Focusing on Intensity

by Arlyn on January 9, 2009

I expect racing to be a series of very high-intensity moments scattered amongst a fairly hard baseline of riding. The high-intensity moments will be generated by doing things like jumping with a breakaway, closing down a gap or just trying to maintain contact with a group going balls out. Historically, my fitness has been very deep on the endurance side, but weak when it comes to intensity. So, I’ve been focusing on intensity.

Yesterday, for example, I rode three times around Miramar Lake for a total of just 17 miles. My plan was to alternate spin-ups and jumps. For a spin-up, I would spin as fast as I could without bouncing on the saddle and hold for as long as I could. For a jump, I would sprint hard out of the saddle for 10-15 kicks and then sit and continue to increase speed to some arbitrary point about 25 meters ahead. Here’s my HR profile with my cadence profile. I threw in the elevation so you can see that it’s basically a flat course.

Workout data from my interval training

TrainingPeaks graph of my workout data from yesterday.

I was really surprised that I was able to generate 25 intervals well above my lactate threshold in such a short time. I was also surprised that I was able to recover so quickly between intervals. The first time I ever attempted this kind of exercise I was only able to generate 10 intervals.

I guess the training is working.

I mentioned that my legs have been sore this week. They felt much better yesterday, although I chose to do flat-road work instead of hill sprints as a recovery measure.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott January 11, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Last time I was at the lake, they had closed off the part that goes over the dam for fear of a terrorist attack. Is this still the case? Have the terrorists given up on Lake Miramar?

I’m a little surprised that you’re using the lake to train. I seem to remember a fair amount of family activity, meaning that it’s difficult to go fast since there’s the danger of toddlers and other family-related hazards. Is this so?

Arlyn January 12, 2009 at 8:11 am

They have opened the bike path around the lake, but the portion by the dam had heavy fencing. The fencing is opaque at oblique angles so you can’t go very fast through the fencing cause you can’t see around the corners. The dam is great though – long, straight and wide. I have to say I’m pretty bent about the whole fencing thing, but that’s another post.

It’s best to choose your time of day to ride the lake (before noon on a weekday is good) and you do have to watch for pedestrian traffic. Intervals is ok though cause I need to go fast for a shorter period of time. I used to TT the lake, when the fence was closed, but there was a LOT less traffic on it.

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