Keep Riding, It Gets Easier
First week down (8 days in my world). Not too bad, but I did miss some training. Looking back over the week I'm now not too upset on not completing everything I had in writing. I missed one weights session, and the VO2 run and ride. The reasons behind this I think are legitimate, I wasn't just being lazy. My long run got pushed back a day and half due to a shift change at work and then not getting any meal breaks. I also didn't pull up from the run very well and had to take a full day recovery the next day. Running in the morning, instead of the late afternoon does make a big difference to the following day. This all pushed back the rest of my training even further. During my AT bike ride I found my legs still to be sore and tender, I still hadn't recovered enough from the long run. So yesterday again involved some active recovery in the pool to make sure I was ready for a big day today.
The morning started with a long ride. The weather was far from looking inviting. Heavy rain, dark, cold and predicted hail. Time to set up the mag-trainer, put on a dvd and settle into the monotony of spinning the legs in one spot. Like many others I struggle with long sets on the mag-trainer, so I am still clinging onto the old rule of thumb that states, two hours on the mag-trainer is equal to three hours on the road. While I agree that the trainer feels harder for many reasons, one being you never get to coast on any downhills, I am unconvinced that this statement is accurate. A three hour ride was on the schedule, so this meant two hours on the trainer.
I am still reacquainting myself with the mag-trainer. Since getting back into triathlon training, I have only completed a few short sets riding in one spot, nothing over 45 minutes. Today is now officially the beginning of a new relationship with the piece of metal, plastic and rubber that stops me riding through the TV and stereo-system. Warm up wise I started in a low gear at a slow cadence and gradually brought the gearing and cadence up over the first 20 minutes until I was sitting towards the bottom of the correct heart rate zone. Then it was just keep on rolling the legs over at this pace, with the occasional short effort out of the saddle to make sure blood was still getting to the boys.
I was travelling along well, the effort level felt right, my legs were hurting more than they do on the road, which is normal and I was enjoying the dvd. Then at just before the 90 minute mark something interesting happened. My heart rate suddenly dropped about 10-15bpm and stayed there. I checked my cadence, it was still the same sitting on 92rpm. I checked my rear wheel and found it was still pressed in against the roller. I checked my breathing, it was easier than before, but my legs were still hurting the same. It was as if someone had flicked a switch and made the ride easier on my heart and lungs. That can only be a good thing. So I changed up a gear, maintained my cadence and my heart rate again settled into the correct zone. I maintained this to the end of two hours with only my legs attempting a half-hearted protest against the workload.
I don't have an explanation as why this happened. Maybe my mind worked out how to recruit the muscles more efficiently, maybe there was a change in hormone levels because of the duration of exercise, or simply I was now properly warmed up. I don't know. I do remember from a few years ago when I was putting in some big mileage, it took 60-70min to feel properly warmed up before a short course race. I'm curious to see if it happens again.
"The important things is not to stop questioning" - Albert Einstein