Last week I said " . . . next week I'm back on the bike, regardless of the conditions".
Well here we are at next week. It's March, the first mountain bike race is in 6 weeks, and its time for me to add some intensity, regardless of the conditions outside.
So tonight I dusted off one of my trusty trainers. I'm proud of the fact that I have stayed of that implement of torture so far this winter. I did so hoping to avoid the burnout that comes from too much indoor riding. I've been riding outside when the opportunity presented itself, and have also been hiking, skiing, XC skiing, playing volleyball, etc., to keep myself from getting too soft. Another piece of good news is that I stepped in the scale this morning and my weight what the same (199 lbs) as when the season ended last year. Also, according to my scale, my muscle mass has also held steady. Now if I could just lose about 20 lbs of fat . . .
So anyway, enough messing around. My season began in earnest today with some real intensity. I did a blackout interval workout. That workout has become a real favorite on the trainer. It takes about two hours, but because you are mixing it up, the time goes pretty fast.
As usual, in the last phase (cruise intervals) I ramped up the intensity of the last two intervals to way past zone 5a. In in the last interval, I did nearly the whole thing in 5c (177+), and put it all out there for the last few minutes. I held my HR above 190 for a couple of minutes. At one point I saw 193 bpm. That is a new personal best for me. Last year my old high was 185 bpm. Conventional wisdom says that your max heart rate decreases a beat with each year. With training, mine seems to be increasing? Also following conventional wisdom my max should be 200-48(my age) = 172 bpm. I feel like I could ride all day at at 172 bpm. Whatever, I'll take it. I don't want to get too hung up on max heart rate, but it is nice to have the additional head room in a race. It's also good to see that I can put it close to the max and hold it for a while.
It really felt good to work that hard. It was definitely redemptive suffering.