Monday, April 26, 2010
Bike Riding in rural Maryland & training by 'Feel'
After more then a week of traveling, it's good to be home again. This past trip to Maryland included visiting family, attending and speaking at the Multisport World Expo in NYC, shooting three new Spinervals videos in Annapolis and doing a series of other video clips. It was a busy trip. I flew solo too with my 6 yr old and 2 yr old... which always makes for interesting long plane rides!
I grew up riding my bike in the rural countryside of Maryland, up near Pennsylvania. I love the twisting, narrow rural roads and almost endless choices to get from A to B during rides. I was reminded too how challenging it is to ride on 'rolling' terrain as the hills are short yet very steep. Power outputs spike up as you climb for 20-30 seconds then drop as you descend, over and over and over. You end up burning a lot of 'matches' during those short anaerobic efforts. On the other hand, here in Tucson most of our rides are less severe and allow for more 'steady state' riding. I can see where both areas have their advantages and disadvantages for cycling fitness development. If you ever want to get your butt kicked on the bike, go to Tri-Speed in north Baltimore and join them on a Saturday group ride in the hills of Baltimore County!
I left my Cannondale Cyclocross bike at my parent's house for riding during my East coast visits. Here's a picture. I don't have any power meter or HR monitor... just the bike. I must say I got in some great workouts (it has road tires) in the hills, while enjoying the countryside. It was especially nice to ride my old routes and not to worry about measuring my intensity... just to go out and ride. I believe it's important to sometimes leave the power and heart rate measuring devices at home and go simply by feel and perceived effort. It helps to develop your sense of self awareness and helps to keep training 'fresh' so that you don't get stale.
So, in your next long workout, consider turning the power meter off and leaving the HR monitor at home and go by feel. Just ride, not worrying about the metrics. I bet you'll enjoy it!