Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back in (out of) the Saddle

I'm back in the saddle after a few days of licking my wounds. Just did a short 30K, but given the wakeup call on my climbing ability it's time to refocus. I was thinking of training for a time trial for fun later this month because I thought my climbing was a whole lot better that it really was. While better than last year, I am definitely still in the beginner category so if I'm going to get over a cat 2 this summer I need to stay focussed on that goal.

After warming up, I decided any time the grade went above 3% I would get out of the saddle and climb to the top of the hill (even if it went down a little or the grade dipped below 3% I would stay up; to get comfortable with the rhythm of climbing).

While climbing a longer hill, I glanced at my Garmin a few times and noted that my "comfort" cadence was about 50rpm. That kept my breathing regular and my legs at the edge of burning. I could keep going but it tended to be mostly pushing down and moving the bike side to side. Thinking back to Sunday, where I had plenty of time to view the cadence of others from behind, I downshifted and upped the cadence to 60-65. I've always had a mental block with doing this; being worried that I would run out of energy or breath and crack. But, the turbo training this winter has pushed mental block to the side a little, so I gave it a try. I felt like I had more pep in the legs without too much of an increase in effort (still 90+ MHR). By upping the cadence to 60-70 the lactic acid buildup seemed to decrease while only slightly increasing my breathing effort.Not reallt sure how it affect my speed but I'm sure that will come.

Will try to do this more to get used to climbing with a higher cadence

Distance: 32.6 km
Speed: 26.3 kmh
Cadence: 70 rpm
AVG HR: 154 bpm
Weight: 204lbs

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