winter shoes on, so I figured “what the heck” and went on. Funnily enough it wasn’t the toes that turned out to be a problem; instead it was my fingers that lost tactility during the end of the ride. Nothing that a hot shower couldn’t cure though.

I actually met two other riders on the road today; one guy whom I caught up with some 25K into the ride and another that passed in the opposite direction. I rode with the first guy for a couple of K’s and had a nice chat. It turned out that he was a former pro, having competed with some of Sweden’s greatest cyclists during the early 80’s (Tommy Prim among others).

View of the day!
Ice or dampness? Hard to tell...
Strengthened by this encounter I decided to go all the way today. I resisted the urge to stop at the Rosenhill Café (a place frequented by Stockholm’s cyclists). I tried a new road which turned out to be the pothole road from hell. And the suddenly the cycle computer showed that the ridden distance of the day surpassed 87K. I had passed the challenge! At the end I logged 95K in 3:35 for a total of 508K.

To sum up: 7 rides for a total of 508km done in 19h and 39min, average speed of 25,9km/h. Considering weather conditions and the fact that I’ve done all the rides solo, I think that it is fairly ok.

The "proof" from Strava.
Over and out for this year! It’s been a real pleasure and I’m really looking forward to receiving my badge. Happy new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Festive 500 - day 7

Day 7 - Autumn leaves

Never look back
Day 7 and ride number 6. Yesterday was a travel and relax day. I spent some time with my daughter while she was skiing; cross-country on her new Christmas present skis. Then I spent some time running around my in-laws house, trying to find everything that was supposed to be taken home. Then finally home to Stockholm (no place like home).

Resting day activities
Can you spot the bike?
Ice-free roads.
Doing some research I found out that the roads in Stockholm were free of ice. I decided to get rid of the studded tires and switched wheels to a pair of Fulcrum Racing 3 with Conti 4-Seasons (28mm) on. It was quite a remarkable difference. And considering the winds today I was really happy with the new setup.

The weather forecast promised some light rain, 3-4 degrees Celsius and a strong breeze from the south. I carefully planned my round to be headwind first and tailwind last. It blew, not gusty but constant. The first 50K was hard (avg. speed of 23.9 km/h) and the last 50K was considerably easier (avg. speed of 29.5 km/h).

The leaves have fallen - autumn is here
What have you been up to you dirty dirty bike?
Treaded on some new roads today; really nice ones that should be perfect in better weather conditions. Today everything was kind of grey. It’s actually kind of the 3rd season that I going through during the Festive 500. It started with winter for the first 4 rides. Then I had a sunny ride, with snow melting away and the green grass starting to show which felt like the first days of spring. Today was autumn; wet, dirty, windy and a couple of degrees above zero.

Slick tires - a blessing today!
A golf course...
...and some golfing guys. Not common at all at this time of year i Stockholm.
Ended up with 103K in 3:51 for a total of 413K. Only 87K to go now. If I have the time I’ll finish tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Festive 500 - day 5

Day 5 – The Long and Winding Road

Long ride today – actually the ride that I had planned for yesterday. It had a little bit of everything; tail- head- and strong crosswinds, a few drops of rain, ice, wet and dry tarmac and some clouds and a lovely sun.

With +5 degrees Celsius the riding conditions today would have been excellent (at least for being Sweden in December), if it wasn’t for the wind. The wind yesterday was a bit stronger in the gusts, but today it was more intense, blowing all the time. Had some parts with a really tough cross-wind. The round ended with 10K on flat clean tarmac with the wind in the back, enabling me finish strong.

The Long and Winding Road
Up in the sky
The temperature had risen up to +10 degrees Celsius during the night (which is really unusual, normal temperature is something like -15 in the end of December). This made it a spring like feeling riding today since almost all snow had melted away.

Ended up with a good 92K in 3:23 today, making a total of 311K. Four riding days to go and 189K to cover. Thinking about taking a well-deserved sleep-in and rest day tomorrow (all rides have started before 8am so far). 189K in 3 days shouldn’t be a problem.

