Let me start off by saying that this is my first post, and that I am glad to have found this community. I've spent the greater part of this morning feasting on the Road Forum and the Training and Nutrition Forum, and I don't see any point in lurking. This appears the place to be.
Okay, where to begin...
I am a 37 year old who got into cycling late this past summer with the hope that I might shed some pounds to become the runner that I once was (I consider myself 15 lbs over my racing weight). In the time before the cold weather came, I got the cycling bug pretty badly, and it occurred to me then that I might not return to the running scene at all. But alas, this winter I realized that the two disciplines can go hand in hand really quite well.
I committed to a local 10 mile race as a New Year's resolution, and promptly sprained my ankle a few days later
Two plus weeks later, I still can't hit the roads or treadmill.
So I got a trainer for my Trek, and I have to say that indoor riding is far more hellish than I ever imagined. But at this point it's all I can do to keep any hope of realizing my goals for my race this coming April.
This is how it goes:
• My heart monitor (Nike Triax C5) tells me that my resting heartrate is is the low 40s (not bad, I know. But the rest of my machinery doesn't seem to be on the same page!).
• Typically, I ride in a low gear 42/19 with what seems to me is a very high pedal cadence (close to 120 rpm).
• It takes me a full ten minutes to get my heart rate up to zone (If I remember right, 146 bpm).
• By 30 minutes, I am at the upper limits of my desired training zone (166 bpm?).
At that point, I have to stop in order to allow my core temp to cool enough for my heart rate to come back down to say (in 5 minutes), 100 bpm. And it is at that point that I finish my ride (another ten minutes, usually).
From what I've read, this steady increase in heart rate (with no corresponding increase in workload) is known as cardiac drift. It usually occurs what the body can't properly cool itself.
Here's my question: Is cardiac drift giving me a false impression of a good workout? To put it another way-- is a "nicely zoned" workout and end in itself, or is a workout only good when that zone corresponds with everything else in the heart/lung/muscle machine?
I've got lofty goals for my race this spring, and my bike is my only hope right now. I wish I knew that what I was doing was right.
On a related note: to all cross trainers out there-- what do you suppose a 40 minute ride (30 minutes in the zone) translates to in running milage? I've been estimating about 4 miles and logging it as such with an asterisk in my training journal.
I know that this post was haphazardly put together. This is really more like three posts crammed into one. But thanks to any and all who may be able to shed some better light on my situation.