it's been a while since i tasted blood in my mouth but my first set of intervals this year, indeed the first set this decade reminded me that it hasn't quite been long enough. Sadly, despite all the fancy gadgetry i seem to have acquired, the nice bike and the funny little yellow powermeter, the pink overshoes and the wraparound shades. Riding my bike fast still hurts, a lot. I have moved on fro the generally fun and entirely enjoyable base period to the purgatory that is the build phase
Remember how i told you that bike training was like lego? well, if you've been paying attention (yes you at the back) and riding diligently you should have a nice base built by now, kind of like those big green things you got to construct a pirate ship or a space castle on when you were 5. Much like lego, in cycling, once you have your base you need to get a bit more specific, the blocks you put onto this base will determine what sort of structure you end up with. SO now is the time to decide if you want to build a castle, or a stable. Or to put it another way to be a climber, or a sprinter (or even a dirty fat tester).
the build phase gives you speed endurance, if you're looking to be involved with the masochism that is stage racing or road racing you need this for breakaways, on the track, It helps in the endurance races and pursuit efforts, if you're looking to race tts you want your head looking at. The efforts I'm doing right now rance from 60-20 mins in length, not all out but pretty hard, I do some 2x20s with a 10 min rest, by the second one, I'm pretty tired, put it this way: I don't like to finish anywhere below my house, or i end up climbing home like an asthmatic gorilla. The 60 min efforts are a little easier, they occur at tempo – think of the speed at which you need to breathe through your mouth but not to gulp air in, so maybe you can say a few words every minute. The sort of pace your mates use to put the half wheel on you whilst trying to appear comfortable. As these efforts come into rides, rides get a little shorter, not much over 4 hours now. Every ride has a purpose be it endurance with muscle tension (i.e. big gear work), endurance with high cadence work, tempo work or some of the threshold work I outlined above. It's easy to get carried away in this phase of training, don't. There's no need for the really hard v02 max efforts yet, you have 6-8 months of pain ahead of you so chill out.
In other news the teamtype1 schedule is taking shape, details will be online as soon as its final, if you know of a supercool race then hit me up with the details, host housing with beer is always preferred. I would also like to give you the heads up that riding 4hrs30mins and arriving home 15 mins before you have to teach (and when your house is 15 mins from said classroom) and attempting to teach in a state of quite substantial fatigue is not clever. Trying to consume a liter of chocolate milkshake on the ride into school, and teaching with a milk 'tache is even less so. And with that nugget of wisdom I bid you adieu, good luck building your castles people.