Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Key Workouts

I typically do about 4 "key workouts" per week. What I mean is, out of the 6 days per week I exercise, 4 of them include training hard and the other 2 are pretty easy. It seems to work pretty good for me, so I'll keep doing it.

This time of year, I'll usually do longer intervals at or just above threshold twice during the week. I switch up the interval duration and intensity throughout the year. On Saturdays I will put in a long ride with a variety of efforts that leave me pretty wasted at the end. On Sundays I've been skating in Wichita, which usually includes some strength training and shorter, more intense intervals. Lately, Sunday has been the most painful day of the week. Mondays are off, and two other days a week I just ride for the enjoyment of riding and to help recover a bit. If it is really windy or really cold I will take my mountain bike to the trails instead. When it is really windy, it is hard to have an easy day. I experienced that yesterday after riding about 9mph into a headwind for nearly an hour to try and keep the intensity where I wanted it.

I do have one thing I'd like to change, and actually started implementing last week. On one of my easy days I should be skating really easy with 100% of my focus on technique. Technique/form in skating is so much more important than it is in cycling. Anyone with a decent fitness background can ride a bike quickly with just a short period of training. Skating is different. I get on to other people about not perfecting their technique, but I get just as lazy with mine sometimes. Doing this between key workouts is a great idea because you aren't putting added stress on your body (in fact, you are helping it recover) but at the same time you are building speed through the efficiency of your movement.

There are a lot of different training theories out there. A lot of people seem to believe that doing less intensity but working more frequently is better. For example, they will do multiple days in a row of intervals at about 85%-90% of their threshold. The thought is that while each workout provides less net gain than a workout at 95%-105% of your threshold, you can do the workouts more often because it doesn't fatigue your body as much, and in the big picture you get even stronger. It makes some sense, but I'm not willing to apply it yet. I can handle (and even sometimes enjoy) long and hard threshold intervals twice a week. I don't really want to do intervals every day. Maybe if I was stuck on the trainer, since intervals make the time go by faster. I just like having some variety to my workouts. I like riding hard on some days and easy on others.

Since today wasn't one of my key workout days, I decided to play around with my TT bike fit in preparation for mineral wells. My saddle felt a little high, so I lowered it. I played around with it a couple weeks ago and decided to move my elbows out a little bit. It is 10x more comfortable, and my shoulders actually look tighter this way.

I also tried the LG Rocket and Giro Advantage to see which looked better on my back. Sarah prefers the Rocket for herself, but the Advantage feels a lot better on me. It's way more comfortable and it seems to line up with my back pretty well. The pictures are a little dark, but you can see the outline at least.


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