Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting faster

This morning's bike workout focused on increasing my muscular endurance so I can ride a higher (harder) gear more effectively. The higher the gear => the more revolutions the tire makes with each pedal rotation => travel farther. My training book says a key skill for IM training is to be able to churn a high gear for a long time in the flats. But it's important to keep cadence up around 90 rpm. So my workout today was based on a suggestion in the book: ride 30 seconds in typical gear that gives me 90 rpm, then switch to a higher gear for 30 seconds and try to maintain the 90 rpm, repeat.

My warmup was riding from home to the park (although starting on the busy street I live in does not really give me a good warmup, I'm usually pushing 20mph within 3 or 4 minutes), then I rode east on the bike path. I gave myself 25 minutes to ride out, giving me 25 to get back to the park, 20 to get to work, and 10 to shower and change.  I had so much fun pushing myself that when I got to the 8.0 mile marker at 25 minutes I figured I should just ride til 8.5 mile marker. Luckily I was 2 minutes faster on the return so I wasn't late to work. Riding faster on the return seems to be the standard these days, makes me wonder if I actually get faster throughout the workout or if the wind is always heading west. Pretty sure it's the latter.

One thing I love about workouts like today is that it seems like I can feel myself getting faster. That keeps me motivated throughout the workout. On the return trip I upped the time in the harder gear to 45 seconds, keeping the 30 seconds recovery gear.  My total avg speed was 17mph, but for the stretch on the bike path alone it was 18mph. It sounds so slow when I write it as I know it's not speedy for most serious triathletes, but it's fast for me. My legs could definitely feel it.

I squeezed in 25 miles in the morning and then just 12 in the afternoon. I tried to make myself ride more in the afternoon but the pollen was flying in my face and my legs were tired! I'd toyed with the idea of doing my 4 mile run after my bike ride home - a good brick workout. But I think I need fresher legs for the run. Maybe tomorrow morning? I've got a 5k race on Saturday so I need to run at some point tomorrow. Speaking of running, my long run last week (8.4 miles) was faster than a 10:30 min mile pace. I'm still in disbelief after doing the math over and over again. Woohoo. I'm getting faster!

Rose: 611
Kendra: 571

Pretty sure we'll both be glad when Bike Month is over.

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