Thursday, 31 December 2009

Grumpy Bob dips his toes in the murky water of power training

Grumpy Bob has posted an article on power training over at He remains a little unconvinced over its real value (in relation to the use of HRMs) in a training programme, but is prepared to review that opinion over the coming months, as he tried to make sense of the power data he's rapidly accumulating in the run up to the 2010 season.

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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Aaargh! Team Grumpy laid low over the festive season

Team unity revealed by Team Grumpy! Despite residing a considerable distance apart, it's quite touching to see Grumpy Bob and 'Grumpy' Art Vanderlay in such a display of mutual support.

As previously reported, Grumpy Bob has been suffering from a long drawn out cold, from which he is just emerging (possibly just in time for the NBRC New Year's Day '10'). This wasn't particularly appalling as far as these things go, rather it displayed an interesting sequence of relapsing symptoms, all of which have kept Grumpy Bob from effective training for over three weeks. And, since this happened over the season of over-indulgence, he's ballooned to 76kg. He is once again going to look like the Michelin Man at the start line on Friday.

Not to be outdone, 'Grumpy' Art (and indeed his whole family) contrived to be struck down with a serious gastointestinal disorder over Xmas. In the case of Art, this has led to a compensatory weight loss.

It's a cosmic balance thing, we reckon.

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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Leffe by the peleton

The February 2010 (!) issue of ProCycling plopped onto GrumpyBob's doormat today. In a packed issue describing all sorts of nefarious activities within the pro peleton, Team Grumpy finds a brief snippet (page 87) on alcohol consumption during the season.

Of particular note is Peter van Petegem's fondness for Leffe, the Team Grumpy official energy drink. "Five Leffe's isn't enough for me!" declares our Peter, "I start to feel good after fifteen".

We at Team Grumpy quite understand, but hope he is referring to the small bottles rather than the large...

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Still ill

Grumpy Bob's relapsing cold just keeps giving. He decided to miss the club mince pie evening due to coughing and spluttering (and a generally public spirited notion that he should avoid infecting his clubmates). Which was a shame, since he rather likes mince pies.

On the training front, he's not done any training since last Saturday's turbo session. In fact he's only done about 6 miles this week, as he's not been sleeping and has a rough old cough. Last Saturday's turbo session was a pretty good progressive power interval session, and was fitted in to a day or so in which he felt pretty well recovered after the first few days of what appeared to be a minor cold.

In the meantime, Grumpy Bob has been investigating methods of analysing power meter output*. His regular training diary doesn't seem to offer much in the power analysis stakes (though perhaps he's just missing something). Unfortunately most sports training software seems to be aimed at the Windows market, with some programmes available for the Mac. Grumpy Bob is a Linux user, and did find an app called Golden Cheetah, which is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. It was a trivial installation, though it doesn't seem straightforward to download Polar data directly - Grumpy Bob finds he has to use a Windows app to download data files.

That being said, Golden Cheetah does seem to be able to generate considerable power analysis of power training sessions**, and perhaps will enable Grumpy Bob to train more effectively. Once his damned cold gets better.

* Grumpy Bob remains a little unconvinced by the value of power training other than as a reporting tool.
** Oh, and he bought a copy of Allen & Coggan's Training and Racing with a Power Meter, to try and assemble a picture of what all these data really mean.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Grumpy Bob feels he has to maintain the new TG tradition (if that is not a contradiction) of post titling (Aaargh!). Since he previously reported picking up a cold, things have just got worse. He did stage a recovery over the weekend - long enough to take on a Progressive Power turbo session on Saturday - but by Sunday the sore throat, cough and generally mucoid situation had returned. Accordingly, he's packed in training for the next few days.

Not the best news in the run up to the first outing for the new bike at the New Year's Day '10'...on the bright side, Saturday's turbo session went well, consisting of 11 x 4' intervals. Grumpy Bob wishes to point out that generally, he tries to "peak", albeit briefly, for the NYD '10', and this intensity in not maintained all the way through to the usual start of his season at the Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25'.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Team Leffe Grump-a-thon

Well, TG didn't consume the vast quantity of Leffe that they might have done in their youth, but still enough to bring on hangovers on Sunday.

A brief return to the training programme for Grumpy Bob unfortunately careered into disaster after he contracted a cold. (See TG Rule #5)

Monday, 7 December 2009


I thought it's about time we had an Aaaargh! thread, so the best I can come up with is this:

I got back on the bike proper today. This is the first actual biking session I have done since September. Anyway, I decided to do an hour on the turbo at 300 watts - steady. This would normally be a solid ride but not 'eyeballs out' - a sort of level two ride. Well, not today. It started fine: nice and easy, 100 rpm, Level 1 etc. Then it started to get uncomfortable at about 10 mins and I was definately in level 2 by this point and struggling with the cadence. So I clicked it up a sprocket and opted for 94 rpm - still solidly at 300 watts. By 30 mins I was hanging on, still at 94 rpm, but in and out of the saddle and heart rate climbing into level 3 at times.

Obviously, I had picked too high an intensity for my first session after such a long break. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who do not give up easily, so I stuck at it. The last 25 mins were all in level 3 - often near to level 4 - as I maintained the 300 watts output. I was squirming all over the saddle and by the end of the session felt empty.

Still, I dropped two kilos in weight from start to finish, despite drinking 750 ml of PSP. I guess most of this will be fluid loss and will, therefore, go back on pretty quickly. But at least I'm back on the bike. Tomorrow will be a light spin for 40 mins and some weights.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Team Grumpy Leffe-a-thon

From time to time, Team Grumpy meet up - sometimes to race, but more often than not to enforce TG rule #7. Which of course involves conspicuous consumption of TG's favourite energy drink, ideally partaking of its many varieties (Blonde, Brune, 9, Tripel, Radieuse, Ruby).

This weekend is one of those occasions, where a particular anniversary (for Grumpy Bob) coincides with a professional visit to Milton Keynes (for "Grumpy" Art). We intend to supplement our rigorous training programme with a genuine Leffe-a-thon. At least Grumpy Bob has more than three weeks to recuperate before the New Year's Day '10'.

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