Today I went out and pedaled as hard as I could with an upper respiratory mini infection and a fear of cars that rivals the fear of dentists in most people. The wind was whipping, and I just counted down the time it would take to get there, warm-up, and take the test. Of course, I had to pedal home as well crossing a railroad bridge where new ties were being installed. As soon as I finished, I decided to de-stress with a small mountain bike 30-minute spin. Hilarious. De-stress in the woods where I do not have to think as much about cars and idiots buzzing me on the road. It is no secret that I do not have a love of road biking. In fact, I would say that if I knew I would never have to do it again, I would be ok. People speed on back roads intended for 30 mph to up to double the speed, spend time on their phones and generally can use the excuse that they did not see the biker or runner and have no consequences.
After hiring a coach, I was a bit skeptical about doing this test. I knew it would not be an all-out effort as soon as I finished. I am not sure I even know what all-out for me would really look like. I have biked in the same zone for so long that I am stuck where I am. When my HR hits about 160 bpm, I start slowing down and breathing. It is so automatic that I do not even notice. Sort of like the way I brake in the same way in the same places on the same trails locally.
Even my heart is habitual.
So here is a sort of baseline on starting paying attention to training with a coach. I’m using Steve Carpenter with Echelon Cycling and Performance. So far, I am frustrated having to slow down. I am told this is normal. Cannot wait to see how 2016 unfolds!
edited later to add: By the way, have you ever wondered about Strava’s estimated average power? Some rides it seems that it is very much overestimated but in this case, I would venture to say it was pretty close to the 200-205 watts range. I have no power meter on my road bike, though.