Saturday, February 9, 2008

Training Log: 15.4

my bike

Saturday 2/9: Hard intervals on the trainer, 60 minutes
Spin 10, 2x (5 x 2 min max effort WI, 2 min RI) w/ 5 min RI between sets, spin 5

As it continues to be impossible to run outside very effectively, here is another week where intervals on the bike stands in for FIRST speed work. I may be misguided, but I think there is absolutely more benefit to doing intervals on the bike than running anyway.

I wouldn't have thought this until I started training using the bike last year. I rode for almost three months during the winter last year before I ever got out and ran. When the first 40 degree day rolled around, I laced 'em up and went for a 5k spin around the neighborhood. I was more aerobically fit than I had been in years! And at that time I still weighed about 30 lbs more than I do now.

I immediately looked back with remorse at my high-school running days and wished that I had cross-trained on a bike. I think the difference is simple: you can do more max effort work (the kind you need to boost your aerobic threshold) on a bike than you can running simply because running is biomechanically harder to do. What that means, in practical terms, is that you can suffer yourself into a deeper hole on the bike. And sufferin' is what intervals are all about.


And even if interval training on the bike is the same or slightly less effective than running, it is still valuable because it reduces the risk of injury and allows me to recover from the pounding of the other run workouts.

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