Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tempo day!

Yesterday was a day back on the bike after a solid day off to recover from the weekends hard efforts stomping around the mountains. Turns out the coaches thought it would be a good idea to give me a sort of long and hard ride instead of a nice and easy short one, my ride looked like this (Unfortunately I cannot get my HRM files to open on my mac so I can't load them up to see the kind of efforts I was putting in):

20 minutes of warm up at endurance pace (first 5 at recovery to get the legs going)
30 minute tempo interval (HR 140-150, Cadence 70-75 e.g. Big Gears!)
20 minute recovery
30 minute tempo interval
10 minute recovery
4 minute fast pedal (HR irrelevant, generally in the 140's, Cadence 110-120)
4 minute recovery
4 minute fast pedal
4 minute recovery
4 minute fast pedal
20 minutes to continue riding (at endurance pace 125-140 bpm)

With this as a constant view if I wasn't looking down at my HRM:

This turns out to be 2.5 hours. Well after hitting a 5 hour ride with Jason at what would easily be considered tempo based on my 150 bpm average and 77 rpm cadence I thought, what is a 30 minute tempo interval. What is up with intervals!?! I can hold 150 bpm for 5 hours as an average, which generally means that I was climbing way harder and then getting plenty of recovery coming down, but when it comes to stomping my gears for 30 minutes I am always sore and miserable by the end of the second one? I don't get it.

This is me recovering between intervals, I feel a little dead right about now!

In actuality I felt really good the whole day and since I was doing tempo intervals I was in love with the headwinds that I had to fight through, for some reason they make the hard big gear flat riding much more enjoyable.

On another note it looks today will be my last day to ride in bib shorts and a jersey without the warmth of my arm and leg warmers as the weather is taking a decided turn for the worst after a week straight of 60-70 degree weather and blue skies, I hope I can handle it after being spoiled so much.

As one final note about why living out west is so awesome. Some of you may know, but not all, that I spent my younger more influential years living in Albuequerque, NM. Unfortunately when I was about 7 my dad got tired of his job and decided to get a new one which led to the rather unfortunate move to North Western Pennsylvania. In my later years I have come to appreciate Northwestern, PA and especially the amazing mountain biking that it has to offer, which rivals the best in the world. However, one thing that is not a regular occurrence there are sunrises like this:

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