Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hill Repeats Hurt!!!

Yesterday, I had on off site meeting that lasted until 5:00. So instead of returning to work I decided to head out on a ride. I considered riding over to the Tuesday Night Crits. I don't race crits but they are fun to watch and I know a lot of the people racing. But I really wanted to ride so I headed over to the hills by my house and did hill repeats. Can I just say right now - ouch!

I have a new route for hill repeats that I scouted a couple of weeks ago. It is nothing crazy but it does have a steep pitch in the middle and again at the top. It's also short at less then a mile. So the effort is from top to bottom. You then get 1 mile of recovery before you hit it again. Since this is my first serious attempt at hill repeats this year I decide on 5 loops. How serious was I? I actually decided to use my stopwatch and time each climb.

Climb #1 - I started the watch and took off. I faded on the steep middle section but held on to the top. Since is the first time I have challenged this climb I have no idea what to expect. The result - 3:31. Now I have a baseline to work from.

Climb #2 - I started way to fast and blew up on the middle steep section. I had to take some time to recover and then push on to the top. The result - 3:41 (am I supposed to get slower?) and I am already feeling the efforts.

Climb #3 - I realized I am starting to fast so new goal. Find a steady state that I can hold to the end. So I start off slower but maintain a more constant pace. The result - 3:30. Now we are getting somewhere.

Climb #4 - I am dead this time around. I am serious thinking about coffee, or a beer, at this point but I keep pushing. However, this time I don't attack the climb. Instead, I decide to see what the time would be if I took it at a normal pace. The result - 4:24.

Climb #5 - I intend to take everything I have learned and kick ass on this climb. My goal was for it to be the fastest climb of the day. I was really hoping for 3:20, which was a tall order. So I hit the start with a slightly lifted pace and focus on holding that cadence to the top. Result - 3:24.

Finally, I am done although I actually picked a route back home that took me over one more climb. I soft-pedaled this one to the top, enjoyed the descent and headed home for dinner. I am flogged but in a good way and I feel fine today.

So why the new seriousness in my training? Well, I finally have a goal for this year. On October 3rd, I am riding Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge GranFondo. Actually, most of my velo group is riding in this event. My goal is to simply ride strong.

This ride is going to be epic and awesome. If you have been looking for an excuse to make a cycling excursion into Sonoma County, this could be for you. I hope to see you there.


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