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Difficult HIIT cardio workout takes me into the woods with no trails.

Friday, January 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

January
8
2010
Path  between woods and water treatment plant.
Path between woods and water treatment plant.

Yesterday was a cardio-only day, and I decided to take the mountain bike out for a spin around the neighborhood and some of the surrounding areas. The aim was to use the hills (there are actually some pretty good hills in my neighborhood) to provide me with a sort of non-structured HIIT workout. As soon as I left the house my legs were screaming at me (they are still extremely sore from Monday’s workout), but I figured once I got out there and warmed up they’d be fine. Well, that really wasn’t the case. Even after I’d done a couple miles of warmup at around 14 or 15 miles per hour on mostly flat roads, my legs were still not too happy. I decided to press on, and hit a couple of decent uphills. About this time I found myself approaching a “hidden” sidewalk that Lisa and I found a couple of months ago. This sidewalk runs between a water treatment plant and some woods:

I knew the woods were somewhere around 500 yards “deep”, and they came out on a bike trail near our subdivision. There are no trails through these woods, but they didn’t appear to be thick enough to prevent passage by bike. So I turned off the sidewalk into the woods, and quickly realized that I was in for a very difficult cardio workout! The picture above was taken a couple months ago when everything was still green, but over the past week we’ve had below-freezing temperatures almost every night. A thick carpet of dead pine needles covered the ground, and gaining traction was extremely difficult. When you’re on a bike the trick to getting through mud, sugar sand and other surfaces where traction is limited is SPEED. So I really had to really push the pace the entire ride though the woods. Also, the air was very cold, and it felt like little knives were stabbing my lungs (I was breathing very, very hard). Of course my legs were killing me, and about halfway though my lower back started aching for some reason. Once I could see the paved road about 50 yards in front of me I was quite relieved, but I still wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Somehow I did make it, and was rewarded with a nice, fast downhill for some well-deserved active recovery.

Today is my back/biceps/traps workout. I was really hoping my legs would be recovered enough for deadlifts, but they are not. I’m going to do rack pulls instead. The rest of my workout is to be determined. I’ll post it in tomorrow morning’s update.

Because I’m cutting “Stats Sunday” will make a return. Every Sunday morning I’ll update you with my progress by posting a complete set of measurement, my body fat reading and my scale weight. I think my dedication and hard work over the past week will pay off in the form of some nice improvements to my starting stats.

Happy Friday! Train hard, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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