After training for the Santiago went so awry, and then Caspers training became moot, and so many huge changes have come about, it feels really good to stack up six weeks of consistent training. In the grand scheme of things, it's tiny. But it feels like a tiny victory.
And I'll take a victory, however tiny.
A scheduling snafu left me with some extra time to ride last Friday (How often does that happen!), but I'm not sure I should have taken the bait.
It was a long ride (for me), about 1:20, and included the interval workout I'd planned on doing. It didn't feel that rough, but my legs were super tired over the weekend, and I could feel that I needed to let them rest (no nano-workouts!) and I considered making this week a back-off week.
But on Monday I felt reasonably ready to ride, so I did my normal interval sesession, but kept the total volume to a minimum. Warm up, work out, be done.
I felt sluggish for Wednesday's "LSD" ride, and even got passed by a guy on an old mountain bike with a fishing pole and tackle box bungeed to the back. I was struggling into the wind at the time, and not really paying attention, and was wobbling right down the middle of the path. He said something about "kind of a roadblock" as he went by.
Remember, kids, no matter how hard you work to get better at something, and no matter how much you love it, there's someone out there who can kick your ass without even trying, and totally doesn't care.
Today's intervals went really well. Had to push a little to hit 170, but generally ok. I'm looking forward to some stretching and rest this weekend.
Lee McCormack posted a great tip about using your glutes a couple of weeks back, and I've been working on that. His recommendation was to anticipate the top of the pedal stroke so that you engage your glutes right at the top.
I couldn't get the timing right. So instead of thinking about timing, adjusted the "target" I was pushing toward.
Instead of pushing straight down through the bottom of the pedal revolution, I pushed down and away, through a point about 40° forward of the bottom.
Nitpicky, certainly. But I can feel my glutes and low back engaging much more, and that'll help my climbing. (And over time is probably nicer on my knees.)
I thought I'd get bored with bike path rides really fast, but getting better really is a powerful motivator for me. By giving my lunchtime rides a purpose (treating them like training sessions, with performance goals), I've made them into something that keeps me motivated and interested. It's like going to the gym. It's not "real" riding, but it's an abstraction, like the squat rack or the treadmill.
The plan for this week is more of the same: intervals, LSD, intervals. For now, that works for my body. (Especially since the intervals are essentially all-out.)