just another gosling
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
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You've only been training 3 years! Don't worry about it. You won't peak for at least 7, even at your age.
Do you think 153 is your LT? I got myself a recording HRM and keep track of time-in-zone per week. Put in an hour or so of LT work each week. When that feels good to you, the next thing you can do is try to drop those folks in the last 10 minutes of the hill. You are not redlined at 153, not by any means. You haven't even started to really feel it. Try kicking your HR up to 163 or even 165 and holding it there for that last 10 minutes, then sprint over the crest if you feel like your legs will support your weight. You probably won't drop them. In fact that will probably just encourage them to attack you, but so what? Do that once or twice a week for 3 weeks and you'll notice a difference. At first you'll also notice that you are like totally shot the rest of the ride, but your body will learn to recover from those efforts and be able to repeat them 2 or even 3 times in a single ride. Then you've got something.
If your hills aren't long enough, find a place where you can take a really long pull, get out front and gradually just up the ante. Try not to let anyone come around you for 10 minutes. If they're any kind of decent friends they'll learn to humor you. Try to do that twice during a ride.
My theory is that putting yourself in over-LT territory causes your kidneys to release EPO which will improve your hematocrit and after a couple of weeks, allow you to put out more watts at the same HR. So be sure to have a good diet, plenty of protein, iron, and antioxidants.
Also be sure to support these harder efforts with plenty of base miles during the week. Watch your morning resting HR and if it goes up by 6-7 beats, back it off a bit.
Most folks just say "do intervals", but intervals don't do it for me. I can do them but I much prefer competitive sport riding.