Sunday, March 11, 2007

Expect nothing except to be surprised

Today was a little shocking. After the very hard road ride two days ago I thought that it would take a few days before the legs would come around again. The following day, I was hoping for that spring board affect that sometimes follows hard efforts, where you can do two back to back good efforts.

However even though the legs weren't soar when walking up the stairs, the trainer never lies. I was trying to do some 3on 1 off and the power was just not there so stopped the workout after a few reps.

Today, I was just planning on hopping on the mountain bike to reaquaint myself with the nuances of riding offroad, fully expecting to have two blocks of wood for legs.

Lighting strike...Bam. like you read about.

Headed up Old Farm. First time in a long long time. I have to start the stop watch when I get on this trail. Just for a benchmark. You know.

Perfect spin, the kind of pedal stroke where each revolution maintains momentum to the next. I started to check the clock. Looking like a PR.

I was smelling the PR, tasting it, thinking about what I was going to write. Then it sort of fell apart. But still. 12 seconds shy. Just couldn't believe it. Decided to drop down the mountain and take advantage of these legs.

For about 35minutes I was riding with legs to die for. I'll happily endure trainer workouts for months to have these legs again.

But why were they here? After that killer ride a few days ago they should be toast. That's when I started to look back over the last two weeks and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm starting to feel the affects of the rest.

A planned rest week coupled with some additional forced rest days from being sick, coupled with some training that was at a reduced volume. And something that continues to surprise me, is that the legs came on strong regardless of the hard ride two days ago. I've seen this in the past where (for the most part) regardless of the training be it on the couch or a regular week the legs come on strong at a certain time.

Everyone has a certain sweet spot, mine is about 10 days after the end of a hard cycle. Here's what the past few weeks have looked like.
feb-mar cal

5 days of planned rest from Feb 23-27. Got sick on the 24th and took additional rest days 28-March 1.

March 2-3 had some training but at very reduced volume just to ease back into it.
March 7-8 were off days
March 9 was that really hard road ride
March 10 was supposed to be some intervals but bagged them.
March 11 was today.

10 days exactly from March 1st.

I've used this peaking strategy many times in the past. I just wasn't thinking about it this time and it surprised me:

A period of progressive overload followed by 5 day Morris style rest week (easy/off-easy/off-5x1-easy/off-Zone2) and then continue regular training but at slightly reduced volume. 10-12 days after the end of the overload usually I'm riding strong.

Moral. keep a log, look for patterns.

The ride was a great mental boost. The deficiencies were mostly related to lack of snap at technical sections. Pretty soon I'll be introducing back the Leadout intervals that are just so perfect to address this. I was also reminded of the need to not go to the bailout gear with the dually. It seems to bog slightly and it's probably better to stay one gear up and grind a hair rather than go to the bailout.

Additionally, the technical fundamentals (vision, braking, weight balance) all need some serious re-drilling. Also need to build up the callouses on the palms too.

I want to break that PR so bad. The last one was set May 2006. A couple times I got close but never really put it together. That one was set with the Hollowpoint which was a heavier bike. but I think I had my race wheels on where now I have some beefy Deore beat on wheels. One day I'm going to go for it in race trim and see what happens.


At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to hear you rebounded! So much that can go wrong in prepping for racing.

I was supposed to race today, but I got sick a few days ago.
I went ahead and rode this weekend, but wasn't feeling race worthy.

I was really looking for to this early race, I tend to be a better cool weather rider.

Oh well, it is still early.

I think I recall your first race is April 1st. You should be flying by then.

Thanks for the inspiring reading material.



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