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Alps Tour Training

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Old April 2nd 05, 12:12 PM
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Default Alps Tour Training

Yesterday was the official start of training for the 'Alps Tour'
(http://aut.unitours.org/). I won't be able to go with them to
Switzerland, but I thought it would be cool to try to train with the
riders (remotely speaking, that is). Maybe even do a psuedo-tour here
when the time comes.

So I've been working up to be able to start training in April. I've been
recovering from a knee injury (wheel-walking crash) last year, so had to
take a lot of time off. Finally I was able to begin in February. I
wasn't ready to uni, and Connecticut was covered in ice and snow, so
I've been riding the safety unicycle (read: bike ) for a couple of
months now, increasing my mileage by about 10% each week. Having
all-weather clothing and headlights has helped a lot with the short
days. A couple of weeks ago I started blending in some _real_ riding on
29er and 36er. I need to stay away from wheel-walking for a while more,
but distance riding seems to be ok.

Yesterday kinda snuck up on me, but I was able to put in about 9
occasionally hilly miles, which fitness-wise was probably a little less
rigorous than the bicycle miles. There is a challenging long,
roughly-paved hill which I had to walk (still haven't made the whole
thing), but overall it went well. I did 3 of the 6 on the 29er. It
will take a while to get the unis dialed-in. The air saddle on my 36"
is one of my first and is giving me fits, so I'll have to replace that.
I'll have to trade the 29er pedals for some with better grip in the
rain, and add a cyclometer to the 29er too.

I'm hoping to continue with the training, at +50% if possible (since I
got a head start), but at Andy's posted rate if I can't sustain the
+50%. The hardest thing for me may be the elevation gain, because there
aren't any mountains nearby (just a fairly shallow river valley).

Anyone want to (remotely) join me? It's quite a commitment, but
hopefully will produce some great unicycling and fitness gains.

U-Turn - As long as my feet keep movin'...

Weep in the dojo... laugh on the battlefield.
'LiveWire Unicycles' (http://www.livewireunicycles.com)
'Strongest Coker Wheel in the World'
'29er Tire Study' (http://u-turn.unicyclist.com/29erTireStudy/)
'New York Unicycle Club' (http://www.newyorkunicycle.com)
-- Dave Stockton
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Old April 2nd 05, 01:17 PM
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That's great to have you following our progress Dave Good luck with
your training programme! If you followed that schedule you'll be super
fit by August.

I haven't been on my unicycle since the Rainbow Rage (106km adventure
ride/race) 2 wks ago. I don't think I'll be using Andy's schedule
though. Will be mainly riding my road b*ke from now on to train for
this years 24hr'Moonride' (http://www.moonride.co.nz), which I'll be
doing on a b*ke. And a few other b*ke races. Hold off on the rotten
tomatoes please!

We're just heading into Winter, but it doesn't usually snow here so I
should still be able to do a fair amount of riding. Hopefully I won't
be too rusty by the time the tour rolls around!

The website for those interested is www.aut.unitours.org


GizmoDuck - NZUNI

'www.adventureunicyclist.com' (http://www.adventureunicyclist.com/)

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Old May 2nd 05, 02:12 PM
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April has come and gone, and so have my chances to add mileage in that

Things went pretty well. I couldn't finish all of Andy's goals, but I
think that the first month was a good starter month. I didn't come
close to 50% over, though, in any category, except perhaps riding in wet

Goals I completed:

250 km total mileage (I did 338 km)
10 km with no breaks
10 km a day for 4 days in a row (many of these)
5 km of riding in wet conditions (quite a few of these)

Goals I partially completed:

2000m total elevation gain (I did 1551m)
500m in one day (I did 225m)
50 rating in one day (My best was about 27)

Goals not completed:
100 rating in one day
150 rating in one day

I spent a lot of time at the beginning doing easy 3 mile laps, to make
sure the knee stayed with me. That effort was successful, and most of
my elevation gain was in the last week. However, the push to reach
2000m total in that last week was too much, and I didn't want to risk
the gains I had made over the past 3 months.

