I don't like pain!

I don’t like the pain. So why do this? Well, it seems that with persistence, whatever you think your limits are turns out to be a sort of illusion. I say “sort” of illusion because pain is as real as anything, but it’s the belief that goes along with it that is an illusion. The belief that pain instils in you is that you are defined by this currently impassable limit. It’s just great how training and correct preparation constantly proves this wrong. So why do this? Perhaps it’s a process of constantly re-defining yourself – of learning and being surprised in a positive reinforcing way. Sounds a bit like art really.

Thursday 10 June 2010, Weight 72.4kg, Blood Pressure 110/60, Resting HR 49

Today’s workout was the last one prior to another monster race on Saturday – this time in Haute Savoie. I kept the session short and high intensity. Very high intensity. After 10 minutes warm up on the climb to Macot I started to push hard when turning onto the climb up to La Plagne – which is steep at the bottom. The aim was to get above Lactate Threshold and stay there. This was achieved for 40 minutes, steadily raising the heart rate all the way into the anaerobic zone for the final 6 minutes. Despite working at close to maximum I was overtaken by a local Macot/La Plagne club member – but he was skinny as a rake.

He seemed surprised that I managed to accelerate and stay quite close but while he was certainly going up to 2000m altitude I was only aiming for about 1500 so he had nothing to worry about. The Macot/La Plagne club has some of the best amateur hill climbers in France so I was not surprised. Regardless of my current desire to lose 10 kilos I hope never to be as skinny as that! The wind was very strong and the lightweight bike felt really unsafe when descending. I can understand now why they impose a 6.8kg minimum weight limit in professional racing.
Using “Body Mass Index” I’m still officially “overweight” at BMI 25.1 and last week was over 74kg. The positive side of this is that it makes great strength training when hill climbing which should be useful when the excess weight has gone.

Wednesday 09 June 2010 Rest Day

Lazy day trip to Annecy.

Tuesday 08 June 2010 Active Recovery

Cycle up to Granier but only at recovery level – keeping heart rate between 102 and 132. This level has become amazingly easy and surprisingly enjoyable. I like recovery workouts. Exercise doesn’t have to be all pain!

Monday 07 June 2010 Active recovery

10km slow run with Christiane. Keeping the heart in the Recovery Zone. Legs are really tired from the race on Sunday, but slow running is a nice feeling allowing the hips to work though their full range of motion ( as opposed to being permanently flexed on a bike).
The SportTracks software (Analysis on previous post) shows the level of fatigue to be extremely high after the race. As days go by fatigue drops rapidly but so does the fitness gained due to inactivity. Slow recovery workouts permit the fatigue (red curve) to continue to drop rapidly while preventing the fitness gained (blue shaded area) from being lost.

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