Morning light at lake Nedre Dammen
Sunny ride today
Almost there - hang in!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Festive 500 - day 4

Day 4 – Blowin’ in the wind

I had a plan for today’s ride – it got whipped by the storm Dagmar. The plan was a 80K ride around-the-lake-ride including some nice small roads. However Dagmar had been howling through the night, leaving a lot of fallen trees blocking the road. The temperature had also turned several degrees above freezing during the night, leaving the lesser roads with a layer of crystal clear bare ice. Hence, my planned trip turned into a 25K there and 25K back ride, in order to stay on clear roads.

Trees... on the road
The highlight of the day was a really old man out walking his dog. When I passed him he shined up in a bright smile and gave me thumbs up. Actually almost the first one who hasn’t stared at me in disbelief during my Festive 500-days. I’m pretty damn sure he used to be a really badass rider.

Banked 50K in 1:54 today, for a total of 219K. Hopefully I will be able to get a 80K+ ride tomorrow.

Gee thanks Dagmar!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Festive 500 - day 3

Day 3 – Straight roads and no views makes made this a dull ride

The line above quite much says it all. Found some tarmac, some slush and some parts with really rough ice. The roads… well, actually quite boring and no scenic views what so ever. Nope, today was more of a work that had to be done. I ended up with 55K in 2:13. 169K in total now.

A part of the really bad road today
Let me tell you another story instead:
1 year and 9 months ago I bought my first road bike. It was a Merida Road Race 903; aluminum frame and Tiagra components. Quite cheap, but really suitable for a total beginner like myself. The reason for this purchase was that I had registered for the Swedish bicycle ride Vätternrundan, and I needed a bike. The registration was a mostly a spur of the moment after finishing another classic Swedish race (in great pain) – Vasaloppet. I had never trained on a bike before (apart from some occasional spinning classes) and had no idea of what I had gotten myself into.

My first training ride ended after 20 minutes, with a flat tire and a heavy rain. My second training ride ended after 15 minutes with a broken front derailleur. I had also bought a commuter bike (a hybrid - rookie mistake). On my first ride home from work, a drunken guy got irritated because of my front light, shoved me and tore my light off. Om my second ride a car decided to cross the bicycle lane right in front of me, forcing me to break hard and going over-the-bar – ninja-style. However, since my ninja education wasn’t complete the whole thing ended with some torn ligaments in my left hand, forcing surgery some months later (and 8 weeks without training).

I guess my cycling career could have ended then and there. I guess few people would mind if I just threw the bikes away with a start like that? But I didn’t. Confident in that I really was on to something I kept on going and it totally changed my life. Now it’s 1 year and 9 months later. This year I have logged over 11000km on tarmac, gravel, trails, snow and ice. I have lost a lot of weight and I’m fitter than ever. Thanks to a strange contraption with two wheels and a frame. Some of these days I might even go on and call myself a rider.

The sun is coming up
The long and... straight road?
Snowfilled farmland
Christmas day lunch for champions!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Festive 500 - Day 2

Day 2 – The Ice of Death

The following takes place between 7.30am and 11am. All events occur in real time (yeah, I have been watching too much 24/Jack Bauer during my trainer sessions).

Badass rider dressed in winter-bibs and merino shirt enters the kitchen. He looks confident.
Mother-in-law: “You cannot go out riding today; they have issued warnings on the radio all morning about the icy conditions on the roads.”
Badass rider: ”But I have to! The Festive 500 is up, and my reputation as a badass flandrian rider is on the line.”
Mother-in-law: “But you could get hurt!”
Badass rider: “I’d rather get hurt, than being a wuss who lets the weather get in the way of riding”

Pre-ride setup - early x-mas eve morning
Oh, maybe that’s not quite the way the conversation went. However I decided to check the roads out, and promised to return if the conditions were too bad. Not that that ever would happen, but at least I made a promise.

