Training for STP 2016

20160306_143137-1I’m thinking of changing my name to Duncan, because my exercise habits and weight have been all yo-yo the last few years. I was having a really good go of crossfit, but random aggravations of my back over the years have prevented me doing it consistently. I’d lost 20 pounds crossfitting a few years ago, then gained 10 pounds back in 2014 after injury. I participated in a weight loss competition at work in early 2015; losing most of those 10 pounds by April. At the time I was still going to crossfit, but doing a specialty program to protect my back and build endurance for my first 5k. I ran that in April 2015, a week after reinjuring my back again, and thought I’d found something to do while rehabing. I did another 5k two months later, but stopped running when I realized the shock wasn’t allowing my back to heal effectively. I spent the fall trying to get into swimming, but I stopped that because I couldn’t get over being the youngest person by ~30 years. I stopped exercising while doing 3-4 months of intense PT and gained those 10+ pounds back this winter. I’ve definitely been losing muscle all the while, so I’m sure it’s more than those 10 pounds in fat making my clothes uncomfortably tight. That was a ton of information – still with me?

My back is a lot better lately (not perfect by any means), so I’m getting back on the horse by training for the STP in four months. STP stands for “Seattle to Portland,” and is a ~200 mile ride… you guessed it… from Seattle to Portland. It’s a very popular ride in an area where there are a lot of rides and I’ve wanted to do it since learning about it a few years ago. A friend of mine, who rides like it’s his job, did it a few years ago and wasn’t crazy about it. I think partly because he decided to do it in one day 1.5 weeks before the event, but also because it’s really damn far. I know someone else, similarly trained as me, who did it for the first time last year and will be doing it again. Weighing those items, I’m choosing to believe it’ll suck and I’ll be glad I did it. I have a habit of signing up for things that force me to motivate; this is one of those times. The good news is I’ve already proven this works when I did 50 miles nearly three years ago. The bad news is I think that’s the last time I was on my bike.

It’s still the rainy season in Seattle – how you gonna train? Technology! My momma got me a brandy new smart trainer for my birthday, which is a cool piece of kit that attaches to your bike and controls the resistance to simulate elevation. Pair that with a training/simulation program like Zwift and you’ve got the closest thing you’re going to come to riding outside on a budget. I really, really do want to go back to crossfit at some point this year, but I’m going to use this over the next few months to turn the weight tides in my favor. I can toughen up my coccyx, get used to clipping in again, and do it at any time schedule permits. It’s gonna be a hectic summer, so I like having access to exercise in my basement. Only 130 days to train!

Pro tip: You can, in fact, fall over while clipped into a trainer.

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4 Responses to “Training for STP 2016”

  1. Mike Says:

    It being brutally hot contributed to me not having a great time. Glad I did it? Sure. Once. Having decided to do it late didn’t really matter much; if riding 100+ miles a week isn’t proper training for it, I don’t know what is. I guess maybe doing that over 1-2 rides would be better than 5+? Meh. The idea of riding 100 miles, not getting a great night’s sleep, and waking up to do it again sounds worse than doing it all at once 😛

  2. Mike Says:

    Also, when do we play!? Got my 2nd Kickr in the mail and all setup. So happy to be in Watopia.

  3. Chris Says:

    I think my schedule is going to be weeknights 6-6:30, depending on when I get home from work, and random times at weekends.

    Wait.. I think my answer is after we beat COD?

  4. Creighton Says:

    Decent ride that one, saving grace is it’s pretty flat! You’ll need to up the hours to not suffer (worse than you will anyway) on the day(s). Worth looking at the Zwift workouts to make the most of your time.

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