One of my resolutions for 2012 is to resume regular entries in this blog. Today I got up rather anxious from various stresses at home and work. I drove to the gym and decided to ride a hard spin for 20 minutes, a typical workout I usually do once or twice a week. It doesn’t take long and it keeps me at my threshold power and heartrate. I don’t usually do this more than once a week during the off-season, but have been using it more frequently lately, partly to burn off stress.
My power numbers have been steadily rising since December, from 238 watts to 251 to 253 last Thursday. Not far from my best ever of 257. I wasn’t feeling very strong this morning. I’d only managed 245 on Tuesday this week. Two days wasn’t much rest. On the other hand, sometimes you get on a roll. I decided to do the first 5 minutes very hard and see what happened. Either my legs would give out or I would make a try at the record.
I spent 10 minutes warming up at an ever harder pace. Then I began my 20-minute torture. The first few minutes are the worst. My legs aren’t stretched out yet and it really hurts. Sometimes the hurt gets the better of me and sometimes I seem to find more smoothness as time goes on. I made it through the first five minutes at 76 kcal, just one kcal behind a pace to match the 257 watt record for 20 minutes. I reached the halfway point at 152 kcal, one kcal better than my previous record for the first 10 minutes. Either I was challenging for a new record or I’d blow up soon.
I passed the 15-minute mark with a 77 kcal reading for the third five-minute block, so I was getting faster. I sprinted the last minute and finished the last five-minute leg at a record 80 kcal. My total of 309 kcal (which translates to 258 watts) was a new high and my last half of 157 kcal tied the previous high.
Riding well indoors is not a perfect predictor of riding outdoors. But a 258-watt effort for 20 minutes is impressive for me. It is exactly the same reading as for my best climb of Fox Gap in Pennsylvania. It compares with readings I get during the Whiteface Mountain uphill bike race.
Riding indoors requires a lot of internal motivation. On the other hand, there are fewer distractions, such as traffic lights, passing cars and potholes.
About all I can say is, I am in good shape for Groundhog Day. I hope I’m not burning out. There is a fine line there.