Drafting and Sprinting Practice

Saturday morning Michael and I woke up in Yakima ready to tackle a bike ride. It was HOT out. Eastern Washington is desert and it was nearly 90 degrees by 10am. I’d found a place we could ride our bikes so we got ready. The hotel we were staying in didn’t offer a continental breakfast and we didn’t want to go out so we grabbed snacks. Michael ate beef jerky and raw almonds and I had leftover pasta salad. Not really the best breakfast but it was what we had!

We drove to Sherman Park where we parked the car and headed out on the Yakima Greenway trail.

It was early enough that the trail was pretty empty for most of our ride. It was hot out but it wasn’t uncomfortable.

The trail was flat. There were some other cyclists out and a few walkers but not many. I realized that my bike seat was crooked–I think from when I fell on the bike a month ago. That could explain some of the knee/back pain I was having recently when I rode. Michael fixed my seat and it made a world of difference!

The trail went right a long the river and it was a beautiful place to ride. The mountains in the distance were scenic and the water was fast moving and looked refreshing.

Since the trail was pretty flat and straight, and there weren’t a ton of people on it, Michael suggested we do some training. First we practiced Drafting. I’m not very good at Drafting. It makes me nervous to be that close to someone on the bike.

He instructed me to get my front tire about 1 foot from him back tire. He said to pay attention to which direction the wind was coming from and be either on the left or right side of his tire accordingly. We practiced for awhile.

He instructed me that if I lose him that I should sprint to catch up and get back on his tire. We passed by a few parks, a dog park, and some playgrounds while on the trail.

There were a few short hills that we practiced sprinting up. It was a nice exercise. My heart rate recovered quickly.

We took a quick rest under a bridge in the shade so I could drink some water and we continued on. The next thing to practice was sprinting. Since it was a flat, long road it was ideal for sprinting.

Speed training on the bike is just like interval training for runners. It’s also a crucial part of training.  Doing short, explosive sessions on the bike (5-30 seconds long) builds speed, stamina and recovery time.

We continued on the trail. I thought it was a 10 mile loop for some reason but we rode around a small lake and then reached the end of the trail. We turned around and practiced more sprinting and drafting.

The day was warming up nicely and I was kind of sad that the bike ride was coming to an end. We talked about doing the trail again but we had a time crunch.

I liked practicing the Sprints the best. It was really fun. I tried sprinting up hills too.

The Yakima Greenway Trail was a success in my book. I would definitely do it again if we were in that city.

We got back to the car in no time. I was happy to get in a workout on our vacation.

Ride Stats:
Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
Calories Burned: 517
Distance: 14.9 

Total Distance for the week:  63.03 miles! Yay! My goal was to try and get in 60 for the week and I did it!

It was such a fun morning. The trail is really the winner in Yakima. There’s nothing else there worth writing about! 😉

QUESTION: Do you practice sprint drills on the bike or with running? What differences have you noticed as a result?


Haven’t Been to the Gym in a Week

I hadn’t been to the gym in a week! 7 days! I still worked out though. I biked in Poulsbo, I ran with my cousin, I biked to work, and Michael and I biked 30 miles. I had plenty of fitness in my life but I hadn’t stepped into the gym in 7 days. When I went to the gym last Friday it was like greeting a long lost friend. I spent a decent amount of time doing weights. It had been way too long since I lifted.

It felt really really ….really good to lift weights again. And surprisingly enough it wasn’t too difficult to lift.

I spent some time doing some work with the free weights. I finished up with some ab work with the 10 pound medicine ball.

I finished up my weight lifting and headed to the pool!

Gym Stats:

Time: 29 minutes
Calories Burned: 201 

The swim was just okay.  It felt good to get into the pool after such a long break but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get my heart rate up. It wasn’t really and “workout” kind of a swim–I think it was more of a “recovery” kind of swim. Sometimes that’s okay.

Swim Stats:

Time: 51 minutes
Calories Burned: 363 
Distance: about 1.25 miles 

I finished up the swim and got cleaned up. When I got home Michael and I packed up the car for a road trip! I love road trips. It’s fun to see the scenery and go somewhere out of town. First, we had to stop for lunch. We had a Groupon for The Blue Pig that was going to expire soon so that’s where we went.

It was a sunny day and we sat outside enjoying our lunch. I ordered the Caprese sandwich with a salad.

Michael ordered the turkey and havarti sandwich with a salad. The food was excellent. The Blue Pig could be our new favorite restaurant in Portland.

The salads were killer. I mean, how fancy can a salad really be right? But these salads were made of amazingly fresh greens and delicious dressing.

After the savory and satisfying lunch we hit the road toward Yakima. Not exactly a hoppin’ place to travel to but we were going to a concert at The Gorge Amphitheatre and Yakima is the closest city with civilization to the venue. We drove East through the Gorge, passed Hood River and The Dalles.

The scenery turned from green trees to desert and windmills.

Then we crossed over into Washington. I would have liked to stop at the Maryhill Winery because it’s one of my favorites (and scenic) but we were focused on getting to our destination.

I snacked on some Bing Cherries as a snack and I might have had a few cookies too.

We booked rooms at the Ledgestone Hotel in Yakima. The hotel was a really nice hotel. The suite was huge–complete with a kitchen (full kitchen!) and a separate bedroom/bathroom area from the TV room. It was surprisingly nice for such a deal (about $100 a night). There was no pool or hot tub or a continental breakfast, but that’s not that big of a deal I guess. They had an exercise room but I did not look at it.

Friday night Michael and I checked into our room and stored the bikes there. Then we headed to the nearest movie theatre to see “Cowboys and Aliens.” I mean really, there isn’t a whole lot to do in Yakima, Washington. We got to the theatre and it seemed the whole town had the same idea so we decided to see “Captain America” instead. We saw it in 3-D. The movie was pretty enjoyable, with a few cheesy parts but I had a good time.

After the movie we went out to dinner in downtown Yakima but that dinner gets a post all on it’s own!

QUESTION: If you can’t make it to the gym, do you squeeze in fitness in other ways? What are your favorite road trips?