Friday, December 28, 2007

Speed Skills On The Rollers

The weather was a high of 23 degrees, which makes riding outside miserable. Furthermore, when you're bundled up to protect against the cold, your workout is less productive. So, in these conditions; I stay inside and turn to either the rollers or my trainer.

At this point of the season I'm more focused on developing speed skills on the bike, or in other words, training my muscles/nervous system to adapt to maintaining a higher cadence. This promotes muscle efficiency.

My work out is pretty simple but seems to be effective. I do three 15 minute sets with 10 minutes recovery between. I spend the first minute focusing on the push forward of the pedal stroke; I spend the second minute focused on the drag at the bottom of the pedal stroke; and, I spend the third minute focused on the lift of pedal stroke at the back. I rotate every three minutes placing my hands on the hoods of the handlebar or the drops of the handlebar (to learn to be comfortable in an aero position). During the three 15-minute sets, I maintain a pedaling cadence of >100 RPMs and heart rate in Zone 3. During the recovery times I keep the cadence around 90 RPMs and let the heart rate fall to zone 2.

This may be a lot of detail, but what I'm trying to illustrate is the need for specificity. With finite training time, very specific, focused workouts are more effective than meandering around outside in the cold for hours exposing yourself to the risk of a respiratory ailment. Furthermore, speed drills a great for working out the kinks in your knees after a long run.

Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly willing to go outside and brave the cold. Just two weeks ago, I started an early morning ride at 7:00 am and looked down at my bike computer that displays ambient temps to see a -5 degrees. Granted, Silvio (my trusty training partner) and I were descending Tramway. There was a wind chill factor going on. My hands froze and didn't thaw until we got to Bernillilo (the next town over). It was miserable. If you don't have to do it, don't. This was an endurance ride, and couldn't be done indoors.

After my rollers ride, I took my two oldest kids, Elise and Ethan, to the movies and watched I AM LEGEND with Will Smith. It was good perhaps a bit scary for the kids. We'll see tonight if they jump in our bed tonight.

I'm babysitting my nephew tonight for my Brother and Sister-in-law spend a romantic night in a hotel. Tanya's going to a party with her co-workers, so I'm going to be alone with 5 kids. No worries, I'm the oldest of seven.

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