Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oxygen Deprivation

Today after work I did some intervals on the water tank road in Orem above the cemetery*. 2 min. 15 seconds each going pretty much as hard as I could handle. It was painful. The type of pain where your lungs burn, your front teeth tingle and even after you stop, there's about a 15 second period where you basically collapse on the handlebars and gasp for air. Then there's the nausea.

*For the locals, the road is in good shape (not muddy) until just before the last steep grade before the top. After that it starts to get soft and rutted from trucks going through the mud. I wonder how much longer till we'll be riding the single track? Next week's weather will hopefully hurry that along.

I was surprised at how hard it is to sustain an intense effort for just over 2 minutes. You see, in my mind, prior to doing these intervals, I was thinking and maybe trying to convince myself that two minutes is so short when compared to the long rides on the bike. The reality is that when you're anaerobic (without air), 2 minutes seems like an eternity.

I read an article the other day in which a cycling coach said he believes that the best cyclists are those that can tolerate pain the most, specifically referring to the pain that's inflicted when completing these intervals. Makes sense. If you don't ever put in the hard work, you'll limit your level of fitness and ability on the bike. On the flip side, you have to make sure you don't over train. I like that.

We'll see how it goes for me. I'm planning to do some sort of structured interval training at least once per week and hopefully twice per week as I get stronger and as the season progresses.

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