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Tough training ride yesterday, interesting results.

Saturday, April 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Yesterday morning the weather was extremely gloomy: it was dark, windy and raining, and I did not want to ride. I was trying to talk myself into going, but I looked out back, saw the rain dancing off the surface of the pond, and thought, “OK, I’ve got a lot of work today anyway. No ride.”

I sat down at my desk thinking about how I took Thursday off from riding, and that I would not be riding Saturday because of the trail work day. I swear, I was not in that chair for more than 60 seconds when I leaped up and said, “I’m going riding.”

Lisa tore herself away from her “Words with Friends” game long enough to look at me like I was crazy. Thankfully I’m used to that look.

Before I could change my mind, I got my Fuel checked over and the truck loaded up. I figured I’d head over to Mt. Dora, as the trails there run well when they are wet.

I decided to start off by hitting the new Advanced trail, “Helter Skelter” (the one we’re going to be working on this morning). I’ve ridden this trail quite a few times already, but Mike (and I think Rob and perhaps Mark) have made the trail even more evil since the last time I rode it. It’s one heck of a challenging trail, and my heart, lungs and legs protested diving right into such a heavy load with zero warm-up.

I took this picture on yesterday's ride at Mt. Dora: clay for the Helter Skelter trail work day today.

I took this picture on yesterday’s ride at Mt. Dora: clay for the Helter Skelter trail work day today.

After I rode Helter Skelter, I proceeded straight down to the main loop and started riding. I decided that I was going to ride fast, but maintain a pace that allowed me to do 10 laps with no stops or rest–always a solid training ride. I’ve done that workout before (and a more challenging variation of it that includes 12 laps/no stops with all blue options), but Helter Skelter definitely took some of the spring out of my step right off the bat. The first lap felt way harder than it should have, and on the second lap I realized I was off my game…

Once I realized I was not feeling it my first thought was, “That is exactly why you have to push through and get it done.”

That second lap was the slowest of the 10, but still a fairly respectable time–it just hurt more than it should have. I pushed on, started to feel better and finally found my groove.

When I reviewed my ride data I found it fascinating that my heart rate on some of the later laps was considerably lower than it was on some of the earlier laps with similar times. For example, my 4th lap was ridden in 8m12s with an average heart rate of 173 BPM, while my 8th and 9th lap were both ridden in 8m13s with average heart rates of 166 BPM and 164 BPM (respectively). Why? I rode better and more efficiently as the ride wore on. It’s that simple. My 10th lap was done in 7m50s, and my heart rate was still lower than it was on that much slower 4th lap!

Here’s the complete ride on Strava. Note that the “red” segment was created before the recent trail additions were made, and so the times on that segment’s leaderboard are not applicable to the times ridden now. Once the trail work is done, we’ll delete the old “red” segment and create a new “Helter Skelter” segment that matches the completed trail.

I need to get ready and get on the road. It’s going to be a grueling work day today, but the effort will be worth it. The more people who can make it the better, so come on out if you can. Helter Skelter is going to be one kickass trail!

By the way, I heard from Trek with regards to my Madone’s bottom bracket issue. I’ll have details in Monday’s blog…

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