Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Speed work.

I'm a skinny boy.  Built to climb hills and tuck in behind larger riders.  Given that predilection, that's what I've done.  Playing to one's strengths in a race is a no-brainer, but doing so in training is a big mistake for many riders.  It's so easy to do.

Take your average group ride.  Friendly start, lots of chatting.  First hill:  the skinny climber on a carbon Italianissimo moves to the front and glances back at his cohorts, looking for a challenge.  On the flat 5k to the county line, however, you'll find that same svelte kid tucked in and wheezing behind Bruce, the 6'2" 250 pounder on a steelie who's barely breaking a sweat.  Hyperbole?

We like what we like, and we often like things because we're decent at them, or someone told us we looked good doing it.  This year, my preparation is about not looking nice.  It's about doing those things that are slow, painful, and essentially necessary to cast a bright light on the hidden side of my fitness equation.

Tonight was big-ring-smashing along our beloved City Loop.  20 miles at 21mph.  I hit the targets but with some difficulty.  Flat land speed is not my forte'.  Put me on an incline and I could probably be heard to say "the steeper the better."  So, it's time to work on the flat land speed.  Breakaways require this.  Steady state power output at a speed faster than those behind you.

The stats:
Distance:   20.6 miles
Avg:          21.2 mph
Avg. HR:    159
Max HR:     182
Temp:       36 degrees

Next up:  A night ride at Salem Lake (off road) followed by a 40 mile speed work ride on Saturday.


bicycle spaniard said...

Dig the words. Very cool. Improvement always seems to be one notch right of the end of your comfort zone. Keep on keeping on, E!

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