Friday, September 22, 2006

Burning thighs

I've been reading a bit about the benefits of short bouts of high-intensity work on aerobic performance. When I don't have much time for a workout, I try to go hard. Yesterday was one of those days.

I had less than 90 minutes to ride, once the babysitter arrived and my heart rate monitor was in place and the tires were pumped up and Buttercup and I were both ready to roll.

I tried to go as hard as I could maintain, and then do some higher-intensity miles one at a time. The heart rate was up to nearly 160 for the higher-intensity bouts, which usually got me above 20 mph. Then when I wasn't concentrating, the heart rate would drift down to the upper 130s. The funny thing was that I was still holding 18-19 mph sometimes even with a lower heart rate, which told me I had a pretty good tailwind going.

I also re-learned that it's much easier to maintain a given speed than accelerating and decelerating. And also that it's really easy and takes only moments for your average speed to drop quickly, but it's really difficult and takes a long time to bring it back up again. And cranking really hard on those pedals makes these big old thighs burn!

I ended up covering 18.3 miles (including the slow part through town) in 60:00. My average speed for 22.5 miles ended up being 18.2 mph, though. Some day that will be my sustainable speed on the bike. Right now it's my PR pace for a closed-loop ride over 20 miles. It's inching upwards, one-tenth mph at a time.

Yeah, it's all about the numbers for me! The biggest numbers that I'm keeping in mind every single day: 140.6 miles in 16:59 or less. Every workout serves that goal right now.

7 comments:

Shelley said...

That's amazing Nancy...see...these little speed sessions will help to get you faster and faster over the long run..can't wait to see how you do at IMFLA!!

nancytoby said...

Heh, I was going to go back and edit it and talk about how I want to BIKE LIKE SHELLEY.... but I got lazy and left it as it was. :-)

I'll just follow your trail of burned rubber and smoke....

Vickie said...

Yep, 16:59 and you are still an Ironman!

21st Century Mom said...

That sounds like a rockin' good ride. I should do some HR training on my bike - I'm sure it would help.

As for numbers - those 2 you list last are what it's all about. Woo Hoo!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Great ride-Have you taken a spinning class. It made a huge difference for me.

Cliff said...

I love it too when I can just go out and let it rip.

Fe-lady said...

I used to have to try and get in as many laps as I could in a half-hour 'cause I didn't want my daughter in daycare any longer than that in the summer at our club. I learned to swim fast that way! Funny how the kids actually kinda help us along in our speedwork sessions!
Yea for tenths of miles!