Hot and windy ride kicked my butt yesterday!
For yesterday’s ride I decided to head over to the Van Fleet trail for an uninterrupted 100 kilometers. My plan was to spend the first half of the ride warming up at about an 18 MPH pace, and then do the second half at a 23+ MPH average pace.
When I arrived to the trailhead I was not happy when I discovered that I’d somehow forgotten my MP3 player (SanDisk Clip Zip) and my earbuds (MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6). Music = watts, so that was a real bummer.
Apparently my brain was not fully caffeinated when I packed my truck, as I also forgot my gloves (Louis Garneau 12c Air Gel Gloves). Gloves provide a tremendous amount of added comfort, and help dampen road vibration considerably.
So, not a great start.
I rode the first 30 miles at a warm-up pace: right at an 18 MPH average, with an average output of 174 watts (for me 174 watts is the lower end of Zone 2/Endurance). I could tell that I was feeling off: my legs didn’t seem to have much “pop”, and my average heart rate was 134 BPM–higher than it should have been for such a low level of exertion.
When I arrived at the halfway point I was feeling way more drained than I should have after such a short and low-intensity warm-up effort. I checked my Garmin Edge 810’s temperature while I rested, and it said 95° F. My phone showed a slightly more merciful temperature, 92° F.
Even though I was having an off day and really suffering from the heat, I decided to stick with my original plan and hit it hard for the return trip.
I fired up the afterburners, and my heart rate quickly shot up in to the 176-178 BPM range. My power output was all over the place thanks to the extremely nasty crosswinds and headwinds I was battling. After 9 miles my average speed was only 22.5 MPH, but my average heart rate was 175 BPM…
I was hurting pretty bad. I backed off for a few seconds, then got angry with myself for backing off, and decided light it up again. The hot wind felt like dragon’s breath, and was shoving me all over the road. My heart rate was hovering around 177 BPM. Despite my efforts, my average speed over the next few miles dropped to 21.9 MPH.
At about mile 43 I was staring to feel sick and, as much as I hated to admit it, I knew that I could not sustain the current effort for another 17 miles. There was no way I was going to shut it down and softpedal home, but I decided to back off enough to get my heart rate back into the mid-160s.
My average speed for the second half of the ride was 21.4 MPH. That was certainly a much slower average than I set out to do, but considering the strong winds, the heat and the fact that I was having an “off” day, I’ll take it. I set seven new personal records for time on yesterday’s ride, and somehow took a KOM. It was a tough and productive training ride. Here’s the entire ride on Strava.
The lack of gloves definitely turned out to be a factor. It’s amazing how the road vibrations take their toll without a pair of padded gloves. I was very uncomfortable for much of the ride, and when I finished my hands were tingling and almost numb.
As for the heat, the official high yesterday was 93° F, which ties the all-time record high for April 28th. The “Feels Like” temperature was just below 100° F (it was humid, too).
I guess it’s going to take some time to re-acclimate to the heat. I was seriously depleted after the ride, and I did everything I could to prepare for it:
Breakfast: 1 cup Quaker oats, 1 banana, 40 ounces water, 1 Clif bar
Pre-ride: 1 Clif bar, 1 banana
During ride: 2 SaltStick electrolyte caps, 1 package of GU Chomps (8), 3 GU energy gels, 1 Clif bar, 100 ounces water
Post-ride: 1 Clif bar, 1 SaltStick electrolyte cap, 50 ounces water.
Three hour ride time, and despite all the above water, food and electrolytes I finished the ride down 4.2 pounds. Insane.