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Evil has a new name: “Junction”.

Evil has a new name: "Junction".

While I was on vacation late last month I had the opportunity to ride outside nearly every day, and so I temporary suspended my current indoor training during that time. It’s not like I lost any fitness–quite the contrary, in fact. I put in a lot of miles while I was off, and I rode hard.

The end of June marked the completion of my 2-month road pure cycling phase, and I was eager to return to mountain biking. I’ve done a couple road rides and trainer workouts this month, but for the most part I’ve been out mountain biking.

Yesterday I picked up where I left off in my current TrainerRoad cycling training program, Intermediate Build I.

The past couple of workouts in that training program were extremely tough, and yesterday’s workout took the pain to new levels.

Let me backtrack a couple of workouts so you’ll be up to speed.

I did the “Tydall” workout just before my vacation. Here are my post-workout notes:

Today’s 60 minute/17.7 mile workout was “Tyndall” on TrainerRoad. This workout includes 4×8 minute sets of 15 seconds @ 150% FTP (441 watts)/ 15 seconds @ 50% FTP. 6 minute active recovery intervals between sets. No pithy post-workout comments today. I’m absolutely destroyed. No idea how I made it though the last two sets. Gutted.

Then, after returning from my vacation, I did the next workout, “McDuffie“. Here are my post-workout notes from that one:

Today’s 60 minute/17.9 mile workout was “McDuffie” on TrainerRoad. This workout includes 5×7 minute sets consisting of 3x12s sprints @ 200% FTP (588 watts) followed by 4 minutes @ 105% FTP (309 watts). 3 minutes active recovery between intervals. I had a pretty bad sinus headache and did not feel like working out. I took yesterday off, though, so I forced myself to do it. It was tough, but I’m glad I got it done.

Evil has a new name: "Junction".

Evil has a new name: “Junction”.

Yesterday’s workout, “Junction“, is sort of a 1.5 hour amalgamation of the previous two workouts. When I previewed the workout I saw 3 sets of 16 anaerobic capacity intervals (just like those that almost killed me in “Tyndall”), only this time they followed six tough anaerobic capacity sprint/threshold intervals like those found in “McDuffie”. I’ll be honest, I have been dreading this one. Based on how I felt after the previous two workouts, I was questioning my ability to complete “Junction”–a first for me.

The workout–which I did complete–was every bit as tough as I expected it to be. My post-workout notes sum up my feelings:

In the deepest, darkest bowels of Hades, there exists two workouts named “Tyndall” and “McDuffie” (the last two workouts in my current training program); if they were to meet and reproduce, this foul 1.5 hour/27.4 mile workout known as “Junction” would be their depraved hellspawn. “Junction” takes the most difficult parts of the past two workouts, and combines them into a 1.5 hour celebration of agony. Things kick off with two sets of 3×5 minute threshold efforts that begin with a 12 second sprint at 150% FTP (441 watts); just 1 minute active recovery between intervals. Things get even tougher in the second half of the workout: 3 sets of 16 intervals consisting of 15s @ 150% FTP, 15s active recovery. This was an excruciating workout.

I’m glad that one is in the books!

Happy Friday!