Since I joined the TnT cycle team back in November, 12 weeks ago (has it really been that long?) I've been working diligently to keep up with the training schedule. Not just the weekly teams rides on Saturdays, I've been trying to follow the schedule during the week too. It hasn't been easy and up until now I haven't accomplished much.
There have been several impediments. First, I didn't have a way to do intervals until I received and set up my new trainer. Then, I caught the cold from hell that wouldn't go away for weeks and didn't leave me with enough lung power to exercise. In the middle of that was the holiday season messing up schedules. Then our longer weekend rides started and the seat on my new bike caused so much pain that I couldn't sit on a bike seat except for the necessary long rides, and even that was agony.
That's not to say I've been sitting on my ass all week, I just haven't done what I'm supposed to do. I've been running (a little), walking (a little), cross-training (a little) and doing core exercises regularly (that counts for something, right?). I'm just afraid it hasn't been enough to get me through 100 miles so now I'm going to start following the schedule. Better late than never! I still have 5 weeks to build a little additional endurance and strength. Holy Bike, Batman! Only 5 weeks!
Last night I decided it was time to try out my fancy-schmancy trainer that I bought at the beginning of the season. Except for trying to see if I could sit on the bike between weekend rides, I haven't used it at all. I looked at the schedule and saw we were set for intervals; 20 minute warmup, 4 x (5 hard/2 easy), 20 minute cool down. Since this was my first set of intervals I decided to change that to 3 x (3 hard/2 easy) so as not to kill my self on the first outing.
The first thing I discovered is that my old bike is horribly uncomfortable; it doesn't fit me in the slightest. I have the old bike on the trainer since why wear out the pretty new one. I had no idea how much difference a well-fit bike makes. There just wasn't a good way to ride comfortably. I'm thrilled that I bought the new bike; there's no way I could have ridden the old one for 100 miles without being all crippled up afterward. How I ever used to ride 100k rides all summer I'll never know (of course, I was 10 years younger then ...).
So I ignored the discomfort of the bike, turned on the television and pedaled away. Imagine my surprise when I finished that workout and was soaking wet and pooped. Good grief, it was harder even than running intervals around a track, harder than climbing a hill. My legs were fatigued, my arms were fatigued, my teeth were fatigued. Uh, maybe that's why they're such a good idea, right?
As much as I want to run a couple of times a week I think I'm going to have to do as much of the bike training as my sit bones will allow. I don't think I can cycle 2 days in a row, there's still too much sitpain. So for the regular mid-week ride I'll run, then do the scheduled intervals around that, building up to the correct number of sets and times. Five weeks isn't much, but I'll get it done.