To get the ratings goals I would have had to string together several
higher mileage and elevation days, and that seemed to be premature for
me. If I plan May carefully, I may be able to reach May's ratings
goals. The ratings are a combination of mileage and elevation changes
that measure how difficult a ride is, and appear on first inspection to
favor longer rides rather than the typical 14km rides I was doing.

The month was a little tough, in that it was relentless. Putting in the
miles every day to keep up the average mileage was the process of
forming a new habit. In the past mostly my riding has been MUni or
freestyle, so the road riding is improving my spinning a lot. At the
end of the month I was able to clean that hill that I had never climbed
successfully before, mostly I think because of better spinning, partly
because of luck with cars not pushing me out into the rougher edge of
the road. This is probably the best part of the month aside from the
rides with my daughter and nephews.

The roads here in Eastern Connecticut can be highly crowned and full of
cracks and pits, potholes, and patches especially my currently primary
elevation-gain hill. There are grooves in the lanes from cars
bottoming-out. The spinning seemed to really help in those sections. I
tried to stay seated and work the spin cycle rather than stand and do
consecutive lunges.

It was interesting to download topo maps and calculate elevation changes
on routes, even though mine were quite short. There is a lot of work
involved with this training regime!

I spent most of the time on my 29er. That with 150mm cranks seemed the
kindest to my knees with the climbing. I did have to descend without
brake to return home, and I found that by adopting a MUni-ish extreme
forward lean, pointing my toes more, and trying to lengthen my legs, I
reduced the downhill knee stress by a huge amount. I kept saying
"Butta" to myself (ala Madonna on SNL) to try to keep my DH spinning
smooth. I think that that DH riding had a big effect on my overall
spinning smoothness.

I did some swapping between the 29er, a 36er, and a 29er with test

Overall, though my efforts pale in comparison with the riders here, I'm
happy with the first month. I recommend this as a way for anyone who
wants to give themselves a push. I rode places I hadn't ridden before,
just to meet these goals.

My goals for May:

1. Preserve the gains of April by being conservative and pacing myself
to avoid knee over-use injury

2. Accomplish all the goals of May by mixing-in elevation gain
throughout the month, and by planning a specific time to achieve the
ratings goals.

3. Mix in the 36" a little more often, partly because it should be handy
for the looming higher mileage days.

U-Turn - As long as my feet keep movin'...

Weep in the dojo... laugh on the battlefield.
'LiveWire Unicycles' (http://www.livewireunicycles.com)
'Strongest Coker Wheel in the World'
'29er Tire Study' (http://u-turn.unicyclist.com/29erTireStudy/)
'New York Unicycle Club' (http://www.newyorkunicycle.com)
-- Dave Stockton
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Old May 4th 05, 02:25 AM
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The thinking required by that training schedule wears me out before the
miles even start.

I have recently started Cokering and have done a couple of rides in the
27 - 30 mile range and am trying to start adding to that and add in more
climbing. I finally swapped my cordless computer from my muni to the
Coker for my ride last Sunday. It was educational and motivating to be
able to monitor my speed under different conditions.

Maybe someday I will be dedicated enough to do more scientific training.
For now I may adopt a few of these ideas anyway.
If I had the opportunity to go on the Alps tour, and with a great group
like that, it would be worth it.

Congrats on your progress U-turn, and I'm glad your knee is handling it.
Thanks for the information.


S_Wallis - MUni Motivated

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn
how to do it." Pablo Picasso
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Old June 1st 05, 12:51 AM
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Time for the May update...

This month has been marked by inconsistency due to 'LiveWire'
(http://www.livewireunicycles.com) activities, including three trips out
of state, several long trips for general small business appointments,
and a four-day visit from The Kid (woo hoo!).

Basically, I didn't accomplish any of the stated goals, although I did
reasonably well on mileage (224.5 miles out of 250 required). I did
about 70% of the climbing (7099 feet out of 9750 feet), and almost got
the 5 consecutive days of 20k+ (one day in the middle was lacking). I
was never close to 750m climbing in one day (max was 346m).

