Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back on the trainer

Jumped on the trainer this fine Saturday morning. It's ironic. The weather is great, nice and sunny, albeit a little chilly. But I actually wanted to get on the trainer today. It's been a little while since I got in a good measured workout.

In a way it's nice to get a solid workout under the belt in a short amount of time. These types of workouts using the Ergo mode of the trainer allow me to dose efforts such that I'm going (almost) as hard as I can for the duration of a workout. It's like condensing the hard efforts out of a 2-3 hour road ride into 1 hour. Cut out all the fluff.

The core of my trainer workouts these days consists of 3 types of intervals.
-BK's (butt kickers)10-15 minutes alternating 1min at SMSP and 1 min at MSP
-2 and 3 bys with little rest (2 on 1 off or 3 on 1 off

Today was BKs. I love BKs. 1 minute at a hard pace (SMSP). This is the wattage that I'd been doing my 1-2 minute intervals at earlier in the year.

Then after 1 minute instead of easy rest, you go to 1 minute at sustainable pace (MSP). This is the level at which I had been doing my 8-12 minute intervals several months ago.

The idea is to simulate what you see in a mountain bike race. Where you have to go outside your sustainable pace for a technical section, to pass, or especially a steep grunt climb. Since it's a race you just can't soft pedal and go easy, you have to force yourself to go right back into your sustainable pace.

One thing I love about the ergo mode of my trainer. Is that once you set the resistance, it holds it regardless (within reason) of your cadence or gearing. My experience is that either you can do it or your can't. When you can't my legs just sort of hit a wall. It's different on a real bike. You just sort of go slower when you can't hold the desired intensity.

Today's goal was 3x10 BKs. with 5 minutes rest between efforts.

My legs are tired, and I was starting to fail in the SMSP minute around 6minutes in. Instead of just bagging the whole workout, I'd soft pedal for the remainder of the SMSP block and then ramp it up to the MSP and then try to continue from there and bumped the power down by 10W.

It's amazing what a little bit of recovery can do. I've seen this on the road bike where I can blow sky high, then sit in for a few minutes then come back. The problem is that this rarely happens offroad. There is no sitting in.

So much of these workouts is mental. The legs can do amazing things when sufficiently motivated.

I'm not very concerned that the legs aren't going super today. Earlier this week was some hard efforts designed as build up for the MOM. The next few days are going to be painful regardless of what I do be it sitting on the couch or doing planned workouts.


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