This week we're talking to a cyclist who decided to ride over one thousand miles to support the Pat Summit foundation and their fight against Dementia and Alzheimers. Josh Crisp decided to saddle up and pedal 1,098 miles from Knoxville to Key West to raise money for the foundation. Before taking on this Journey Josh was an active individual who competed in Spartan races but had never spent significant time on the bike. We asked him to share some of his training as he prepares for his thousand mile ride in late October.
As you know, I’m not an elite athlete by any stretch of the imagination…not even sure I’m considered an athlete. I’m a husband, dad to 3 small kids, and small business entrepreneur that is passionate about trying to stay active and healthy. For me it’s more about a journey of growth and wellness. As I have began to get older, I have found it helps me to stay in shape by setting goals, working towards them, and continually trying to push myself beyond my comfort zone. For me, this is where personal physical, emotional, and spiritual growth occurs.
My most recent goal, Pedal for Pat, has definitely pushed me beyond my comfort zone. For someone not owning a bike until this year, preparing for a 1098 mile bike ride over a twelve day period is daunting and completely out of the “comfort zone.”
I have used a variety of different workouts to not only help me prepare for the physical and mental challenges of Pedal for Pat, but also custom tailored to help me find the balance with my life in general.
Here is an average week of workouts in my life and the reason(s) I have behind them.
Time on the Bike
I try to spend 6 days of the week on a bike for some length of time. I have now worked myself up to an average of 300+ miles a week on the bike. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s a lot for me with my schedule. While I have grown to love the sport, due to schedule conflicts and to avoid monotony I mix up how I get these miles.
Stationary Training Rides.
I love my Tacx smart trainer. When it’s raining outside, or simply too late or too early and I need to log time on the bike, being able to virtually ride with people from around the world and unique places and courses through Zwift adds some variety that I need to keep me interested. I also use stationary bike rides before and after routine gym workouts to warm up and cool down. I actually use this time for dual purpose. I don’t watch much TV, but I’m guilty of catching up on some world news events and Sports Center in my warm up and cool downs. For me, this is a mental escape at a variety of levels while also getting some physical action.
For me, an intermediate ride is a 20 to 50 mile bike ride. I love these rides and do these several days during the week weather permitting. Due to my travel schedule, I have found myself on many occasions planning my trips ahead, finding great routes, and exploring new places when visiting other towns. This has been rewarding at a variety of levels and keeps me active while on the road. I think all my road warrior friends can agree that its easy to live on fast food and spend all your time in meetings, bars, and working when traveling for career. Planning ahead for rides in the early morning or late evening seems to also keep me focused and energized on my trips. I will also tend to throw in the trainer just in case circumstances aren’t conducive for riding outside. Strava has been one of my favorite easy to use planning tools for routing the bike trips in unfamiliar territory.
I try to get in 1 or 2 60+ mile rides a week. These typically come on the weekend for me and are planned around social and spiritual activities which I think are important to not replace in order to “create the balance.” Again, the goal for me is not really to become an elite athlete as much as to train for a phenomenal event and continue on my journey of wellness. I like to also plan these to do with other people. Getting others to join, I find that I not only enjoy the ride, the social interaction, but we gain mental strength and encouragement from encouraging and pushing one another. As a new cyclist, almost everyone I ride with has more experience and are stronger, so this is a great learning environment.
One of my most painful but rewarding training rides are the shorter rides. These rides I focus on sprints or what you might refer to as intervals. One of my routes is the scenic Sequoyah Hills Park Boulevard. Not only is the scenery beautiful, it is a relatively safe place to ride and offers a variety of hills and flats. I like to focus on 90 second sprints intermittent between flat sprints and hill sprints. I have improved my muscle endurance incrementally in the short time of interval training rides. I’ve enjoyed using my Wahoo Bike computer linked with some other sensors such as the heart rate sensor. It’s fun to see the results when you start seeing those improvements on a consistent course.
Although most of my gym time has been replaced by time on the road on a bike, I still like to “mix it up” and get some strength, core, and cardio workouts in several days a week. This helps me stay balanced, but also breaks some of the monotony. I have been able to switch some of my workouts to focus more on the core muscle groups needed to perform best on a road bike, but the change of scenery and some high intensity workouts with friends is almost therapeutic for me.
The absolute most favorite time I have is the active recovery days. Again, this is typically one day a week, sometimes on a Sunday afternoon while the kids sleep. It may look like a slow swim and stretch in the pool, followed by some stretching in sauna or hot tub. I mix this time up, turn on some tunes on my earbuds when not in the pool, and simply recover physically and mentally from the week and think about goals for the upcoming week. Again, this is typically a Sunday activity for me and something I look forward to each week.
So, while non-scientific, and certainly open to improvement, this is how I have been training most recently and really enjoyed it, most of the time:).