Strength Training And Leg Speed
So I got on the bike today after a couple weeks off. I actually haven’t been consistently training for several months. While I’ve backed off my training to work on my business, as there are only so many hours in the day, I’ve been noticing the mental effects of not exercising as much. Exercise breeds a happy person.
The only consistent workouts have been strength training twice a week with Gina DeMarco at MotionX Studio. After this past weekend at the USA Cycling Coaching Summit (report to come soon), I’ve got the bug to train again and am easing my way back to consistent exercise.
Here’s a glimpse at my 2012 season:
In simple terms, the pink line is my short term training stress (ATL=acute training load). The yellow line is my “training stress balance” or TSB. The more negative, the more training stress my body is under. The blue line is basically a measure of accumulated fitness (CTL=chronic training load). I started the year after some recovery from Ironman Arizona, ran a half marathon early February, then mid-March ran the LA Marathon, so the blue line has a steady increase. After some time off to recover (the blue line falls) I started training to race my mountain bike, and the blue line goes up again. My last race of the season was a Sprint Tri on July 21st. You can see by the pink line I haven’t done too much since then, just a few longish rides, hence the precipitous decline in the blue line.
What this means is that I’m fairly detrained. And I need to “get my rear in gear” and slowly get back on it or my 2013 season won’t be a whole lot of fun. So I’m back at it! But I can’t just jump back in and hammer out too many high intensity intervals or I will be in a world of hurt.
So what I started out with was a 20 minute easy spin before breakfast with five very short but fast (as fast as I could) accelerations to try and activate what little fast twitch capacity I have (thanks to genetics) and get those neuromuscular connections firing.
So quick workout, just a little over 20 minutes, and you can see the five accelerations I did. Overall the workout was very easy, as I kept the power under 100W. I took 1:10 rest between each 10s interval. When I looked at my cadence reading at the end of the 10s interval, it was between 145-150rpm. And for me, Ms. Slowtwitch, this was amazing. I used to struggle to get to 130rpm. So my only thought is that all the power and explosive type strength training I have been doing is paying off. The graph also shows nicely how heart rate is a lagging indicator, as it doesn’t creep up until well after I finished the interval.
If I zoom into the interval section here’s what we see:
I got the cadence up there (the yellow line). My normal cadence on the trainer is between 90-100rpm, but never really being able to get to 130rpm, hitting 150 is awesome! So now we’ll see if I can get a few more rpms each time I do this type of workout. These are great early season workouts because overall the intensity is low to work on aerobic conditioning and to get the joints used to training again. But the bursts of high speed start to train those neuromuscular pathways to train your body to go fast. So once the fitness is there, your body is ready to fly!