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  1. #1
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    should you ride intervals when it is 45 and dumping rain?

    So, I have always been a fair weather rider, but have set goals this season that require me to start my interval training earlier than usual. Let me just start out with ... intervals in 45 degree rain and hail really suck and I am not sure in a good way. So am I the idiot I think I am for doing them in the rain, or do you think I am getting something out of this?

    On a normal warm day I would do the hill I did in 3 minutes or less 5 times out of 6. Today I was fighting to get under 3:30 for the same hill and averaged that for my 6 intervals. On any normal day I would have shut it down and stopped doing them based on how they were going because it would mean I was fried. Today I never felt fried, but I never felt I could really get into my suffer mode either, it was a different kind of suffer, I would not even call it suffer, just never really got over the hump. Clothing was perfect for the conditions and I was warm enough for the efforts and did a slightly longer warmup so that likely was not an issue. I just had no lasting firepower, the efforts would start out hard, but I would never get into the groove of a normal good interval. Oh and I have more than my share of weight to protect my body, I am not a climber type ... more of a fat ass sprinter type.

    This is not my first interval session of the year and I have many years of experience in doing intervals, just not much experience doing them in the cold rain. I am really hoping that I don't have to repeat this process next week, but the weather where I am is not going well lately.

  2. #2
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    could be many different things. sleep the previous night, training load coming into the day, etc.

    i prefer not to ride in dumping rain, unless i get caught in the middle of a storm and it's at least 60 F. Otherwise the cold really gets to me (i'm also not a climber)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Inquisitor.'s Avatar
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    I'm sure there was some value riding in lousy weather. Was doing intervals inside an option?

  4. #4
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Just be careful turning

  5. #5
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    depends. on a lot of things. fwiw, 45 and rain would have me inside. hell, 65 and rain would have me inside. i'm a fair weather rider. do you need bikeforums to make all your decisions for you?
    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    it depends

  6. #6
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    65 and rain = inside.
    45 and rain = definitely inside

    I find it hard to do intervals indoors(mentally) but if I had no choice then I would probably try it.

    I moved back to SoCal to avoid dealing with weather BS. I'll let others suffer with that nonsense.
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  7. #7
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    <-- idiot who did 5 and 10 minute hill repeats in pouring rain, and at some point hail. Not sure if I would do that again.

    The highlight of that day was almost sliding out the rear on a turn. The descent is technical.


    When I was in SoCal people were complaining when it dropped below 75, and was cloudy. The horror!
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Inquisitor.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    65 and rain = inside.
    45 and rain = definitely inside

    I find it hard to do intervals indoors(mentally) but if I had no choice then I would probably try it.

    I moved back to SoCal to avoid dealing with weather BS. I'll let others suffer with that nonsense.
    I miss the weather in SoCal. At least it's been a mild winter for the most part in the South East.

    I'll ride when it's cold. I'll ride when it's wet. I just prefer not to do both at the same time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    I would ride outside, but i'm tired of the trainer and 45 is a heat wave (I remember being giddy over 32 about 3 weeks ago). I also hate doing hard intervals on the trainer, they are so much mentally harder.
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
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  10. #10
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    i actually "like" longer (10+ minutes) threshold intervals on the rollers/trainer. but i'm weird.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    it depends

  11. #11
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    I register my vote "no" at the first occurrence of the word "intervals."

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  12. #12
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    I can do threshold work on an inside trainer, but I am on VO2max intervals and I can't do those inside ... or at least it would have been even worse than the outdoor ones. For the last 24 years the answer has always been wait until the weather improves or don't go outside, but I created a plan for this year and well yesterday was interval day ... and we had almost 2 inches of rain. I am happy to shift them 24 hours, but I didn't want to wait any longer or I wouldn't be able to do my next set on Monday. After I got back I wondered if it was even worth it since I was so far off my typical times for that interval, or maybe that is just what happens on a cold day and that is all I should expect.

    I don't want to repeat this is all I know.

  13. #13
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    fair weather rider in Portland?! ouch.

    i vote for just doing LSD type stuff in the rain. the suckage of intervals plus the suckage of rain equals no no no for me.
    cat 1.

    blog

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    fair weather rider in Portland?! ouch.
    Yeah, I mostly ride crits, the local flat training race at the raceway and the track, which shuts down if it sprinkles. So usually I can get away with it and just come into May a bit overweight and slow and suck a lot of wheels until July when the wet weather riders are all burnt out.

    This year I am testing to see if I can handle a full season and not burn out ... and I am finding out why I typically don't do this.

  15. #15
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    yeah when I was in Seattle it was tough to train through the winter.. 100% outdoors too.

    just lots of long slow stuff, I couldn't imagine trying intervals in that kind of weather.
    cat 1.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member aaronmcd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmikami View Post
    I can do threshold work on an inside trainer, but I am on VO2max intervals and I can't do those inside ... or at least it would have been even worse than the outdoor ones. For the last 24 years the answer has always been wait until the weather improves or don't go outside, but I created a plan for this year and well yesterday was interval day ... and we had almost 2 inches of rain. I am happy to shift them 24 hours, but I didn't want to wait any longer or I wouldn't be able to do my next set on Monday. After I got back I wondered if it was even worth it since I was so far off my typical times for that interval, or maybe that is just what happens on a cold day and that is all I should expect.

    I don't want to repeat this is all I know.
    INCHES??? SERIOUSLY? Holy **** I'm not afraid of water but I would not ride if the sky was dumping like the flood of Genesis.

