Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The trap of MSP

I've been riding very strong lately. It's a good solid feeling. Good pace on long climbs, good sustained efforts on the flats.

It's a good feeling, and an easy way to fall into complacency. The time is coming to break out of this type of riding and get into very uncomfortable territory.

I need to start getting myself to push harder and outside this envelope of sustainable pace, to blow up and then recover and do it again. It's mentally very very hard for me. Basically it boils down to willfully overcoming your self preservation complex.

Can I step in front of a moving bus? It's one thing on a trainer where you are hyperfocused and the ergo forces your to either turn it or not. On the road or trail it's different. For some people it comes naturally, for the rest of us it has to be coerced and forced out.

In a race it's actually all too easy to over cook it. I know how how my body works, and my best races are a steady state effort with limited calculated trips into the red zone. Not the way to win, but for now it is the way to get the best results for my important races.

In training, though it's time to push it. It can be scary to knowingly blow up in the middle of a climb. The very real thoughts of am I going to be able to get back home or back to the car crop up.

My training is going to start transitioning to some interval efforts that alternate between SMSP and MSP each minute. These workouts called 'butt kickers' help develop the adaptation for mountain biking to traverse between steady state effort and the red zone inducing grunt climbs, technical sections, and passing efforts.

I'm also going to 'try' to intentionally blow up on climbs, then recover back in the middle and then attack at the top. We'll see how it goes, but that's the plan anyway.


At 9:37 PM, Blogger Carol said...

hey ashwin -- completely unrelated to your post but I wanted to ask you if you can relate to this feeling:

Among my speed sessions tonight I encountered --
"4th 800 6.2 again feels like gliding at this pace -- finding it an intrusion of neg thought to fit half marathon hill thoughts in during this workout, like fitting a square peg in a round hole."

Thinking about how much influence one's thought pattern has on an actual workout. Obviously there is a DEFINITE connection... anyone who exercises regularly knows that like the nose on their face, but what i found interesting here is that even thoughts about other training one is facing can also impede!


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