Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pacing Drill

How many times have you simply survived an interval workout? You talk to yourself, you turn your iPod up louder, you dream of the bacon cheeseburger you will consume as a reward, and you watch the seconds tick by like cold molasses.

Today's interval session certainly had some fitness benefits but it also included a learning objective. What is your body telling you at different outputs? The goal was to train myself to *know* what power I am producing by observing perceived exertion signals.

My completed homework assignment

Interval #1 - 20' right smack in the middle of Zone 3 (Tempo)
This is my happy place. I felt like I could ride for a long time at this level.
Pedal Force - there is noticeable force on the pedals but not the kind of force that feels like it is doing muscle damage.
Breathing - controlled breathing, could talk if I needed to
Drool Level - 2 out of 10, controllable and socially acceptable

Interval #2 - 20' at the low end of Zone 4 (Threshold)
This level still felt good but a few warning signs crept in.
Pedal Force - just shy of the kind of force that you feel deep in the muscle.
Breathing - still controlled but a bit more labored. Could talk but couldn't carry on a conversation at this level.
Drool Level - 4 out of 10, socially acceptable among fellow cyclists but a little drool certainly hit the top tube.

Interval #3 - 20' Pin it. (Goal of maximizing my 20' average watts)
I knew this would hurt and it did. Specifically, the legs begin to really burn about 10' into it and I have to block out all thoughts other than "keep pedaling".
Pedal Force - um, yeah. This is a deep slow burn but it is different than a sprint finish at the Tues Night Worlds.
Breathing - CTB! (stands for Can't Talk, Breathing) No conversation going on here. I might be able to manage a grunt...but probably not. HR is pretty close to max for the last few minutes of the interval.
Drool Level - 9.5 out of 10, absolutely socially unacceptable and passing cars were probably horrified by the sight me spewing saliva and grunting my way up Teton Pass.

This was a solid workout AND I learned a bunch by paying attention. Thanks Coach.


Lynda Wallenfels said...

That is a pretty chart :-)

Lars said...

Good work Dave,How much rest between Intervals?

Dave said...

Lars - 10' in between intervals for this workout.