My planning for the ratings days was completely blown by the
appointments, over which I had very little control. My highest rating
day was 46.1, and I was supposed to have one each of 100, 150, and 200.
Since those correspond (roughly) to consecutive very hilly days of 42,
48, and 60 miles, you can see that they are extensive days. That 46.1
rating day was the 3rd of May, a round-trip of about 18 miles with about
345.8m of elevation gain and its corresponding loss. One of the hills
on that route is very steep, and I can barely keep control on the 29er
with 150mm cranks and no brake.

I did spend plenty of time in the rain, and find that, although the
Cielencki pedals are pretty good in the rain, nothing so far compares
with the Azonic A-Frames for all weather traction. However, they are
less shin-friendly, so I'm going to stick with the Cielenckis for quite
a while to see if that assessment changes.

Out of 31 days in May, I had a total of 11 zero-mileage days, which is
huge compared to April (2 out of 30), an indication of the disrupted
nature of May.

Trying to handle the curves that the month threw at me (an American
expression, which here means "I was scrambling every which way and
barely was able to get any riding in"), I was not able to work on the
36" and stayed on the 29er. A nice part of that was being able to spend
a lot of time on the Big Apple 2.0 and develop a better understanding of
how it feels. I did switch from an older KH saddle to a Miyata non-air
rebuild which resulted in major improvements to my saddle and leg

Other highlights:

My timed loop time dropped by about 40% without trying to ride fast.

I worked some on my training spreadsheet to automatically highlight some
things, track remaining required averages, and the like. It now is a
pretty valuable training tool, although still a bit rough.

Yesterday was a great day; the last with my daughter for this visit.
She did 6 miles on the 29er in partial prep for the LBI Unithon, and
this was by far her highest unicycle mileage in one day.

Today was sans leg armor which was very liberating, not to mention

In summary:

Although I didn't keep up with May's challenges, I was able to increase
both my mileage and elevation gain from April. I have a new respect
for the touring riders, because they are doing their training in the
middle of things, like I am. And just the idea of doing consecutive
hilly days of 42, 48, and 60 miles in just the second month of training
says that they are in pretty serious shape before they even begin the
training. Since I'm still rehabilitating a knee injury that kept me off
the uni for a year, I'm not flagellating myself for my shortcomings.
I'm thinking that doing this training regimen a couple of years in a row
should do a lot for my overall distance riding ability.

Next month I hope to keep up with the June mileage and elevation demands
and most of the other goals, but I may try to accomplish April's ratings
days, so that I can at least have a start on getting those worked into
the regimen.

U-Turn - As long as my feet keep movin'...

Weep in the dojo... laugh on the battlefield.
'LiveWire Unicycles' (http://www.livewireunicycles.com)
'Strongest Coker Wheel in the World'
'29er Tire Study' (http://u-turn.unicyclist.com/29erTireStudy/)
'New York Unicycle Club' (http://www.newyorkunicycle.com)
-- Dave Stockton
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Old June 1st 05, 07:36 AM
Klaas Bil
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Well, you set out this goal of keeping up with the training for the
Alps tour, but since you won't join in the actual tour the pressure to
adhere to the schedule 100% may be a bit less. The official training
requirements are quite serious, and so following them to the full is a
high aspiration. For general increase in fitness and distance riding
skill, what you're doing is great anyway and you seem to make good

Once your spreadsheet is honed, I'm sure several people including
myself would be interested to look at it and possible use it as a
training tool.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
wouldnt you be grumpy if somone just said you had PMS? - jagur

Old June 1st 05, 02:20 PM
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Joe Lind kindly pointed out that I have had a misconception about the
ratings, and that the 100 was for 1 day, the 150 was total over two
days, and that the 200 was total for three days. So although I still
didn't meet any of the ratings goals for May, I have a better chance of
meeting them in the future. Thanks Joe!

U-Turn - As long as my feet keep movin'...

Weep in the dojo... laugh on the battlefield.
'LiveWire Unicycles' (http://www.livewireunicycles.com)
'Strongest Coker Wheel in the World'
'29er Tire Study' (http://u-turn.unicyclist.com/29erTireStudy/)
'New York Unicycle Club' (http://www.newyorkunicycle.com)
-- Dave Stockton
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Old July 1st 05, 05:43 AM
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Default Alps Tour Training

Well, June is now over and it has been a dense month unicycling-wise!

