I signed myself up for Austin Cycle Camp’s free Saturday Training a little over a month ago when the weather was still pretty warm. It was 28 degrees when I rolled out of my driveway this morning. I used the clothing strategy I wrote about in What to wear? Today was a bit more of a challenge because it was supposed to warm up to 65 by midday. I’d planned on riding to Bicycle Sportshop’s Parmer store because it’s only about 5 miles from my house. By the time I got there, it had already warmed up to almost 40 degrees. Fortunately, I ran into Ray (Bike Noob). I peeled off a layer and stowed it in his car.
Today’s training plan involved using our heart rate monitors. Austin Cycle Camp even brought some extra heart rate monitors for those who didn’t bring one. I had my Garmin Edge 305, so I didn’t need one. Dave explained what we would be doing and how we should be monitoring our heart rate. I quickly reconfigured my display to match the training. Today we would spend the majority of our training session at about 85% of our max heart rate. I was glad to hear that because I was still a little sore from our Cranksgiving ride where I spent the majority of the ride in zone 4 and 5.
On the way back to our starting point I rode with Trey for a while. He asked me what my max heart rate was and how I was doing with respect to the training goal. He explained how I wanted to be sure to not feel lactic acid build up in my legs and that I might need to get myself tested to better manage my training in target heart rate zones. Later in the parking lot, he went into a lot more detail about the type of training we were doing and how it would help us. I clearly had a lot to learn about training with a heart rate monitor and how to improve my overall fitness.
As I mentioned previously, one of my goals for next year was to start racing in the Driveway Series. It’s mostly for fun, but I’m a reasonably competitive guy so I want to make sure to turn in some good results and to do that, I clearly need to improve my cycling fitness. This is where training with a USA Cycling Certified coach makes all the difference in the world. Guys like Trey and Dave really know their stuff and can help me improve. My plan will be to do some training with them in the spring to get ready for my racing debut.
But even if you’re not racing, it’s nice to be able to get out on the bike with confidence, knowing that you can handle whatever a ride throws your way. Trey and Dave started Austin Cycle Camp for recreational riders like me who want to get better, but don’t necessarily want to go pro. They’re both incredibly positive and won’t intimidate you, so it really doesn’t matter what your fitness level is or your cycling abilities, there’s something in it for everyone. They want everyone to love cycling as much as they do. Be sure to check out their unlimited training over the next few weeks, it’s a pretty good bargain and it’s good for you, too!