SAW. (Six a Week?)

I had written, way long ago, about my commitment to riding hard three times a week, or TAW.  Times change.  Riding changes.

I spent the winter and spring readying myself for Almanzo and the Gravel Metric.  Mission accomplished.  I’m comfortable riding at 85% for very long periods of time.  However, I’m not comfortable riding at 110% for short periods of time…so on this summer’s road rides, I’m getting hammered.  Hence, a change in tactics.  TAW with long rides have been supplanted by SAW.

Monday:  Hard ride with 2 x 20 minute best effort intervals, trying to keep a neutral or negative split.

Tuesday:  Recovery ride, with 3-4 short (30 second) sprints.

Wednesday:  Group hammer ride.

Thursday:  Recovery Ride.

Friday:  Hard ride with 2 x 20 minute best effort intervals, trying to keep a neutral or negative split.

Saturday or Sunday:  Group ride or longer ride.

I’ve been at this for all of a little over a week now, so it’s too early to tell if it will impact my cycling.  My legs feel pretty worked today, so tomorrow’s 50+ mile gravel ride will be interesting.

However, Wednesday night, I had the best group ride I’ve had all year.  I rode hard, rode well, and felt like I was able to push myself harder than normal.  Normally, if (when) I fall off the front group, it feels like a muscular strength issue–it feels like I cannot push the pedals any harder.  Wednesday, I hung on longer, rode faster, and tangibly produced more wattage.  The one time that I appreciably fell off the lead group was because I puked.

No, really.  I rode until I puked.  And then I smiled about it, because it was the hardest I had ridden in a long time.  I felt like I had unlocked some hidden ability in my legs.  It was great.  (Yes.  I acknowledge that it is weird to celebrate riding until you puke.)

The other thing I’m emphasizing is riding in the drops.  Formerly, I would spend 95% or more of my time on the hoods and flats, and go into the drops only for special occasions.  I’ve realized that I ride a super-aero road bike, with super-aero wheels, and have a super-aero build (read: thin), and I’m riding with the profile of a brick wall.  Part of that is a flexibility issue, and part of it is a comfort issue: I’m used to riding the hoods.  But now, I’m focusing on riding the drops as much as possible, even on recovery rides, to get used to it, and to shave a considerable amount of drag at higher speeds.

I haven’t been blogging much because my free time has been more devoted to riding.  I also need to work on offsetting some of this extra riding with extra calories.  Things are busy these days.

Six a week.  Thanks, Lenny.

One thought on “SAW. (Six a Week?)

  1. Pingback: ZOMG Specialized Fatbikez. | ridingagainstthegrain

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