I started Al’s workout regimen last week. Mmmm, well sorta.
A week ago, Sunday (day 0), I did 3 loops on my favorite mtb trail. I had one of those up/down days – emotionally. You know the kind – where you feel like you really DON’T want to ride, but…you know if you don’t ride, it will be worse. So, you NEED to ride. (Just so, you can yank yourself OUT of the unpleasant funk that has sucker punched you in the face.) So. I rode. The first round on my favorite trail was hard, but it got better. I was in a much happier mood when I was done. Exercise is good for the mind, heart and body. TG!
As per Al’s regimen, Monday is a strength day. However since my personal trainer (PT) is off on Mondays (and I’ve got several sessions left from a present hubby gave me a while back), I use Mondays as a recovery day. I rode the spinner bike while my kiddos have their own classes at the gym. I didn’t have the printout with me, but I remembered that each ride is supposed to include both high cadence work and single leg pedaling. So, I tried that. The high cadence work went okay. I couldn’t tell how fast I was going b/c these bikes have absolutely no monitors to give you any kind of feedback on what/how you’re doing. So, I just went as fast as I possibly could – several times. The single leg work was a little odd. I had to quit pedaling each time in order to snap my cleat back into the pedal when I’d change legs. That was kind of off-putting, and I wondered how that would translate back on the bike IRL. Other than that, I stayed in my “zone 1” (as set by a specific cardio test I took last year for zones…these zones have nothing to do with any ole calculation you get off the net. These are set by the test results from my O2 measurements, HR, etc.) Zone 1 for me is about 135-145.
Tuesday – I did a weight training workout with my PT. He’s got over 14 years of experience, comes from Chicago and worked with high level athletes up there. He’s a recent transplant, and I’m glad he’s here. He does things differently than most of the rest of them…and I like it. He does a lot of stability work. Boy…when we first started working together, some of those exercises REALLY hurt areas I never thought could hurt! What we do now still hurts, but my stability and balance are markedly better. This was also the first session I’ve had with him in a month. Knowing that my road biking season is just about to start in full swing, he pushed me hard. (B/c I’d complained how bleeping slow I was in my first outdoor ride.) I can put this workout down to one word: ooouch. I was really sore on certain places the next day.
Btw, I do these workouts with my PT instead of Al’s regimen. Yes, I asked Al about this. However, he did mention (I think? Al – help?) that I could do his regimen another time of the week. I’m thinking that I was supposed (or optionally could) do them before or after my road ride…but I forget. Since I don’t have it written down in an email, I’m not sure. (I think we discussed this part in the chat, and that’s why I don’t have a written record of it.) After Al enlightens me (again), I will find a way to work it into my schedule – I hope. (More on that later, too.)
Wednesday – I was supposed to do a road ride with a friend out in my favorite weekday haunt. It was her first road ride for the season (and my 2nd). Such high hopes. Then…she showed up only to find out that BOTH her tires were flat after filling them at the house. She didn’t have any tubes. So, I pulled out both of mine and took care of it. I, also, showed her how to change a flat. (She didn’t know – even though I’ve showed her once before last season.) I pulled my own bike off my rack…and whatdoyaknow – I’ve got a flat. Crap – I’m out of tubes. So, I told her to go ride and I’d go run to the LBS for a supply of tubes, come back out (if I could) and go riding by myself. She felt terrible, but I told her, “no worries! Just pay it forward!” Besides, she had to be back at her house by a certain time, and I was indeed able to come back out. (I bought 4 tubes – one to use for the replacement, 1 to keep in my bag and 2 to keep in my plastic bin that holds all my cycling stuff.)
So…I start pedaling, and I notice that the winds have picked up. Really up. This should be fun! Plus, traffic is in full swing and people are FLYING by me beyond top speed. I got started and about a mile later, I tried to do the single leg pedaling. Yikes – the wobble almost got ugly. I decided it would be better and safer to wait till I found a much quieter section of road to do that. So, I changed to doing some high cadence work. This is easier done on a spinner/trainer b/c the bike doesn’t wobble so much. When I started doing it on my actual road bike, I found my upper body moved…A LOT. So, again, I waited till a quieter road to do more of it. When I did turn off, I put all my effort into the cadence work and…all I could muster was 119 as a top end. I need work on this, no doubt.
Also, this road was supposed to include hills. Ha – north GA has loads of those. That was an easy one to complete. You have hills coming and going, no matter where you turn. (It’s the weekend edict for 2 – 20 min hill that’s the hard part. More on that in another post.)
Back to single leg pedaling – well, I found a quiet road to give this a shot. I started doing it and boy did it feel weird. Mostly b/c of the instability I felt as I had to unsnap and snap back in. I have to look down to snap back in b/c my pedal flips over on me. If I don’t look down, I won’t get snapped back in. Oh yeah… I did try not looking. Then, here comes a hill and I’m not snapped back in. I barely made it. If I had egg beaters, I’m thinking this would be a breeze (or even the double-sided SPD’s), but no…I’ve got a set of single-sided Look Keo’s. After trying a couple sets of them, I got really frustrated and decided I’d have to work on this via the trainer (b/c the spinner bike is insufficient)…but then, I have to put this bike on the trainer. Pita. Ugh. I will figure it out. Maybe.
I spent the rest of the ride (beside doing the hills) working on high cadences. I was able to generally keep it b/t 90 and 110 for regular stuff and b/t 80-90 on the hills…but all that slow single leg stuff really lowered my cadence average for the ride, overall. It was disheartening to see a mere 83 for my overall ride average. Actually, I was disbelieving and a little ticked. What can I say… I have perfection issues. (Tie that one in with my issues on patience, and it makes for a real doozie sometimes! *sigh* If only I had a magic wand…)
Alas, I keep wondering if I should just call this my “pregame” week since I felt like I wasn’t doing things right (enough). Then, I wonder if I’ll be able to complete this b/c my schedule is about to go from busy to insane with the weekly rides starting up.
Then, I remember that no one is perfect. Everyone has schitck that gets in the way somehow. So…I guess I will keep going and do what I can. I’ll decide later whether to call this pregame week, week one (or weak one – har – yes, I did mis-spell that on purpose)…or do week one NEXT week. Meh.