I have four basic workouts that I do each week: long endurance, interval, recovery, single track. Of all the workouts I do I think I like interval day the least.
Recovery days are easy. They are usually 1 hour long and very light. If you are riding, your are probably riding too hard. Single track days are really recovery days. But they are a little like what Buzz Lightyear would call his “flying”: falling with style. Single track days are recovery days with panash.
Endurance days are why I do what I do. I like riding long.
Interval days. Well they are kind of like pain for pains sake. Suffering for suffering’s sake. Take today: 5-6 x 10 minute sub threshold (zone 3-4) intervals. 3 minutes of rest. Best done on a long climb. Lets do the math here: 6×10 +5×3….carry the 1…..wait a minute that’s an hour of intervals. Over an hour of intervals. Here look at the elevation plot from today:
I’ve added my HR on there just so you can see I wasn’t cheating. (The intervals were done on Pucker Rd. I added the “mother” in front of it cause that’s how I feel about it right now.)
Anyway, if you compare that to the last hour of my 6 hour ride from Wednesday, the last hour of the 6 hour ride (in which I was instructed: go as hard as possible for the last hour, should be totally wiped out at end) was much worse effort wise. BUT interval day hurt more.
I think that’s because there is a sense of purposeful hurting rather than being given what you get by the road or the trail. When you are riding and the road throws something at you that stinks, well its the roads fault. When you are riding intervals, its your own darn fault. You picked the interval, you picked the road, today I picked 6 instead of 5 (I always pick the higher number, figure if I can’t do the workout, Leadville is going to be a real problem).
Drew assures me that interval day is important. It builds power for the long climbs in Leadville. Anyway 2 hours closer.