Thursday, May 19, 2005

Eye of newt combined with abracadabra

Man, I am on form this week. Feeling great. New something was going on when I was able to ride pretty hard on the hill repeats after that 3hr mtb bike ride.

Finally got wise and did active recovery on Monday (1/2 hr commute in on the mtb) instead of taking the day completely off and yesterday did 1hr on the road bike. Zone 2 which at this point in the week is just where the legs feel a little uncomfortable. Still felt great.

Than today, intervals. 12 mins of alternating MSP/SMSP (270W/320W) then after 6 mins rest did 5x2on 2off at 310 W. This is the first time in 4 weeks I've been able to do that whole workout with the alternating ones and then the 2min ones. And it felt almost easy.

If I had not been using the same bike, same tires and had not calibrated the unit, I would have been really worried something was wrong. It is just amazing when you are feeling good how it can feel effortless. Even though your are working hard and grimacing it still seems almost too easy.

How and why these high points happen can be a mystery to most. Lots of magic and witchcraft

But one thing anyone, not just pros, can do is to look at their training from a macro view and look for patterns that repeat. The pattern that works for me is serious overreaching followed by at least 2 weeks of time. After that 2weeks or so I'm riding the wave. A lot of people enter their training in an excel spreadsheet or something so they can track weekly mileage and hours. But it is hard to look at a spread sheet like that and see the macro patterns. A better way is to look at your training in calendar format. There are plenty of free online calander makers you can use to enter notes. Then you can just make some stars or color code where you really worked it hard, where you are feeling really bad and where you are feeling really really good. And see over the year if you can find your particular patterns.

On the 1st of May I had that race at Douthat which really blew me out of the water. And I had several rides where I wasn't feeling that great but pushed my best through them. And even though I've been training I've also been recovering from those overreaches in the first week of May. and now I'm feeling good. I don't think it's possible for me to be overtraining given how few hours I put in and the number of rest days I have.

Some people feel that unless you are feeling super that you should't try to go hard. I think what works well is pushing hard sometimes even though you are not feeling 100%. Sure if you just can't turn the pedals than yeah it's time to rest, but I'm talking where you feel ok but not super great. The trick though is to know that you are not going to be going your best. So if it was a race or something you're probably not going to be getting any good results. What you're looking for is for the race to be your motivation to help you push hard even though you aren't feeling the best. That cummulative effort pays off big time after you recover.

The hard part is that we want to be going good all the time. And it takes motivation to go hard when you aren't feeling the best. A group ride, or a race is great motivation, but a double edged sword because at those types of things you want to crush, but you can't because you've been riding yourself into the ground. Like doing an interval workout the day before a race. Not the best strategy if you want to win the race, but a good way to do a hard block and get motivated to work hard on the second day.


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