Well....went for the first outside ride of the season this afternoon - temps in the mid 50's, nice and sunny out. A bit windy....15-25 mph winds....lots of headwinds and sidewinds, and no tailwinds....but other than that, it was nice to finally get out. To give a very brief history, I've never done a structured interval workout before last fall, and while I knew the dividends would be worth it, I wasn't exactly sure to what degree they would help. Sure, I saw my speeds on the trainer increase over time, but wanted to see the impact they would have out on the road.
Did a short, 16 mile ride with some easy/moderate climbing.....nothing to write home about. Average grade was 4%, max was 7%....about the flattest ride I can find around here. I also did the first half of the ride with my front brake pad rubbing on the rim . I felt pretty strong on the climbs, and this was also the inaugeral ride with the new compact crankset. Spent a lot of time in the 50T ring - I'm not the strongest rider, and I found the 50T ring to work really well with how I ride. The 34T wasn't too bad....should be good for much of the hills around here, but I did have to shift up 2-3 cogs when going from the big ring to the small ring. I think I may go to a 36T ring at some point, but for the ultradistance rides, will use the 34T.
Keeping in mind I did some fairly intense interval sessions on Friday and Saturday (with an active recovery day consisting of shooting a basketball around on Sunday), I didn't want to go hard today, so I didn't push myself too much.....but I still managed to average 16.7 mph and completed the ride in 56:25.....so I did push here and there a little . The part I am happy about, however......is how much all the interval work has helped me on climbing and riding up the "false-flats" around here. I felt steady as a rock on the climbs, and while I worked on them, I didn't push myself really hard to maintain a decent speed. I felt strong. And, more importantly.....recovered fairly quickly and could continue to ride at a brisk clip. I guess when I do decide to push hard, it'll be just like before.....hurt like a mofo.....but, will be much faster than I was before.
Good stuff. Glad I busted my ass on the trainer. Whoever said "trainer miles" don't count is on acid.
I used to ride the trainer just enough to try to keep some of my fitness over the winter so that when Spring arrived, it wouldn't take me too long to get back to where I was.
This Winter, I devised a training program lasting two months that was based on Carmichael's book. The results have been excellent. I'm in much better shape than I was even at the end of last year. Indoor training may be boring, but it is very useful.
Yep....did a 2 hour, 32 miler today with a bit of climbing...around 1,200 vertical feet. Felt strong, even at the end - other than the fact I got a bit cold (was only 53 degrees out, and wasn't wearing anything windproof), I felt great.