Monday, October 10, 2011

Training away from home

So it's always a challenge if your routine (a rather precious thing for roadies) is interrupted by rain/hail/travel for work etc - but that's hopefully where you'll notice the difference from having committed to a certain level of training for a target race.

I am in Brisbane overnight so no bike available but since we are 8 weeks out from Tour of Bright, there is no way I can skip sessions as the one thing I have struggled with in the last few weeks is consistency.

So, after some googling and phoning around, I found a gym nearby with spin bikes that were free so I could use the whole room, and I thought I would try a tempo session that Coach Simon had given me.

I started on the spin bike and it just felt so wrong, the seat was uncomfortable, I was too hot and sweaty and the general "not-a-real-bike-ness" of it just kinda sucked so I struggled in the first 15 minutes to do anything useful. I also found that without a cadence meter (on a spin bike as opposed to the kind with the  screens) I was a bit psyched out by not being able to measure performance the way I am used to. I did however have my garmin that I had remembered to pack along with HR sensor so at least I could record and follow the drill.

I did go and try the "exercise bike" for all of a minute but was actually unable to even sit on the thing - it had some kind of bizrre built in suspension in the seatpost for the oversized ginormous padded saddle, which had the nose pointed so far down you actually slid off if you were trying to pedal!!! How can people use these things!!

So I went back to the spin bike which is at least a bit closer and decided to harden the f**k up.

Note - always bring decent shoes if you are going to give this a go - I've just pedalled two hours in soft dunlop volleys and my feet are a little bit in agony.

Anyway, the session called for 3x20 minute efforts in a very specific and narrow HR range (between 162-168 bpm) on a stationary bike, with ten minute recoverys in between and Simon had said if I did it right the HR file would look like flat plateaus. It was a new form of torture but I think you'll agree from the HR image here - I nailed it!

Kinda proud I was able to keep my HR in such a set zone.

Afterwards I even stretched properly - something I don't normally do, and did a 1 minute plank just for fun! So I guess the moral is - where there's a will there's a way.

Plus I think the guy at the gym was kinda impressed when he asked me what event I was training for ;)

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