Monatsarchiv: Oktober 2009

Train with POWER pain and simple

OK so I have had some feedback from the postings in regards to the CompuTrainer.

Most of these questions are centered around the same topics, „why would I need to do this“, „what would I benefit from testing or training on that thing“, “ I have been doing the same thing for ages why should I change now“ and so on.

In hopes of clearing up these questions and any others the team may have…

Citius, Altius, Fortius
Faster, Higher, Stronger
Latin motto for the Olympics

  • Testing on the the CT (computrainer) is the same as testing on a cycle ergometer. Some of the tests we conduct can tell you your VT or LT, Ventilatory Threshold or Lactate Threshold or Anaerobic Threshold. What can these numbers do for you? Using these values you can train for longer more powerful climbs. This specific training increases your bodies ability to deal with the „burn“ and thus push yourself further and longer then past efforts. Training with these values keeps your heart rate lower while preforming better. This training is the gold standard for all cyclists as well as many other sport competitors. Over all this training will make you more efficient and FASTER

  • Cycle ergometers have long been the standard for testing and predicting VO2 max, or the volume of oxygen you can use. Without a spirometer, see photo, you can only predict the VO2 but the difference is that with this number we can determine your specific training intensities for the greatest results. Training your lungs and heart to work better, with less effort for longer durations will help with other systems in the body as well. Just as when you climb high onto a mountain and you struggle to catch your breath, training is this specific area will improve your bodies ability to cope with such stresses while improving the efficiency of the bodies systems at that intense level of exercise. You will be able to train harder and more efficiently and ultimatly with less effort, HIGHER

  • Most of all POWER is the unit of measurement that…if you don’t know by now, means everything to most professionals. Simply put power is the product of speed and strength. To produce long sustained bouts of power you must train the systems that contribute to the direct output of said power, your legs. These systems are of course your BASE strength, your cardiovascular, lung and heart, endurance, muscle endurance, your ability to deal with the byproducts of fatigue, Lactate, and of course your ability to handle PAIN, STRONGER

This CT is primarily for testing purposes although there are extended training packages available. For general use one should try to test one or two times a month. Preforming these tests will give a rider feedback on their training both negative and positive. One may ask, „what negative information would that thing be able to tell me“? Using data from past tests and a specific test called the Ramp Test, determining your training effectiveness is revealed. First of all via your power output, secondly by your heart rate values as a sum from the test. If your heart rate sum is higher or the same as past tests, your most likely over-training or not training to improve your VT. If your power output is lower, your either over-training or your not training properly for power improvements.

Lastly its good fun to compete against others. Sitting around talking about how much power you can produce is empowering and well much like a big dogs bark.

In light of this simple nature that exists in our little group I would like to have a day of free testing on the CT. I’m thinking of a Saturday or Sunday in the near future. Nothing big or intense, just a simple power test. This will take place at my new studio rental space located at Tokyo Physio

If there are any suggestions please feel free to send em over as well as any questions, comments, complaints or self doubts.

Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional

9 Kommentare

Eingeordnet unter Uncategorized

2010 Giro d’Italia Penultimate Stage Follows 2009 Transalp Penultimate Stage!!!

This weekend the Giro d’Italia 2010 route was announced at the usual presentation ceremony.

There are some interesting highlights, including a Stage 16 uphill time trial with 20% and 24% grade sections, and spending the first 3 days riding around/out from Amsterdam (hope for dry weather).

Of greatest interest to me is the 20th stage, which starts in Bormio, first goes over a pass we did not ride on this year’s Transalp, then … through Livigno, then Passo di Eira, Passo Foscagna, Passo di Gavia (watch out for that crazy descent!) and a finish at the top of Passo del Tonale (a piece of cake, if memory serves) … but does not go on over Mendelpass and to Kaltern, as we did. Perhaps the Giro organizers read the Positivo Espresso blog and realized first time what a great series of climbs this is in their own country?

Giro 2010 Stage 20:

Transalp 2009 Stage 6 (click on image to expand) or see it here in better resolution:

So the pros ride 178 km, compared to our 180.8 km/3770 meters elevation gain. Their first hill is higher than our last hill (Mendelpass), making their day much harder overall. Then again, the next/final day they have only a 15km TT, whereas we had to slog through the stifling July heat from Kaltern to Arco, with one more nasty 1000 meter climb.

Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Eingeordnet unter Uncategorized

Hombeline et Thomas

Regular readers of this blog may recall that I have been approached by two French students from my class at university before the long October weekend if I could make some suggestions for a nice bike trip.

Well, being a demanding teacher providing new challenges fro my students, I suggested that they should ride out along the Tamagawa to Ome and continue to the Okutama reservoir where another nice road would took them over Matsuhime pass (1.250 meter) to route 20 and then, back over Otarumi to Takao and home in Roppongi. Nothing special, something we can do easily in a day on our bikes after having trained all year long.

Little did I know that they were attempting to make this tour on single-speed mama-chari. Without any training.

So when I came back to class after the weekend and met them I was very surprised that they made it and I was even more surprised that they were physically able to attend class after they have made it.

Please keep in mind that they came to Japan only at the start of September, speak almost no Japanese, had no maps, no previous cycling experience and acquired mama charis for a sum we pay when riding out and return from rides for a Shinkansen ticket.

The trip started pretty early in the morning and first rests were made along the Tamagawa.
So slowly they moved towards Okutama on day one of their journey on their steel frame single speed bikes – has cycling ever more pure?
Then, arriving in the rain in Okutama with no idea where to stay and believing that shelling out 8.000 Yen per person for a pension room would be pretty outrageous (after all, you can get a mama chari for this money), they decided to knock on the houses of the local inhabitants and asked them if they could stay the night there. Finally somebody showed pity and transported them and their bikes to a pension where they were allowed to stay.Thomas showing clear signs of physical (the left cheek !) and psychic (the eyes !) stress from the trip. While Hombeline looked like „Girl with pearl earl ring“ from Jan Vanmeer in Japanese surroundings (see above).

But in good mood both of them continued to the reservoir the following day, up Matsuhime and down to Otsuki where they spend the second night.
And as planned they rode all the way home on route 20 to the Tamagawa and then back to Tokyo on day three.

Some days later they became the first ever honorary members of the Positivo Espresso Team and owners of some rather cheap pairs of orange cycling gloves.

Life is lending us amazing stories and I am thankful that even if I cannot live them, I can write about them.

5 Kommentare

Eingeordnet unter 2009, Mob


Dominic, Ludwig and me decided to turn Wednesday’s workday into a more pleasurable past time.

Ludwig and Dominic met for the first time on the train to Hashimoto, where Ludwig was pretending to read the Financial Times which caught Dominics attention as he was holding it upside down. Actually Ludwig has two reasons for that, first he wants to see rising curves on financial related charts more often and second it is just too easy for him to read a newspaper the normal way.

I was 10 minutes late but we started early at 7.30 in direction Tsukui lake, where we parked our bikes at a 7-Eleven to take supplies. (my one in the prescribed position).According to Ludwig that was the worse 7-Eleven he has ever visited, justified in particular by the missing assortment of Soyjoy bars. So we declined politely the official approval.

We then continued along Doshimichi and after finishing our pointless ride through Aone village (please check this club tradition which is now a must for every ride) we entered route 76.

Trucks have long been a source of cyclists dissatisfaction on the roads outside of Tokyo, but recently many improvements have been done to make the cyclists fate more bearable. Thanks to the support of the All Japan Truck Drivers Vehicle Beautification Association, cyclists can now enjoy the backside of trucks even more.





Anyway, we moved further along the TCC winter shortcut to road 35 leading to Akiyama and Hinazuru tunnel.The manju shop passed approval procedure without any problems (although they only had anpan manjus, miso manjus were sold out). Dominic was surprised that, given the state of the building, the age and state of its inhabitants and the open fire burning in parts of the houses, that they actually owned a telephone.

He was also surprised to find his front tire punctured. Ludwig, who was anyway only in for the morning went ahead to catch a train from Otsuki, while we repaired the tube and buried the old one in the garden behind the manju shop as old Japanese cycling tradition requires.

A short climb up to Hinazuru, followed by a quick climb up to Suzugane, peaceful as always and a quick visited to a combini at Sarubashi resulted in a luke warm lunch at the resting place in front of the old Sarubashi.

And then after preludio (Hinazuru) and allegro (Suzugane) we started the main climb of the day, Matsuhime Toge (Furio). Dominic became recently stronger and stronger and we decided in view of the fact that he has applied for next years L’etappe du Tour that I will coach him for the event and that this would be our first training ride.

So from this point in time on I have the right to address him as „O-mae„, „Kimi„, „Baka“ or whatever I feel just, while he has to use the most intricate forms of „irassharu“ and „itadaku“ when daring to approach me while scrubbing my back in the local sento. For this I will teach him the secrets of cycling which, honestly, consist mostly of suffering.

