Remember the spiffy new shorts I mentioned buying? That must be it.
I skipped my run this morning. We got well above zero day before yesterday, then on Wed it got slightly below zero with lots of sloppy snow. Wed afternoon it warmed up again, and overnight it froze again. I had every reason to believe my regular route would have lots of ice on it, and made the executive decision that running in the dark on an icy bike path wasn't the smartest thing in the world to do. For whatever reason I couldn't face running indoors at the Talisman centre.
The IGP™ called for a 45 min spin tonight, so I decided to go a little longer to make up for the no run this morning. On Tuesday we some long sets keeping the heart rate high end of zone 2 in a big gear, with low cadence. So this evening I decided to aim for the same heart rate, but in a high cadence easy gear. After a bit of experimenting with the ipod so I wasn't getting tangled up in the wire, and some classic Pink Floyd cued up (A Momentary Lapse of Reason and Dark Side of the Moon), I got at it.
10 min warmup
25 min set at 95 rpm with heart rate about 115 to 118
4 x 5 min work 2 min easy, same rpm
2 min fooling around at 105+ rpm, but not letting heart rate get above 115
10 cool down, with an accidental interlude of about 60 seconds work.
15 min yoga after
Total 1.5 hr
It strikes me that reading the above has my readers wondering WTF?? And I was too, since my heart rate was doing some odd things throughout.
The first set. My thought was to settle in at 115 heart rate or so, at 95 rpm or so, and maintain it for as long as I could. 20 minutes later my left hamstring started complaining a little. So at 25 I slowed down, and gave it a couple minutes rest, then fired up again. The five minute sets seemed all my leg was willing to do, though the last one could have been longer, I'm pretty sure.
Every time throughout the ride that I concentrated on spinning rather than plugging, my heart rate dropped 3-5 beats, usually almost immediately. Throughout the 5 minute sets my heartrate never got above 110. I was tempted to go to a higher gear, but decided to stay light and easy and not over work the left ham. During the cooldown, my heart rate dropped into the mid 80's, even though I was still at 75 rpm or so. I started thinking about spinning again, and concentrating on my form, and all of a sudden I noticed I was back at 90 rpm for over a minute and my heart rate hadn't even got back up to 110. I reminded myself this was the cool down, not the workout. It was well under 90 when I got off the bike 5 minutes later.
The yoga was mostly leg stretches, nice and easy, some warrior and downward dog poses. I got into corpse pose and looked at my watch. 61!!! I actually checked using my fingers, and that was right. 3 minutes of corpse and I was 52. I've never seen my heart rate that low while I'm actually awake, let alone so soon after a workout.
So what do you think, the new shorts, the Pink Floyd, or all the workouts finally having a conditioning effect on my bod? Try the poll.