Monthly Archives: January 2013

Double Expresso Decaf Grande

Hi everyone,

It has been a very cold couple of weeks. I’m convinced if hell were to freeze over it wouldn’t look too different to Virginia in the depths of winter, but in reality it probably looks a lot more like Alaska. At least we get sunlight, if that’s what you can call those dim rays that break through the cloud, giving the Old Dominion that grey monotone look it carries for months.

I had great intentions of improving my diet in the lead up to Ironman, but I think those plans are going to have to wait. The last thing I want to eat at the moment is a piece of cold fruit… give me some chocolate and hot pie any day!

Fortunately I have been able to keep my training up to a level where I can burn those extra calories off pretty easily. Although it’s hard to be motivated to train at this time of year I just discovered a new machine that makes me want to go back to the gym right now.

It’s called an Expresso. It’s not a typo and it’s definitely not a coffee. It’s quite simply the most fun I’ve ever had on a stationary bike. That’s not exactly the boldest statement given how boring stationary bikes generally are, but the Expresso is without doubt millions  of times better than any stationary bike I’ve used before.

The Expresso Bike

The Expresso Bike

What makes the Expresso different from other stationary bikes is that it has 3D race courses built into it. It’s like a playstation game and you control the bike by pedalling and steering it. When you go up a hill the resistance increases and when you go downhill the resistance decreases. As you’re pedalling your power, speed, cadence and heart rate are all tracked.

The courses are really detailed and beat staring at numbers all day

The courses are really detailed and beat staring at numbers all day

That alone would make Expresso a great machine, but it goes a step further by allowing you to save your rides to your profile so you have a record of them. You can then look at analytical trends over time (e.g. Power/Heart Rate) to track your progress. You can also compare your results to other riders on the leaderboard and when you re-ride a course you can race your previous self (your ghost).

The other night I rode a 6.91 mile course in 19:35, averaging 290 watts, 21.2 mph and a heart rate of 168 bpm. Apparently that ranks me as the 40th best rider on that course out of 1640 riders in the world this season. Being the competitive type I won’t rest until I’m number 1! Unfortunately, given the best time is 14:27, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon unless I go raid Lance Armstrong’s cookie jar. (If you’d like to try and beat my ride you can visit here and then go to an Expresso machine anywhere in the world. You’ll then be able to ride against my ghost!)

My swimming has improved a lot over the past few months, so cycling has become my definite weak leg. I’m glad to now have another tool in the arsenal to help me bring it up to standard as I’m going to need it!

Now for an early night. Benjamin has not slept well this week, which means Brynn and I have not slept well either. However, he has been out like a light tonight so now might be my chance to catch up a few hours.

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Getting with the Program

Hi everyone,

Well it’s been a while since the last post owing to a hectic couple of weeks. Brynn, Ben and I finally moved into our own place and between the hassle of moving and the extra toll of not having Brynn’s parents around as much to help look after Ben we haven’t had a whole lot of time (or sleep). Fortunately we’re only a few minutes away from Brynn’s parents so we’re not entirely on our own, their help has been amazing!

I’ve just started running again and so far my knee has been fine. I’ve done a couple of short runs on the treadmill and will be building up slowly. Now the challenge will be trying to work out a routine that will help me maximise my training with the limited time I have.

I’ve planned out most of my races for the upcoming season as most races have price increases on December 31. The races I have planed are:

  • Manassas Tune Up Tri: March 24 (Mini distance)
  • Angels Race Lynchburg: April 14 (Sprint distance)
  • Monticelloman: May 5 (Half Iron distance)
  • HER 5k Run: May 12 (Supporting HG Research!)
  • Jim McDonnell Lake Swim: May 26 (2 Mile open water swim)
  • Philadelphia Triathlon: June 23 (Olympic distance)
  • Ironman Lake Placid: July 27 (Iron distance)
  • Luray Triathlon: August 18 (Sprint distance)

There were a lot of other races I would have liked to have entered, but they just didn’t work well around Lake Placid, which is of course my big race for the year. I don’t really want to plan anything after Lake Placid until its ove as I’m sure it will take me a while to recover. I made an exception for Luray because it’s such a good race and a great location.

Now it’s just a matter of finding the time I’ll need to do the training for all this. The real challenge will be getting in some long bike rides that will get me ready to tackle the Adirondacks in Lake Placid. I’ve been riding my bike on the indoor trainer, but I really need to start going longer. However, riding in the one spot for 4-5 hours is not something I look forward to!