Saturday, March 5, 2011

Repeats. I repeat, repeats.

Tried my first repeats today. The training session called for a steady grade that would take 6 minutes to complete. I found a section on Cooper road that started at the river and went up fairly steadily. Nothing too steep and only one real decrease in elevation (and that was not for very long so I was able to push a bigger gear to keep the effort constant without too much difficulty).

I wasn't sure the section would be suitable. So, as a backup, I planned to just do my best on the 30K Centanary Church Loop. Fortunately I did not quite finish the climb in 6 minutes. So as I improve I can continue to use this section until I find something even better or steeper as the season progresses.

The intervals themselves were tough but a whole lot better than Tuesday's effort. I ramped up the HR over the first minute until I got to 91-95% and had a cadence in the 80-95 rpm range.  I was able to hold that effort withour the legs filling with LA. Finished the ascent and returned to the bottom with a brief slowing of cadence to catch my breath then an easy 100-110 cadence to clear the legs. Second time up it took a little longer to get to the desired HR. It was like I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do all three and was holding back or something. But, I gritted my teeth and forced myself to a faster cadence to get into the range. It looks like on this grade, getting into a faster cadence keeps my legs alive and pushes my HR up. Good to know.

On the final interval, my legs were getting tired and it was even more difficult getting my HR up. It took almost 2 minutes before I got there. I was able to get over by a bit of luck in that the stretch of road just edged up a little bit more, such that I could hold the cadence and push harder.

These intervals were very satisfying. While my HR was in the zone my breathing was heavy but regular, unlike when I was trying to do this on the flats in a heavy gear. I did not feel like my legs were going to drop off or that I would pass out from a lack of oxygen. So, the big revelation for the day is the effort of 91% MHR is different from 91% MHR on the flats. Oh, and that apples are different from oranges.

Distance: 39.22 km
Speed: 25.94 kmh
Cadence: 84 rpm
AVG HR: 154 bpm
Weight: 200 lbs

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