Overall, I met some goals and did not meet others. I'm increasing what
I can do at about the same rate, but I am lagging behind overall, mostly
in the area of elevation gain.

Here are the details:

Distance: Rode 501.3 km; required was 500 km.
Elevation gain: Climbed 3665.5 meters; required was 5000 meters (so I
did about 73% of the required climbing)
5 consecutive days of over 30 km: done
20 km without stopping riding: did not do
15 km of riding in wet conditions: done
1000 meters climbing in one day: my max was 376.9 meters in one day
Ratings days: tried to work them in, but did not work out
My max rating was 58.2

I was trying to do the ratings, or even back off a couple of months to
try to pick up the ratings goals of earlier months, but we had a heat
wave this last week in the Northeast and it was physically impossible
for me to do. However, I must say that my chances of succeeding were
not that great anyway because of the climbing requirements.

I'm still not a good climber in terms of doing a lot of elevation gain
in one day. The 376.9m was not all I could do in one day, but 500m
might have been. That day was scorching and doing more was not
possible, though. This (again) is an area for me to work on this coming

Highlights for the month:

-- I'm down about 12-15 pounds from when I started at the end of
January. Only about 30 pounds to go.

-- The 5 days of 30 km was a big deal for me since I had failed the
previous month.

-- My nephew joining me on unicycle for 300m of climbing a totally
boring, hot grade.


-- Today sweating up a long grade, totally dripping, barely hanging on
to my balance, and an obnoxiously big truck stops on the other side of
the busy road, a fat guy in the driver's seat beckons me over with his
finger... I didn't fall for it and he shouts out for directions... I
say "I don't know" and kept riding... although I'm glad I didn't curse
him out, he deserved it... Come to think of it, perhaps that was a

-- Basically all rides save one were solo.

Finally, my last day's ride was 25 miles or 40km. It took me over 4
hours and is a major expedition at this point. Average riding speed:
10.7 kph with a 28.5er with 150s. Lots of stopping due to saddle
soreness, but I am testing out the standard Miyata saddle. It's time to
move on to the next saddle type! It's hard to believe such a "short"
trip takes so much of me, but then I have to remember that a) in
context, there has been a lot of riding going on, and b) in February I
could barely ride a bike 3 miles. So at least things are improving.
With 30 more pounds off I bet the saddle would stay more comfortable

Thanks again, Andy, for this great training tool.

Next month: the requirements bump up yet again!

U-Turn - Cool water for the flame

Weep in the dojo... laugh on the battlefield.
'LiveWire Unicycles' (http://www.livewireunicycles.com)
'Strongest Coker Wheel in the World'
'29er Tire Study' (http://u-turn.unicyclist.com/29erTireStudy/)
'New York Unicycle Club' (http://www.newyorkunicycle.com)
-- Dave Stockton
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Old July 1st 05, 05:57 AM
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Default Alps Tour Training

Dave, you're an animal!

steveyo - hammer down


"If your feet are cold, cover your head."
- eskimo proverb

"The place you buy special pants for big-balled men also sells very
small hats."
- me
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Old July 1st 05, 06:01 AM
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Default Alps Tour Training

U-Turn wrote:
*Distance: Rode 501.3 km; required was 500 km.*

Nice job Dave! I just finished my June at 190 miles, my biggest single
month. Now I'm humbled... Maybe if I think of it as 306 kilometers...
Nah, still humbled.

I also wish I had your weight loss to show for the effort, but I seem to
be holding fast. I think the problem is that while I've ridden almost
every day in June (24 out of a possible 30), most were short
after-dinner rides. I think I need to start doing long
instead-of-dinner rides.

I understand why the Alp-ists are cranking up the miles, but you get
extra credit. Way to go on getting hardcore for no good reason.

tomblackwood - Registered Nurtz

Tailgate at your own risk.....

"By George! The man's a genius!"
Murde Mental

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