Icy roads - not slush!
I did not fall today
Another winter creek - or more like a icy trench

Lake Storsjön - frozen.
Some Swedish houses - red of course
Frozen shoreline of Lake Storsjön
Rapha logo and the beard of a badass rider - fits perfectly
The conditions turned out to be challenging. The temperature had stayed above the freezing point all night, and then going below in the early morning hours – hence turning every molecule of water into ice.

The sun!
The sun and a bike!
A thin layer of ice!
So today was not about slush, it was about ice. Apart from some 8K in the beginning of the ride and some 10K in the end (with frozen slush, really hard to ride on) it was actually most clear tarmac. Clear tarmac with a thin layer of ice on top of it. The Ice of Death!

But I survived, thus being able to add another 58K and 2h19min to the challenge.

These guys had to work today

Friday, December 23, 2011

Festive 500 - Day 1

Ok, from now on and until approx. New Year’s Eve this blog will be written in English. The reason for this is of course the Rapha Festive 500 – Ride to Redemption. Possibly some other contestants will check this out, and hopefully the Festive 500 grand jury will like too… and award me the mega grand super prize. Or a badge.

Day 1 - Magic Misery Ride

Got up at 8am, got dressed for misery conditions (0 degrees Celsius, some wind and light rain), mounted lights, had a light breakfast, dismounted lights and left my parents-in-law.

My bike shortly after the first (and only) fall.
Started out with a strong headwind. Excellent way the get the heat up. Actually managed to catch some tarmac along the first leg. Then 14km of pure ice/snow-slush. Really slow and really heavy. Stopped for a tweet along the way.

Winter creek
Somehow I actually enjoyed the ride
Passed though the village where I grew up (partly) some 20 years ago. Took a picture. Didn’t feel the urge to move back.

The old mansion where I used to live
Passed though the town where I went to junior high. Still didn’t feel any urge to relive those days again. Then I had some magical km’s on clean tarmac with a strong tailwind. Then slush for the rest of the ride.

The jacket and the jersey did their job today.
Ended with 55K in 2:25 and an average speed of 22.8 km/h. Considering the condition of the roads today this must have been a great core and low-cadence muscle workout. I wonder if it’s the same for the Australians and Rapha group rides in San Francisco?

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Är på väg till Sandviken för en date med svärföräldrarna och lite julfirande. Med tanke på det kommande vädret i Sandviken (och Stockholm för den delen) har jag nu även bestämt mig för att det blir en försök att köra för Rapha Festive 500. Lite vintercykling är ju aldrig fel och det kan väl vara bra att bränna lite av julmaten.

"Vinsten" för att klara av det är ett tygmärke. Om man dessutom "delar sin upplevelse", typ skriver coola tweets eller delar ut foton på fejjan så kan man också vinna ganska fina priser. T.ex. en Trek Madone 6.9 (specialdesignad för Rapha). Jag ska försöka fota och filma och så får vi se vad jag kan göra av det. Första turen i morgon bitti.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Power Profile

Cyklister är duktiga på olika saker. Vissa är duktiga på att spurta, vissa på att klättra och vissa på att vara hjälpryttare. Spurtare är normalt sett chanslösa i bergen och klättrare har inte en chans i en spurt. En spurtare främsta vapen är förmågan att utveckla en enorm effekt under en kort tid (explosivitet), medan en typisk klättrare är mer kan utveckla en jämn och hög kraft under en längre tid (hög mjölksyratröskel) . Sedan finns det mycket mer fysiologiskt att säga om detta, men det överlämnar jag med varm hand till de som kan det på riktigt. Men genom att mäta den effekt som man klarar av att utveckla i olika tidsintervall går det alltså att kvantitativt mäta styrkor och svagheter. En manlig spurtare i världsklass klarar t.ex. av att leverera uppåt 24 W/kg under 5 sekunder.

