Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Here we intervals fail

I had a horrible bike workout today and I am trying to figure out why.
Last week on Thursday I did 4x5min all-out and my average power was around 260. Today I was supposed to do 5x5min all out trying to hit 265. Well, it did not happen. I did not download my file yet so I do not know the 100% accurate numbers but I know that it went something like this: I started at ~265, could hold it for around 90sec, had to shift to an easier gear because I was unable to push the gear I was in any longer and then my power went down down down.  The averages for the intervals were around 250, 240, 240, 230, 230.
And if you manage a negative split in something as short as a 5min interval then you are sandbagging and not going all out.)
Basically I wanted to cry in each of those intervals (except for the last one) the moment I geared down because to hold the power I had to pedal fast and push hard and it was so f*ing hard. Then the crying moment passed, I guess because I eased up, and I was at least able to finish the interval.
I was considering bagging it during the second interval but I figured that it does not really matter that I am unable to hit my power as long as I go all out on my perceived effort. That would still be a good workout.

Now that you have the details let’s think together.
Last week I did not run the whole week (I did a measly 30min run on Monday but nothing else prior to the workout). Thursday I biked to work (30min), then biked from work (30min), hopped off my commuter bike, hopped on my trainer and did the workout (15min w/up and then the intervals).
This week I ran for 45min last night, I went to the gym on Monday (did lunges and my hamstrings are still sore 2+ days later) and I did the bike intervals at 6am this morning.
I think that those lunges on Monday are a primary cause to this failed workout. My butt is still screaming at me when I walk. I would have thought that not biking for 30min from work immediately prior to the workout would make the legs feel fresher but maybe that commute actually helps because I was warmed up. Today not only was I still half asleep but definitely not warmed up enough (I woke up at 5:50, and was on a trainer at 6:00) although I did a 15min w/up before starting the intervals. But since I have not warmed up as the workout went on it must be those lunges that just killed my legs.

The point of this post is not really to try to find what was caused this pathetic workout but rather to say this. I know that going to the gym for the first time in a very very very long time trashed me and thus I was not able to execute the workout. But what am I supposed to do? Taper for my interval workouts? Yeah, right. Thus I am going to continue going to the gym and my workouts might suffer for a few weeks but gains from strength workout will be higher that skipping the gym in order to be able to hit my bike power.

It is the same problem I had with biking and running. Biking just kills my legs and I am unable to do those tempo/interval run combos. But I am not going to ease up on biking just to be able to execute those running workouts. I have not done any tempo/interval combos for a month now so I cannot say whether this is still an issue. I guess it is but it is better now.
This all is only temporary though. I have not enough strength. Therefore I need to be going to the gym. After a few weeks my body will adapt and gym won’t trash me as much. I will be able to execute my biking workouts better. Meanwhile I will also getting into a better biking shape and it will not affect my running by that much. At the same time, I will be becoming a stronger runner and it will not affect biking. It is like a chain reaction. And then the cycle will be complete and I will be able to do all of my workouts without them having to much negative effect on each other. Right?

On a completely unrelated note. I was woken up last night at around midnight by my neighbors having sex. Disgusting. At least I think that it was sex. I do not know what else it could have been. That’s what you get when you want to be nice and ask for an apartment on a ground floor so you do not disturb your neighbors when you are on a trainer. Then you have to listen to everything what’s going on above you.
Also, my favorite bike shop (well, the only one I go to but they are very nice there and one guy already knows my first name) is having a bike maintenance classes in January. It is 4 classes, each one 2-2.5 hours. So I should be an expert on bike maintenance/repair by the end and I will be able to overhaul my bike myself after that, instead of just not knowing how to do things and doing them anyway, which would be super cool (and safe). Just watch me true those race wheels I bought….  The problem is that the shop is a 1hour ride from me. It also costs quite a lot ($350) but they will give us all the tools we will be using during the lab. I am intrigued and maybe I should sign up. If only it was not that far from me! And I am also slightly worried that I will mess up my bike during the class and then will have to pay a lot of money to have them repair it after my overhaul. So I do not know. What to do, what to do?


  1. i have to admit my eyes glazed over as i read the details of your bike work-out and then i snapped back to attention at the word sex.
    yup, i'm mature.
    seriously though, i agree. you can't taper for interval work-outs. you'll just have to slug it out for a few weeks until you adjust to the weight training.

  2. I'm with PPC- power will go down for a while until you adjust to the weight training but just let it go. This is why SOME coaches are anti-powermeters b/c if you didn't have power on that bike w/o you would have just given your best effort and let it go without stressing over it all... I will also tell you that 100% there is a negative correlation between run miles and bike power... the more I run, the lower my power on the bike. This is fine actually so what I do in training a lot is run as much as I need to, bike my intervals as hard as my legs will let me that day, then taper off the run training significantly prior to racing and my bike will POP right on time so I race well. That's all that really matters, right? The other thing you might consider doing is strategically placing your weight workouts on the same day as bike intervals (but after the interval w/o) so in that way you don't compromise your bike w/o but still get good benefit from the strength training.

  3. Very mature PPC, indeed:)

    I was not stressing about the power at all. It is just one workout and as soon as I started biking I knew that I will not be able to hold that power and I knew why. I am very mature in that aspect. I do not stress out too much if I cannot hit my paces/power when I know the reason why. And I usually do. I knew why I could not do those tempo/interval combos and I knew why I could not do this today. I still tried on every one of them hoping my legs will POP but no:(

    I know that my workouts (gym and runs) are not planned strategically and I would prefer them differently but I am constrained by workout facilities. One cannot have everything:)