Anaerobic = Suck

denis_menchov_toastedIn the interest of diversified training, I am making more (read: any) use of “above lactate threshold” trainer workouts.  I know that if I want to have any significant fitness gains, I have to push beyond my current limits from time to time.

Coach Fred has stated before that (I’m paraphrasing) if you want to go faster, then go faster.  That is to say, if you never make the attempt to ride above 25mph, you’ll never train yourself to do it.  If you never climb a significant grade, you’ll never be a serious climber.

So I did a couple: stage 17 of the 2006 Do The Tour…Stay at Home series and Spinervals’ No Slackers Allowed.  It’s obvious to me that anaerobic workouts can really expose the weak points in your fitness.  In my case, it showed a few things – that it hurts like hell to go into the red zone, that I may not be fully recovered from my cold of a week and a half ago, and that I can’t keep up with an LT workout.  In short, it sucks.

It sucks because I don’t like them, but I want the results.  I want higher fitness.  I don’t want to spit out pieces of my lungs to get it.  I want to burn up lots of calories in the winter so I can have a great start to the outdoor season in April.  I can’t (right now, anyway) do these things as long workouts.

So the result of this consideration?  Tonight I do a nice steady high aerobic tempo ride.  A good hour and a half with a few 5 minute steady-state intervals thrown in for good measure.  When I’m done, I will be tired, but not wrecked.

I’m going to have to be judicious about when I do these lung-burner trainer efforts.  Up to now, I rotated through my training media – avoiding the trap of favoring certain workouts.  The anaerobic-heavy rides are going to get pushed to the last ride of the week; I know then that I will have at least two days to recover from them.

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