Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mental break through with push interval

I think I had a mental break through. I have been fighting the pain caused by the push intervals for the last couple weeks. Last night I just accepted it for what it is and that made all the difference. I pasted the comments to my coach below.


Had a really good experience with my workout last night. Just thought
I would let you know about it.

On my first push interval I did not get my cadence up to 70. It was
like I was avoiding the pain caused by getting out of my comfort zone.
My heart rate was also staying low. Most of the time it was around
140. Sometimes dipping down even lower. Finally in the last 10
minutes I just decided to go for it. I ramped up my cadence. When my
legs started to burn I just held it there. Heart rate went up but
never really got above 155. After my legs burned for awhile my heart
rate came back down in the 150-152 range. My average heart rate for
the whole interval was 141.

On the second interval I pushed it right up to 150 AHR and held it
there pretty much the whole time. It was my best push interval yet. I
pushed my candence past 185 and held 182 for several minutes. I did
this in the same gear I was fighting to hold 65 RPMs in the first push
interval. My average heart rate for the second interval was 147.

In the second push interval, I was able to move my heart rate up and
down. I did this by paying attention to the the burn in my legs. If I
wanted a higher heart rate, I focused on my pedal stroke until it
burned a little more. If I wanted less heart rate, I would ease the
burn up a little.

It was like a mental game to accept the pain and hold cadence. Almost
like holding your hand over a candle. There is a certain distance
that you can hold your hand over a lit candle where it is
uncomfortable but it is not really burning/damaging your hand. Last
night I felt like I was trying to hold that distance on my bike by
trying to find the effort level that would burn my legs a little but
not so much that I felt like I had to quit.

I also was able to predict my heart rate moving up or down before it
happened. If I was riding along and noticed my legs were not burning,
then I would look down and sure enough in 20 seconds my heart rate
would start to drop. If I picked my effort back up, 20 seconds later
my heart rate would go back up.

I still could not hold my heart rate constant for a long period
though. My heart rate did stay between 147-152 for the whole interval
with only a handful a very brief exceptions. Even though I couldn't
hold my heart rate at exactly 151 the whole time, only varying 5 beats
is huge improvement over any previous push interval I have done.

I also noticed weird changes in resistance. I would be pedaling along
like there was barely a chain in then all of sudden I would hit a
wall. I am not sure if it was a change in my position or pedal stroke
that caused the change in resistance or if it was just all in my mind.
It was strange though. I am used to these changes when I am on the
road. I always assumed it was the hills. On the trainer though with
the same gear and same cadence I wouldn't expect to feel a huge
difference in resistance all of a sudden.

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