Sunday, October 7, 2012

I Love Hills

Woke up today and got on my bike.  Was going to ride the same route that I'd taken all week, but at the last minute decided to do some hill repeats.  I guess that I'm a glutton for punishment, and hills have been my nemesis for a long time, so why not start working on it?  I wasn't going to push these, as my body is clearly not ready to do so, plus, I will continue with the theory of building up as much as possible with the lowest possible exertion.  The idea is that if you can do something easy, the harder part gets easier too.  However, the hill I use for this workout doesn't make anything easy.  It's a half mile climb, with an average grade of 11%, with pitches probably as high as 15%.

I warmed up for 20 minutes and got to the base of the climb.  I really tried to ride "easy" at the beginning, which meaning a pace of less than 5mph and a cadence of somewhere between 30 and 50 rpm's, all in my lowest gear (compact cranks, so 34-28, for those of you who understand that).  I've done this hill in the past in about 4:25 going essentially all out.  Today, for the first half of the first climb, I worked "hard" to go "easy" enough to keep my heart rate from spiking.  In fact, I was able to hold my heart rate right around 150 for the first half of the climb.  I did the beginning of this seated, but after hitting the half way point did stand up for a short period of time and my heart rate immediately bumped up to 160, where it stayed for the remainder of the climb.  There is a slight reprieve about two thirds of the way up, and then it gets steep again.  My breathing was reasonable, albeit pretty quick, as I reached the top.  I took it really easy on the downhill and 9 minutes later was ready to start my second attempt.  Oh yes, I did this the first time in 5:37, not too bad.  The second time, I really "worked hard" at going "easy" and ended up keeping my heart rate down a bit, did go up to about 152 about half way up, but kept it below 160 this time, and closer to 156-158 as I reached the top.  That was enough, as I took it easy on the downhill.

After about a 5 minute rest, I went all out for 2 minutes on a slight downhill with some easy rollers and maintained a pace of 27 mph.  Not sure what my heart rate did, wasn't paying attention.  Rode easy home and then went to visit my daughter in Claremont for the afternoon.  I got home later in the afternoon and got in a 30-35 minute swim, finishing with about 4 x 50 yards of all out butterfly, one of my favorite new workouts.

I've got a long way to go, but at least it feels like I'm doing some real workouts.

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