So we were happily going up the road and I was pointing out to Dominic that the small grey strip up high in the mountains before us IS actually the road we will need to ride up. And suddenly we saw another cyclist about 50 meters in front of us. He looked like a short hippy with long grey hair and old fashioned glasses, on a bike with backtray, somebody left over from the occupation of Todai’s Yasuda clocktower in the sixties.

In turned out to be a women, I Y, as we later learned, who happens to cycle quite a lot and was not even very strong, (we could chat and ride up Matsuhime while Dominic had to stop and was much more silent in general) but who knows also every single road in the area. I mentioned some of the roads we have found out recently (Arima Toge, Haccho Tunnel, Nennogon) and she knew all of them and many more I haven’t ever heard about (Nijumagari Toge) which seemed to be the most interesting places.I must say that I was very, very impressed. Since 8 years or so she is riding out regularly two, three times a week with the bike and we have never met despite the fact that we have done more or less the same roads all the time. She would definitely become a good addition to our team, however unfortunately she does not race.

After having a short break at Matsuhime we took the road back to Okutama where we left I Y at the parking place (she clinged to my back wheel all the time even when I tried some macho accelerations) and Dominic and me continued towards Ome.

Dominic was quite done and every movement was accompagnied by an assortment of noises indicating pain and disaster. But these are the rides that make adults out of boys and separate the guys who are standing in front of the toilet or sitting on it.

In Ome we had our meal at the approved Aurore bakery and watched a group of foreign school kids running around the block. No Japanese school kids in sight, perhaps some kind of punishment or special training for the Ome marathon?

Then we made some Japanese local girls laugh when they saw our „Shingo Mushi“ mark on the back of our bib shorts.

And then we rode home by train.

Koyo leaves were beautiful by the way starting from 1.000 meter elevation. Temperature was just right and all in all it has been another beautiful day.

Ein Kommentar

Eingeordnet unter 2009, Cervelo Soloist, Mob

Child seat

Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Eingeordnet unter Uncategorized


Are you a vehicularist or a facilitator? An interesting article on bicycles and traffic rules here in Slate magazine online.

I’m glad that cycles are excluded from „one way“ rules in Japan. On the other hand, I did hear somewhere that police are stopping cyclists and warning them here now for riding at night without a forward light.

[David L. supplement:] I just wanted to add this cross reference — a post from a master finance blogger who touches upon related topics — which model of car drivers are the worst? I believe Nihoncassandra has recently relocated from the East Coast of the U.S. to France, so his ranking presumably applies to BMW drivers in France, not in New Jersey.

Ein Kommentar

Eingeordnet unter Uncategorized

Train with POWER

OK team here is the adjusted information for the services. Still working on a discount for the team although these prices are better then TAC.

Any questions feel free to direct them my way or have a look at the racermate site.

2 Kommentare

Eingeordnet unter Uncategorized

Positivo Approved Cake Shop

As we are on the topic of approving certain establishments I thought I would introduce a very nice German bakery in Akasaka that has been keeping me well stoked with cake every morning since I started commuting from Yokohama back in April.

Everything is baked on premises and they supply several of the German restaurants and bars in the area with bread of all types.

If you’re in the area I would strongly recommend the fresh pretzels, they are to die for!

Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Eingeordnet unter Uncategorized

Positivo Espresso Approved Starbucks

I took a shorter (85 km) afternoon ride today, out One-kansen, along the tank road and Machida Kaido, up the steep approach to Shiroyama Lake, and back to the river via Yaen-Kaido. The route can be replayed on Garmin Connect here. A fast trip back with neutral or tailwind.

Outbound, I stopped at Dominic’s „P.E. Approved“ Starbucks just off the end of One-kan past the „tank road“, and remembered to snap a picture with my phone’s camera. The photo leaves a lot to be desired, but least gives the general idea–people sitting outside and relaxing in what is, other than the Starbucks, a bit of a wasteland of big box stores, „logistics facilities,“ gas stands and convenience stores … just down the hill from the wonderful :

P.S. For an „approved“ Starbucks, would zenin (是認) or ninka (認可) be preferable to kakunin (確認)? Thoughts?

4 Kommentare

Eingeordnet unter Uncategorized

A response to MC SpandX

Ein Kommentar

Eingeordnet unter Uncategorized