On Tuesday, the exercise coach at Boulder Sports Medicine Center suggested I add some higher intensity workouts into my training mix as he thought that would help me shift my Lactate Threshold graph to the right. By doing so, I would be able to do more intense work while accumulating less blood lactate.
So, today I decided to do just that. My goal was to ride at a higher heartrate for longer periods of time. Until now, as I have been building my trianing base, when I my heartrate would get into the 150’s I would back off the intensity (either shift to a lower gear or drop the cadence, or both) to insure I could continue. Today, I was looking for numbers in the 140’s and 150’s. On the flats, I found it difficult to achieve, but on the climbs it was easy to do. And, instead of backing down to my more normal climbing speeds of 7-10 mph, I continued to push the pace and climbed an average of 2-3 mph faster than normal. It was a very different feeling, but one of power and strength. I surprised myself by being able to maintain the increased level of intensity without “blowing up.” I kept the increased pace on the flats and attacked every hill I came upon. I was literally FLYING!
After an hour of this, I had covered just shy of 18 miles! And I still felt great. Amazing. I finished off the last half hour of the ride going through city streets and having to deal with numerous stop lights. Even with all that, I still finished with an average speed of 15.3 mph for a 27 mile ride.
Looking at the statistics below, I see that I did spend much more time in my heart rate zone 4 than I normally do. And, the time in zones 3-5 represented the vast majority of the ride. We’ll see in 8 weeks how this improves my fitness level.
The weather conditions were the best I’ve had all year. It was in the upper 50’s, clear skies and only a slight breeze that didn’t affect my riding. I hope this means we’ve turned the corner and winter is in my rear view mirror!
Todays Stats: (From the Garmin, ODO from my Vetta bike computer)
Distance: 27.6 mi
Ride Time: 1:48:01
Ave Speed: 15.3 mph
Max Speed: 29.4 mph
Elevation Gain: 1438
Elevation Loss: 1404
Est. Calories: 1539
Ave HR : 128 bpm
Max HR: 157 bpm
Z1 (< 103): 4:54 for 1.1miles
Z2 (< 120): 14:50 for 3.2 1miles
Z3 (<137): 45:07 for 12.3 miles
Z4(<154): 42:20 for 11.2 miles
Z5(<171): 2:13 for 0.4 miles