  17. #17
    The Slow One Alaska Mike's Avatar
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    In those kinds of temperatures with rain, I generally go with a LSD ride where I can ride in my own little raingear/fender-protected world. Intervals? Not unless there is no other option for the foreseeable future. I do a lot of riding in the 40F-60F range, and there are months where it's wet more often than it's not. If you want to ride, you ride in the rain. It's not being a "hard man" or anything, it's just adapting to your environment.

    Intervals on the road I usually leave for dry days, or at least warmer days. That means a lot of time staining the garage floor with sweat, but that makes those pavement rides that much nicer.
    My self-indulgent bike blog: http://alaskanpackfodder.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
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    Maybe you need a power meter so you can gauge the effectiveness of the intervals better. With a power meter and trainerroad I bet you could do them indoors. That's what I would have done, no way Im riding in 45* rain.
    ...

  19. #19
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I do better in the rain, likely because it keeps me cooler, although 45F and dry, and I wouldn't have a heating issue. Everyone is different, but I will train normally in any weather in which I would race. I will race when it's pouring buckets at 45F, so I will train in that weather, and I will learn to dictate my power output in that weather.

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    you need a power meter
    this

  20. #20
    The Slow One Alaska Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    I do better in the rain, likely because it keeps me cooler, although 45F and dry, and I wouldn't have a heating issue. Everyone is different, but I will train normally in any weather in which I would race. I will race when it's pouring buckets at 45F, so I will train in that weather, and I will learn to dictate my power output in that weather.
    I do better in the rain than feather-weight climbers, because my build skews towards the Northern Classics riders, and I definitely see the value in riding in the rain. A lot of riders give up when conditions are a bit off, and sticking the knife in and giving it a twist at that moment always makes the race more enjoyable for me. Also, knowing how your bike reacts in the wet means you know how far to push it.

    If it's raining, I'll usually ride, because at least 6 months of my season are in the garage on the trainer.

    That said, it sometimes takes me days to recover from a cold soaker that includes a strong effort. That can throw off my training schedule far more than shifting a workout a day or inside. I ended up with bronchitis that killed my 'cross season last fall, so a little prudence here or there never hurts.
    My self-indulgent bike blog: http://alaskanpackfodder.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Answer: yes.

    Heck, this winter I moved the PM to my fendered single speed so I could do intervals here in the land of the ice and snow.

    But I'm the opposite of a fair weather racer. I ride all winter and press the comparative advantage in the early spring races. By July I'm getting clubbed by the guys I was beating in March.

  22. #22
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    Well, based on my ride today, I would say my intervals at 45 in the rain had an effect and that I could feel a bit of lead in them today. As always when doing intervals I am looking for 2 things, do them hard enough that they place race quality stress or greater on my legs and make sure I am not so blown from recent or long term efforts that they are doing more damage than not. My judgement of those two things are usually via a power meter, but I was on my rain bike so it was harder to tell. However it was very obvious based on speed and even feel that I was not getting to my normal power levels which as I said earlier normally means shut it down. However my legs had this odd fresh feeling that told me to keep going anyways, and I am glad I did. I may not have scored the power numbers I was looking for, but I added another day of stress to my legs, and I am pretty sure they were ready to handle the effort.

    So if I am ever crazy enough to try intervals below 50 degrees again I think I might just adjust my power/speed requirements and not worry about that as much as the feeling. A power meter only gets you so far in training, had I gone by that yesterday I would have shut it down and waited another day in effect taking one day of intervals out of this block of training as I already was a day behind. Now I can get back on track tomorrow and finish out this block as planned ... provided the weather/work/health and the rest of my life doesn't get in the way. Being a masters racer is not nearly as simple as back when it was just school and biking every day.

    I am now one little step closer to my goals for the season.

  23. #23
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    I used to always do planned workouts no matter what. One winter I only missed two workouts over the course of my five month base/build. I came out and won 3 races in 4 weekends with a few other top 3s. But by summer I was a bit cooked.

    Now I won't do it with because I've figured that any fitness I give up in March/April by skipping brutal condition workouts will be there in June/July when I can get those workouts in. No problem.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by needmoreair View Post
    Now I won't do it with because I've figured that any fitness I give up in March/April by skipping brutal condition workouts will be there in June/July when I can get those workouts in. No problem.
    This!

    Yes, I am highly concerned about my current plan because of this point exactly and I have seen it happen way more times that not and I am clearly trying to work against the odds this year. Why still do it ... I have no idea other than it boils down to 3 things for me.

    1) I get way to fat and slow every winter, so I made a plan and the only way to stay on the plan is to stay on the plan.
    2) I have a life and might get sick/overworked/etc. So I figure every day of hard work between now and July is something I can play off for days when I can't do it.
    3) I really ... really ... really want to do well this year as nationals is close by and I am hoping that having that goal hanging over my season will prevent me from burning out.
    4) Last year I burnt out in mid July after starting in March, so ... wait I said only three things, so this one doesn't count!

    I will not know until August if I can handle a full year (Jan to August), but I already lost 10 days of training in February because of life, and followed it by getting lucky in March and hitting my plan dead on. Lets see what April brings.

  25. #25
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    I rode today, 42 degrees or so and on-and-off drizzle and rain. But that was an endurance ride, on the 'cross bike, with full fenders and lots of wool. If intervals are needed and the weather is like that, I will probably do them on the trainer instead.

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