July check in w/Coach Jake

Hi Coach Jake,

Since signing up for coaching subscription I have moved to the off-season weight lifting plan and am now on third week. After ramping up the weight lifting I was pretty tired the first week, got plenty of rest. Definitely didn’t feel like riding much above z2 but legs not sore as per plan instructions. Feeling pretty good about the muscle tension intervals, although on the flats the gearing can be challenging on days like yesterday when I didn’t have the usual 10-20mph afternoon headwind.

Here in NorCal my wife and I have always been Winning In the Kitchen (farm-to-fork my good peeps!), but I’ve read that anyone over 50 can benefit from a little more protein. After a little too much 4th of July celebrating I installed Lose It! app (better than MFP IMHO) to ensure I’m getting enough protein. The last 3 days its been 175g, 120g, and 180g which works out to roughly 1.5g/kg to 2.2g/kg of lean body mass. As I understand it, that is a good target for someone my age that is lifting 3x per week.

Two questions:

  • any benefit to doing the light spins b4 lifting at high RPM, say 90-95rpm?
  • any feedback on the MTI work or anything else?

This week I’m feeling enough adaptation to the lifting that I did ~0.45 IF easy / 90rpm spin before lifting. Planning on doing the same today and Friday.


Hey Brian!

Good job getting your workouts in and winning in the kitchen. That will pay off as you go along as you fuel your body properly. The weight in the workouts should be slowly increasing and beginning to be a little more challenging. Your legs will not feel super sprightly on the bike with doing the gym work. But that is ok as you don’t have too much intensity while riding.

As far as riding higher rpms before the lifts I’m not sure there is any huge benefits. But the idea of riding before is to open up, get the blood flowing and you will get more of that at a higher rpm. Also with all the muscle tension work it is good to work on a higher rpm so you don’t get comfortable to always rider a lower rpm. A little higher rpm can be beneficial and save your legs muscles over the course of longer rides / races.

Your MTI intervals look good. Seems this week you did get your cadence from the mid to upper 50 ranges down to under 50. So were working harder in that aspect. I would only suggest that if you could get the effort more consistently up into zone 3 that would be good. But you don’t want to go harder than that. But get in a little more aerobic work with the zone 3 pace while doing muscle tension intervals.

Looks like you also did some freestyle muscle tension last weekend. You were smart to look at the overall amount of muscle tension the workout called for (36 minutes) and did that if not more. Your ride on a whole averaged 60 rpm. So that was good.

Too little wind last night and it’s flat as a pancake halfway between the Sierras and the SF Bay.

Sadly the MTI workouts keep missing the good 15-20mph windy afternoons. Thinking of putting the 53 chainring back on as I was running out of gears trying to keep it below 60rpm. A good delta breeze and it’s easy to get power solidly into z3 at 50rpm.

Thanks for the feedback.

  • Brian

Yeah a 53 big chainring would help or some strong prevailing winds. Those folks we coach in Colorado have their choice of climbs.

But just put it in your biggest gear and go. Its all you can do with what you have. You’ll be good once the plan goes from muscle tension to the sprint / standing starts. Those will go just fine with what you have.

Yup, looked last night and the MTI work is done so not going to swap chainrings. Thanks for the reminder on increasing weight, did that last night and am feeling my glutes again this morning :+1:

With 60-90 minutes of riding I can be climbing into the Sierra mountains, or an hour drive northeast is Napa or southeast is Mt Diablo and a couple nice HC climbs:

Mountains aren’t ‘Boulder close’ to me, but happy my flatland training has some views!

Have a great day!

(p.s. I grew up in flatland mid-MI)

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That’s an awesome view! And in reality for a long weekend rides you can easily get to some climbs. But also the opportunity to do fast steady intervals with that terrain right there. Good stuff!


Thinking of FasCatting my way up to this ride on the summer solstice next year:

Bonus 20 miles from my house.