Andrew Coggan & Hunter Allan (Training and Racing with a Power Meter) har givetvis mängder av statistik som tillåter jämförelse med andra cyklister och även ett träningspass för att ta fram vettiga siffror för just min profil. Coggan/Allen använder sig av 4 olika tidsintervall; 5 sekunder (spurt), 1 min (långspurt, uppdrag, jaga ikapp utbrytning), 5 min (utbrytning, förning) samt 1h (tempo, klättring). Passet som körs är följande:

För att analysera passet och wattsiffrorna kör jag TrainingPeaks WKO+. Det fungerar bra även om det inte är helt trivialt att komma igång med och förstå. Jag tror nog att det finns en hel del potential i programmet som jag inte insett ännu. En av fördelarna är att det är väldigt lätt att leta reda på t.ex ditt bästa 5min-intervall från ett träningspass. Du behöver inte tänka på att trycka på Lap-knappen på cykeldatorn eller så. Sedan kan man ju få ut en hel del coola grafer.

Huvuddelen av passet ovan.
Vad gick det då för mig? Kan väl bara konstatera att jag bekräftade det som jag redan visste. Min spurt är usel (även om jag tror att det faktiskt blev ännu uslare under testet än vad den är i verkligheten, mest beroende på traineruppsättningen. Den ska nog mätas på platt asfalt egentligen). Min 1-minutare är ok och min styrka ligger främst i de längre intervallerna (5min, 1h - dvs. FTP). Det som var lite förvånande var dock att min 5-minutare "statistiskt" sett faktiskt var bättre än min FTP. Slutsatsen är dock att mina styrkor lutar åt tempo, klättring och långa distanser. Perfekt!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Lite kort om effekt. Många cyklister ägnar sig nu för tiden åt att mäta effekt under träning och tävling. Tidigare var det endast "proffsen" som körde med effektmätning eftersom effektmätarna då var riktigt dyra. Idag har det dock blivit mer och mer vanligt även bland dödligt folk då det finns fler tillverkare av effektmätare och då de har sjunkit i pris.

Vad menas då med effekt?
Effekt är ju definierat som arbete (eller energi) per tidsenhet. Det arbete som en cyklist utför är ju den energi som förflyttar cykeln framåt. Ju hårdare du trycker på tramporna, desto högre effekt utvecklas. Effekten kan mätas i tramporna, vevpartiet, kedjan eller baknavet, dvs. någonstans på drivlinan. Att mäta effekten är dock inte trivialt och kräver en hel del mekaniskt finlir och känslig apparatur. Men så kostar det därefter också.

Effekt, effektivt sett...
Varför ska man mäta effekt?
Mätning vid träning sker ju i första hand för att mäta framsteg och för att mäta hur hårt du tränar. Springer du 10km på 46min i början av säsongen och på 41min i slutet av säsongen så har du gjort ett framsteg. Springer du i ett tempo på 5min/km tränar du en viss del av den fysiska apparaten och springer du i 3:30min/km tränar du en annan. Om du dessutom lägger på puls som variabel på detta så går det att ha ganska god koll på dagsform och träningstyp.

Vid tidsmätning tillkommer dock självklart yttre faktorer. Det är klart att det är skillnad att springa i med- eller motvind, i -10 eller +20 grader, kuperat eller platt. Vid t.ex. löpning är det dock ganska lätt att göra dessa faktorer mer eller mindre försumbara. Vädret påverkar inte så mycket om det inte handlar om extremväder, springer du en rundbana så jämnar vinden ut sig, etc. Tyvärr fungerar det inte riktigt så vid cykling. De yttre faktorerna har en så pass stor påverkan att de är svåra att eliminera. Därför är effekt ett utmärkt mått eftersom den inte påverkas på samma sätt av dessa faktorer.

Mitt lilla nav...
300W kan ta dig framåt i lätt medvind på en platt väg i 50 km/h, eller så kan 300W tar dig i 15 km/h uppför en 5%:ig lutning i 10 sekundmeters motvind. Trots de stora skillnaderna i yttre omständigheter kan de två ansträngningarna utan problem jämföras. Och lägger man då dessutom på pulsen (som faktiskt korrelerar ganska väl med effekten) som en faktor på detta så får man ganska bra koll!

Så om du ökar din FTP med 30W så har du gjort ett framsteg. Tränar du i zonen 60-70% av FTP så är det en träning och 110-120% av FTP en annan typ. Svårare än så är det inte.