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.