Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I've Got the Power!!!

When I saw the above image on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, I knew it would be perfect for an upcoming blog post, although it would still be a while before I could use it. As of yesterday, I can, because I have a functioning power meter for the first time in over two years.

Sometime in the winter of 2013 I decided that I was happy with the level of training consistency that I’d been putting in with my Death March training and that it was time to bump things up a bit by adding interval training back into the mix after having not done any in several months. When the attempt was made, I found that the head unit of my ancient wired Powertap was no longer functional and took it as a sign that I was not ready to start interval training for the year after all.

I was still pretty darn fit by spring, and while I made a few more attempts at heart-rate based intervals that year, I’ve obviously had a bigger priorities for the use of my money, time, and mental energy since then. Plus, once I moved to State College I was blessed with the ability to just go climb stuff when I needed to do threshold work, which in my opinion is better than staring at numbers on a screen, anyway.

Now that I’ve finally been able to put the resources into what is by far the nicest bike that I have ever owned and rededicated myself making it in whatever cyclocross series in which circumstance places me, I feel like it’s time to start putting some effort back into developing my top-end power again. My plan is still to leave weekends for climbing things/riding as much and as fast as my body will handle, then supplementing that with one very easy ride and one very intense interval session during the week. And, of course, maintaining a good Monday and Thursday weight training routine, because I find the extra strength extremely helpful when I do it consistently, although it can very much go the other way with extra fatigue if I start to let the routine slip.

I’ve come to the conclusion that, like the saying about diets, the most effective training plan is the one that you stick with. Right now I feel like throwing in some high intensity, low-volume interval work will give me the maximum payoff for the least amount of mental distress. Or it might just make for even more spectacular holeshot followed by second lap explosion combos come ‘cross season, but I guess time will tell. I plan to start with really seeing how hard I can go in 30 second intervals for a few sessions, then maximize the percentage that I can hold while increasing duration and volume each week through 1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, etc. It’s definitely an experiment, and the opposite of most traditional training periodization, but I want to see how it works. I bet it works better than not doing intervals as I have the last couple of years.

The plan will have to wait a couple of weeks, though, as we are leaving tomorrow for a few days of desert-gnar in Grand Junction, CO with Dustin and Corinna. So this mid-week blogging thing is actually working out pretty well at the moment, as I should return next Wednesday with lots of stories and pictures.

Also my engagement ring finally arrived yesterday. I feel like things have dragged out a bit, and was worried that everyone would be sick of hearing about it by the time I finally got to wear it. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but the good news is that it’s finally here and it’s a perfectly “me” ring. I’ve been trying really hard to not do things based on what other people think, and instead do them because that’s what I really want, so I guess this is a good lesson. I really want to show off my ring, so I will.

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